The Buccaneers got on the scoreboard on Monday night with a trick play pass to left tackle Donald Penn. But a highlight reel displayed on the scoreboard nearly caused the Bucs to call the play off.
Just before the Penn touchdown, there was a long delay because Buccaneers running back Mike James suffered an ankle injury and was getting medical attention. During that delay, the Buccaneers stadium staff decided to honor Penn for starting 100 consecutive games by playing a highlight reel on the Jumbotron. One problem: That highlight reel included video of a previous Penn touchdown on the same tackle eligible trick play that the Buccaneers were planning to run.
Bucs coach Greg Schiano said today that he was stunned to look up and see the Jumbotron showing the exact trick play that the Bucs were about to run, right there for all of the Dolphins’ players and coaches to see.
“We’d already called the play when Mike goes down,’’ Schiano said, via the Tampa Tribune. “During that stoppage, I knew we were going to recognize Donald. . . . I was great with that, but then [quarterbacks coach] John McNulty says, ‘They’re playing it on the board.’”
Schiano said the coaches began debating whether they could still run the play, or whether the Jumbotron had just given it away to the Dolphins. In the end, they decided to go with it.
“The conversation on the headset, you wouldn’t believe it,’’ Schiano said. “You can’t make this stuff up. But cooler minds prevailed. One of our coaches said we can’t let the Jumbotron make our decisions.’’
Penn said he would’ve been disappointed if they had to call it off.
“I’ve been lobbying for the play all year and they finally put it in,’’ said Penn. “I was a little nervous because they showed me on the big screen, but it was a great pass.’’
And a great catch, and a great call — even if it was a call that the Jumbotron nearly caused the Bucs to scrap.