The Buccaneers aren’t blitzing victory formations as often as they have in the past — though that doesn’t mean they’re winning more.
But a couple of Lions offensive linemen welcome the opportunity for the Bucs to try to blow up the middle of their line while sealing a win.
“Get in shotgun and cut them,” center Dominic Raiola said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “Seriously. I mean, I think about it. I thought about that when they did it the first time. You get in shotgun and you just, as low that they go, really all you got to do is get the snap back.”
The Bucs have seen the victory formation in five of their eight losses, but haven’t attacked it vigorously every time. They did it against the Cardinals, knocking Carson Palmer down in a 13-10 loss in September. Kicker Jay Feely tweeted after that game that Bucs linemen apologized for the tactic.
Since the Eagles and Falcons went to the shotgun in those situations, the Bucs didn’t blitz.
Raiola was pragmatic about the function of the play, saying “If you’re in the game, why not do it?” And left guard Rob Sims was likewise ambivalent about the ethics, after the Lions won a game on a fake spike against the Cowboys.
“It’s going to be what it is,” Sims said. “I’ve been saying people are going to start keying that kind of stuff. When we’re supposed to just down it and do all that kind of stuff, people are going to take advantage of that now that they’ve seen us play like that, and so be it.
“Hopefully, we do get in victory and that’s one play, and they come up and do what they do, and we walk out of that locker room [with a win]. . . . I’ll take it all day. Victory formation? Yeah, come on, knock me down.”
Others haven’t been as magnanimous, but at least the Lions are putting out word that they’re prepared to fight fire with fire.