New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan said his team's unsuccessful kickoff return trick-play during Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills was an attempt to motivate the team, NFL.com reported on Monday morning.
An effort that mirrored TCU's camouflage return from earlier this month, the play had T.J. Graham lie down in the end zone, apparently trying to use the color scheme of his uniform and the end zone to avoid notice from the Bills and keep himself open for a throwback.
A Bills player spotted Graham, however, and ran over to cover him, squelching any opportunity for trickery. Kick returner Percy Harvin managed a short gain out of the end zone after noticing the Bills' coverage.
Ryan took responsibility for the play call:
"That was on me," Ryan said after the game. "I was just trying to give us a spark. With the way Percy was returning the ball, I thought everyone would attack him and not think about a throwback."
"I think they did an outstanding job of playing it. Percy was heads-up enough to not throw it over there."
New York has lost seven straight games for the first time since 2005.
They travel to Arrowhead next week to face the Kansas City Chiefs.
- Christopher Woody