Bostick Blames Himself for Loss

A bad season took a horrific turn for the worse when Brandon Bostick tried to field Seattle's onside kick rather than block, as he had been trained to do. Bostick's miscue and Seattle's recovery helped end the Packers' season. Bostick showed courage by discussing his error on Monday. (Steven Bisig/USA TODAY)

It would have been a great story had Brandon Bostick’s season of disappointment ended in heroic fashion.

But this isn’t Hollywood.

After a solid first three weeks of training camp, Bostick appeared on course to be a key contributor at tight end — if not the No. 1 player at the position for the Green Bay Packers. Instead, he sustained a leg injury during the second preseason game and barely was heard from again. He played 34 snaps on offense all season and finished with just two catches for 3 yards.

Then came Sunday’s NFC Championship Game and the pivotal onside kick that put a stake in the heart of the Packers’ season. Bostick, a member of the hands team, ignored months of coaching and training. Rather than block the oncoming members of the kicking team to allow Jordy Nelson a clear shot at the bouncing ball, Bostick decided to field it.

“I guess I just reacted to it,” Bostick said on Monday — one of the relatively few members of the team to make themselves available to the media following the 28-22 loss. “I just saw the ball and went to get the ball, which wasn’t my job.”

Bostick wasn’t trying to be the hero. Regardless, he wound up being the goat. With Nelson just steps behind him and in perfect position to make an easy play on the ball, it went through Bostick’s hands and off his helmet and was recovered by the Seahawks.

“I’m human. I made a mistake,” Bostick said. “But if I would’ve made the play, we wouldn’t have been in this situation. Or if I would’ve made the block, we wouldn’t be talking about this. But it’s over now, so I’ll just try my best to get over it.”

Bostick’s miscue was a reason why the Packers aren’t going to the Super Bowl. It wasn’t, however, the only reason. There were missed opportunities earlier in the game by the offense, and the defense could have provided one more stop to win the game.

Not that Bostick was taking any solace in that thought.

“I’d like to say that, but if I did that, then it would’ve been a different situation, I’m sure. We wouldn’t be talking about it,” Bostick said. “Like you (said), a lot of plays, but if I would’ve done what I was supposed to do, we wouldn’t be here right now talking about it.”

After the play, receiver and special teams captain Randall Cobb spoke to Bostick and gave him a pat on the back. His teammates have shown their support, as well.

“It definitely means a lot,” Bostick said. “I’m at a low point right now. The whole world is on my back about this thing, but my teammates are here to pick me up. They know it’s just a mistake, and they’ve been my side. They’ve definitely helped me out a lot.”

After exit interviews are complete on Tuesday or Wednesday, Bostick will head back to his native South Carolina. With one season remaining in his contract, he’ll return to shake off the memories of a season that started with such promise, took a dramatic turn for the worse and ended in devastation.

“I’m just trying to deal with this,” Bostick said. “I’ll just move on from it, come back here and just work hard and just try to put that behind me.”

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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