Monday, June 25, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL: Buccaneers penalized on Saints field goal for word, not action

TAMPA — In the case of a critical penalty called against the Bucs on Sunday, actions did not speak as loudly as words.

The NFL clarified its position Monday on an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against the Bucs in their 35-28 loss to the Saints.

The league agreed with Bucs coach Greg Schiano that the defensive line shift before the snap on a 51-yard field goal attempt by Saints kicker Garrett Hartley was legal.

But it ruled that the words used by linebacker Mason Foster to order the shift were not.

"Tampa Bay was penalized yesterday for unsportsmanlike conduct for using disconcerting signals, defined as 'words designed to disconcert an offensive team at the snap,' in Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 of the NFL rule book," league spokesman Jon Zimmer said.

Two officials signaled a false start on the Saints, but referee Jerome Boger ruled the Bucs were guilty of using disconcerting signals and penalized them 15 yards. The Saints went on to complete a 95-yard drive for a touchdown and a 35-21 lead in the fourth quarter.

The Bucs said Foster approached the defensive line and yelled, "Move!'

Saints guard Jahri Evans said officials were alerted before the play about a possible attempt to create a false start.

"I think that's just what (the Bucs are) 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 in the NFL.

"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."

Schiano has said the special teams maneuver is a "legal play'' the Bucs used a few weeks ago against the Redskins. On that play, Redskins kicker Billy Cundiff was short on a 57-yard field goal attempt on the final play of the first half.

But given the subjective nature of the call, Schiano indicated it might be removed from the game plan.

Schiano was asked Monday about confusion over the ruling.

"You can add me to the list," he 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.

"I'm not quite sure, but 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 (play) very much anymore because that would be downright stubborn, right? But as far as I'm concerned, that's a legal play."

The play has Foster approaching the line of scrimmage quickly just before the snap and yelling a one-word order as the defensive line shifts from left to right. Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 of the rule book says teams cannot use "acts or words … designed to disconcert an offensive team at the snap."

After the shift against the Saints, the Bucs appeared to have a player lined up directly over the long snapper, which also is not allowed.

"When you look at field goal rushes and punt rushes, they're always very close," Schiano said. "Can it be called? … 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."

Comments
Ex-Bucs DE Keith McCants arrested, facing cocaine charge

Ex-Bucs DE Keith McCants arrested, facing cocaine charge

Former Alabama star and Bucs defensive end Keith McCants was arrested in St. Petersburg early Monday morning and is facing a felony charge of possession of crack cocaine, according to arrest records.McCants, 50, was arrested by the Pinellas County Sh...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

There are many unanswered questions and discrepancies about the story of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and the March 2016 Uber ride in Arizona that has led to his upcoming three-game suspension for violating the NFL's conduct policy.The Bucs won't ...
Published: 06/23/18
Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

A t his introductory news conference after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Bucs in 2015, Jameis Winston said to judge him on his actions moving forward."Actions speak so much louder than words, or what they may have read or what they may have hear...
Published: 06/23/18
Ronald Darby’s friend: Jameis Winston got into second Uber ride alone

Ronald Darby’s friend: Jameis Winston got into second Uber ride alone

New details emerged Friday night about the Uber ride in Arizona in March 2016 that led to Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston's three-game suspension to start the upcoming season, including the fact that Winston was in a car that night with a former Vand...
Published: 06/22/18
Chris Godwin on SiriusXM: Bucs have confidence in backup QBs

Chris Godwin on SiriusXM: Bucs have confidence in backup QBs

Bucs receiver Chris Godwin, who has had as good an offseason as any Tampa Bay player, was on SiriusXM NFL radio for a scheduled interview on Thursday night, talking about a range of subjects, including the news of Jameis Winston's suspension to start...
Published: 06/22/18
With Winston suspension, how might Bucs split QB reps in preseason?

With Winston suspension, how might Bucs split QB reps in preseason?

With news that Jameis Winston will be suspended for the first three games of 2018, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter has an interesting decision to make for training camp and especially in preseason games: How does he split reps between Winston and backup Ryan...
Published: 06/22/18
Bucs QB Jameis Winston’s suspension: What they’re saying

Bucs QB Jameis Winston’s suspension: What they’re saying

There are so many sides to the Jameis Winston suspension, and it will continue to be a major Bucs story line through September and beyond. Here's some of the reactions and notes that have already emerged in the first 24 hours since news broke Thursda...
Published: 06/22/18
Welcome back to the dark side, Bucs fans

Welcome back to the dark side, Bucs fans

TAMPA — Thursday was not the end of Jameis Winston in Tampa Bay, but it is in sight.Me? I was sitting at home. I was tired of the NBA draft, even with Tampa's Kevin Knox going to the New York Knicks.So I switched to the NFL Network. An episode ...
Published: 06/22/18
Winston aftermath: Report says Darby wasn’t in car for whole ride

Winston aftermath: Report says Darby wasn’t in car for whole ride

There's no telling how much detail will be disclosed in what the NFL learned in its investigation that led to Jameis Winston being suspended for the first three games of the upcoming season, but some have already been reported in the first 24 hours s...
Published: 06/22/18
Kwon Alexander to Jameis Winston: ‘We gotcha back’

Kwon Alexander to Jameis Winston: ‘We gotcha back’

There are many questions in the aftermath of Thursday's news that Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston will be suspended for the first three games of the 2018 season, but even before the suspension is officially announced, he is drawing support on social ...
Published: 06/22/18