Greg Schiano's decision at the end of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 41-34 loss to the New York Giants was not a dirty play. Unorthodox and desperate would be more appropriate to describe the attempt to hit the ball free from Eli Manning ‘s hands as he attempted to take a knee to close out the game.
The play resulted in a little pushing and shoving from both teams on the field and a heated exchange between Schiano and Tom Coughlin, the head coach of the Giants.
There has been a lot of attention, both for and against, the decision and whether or not it has a place in the National Football League. Some have even gone as far as calling the move bush league, including Dan Graziano from ESPN.com.
Graziano also included Schiano's reaction after the game.
"I don't know if that's not something that's not done in the National Football League, but what I do with our football team is we fight until they tell us 'Game over,'" Schiano said. "There's nothing dirty about it and there's nothing illegal about it."
There are also those that feel the play wasn’t dirty at all and was very appropriate for the situation. This includes current ESPN analyst and former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski. Doug Farrar from Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner blog caught some of Jaworski’s remarks from ESPN radio Monday morning.
"There's no doubt that Tom Coughlin owes Greg Schiano an apology for the way he reacted after the game," Jaworski said. "And I will give you a real-life example of why. Remember the 'Miracle at the Meadowlands' with [Giants quarterback] Joe Pisarcik? Very similar play before the Pisarcik-Csonka fumble. The Giants were in victory formation, and Frank LeMaster, our linebacker, fires off [at the snap]. We were taught by [Eagles then-head coach] Dick Vermeil to play until the game is over. All of a sudden, a big showing match ensues. The only thing the Giants had to do was take a knee, and the game was over. But their coach, Bob Gibson, was on the sideline, angry because of what we did. They called a play to try and get a hit on our defense. Lo and behold, Larry Csonka thought Pisarcik was taking a knee, [Eagles defensive back] Herman Edwards picks up the ball, and we won the football game."
Here are three reasons the play shouldn’t be considered dirty.