The low point of the Bucs' 41-10 loss to San Diego came late in the fourth quarter when Tampa Bay committed three turnovers in as many plays. First, starting quarterback Chris Chandler fumbled a snap which was recovered by Henry Rolling at the Bucs 15 and led to a John Carney field goal.
Backup Jeff Carlson replaced Chandler on the next series. But he fumbled his first pro snap from scrimmage at his own 11 and Gerald Robinson recovered. That led to Marion Butts' third TD run. On the ensuing kickoff, the Bucs' Danny Peebles fumbled. This time, however, Tampa Bay's defense forced the Chargers to turn the ball over on downs.
Bucs' Coleman is ejected
Bucs linebacker Sidney Coleman was flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and thrown out of the game late in the fourth quarter after getting into an altercation with a San Diego player and later shoving a referee.
Carlson was activated for the second time this season and made his first regular-season appearance as a pro. It was one to forget.
On his first play from scrimmage, Carlson fumbled the snap and it was recovered by the Chargers at the 11 and led to a San Diego field goal.
Bucs quarterback Vinny Testaverde was not activated for Sunday's game and watched from the sidelines. The Bucs also waived wide receiver Chris Ford to make room on the active roster for free agent tight end Ed Thomas, who was activated from the practice squad.
Techniques in motivation
Before the game, Chargers coach Dan Henning told his team that Bucs coach Ray Perkins had guaranteed a victory.
He said Tampa Bay did not think much of the Chargers, and Perkins had said so. He said the Buccaneers were not starting Testaverde because Tampa Bay was taking the Chargers lightly.
And Henning said he had the tape to prove it.
But did any of the Chargers ever actually hear this tape in which Perkins allegedly guaranteed a win for Tampa Bay?
"Here's the thing that matters," Chargers quarterback Billy Joe Tolliver said. "If Dan Henning told me a chicken dipped snuff, you could look under his wing and there'd be a snuff can."
Bucs linebacker Broderick Thomas suffered a sprained ankle in the third quarter but returned.
From Chargers defensive back Gil Byrd on Chandler: "I don't think Tampa Bay changed its offense because Vinny Testaverde didn't play. Chandler just isn't as accurate as Testaverde."
From Chargers linebacker Gary Plummer on Chandler: "We rattled him when he played for the Colts. We hit him hard and forced three interceptions. We knew if we got after him, we could force some mistakes."
Chandler's start against the Chargers was his first as a Buc and his first start since Sept. 24 as a member of the Indianapolis Colts. Bruce Perkins started at fullback for the Bucs in place of Reggie Cobb. Mark Carrier's 68-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter was his first scoring catch of the season.
_ Compiled from reports by Times staff writer Rick Stroud and Times wire services.