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Hackett Answers for Failed Andrew Beck Option Play: 'Mental Error'

The trickeration didn't go as planned.

"That's a questionable call on third-and-inches," is how CBS commentator Andrew Catalon described the Denver Broncos' ill-fated decision to run a read-option with tight end/fullback Andrew Beck in the third quarter of Sunday's win over Houston.

Beck's doomed scamper was stopped behind the line of scrimmage, leading to a 53-yard Brandon McManus field goal ... which was negated by a delay-of-game penalty that instead forced Denver to punt.

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The calamitous sequence underscored a sloppy, if downright embarrassing, 16-9 squeaker of a victory which left more questions than answers concerning rookie head coach Nathaniel Hackett.

But equally as egregious as the play-call was the play itself, poorly-blocked and executed — unlike a previous attempt years prior.

This time, lined up ahead of running back Javonte Williams, Beck took the handoff and raced to the right edge before being greeted by three white shirts. He never had the chance to pitch to Williams nor a realistic chance at the first down, largely because offensive linemen Dalton Risner and Cameron Fleming failed to seal the edge, allowing their defenders to flow to the ball.

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Your explanation, Coach?

“Yeah, we had a mental error on that play and that’s just part of it," Hackett said after the game. "It was something that we had worked, that we had practiced, and it didn’t happen the way that we anticipated it. I’ll tell you; I give [FB/TE Andrew] Beck a ton of credit because he was expecting to see something completely different over to his right side when he was running, and he did a great job of securing the ball and making sure nothing crazy happened after that. That’s just part of it. We have to hear the call, know the call, and do our job.”

It's likely that Denver pulled such trickeration because they plan to try it again later this season. Perhaps by then will it lead to a more favorable outcome, in a more understandable circumstance.

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