Bucs get physical but Koetter calls Wright hit a 'cheap shot'
Bucs tight end Brandon Myers caught the pass in the seam from quarterback Mike Glennon and turned upfield until he was belted under his chin by the right forearm of safety Major Wright.
Myers remained on the turf for about 10 seconds, long enough to be ruled a knockout, but returned to his feet and finished practice.
Depending on your viewpoint, it was either an aggressive hit by Wright on the first day when players were in pads or the kind of illegal blow that plagued one of the most penalized teams in the NFL a year ago.
There was no gray area in Dirk Koetter's mind.
“That was a cheap shot. Alright? That was a cheap shot,'' Koetter said. "That was a cheap shot. He would’ve been ejected, he would’ve been fined and it’s a 15-yard penalty. So we don’t need those kind of hits. Those kind of hits don’t do us any good because they won’t be good on Sunday. Now, there were some other hits out here that there’s some banging, they’re legal. I always talk to these guys, we’ve got to take care of each other on the field. There’s hitting in live contact and then there’s hitting against our teammates. Sometimes the rookies have a hard time learning that. Like everything out here, it’s a work in progress.
“What I liked is obviously these guys like to hit. So that energy was good. What I didn’t like was that first team period was ugly, ugly, ugly from a penalty standpoint. I mean, we can’t play that way. We’re not going to play that way. They’ll hear about it.''
The Bucs were the second-most penalized team in the NFL last season behind only Buffalo with 143 accepted infractions for 1,195 yards. Koetter has said a big emphasis will be on reducing the number of flags, but they got off to a bad start Saturday.
"I hate it when I have to be the ref,'' Koetter said. "I mean, the false starts are easy ones. Sometimes there’s holding going on both sides. I can’t always see all of it until I watch the tape. You know, we’re working on the penalties. I’ve got to do a great job on that. I’ve got to keep pushing the envelope. I know our coaches are doing it. But we’ve got to do a better job than we did today, at least to start.''