As the Giants held the ball with a few ticks left on the clock, rookie head coach Greg Schiano told his players to knock Super Bowl XLVI MVP Eli Manning to the ground. As the Giants snapped the ball in victory-formation, the Bucs defense went right through the Giants unsuspecting offensive line, which ultimately knocked their quarterback to the ground.
Schiano's aggressive play call at the end of the game caused a displeased 66-year-old Tom Coughlin to ditch the traditional coaches' handshake at the final whistle and replace it with a few heated words to Schiano's face.
So was Schiano misguided? I say absolutely not. Finally we have a coach who tells his players to play the full 60 minutes. I can understand coach Coughlin's animosity towards the rookie head coach, but you have to respect that play call.
"That was a first," said Manning to ESPN New York. "Obviously I think it is a little bit of a cheap shot. Going down, we are taking a knee, in a friendly way. They are firing off, and it's a way to get someone hurt."
Obviously, with the Giants having the ball the game was all but over; however the Bucs had one timeout left and the Giants were in their own territory. The aggressive surge did work in a way, due to the fact they caught the Giants off-guard. Imagine if they got to Manning and caused a fumble? The Bucs would have had the chance to recover the ball and take it back or jump on the ball and give the offense a chance to sling a Hail Mary.
Coughlin's anger is understandable by all means. After all, his franchise quarterback or O-line could have gotten hurt. But the basic rule in any contact sport—especially in football—is, You play until the final whistle, and Schiano did just that. By no means was Schiano's play call a "cheap shot."
Like Mike Ditka said on Mike and Mike in the Morning, "You've got pads and a helmet on, the game's not over." Schiano deserves credit for his combative approach at the end of last week's game, rather than being dubbed as askew.
Whatever happened to the NFL? In the '90s I remember the NFL being a full-contact war on the gridiron. Players hitting players at full speed. Aggressive blitzes on a quarterback, especially one of a high caliber.
Now, there are too many ridiculous rules to protect the quarterback, which has made them in my mind prima donnas. For all the millions of dollars they make, they should be able to take an aggressive hit rather than throwing fingers and saying you could of hurt me. I'm all for the helmet to helmet rule and sometimes for the roughing the passer call, but the "Brady rule" is ridiculous and a slap in the face to old fashioned traditional football.
Football once again is a contact sport. Finally a head coach in the NFL played to win the game. Schiano should be an example of how a football team should be coached.