Greg Schiano defends his last-play charge on Eli Manning
Don't be surprised if the Tampa Bay Bucs repeat the strategy that infuriated Tom Coughlin on Sunday and charge the next quarterback who takes a knee against them.
Bucs coach Greg Schiano made no apologies at his Monday press conference for the move that knocked Eli Manning to the ground on the final play of the Giants' victory over Tampa Bay. And he indicated he'll do it again.
"We've caused a fumble four times in the last five years with that play, and it's something that we practice,'' said Schiano, referencing his time as Rutgers' head coach. "To me, it's a clean, hard, tough, finish-the-game play."
Added Schiano (via the Tampa Tribune): "Some people disagree with that, but that's what makes the world go round. Everybody has opinions. But I don't have any remorse or regret. There was no sneak attack. We were down, ready to go and that's how we do it all the time.''
According to the Tribune, the strategy was effective when Rutgers played North Carolina last September, and forced a fumbled snap that was recovered by Tar Heels running back Ryan Houston.
Also, in 2009 it caused a fumble by Pittsburgh and by West Virginia. In the West Virginia game Rutgers recovered the loose ball but had the turnover nullified by an offside penalty.
An ESPN poll found 65 percent of voters favoring Schiano's strategy. But Jerome Bettis, the NFL's sixth-ranked rusher all-time, criticized Schiano in his blog for SOTL.com, writing that:
"Schiano said he coaches his guys to play until the final second has ticked off, but he's wrong on this one. I think you have to back off there. In the NFL, that is always a courtesy from the losing team. The winning team is saying we're not going to try to add insult to injury, we're going to be gracious in victory and kneel down, as opposed to trying to put up another TD on you. I understand that Schiano is trying to get his team going in his first year on the job, but he also has to understand this is the NFL, and he needs to learn the climate."
-- Tom Weir/SOTL.com