Onside kicks were part of Bucs' aggressive gameplan
So, the Bucs came into the game with the intention of being aggressive in an effort to “steal possessions” from the Packers, according to coach Raheem Morris.
But what, exactly, happened on the team’s two failed onside kicks?
On the first, though S Larry Asante was ruled to have recovered the loose ball, place kicker Michael Koenen determined to have illegally touched the ball – it didn’t travel the requisite 10 yards – before the Packers’ D.J. Smith.
So, why, exactly was Koenen trying to make contact with the ball when it clearly was illegal?
“It was such a feather of a play,” Koenen said. “You’re trying to hit it 11 yards and it wasn’t going to go 10 (yards), and I (realized) that. So, I was just trying to shield the ball and not let them scoop and score and eat the bad play.”
Koenen didn’t necessarily agree with the replay result.
“I touched it, but whether (Smith) touched it first is up for debate,” he said.
Koenen said that on the second onside kick, which was recovered by the Packers, he was primarily responsible for corralling the football.
“I have to call myself out on that,” he said. “I’m supposed to grab that ball and I missed it. It squirted out. So, from that perspective, it didn’t work out as it should’ve.”
But Koenen’s efforts would have gone for naught because LB Adam Hayward was flagged for being offsides.