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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Schiano insists shift on FG block was legal vs. Saints, not flagged vs. Redskins



Bucs coach Greg Schiano says a critical play in Sunday's 35-28 loss to the New Orleans Saints should not have resulted in a 15-yard penalty against his team.

But despite insisting it is a 'legal play,' that the Bucs used a few weeks ago in a game against the Washington Redskins, Schiano said he will consider pulling it out of future game plans.

With the Bucs trailing by a touchdown in the fourth quarter, Saints place-kicker Garrett Hartley lined up to attempt a 51-yard field goal. Just before the snap, linebacker Mason Foster called for a line shift. The play was whistled dead and the Bucs were penalized 15-yards for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The Saints went on to complete a 95-yard drive for a touchdown to extend their lead to 14 points.

Schiano was asked about the confusion over the ruling on the field.

"You can add me to the list,'' Schiano said. "Quite frankly, it's a legal play. We've done it before. We did it in the Washington game right there before the half. Exact same thing. One time we went left to right, the other time we went right to left. Other than that, it's the exact same thing. I'm not quite sure, but like I said, I'm not going to get into (officiating). I know what we do and I feel very comfortable with it. Now, the fact of the matter is that it got called Sunday, so I don't know if you should be looking for that one very much anymore because that would be downright stubborn, right? But as far as I'm concerned, that's a legal play.''

Just before the snap of the ball, Foster says something and the entire defensive line shifted from left to right.

Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 states teams cannot use 'acts or words...designed to disconcert an offensive team at the snap.'  

After the shift, the Bucs appeared to have had a player lined up directly over the longsnapper, which also is not allowed.

"It's close,'' Schiano said. "When you look at field goal rushes and punt rushes, they're always very close. Can it be called? Is a piece of my shoulder blade...I don't know. I'm not in there right where the guy is and he's got a better view, so I leave that up him. If we did, if we even make it close, that's out fault. We've got to make sure that we don't even make it close and that we're in legal alignment.''

Saints guard Jahri Evans said game officials were notified of the practice before the play.

"I think that's just what they're being taught," Evans said. "And that's what we told the refs -- they can't try to draw us offsides in that situation or in any part of the game. I haven't seen that in a long time. I played Division II, and they didn't even do that in DII. It was definitely done to draw us offsides and we all knew it."

Saints defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis said he had not seen that play run against the Saints.

"I haven't seen it in the pros, because it's against the rules," Ellis said. "You're allowed to do your shifts but you're not allowed to yell to try to get the offense to go offsides."



[Last modified: Monday, October 22, 2012 3:29pm]


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