TAMPA — Bucs coach Bruce Arians has been fined $50,000 by the NFL for slapping the helmet of safety Andrew Adams during Sunday’s win over Philadelphia in an NFC wild-card playoff game.
Arians said he was trying to prevent Adams from getting a penalty for pulling Eagles players off the pile following Jalen Reagor’s muffed punt, which the Bucs recovered.
The 69-year-old coach, who is hobbled by a bad Achilles tendon, went onto the field and brushed his hand against the side of Adams’ helmet before trying to push him away from Eagles players.
Arians said Monday that he didn’t think he did anything wrong.
“I’ve seen enough dumb,” he said. “You can’t pull guys out of a pile. We just got a big play, great field position, and he’s trying to pull a guy out of the pile, and I was trying to knock him off that guy so he didn’t get a penalty.”
Still, the NFL didn’t like the way it looked. It wasn’t exactly Ohio State coach Woody Hayes punching Clemson nose guard Charlie Bauman during the 1978 Gator Bowl, but the league decided to make Arians pay for his mistake.
Arians said he will appeal the fine but didn’t want to comment further.
“I’ll appeal it,” he said. “It ain’t got nothing to do with the game, so we’re good.”
• • •
Sign up for the Bucs RedZone newsletter to get updates and analysis on the latest team and NFL news from Bucs beat writer Joey Knight.