Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE
First-year Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano ordered his defensive players to dive hard into the New York Giants offensive line while they were taking a knee to end the game.
To be blunt, that was Bush League.
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, whom no one would ever describe as being soft, rightfully read Schiano the riot act after the game. In his comments at his postgame press conference, Schiano still didn't seem to get it as he tried to justify his actions and say he wouldn't apologize for them, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
First of all, for all of us who played the game, we know that there is a certain code you are supposed to uphold. You give everything you have to defeat your opponent, but you never intentionally try to injure someone.
The kneel-down play isn't really a play at all. You're not going to get a defensive statistic for tackling the quarterback on that play. When is the last time you have ever seen someone botch the snap on a kneel-down in the NFL anyway?
So what, exactly, is the point of having guys do goal-line charges on that play?
If it is to show you're tough, I'd like Coach Schiano to tell everyone why none of the other hard-nosed defenses in the NFL have ever done it.
Coach Schiano said after the game that it's what he did at Rutgers. How about if someone were to ask him, if even once, in the 11 years he was head coach at Rutgers, did having guys firing off into an opponent's knees have any effect on the final score?
You have 53 men on an NFL team not over 100 like in college. And these are grown men trying to make a living; they don't need to be worried about getting injured on a procedural play at the end of the game. The season is too long for all that.
Now, it's Schiano's team, and he can run it how he sees fit, but there is always a flip side to decisions like the one he made today. It's all fun and games until it's Josh Freeman whose knees are being hit when the game has already been decided.
Or maybe, the next team will try to high-low one of our defensive linemen on a kneel-down play just to teach them a lesson. Is that the kind of stuff you're looking for?
You want to impress people with how tough your team is? Make sure it's them who are doing the kneel-down as the final seconds tick off the clock.
Otherwise, lay off the macho crap before you get somebody hurt. Whether it's technically legal or not, that doesn't change the fact that it's a sucker move of the highest order.