Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano unwittingly gave us the story of the week, with his decision to ask his guys to play football during, you know, a football game that still hadn’t been decided.
He made it clear during a Friday appearance on Pro Football Talk that he’s ready to turn the page.
“I’d like to move past this right now,” the first-year NFL head coach said after fielding a couple of lingering questions about the incident that arose at the end of Tampa’s Week Two game against the Giants. “We have a big game with the Cowboys, but I do want to clear it up because I respect the game of football too much, and that’s a play that’s in our playbook.
“We line up. We’re not diving at knees. We’re not doing any of that stuff. There’s techniques that are used to try to jar the ball loose and to have guys in position to recover it. As I’ve talked about before, we’ve done that in the past and actually created a fumble C-Q exchange four times in the past four or five years. It does work, if executed properly, and there’s some tricks to it that you’ve got to do.
“But certainly it’s about clean, hard football and trying to win a game. If the game was out of reach, we wouldn’t use it. It’s strictly about winning games. I want to make that clear. This game’s been too good to me and too important, and I don’t ever want anyone to perceive it as a lack of respect of anyone or anything.”
Although I initially was caught up in the “that’s B.S!” brigade, which had Giants coach Tom Coughlin as its drum major and Eli Manning uncharacteristically playing tuba, I realized after a day or two that, if the move had worked, we’d all be saying that Schiano is a genius.
Regardless of your own views on the matter, none of us will ever look at the play the same way again.