I don’t normally get too much into the random NFL drama of teams other than the Pittsburgh Steelers. For me, the NFL consists of the Steelers and 31 other teams that really don’t matter much to me. But this week there are some issues that seem to be seeping through my radio that I just can’t get away from, so I thought I’d ramble about them a bit.
This past weekend, Tampa Bay Buccanneers head coach Greg Schiano chose to have his defensive line fire off on the last play of the game against the New York Giants when the Giants were trying to take a knee. It made Giants quarterback Eli Manning fall on his butt but he held onto the football and no harm was done.
I didn’t watch the game live, but thanks to the internet, I was able to find plenty of video of it. What I kept reading was whether or not what he did was right or against some sort of unwritten rules of the NFL, and it appears the media talking heads are sort of split on it.
Here’s my take: Who freaking cares?
If I am a defensive player on a team that just had half a grand dropped on me in passing yards, and I choked so mightily to lose a game I should have won, I am going to be in a full-on steroid-fueled rage. They are probably lucky the Buccaneers didn’t go at the Giants offense like Attila the Hun invading the Balkans on that last play, since it was probably their best chance to make a stop in the 2nd half.
I assume by what I have heard over the past two days is that it’s common knowledge in most cases that when a team gets in the “victory formation” or the Chicken Kneel as we used to call it, the game has been conceded. At that point, it’s just a matter of running out the clock.
I never got this at all, especially in a close game. Other than a handful of situations over the past decade or so, though, no defensive team has ever chosen to treat it as a normal play, and instead took their lumps and went home.
For whatever reason, Schiano decided that being down seven, there was still a chance they could pull off some sort of miracle on that last snap. Hence, they had seven guys dive at the feet of the Giants offensive linemen, two guys jog into the backfield and two more stand around. Brilliant.
But I am not hammering the decision. It’s not his responsibility to give up before the game is over. And I despise the idea of the unwritten rule, so if Schiano wants to keep doing this all year, so be it. I wish the whole league played until the end of the game, but we all know that won’t happen.
A bigger issue for me is Schiano’s comments after the game that this was how he did it at Rutgers(I am paraphrasing). I call BS on that.
According to the Rutgers website, they had three losses last season where the winning team had the ball at the end of the game, and per the play-by-play took a knee. I know this because in the playbook, they indicate TEAM rush, rather than designate a player, and it’s always for a loss of 2 or 3 yards.
What I want is video of those games. I want to see if Schiano was having his linemen fire off, diving at the legs of those offensive linemen as well. If so, I will leave it at that, and the rest of the league should take note: when you roll up huge numbers on the Buccaneers and take a knee at the end, they will fire off.
But if they don’t, then Schiano is a liar. And a hypocrite. And a crybaby who saw his team fold like a house of cards and lashed out at the Giants. I will follow up with this once I am able to find the video of these game.
What do you all think about this? Was is bush league to do it, or does he have a right to coach until the game is over? Come find me on Twitter @nfldraftboard and let me know what you think.