In the second quarter Sunday, with the Bears leading Minnesota 16-3, Robbie Gould lined up for an extra point. But instead, holder and punter Adam Podlesh ran the ball into the end zone for a 2-point conversion.
Soldier Field erupted in cheers, but many fans were confused. Why would the Bears "waste" such a great play call in a regular-season game when you're up 16-3? As RedEye learned from Podlesh—with some help from Gould—it turns out there's a great explanation.
Take us through the fake extra point.
Adam Podlesh: I haven't ran the ball on a fake in a very long time, and scoring is something I haven't done since high school. We had [the fake] in our game plan a few times in the weeks past depending on if the team would show a certain look. We knew that Minnesota had a tendency to do that, so we decided to automatically run it if they showed the look again.
What was the look?
AP: It was just an overload on the right side. Minnesota overloaded our right side with double pushers, which is pretty common in the league. We had noticed that when they do that, there's a possibility that we would get a successful fake, which is why we drew it up. We ran it, and it worked.
OK, so my first instinct was, "Why would they show that play on a fake extra point?" What's the thinking behind doing it then?
AP: I think the Bears just didn't want me to score that many points, so they just wanted me to get two. And that's it. [Laughs.]
Robbie Gould: [Chiming in from his neighboring locker] That's exactly right. They just wanted to show your speed.
Am I wrong in looking at that and asking that?
RG: Do you want the real answer?
RG: Yes, you are. You only run it when they give you the right front, you know what I mean? Whenever they give you that opportunity.
So you take it because it's there.
AP: Let's say we're game-planning for a team that two weeks ago ran a fake. We're going to be watching out for that. "These guys ran this fake, so let's be a little bit more conservative because they've done that." We're playing Minnesota in a couple weeks too, so we figured, "Just to let you know, we've got this going on." It all comes around. Even though it might have only been one point, it can help us in the long run.
Doing my job and doing something that I never get to do that is really, really cool are completely different things. When I pin somebody down on the 5 [yard line, on a punt], I'm very hyped up about it, but at the same time I'm like, "This is my job." And granted, running one in, I'm still doing my job technically. … But it's something that I never get to do. It was just really fun.
We didn't have the fake called like no matter what when we ran out. I looked at how they lined up and saw, "OK, the way that they're lining up is set up for the fake," so I called out to them that the fake was on. I told Robbie that the fake was on, and we ran it. If they ran a different look—let's say they overloaded the left side—then we wouldn't have ran it.
So you got to call your own number?
AP: [Smiles.] Kind of, yeah.
Talk about the contact at the end of the play.
AP: I put my shoulder down even though I was coming into the end zone, because [the defender] was looking like he was going to hit me. And on top of that, I kind of wanted to milk that play for all it was worth and get back to my glory days in high school.
You wanted to take that hit.
AP: I wanted to give that hit. Take that hit? What are you talking about?
Were you particularly proud to show that you can give a hit, you can take a hit, you can score, you can be in the end zone and things like that?
AP: I wasn't out there to prove anything because I already know what I'm capable of.
RG: Don't lie. Stop lying.
AP: I just enjoyed doing that for me. That was cool to do.
RG: Stop lying. You know you wanted to show off.
AP: I didn't!
Robbie, are you a little jealous you didn't get to punch it in there?
RG: No, I'm just teasing him.
AP: No honestly, I didn't think about it at all, that "I'm going to show these guys what I got." I wanted to have fun. That's all I was thinking about. I wanted to get it in.
Special contributor Jack M Silverstein covers the Bears for RedEye. Say hey @readjack.
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