Greg Schiano and the Buccaneers long for the days of replacement refs

I saw two things this Sunday that I can’t say I’ve ever seen before, three if you consider the fact that the Buccaneers had a home game televised.

On a gorgeous, Florida, Sunday afternoon, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had their hands full against perhaps the greatest 1-4 team in NFL history: the New Orleans Saints.  The Saints have had their fair share of issues lately, with Spygate, suspensions and what most impartial observers believe to be Roger Goodell’s total bumbling of his own judiciary process.

That being said, Goodell and the league made it up to them on Sunday, with a little help from Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t mean to stand here on my homer soapbox and say the Buccaneers were robbed had it not been for this call or that but… the Buccaneers fell victim to two calls in particular, one which led to a Saints touchdown and another that prevented a Bucs touchdown from happening.  Such was the difference in the game.  In a seven point contest, the number of points which the Bucs are losing most of their games this season, these things matter.

Thing I’ve Never Seen Before #1:  In the fourth quarter of a highly competitive contest, leading 28-21, New Orleans lined up for a 51-yard field goal after the Buccaneers had stopped them defensively.  Tampa’s special teams lined up yet shifted their position in an effort to distract the snap.  All of a sudden, whistles were blown and flags were thrown.

Unsportsmanlike conduct called on the Buccaneers, pre-snap, before the ball was even hiked.  The refs penalized Tampa Bay fifteen yards, giving the Saints back the ball and the inevitable, momentous touchdown.

I’ve been watching football for a while now.  Most unsportsmanlike penalties occur either during or after a play and are generally the result of excessive celebration or taunting which, in the NFL, has to be pretty flagrant considering what players do after touchdowns these days.  According to Schiano, he used that very same defensive shift against the Redskins earlier this season and a penalty was NOT called but according to Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1i, a team is not allowed to use “acts or words designed to disconcert an offensive team at the snap.”  Now either the refs were doing their job a little too well or this is a rule that Schiano needs to become more familiar with.  Ah, the joys of being a rookie head coach in the NFL.  If no penalty is called, there are no seven points for the Saints, perhaps not even three considering the distance of the field goal attempt.

In his explanation of the rules, former head of officials and current Fox Sports analyst Mike Pereira took a shot at Schiano on live TV saying things like that might fly at Rutgers, but not in the NFL.  Schiano also got panned by the national media with ESPN’s Michael Wilbon calling his antics “college rah-rah stuff.”

Thing I’ve Never Seen Before #2: At the end of the game, with only seconds remaining and the Buccaneers down by seven, Josh Freeman and the Buccaneers matriculated the ball downfield (that’s football talk) and scored what appeared to be the game-tying touchdown as time expired.  The only problem is Freeman’s intended receiver, Mike Williams was pushed, er… had stepped out of bounds, thereby making him an ineligible receiver.

Once again, according to Pereira and the NFL rule book, since Freeman was rolling out of the pocket, it was legal for the defensive player to shove Williams out of bounds, hence no offensive pass interference call.  Williams was no longer allowed to be the first person to touch the ball, which, by all logic, is exactly what a wide receiver is supposed to do on pass plays: be the first person to catch the ball.  Ludicrous is not just the name of a platinum-selling rapper.

Illegal touch penalty.  Whistle blown.  Game over.  Fans disappointed.  Bucs jobbed.  Schiano confounded.

Look, there were plenty of ways the Buccaneers could, and perhaps should have won that ball game.  They had a 95-yard pass play to Vincent Jackson who, according to my Buccaneers fact-checker, now holds the distinguished record of having the longest play in NFL history that did not result in a touchdown after he was caught from behind at the goal line by the much swifter Malcolm Jenkins. After said play, Tampa Bay was unable to punch it in from the Saints one-yard line four consecutive times, turning the ball over on downs.

Schiano turned beet red while giving the refs a piece of his mind during the game yet was cordial in his post-game press conference, refusing to lash out at the officials yet still clearly unhappy with the calls he felt cost his team the game.

The rookie head coach from Rutgers is quickly making enemies around the league ever since the infamous Coughlin incident where he instructed his players to crash into the opposing Giants linemen as they kneeled down in victory formation with seconds left on the clock.  His decisions are perceived as collegiate by some, tone-setting by others.  Either way, he still only has two wins under his belt and those came to two of the worst teams of the league, Kansas City and Carolina.  Unfortunately for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Cleveland Browns are not walking through that door any time soon.

Schiano and company have a short turn around. They now must face the Vikings on Thursday.  They might want to consider bringing a copy of the NFL rule book with them  because at this point, it doesn’t look like they’re going to get any help from the zebras.

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28 Replies to “Greg Schiano and the Buccaneers long for the days of replacement refs”

  1. Pingback: Greg Schiano and the Buccaneers long for the days of replacement refs - BallHyped Blog Network, NFL | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. Hey Chris!

    This isn’t the first time an NFL team has been jobbed by the officials who I believe get their marching orders from on high (The commissioner’s office). Please refer to the Super Bowl where the Seahawks were jobbed by the refs when they played the Steelers. Earlier in that season Seahawks HC Mike Holmgren criticized the NFL on more than one occasion and WALLA! You lose! NOTE: 3 years later the head referee in that not so Super Bowl actually admitted mistakes had been made… This after Seahawk fans had been called everything in the book for questioning what happened… Nice huh?

    The bottom line here? Don’t cross swords with the NFL, it will (not might) become your worst nightmare… And there ain’t one damn thing you can do about it…

  3. The rule about shoving a receiver out of bounds is all wrong. It rewards an unfair act. It should be changed. The defense should never gain an advantage at the expense of fair play. That rule would allow a defensive player to knock a receiver out of bounds immediately upon the quarterback rolling out on a designed pass play. In that example, the primary receiver could be taken out of the play without ever having a chance to catch the pass. The rule must be changed.

  4. Jimbo…

    I was trying to find some logic in that rule and the only logic I can find is that, if the quarterback is rolling out, scrambling out of the pocket, essentially the wide receiver, one that happens to be closer to the QB on that run, will start blocking the DB and vice versa. In that sense, I can sort of see the justification for the rule, but even that’s a stretch.

    I mean, that was a great play all around. The Bucs don’t score all that many touchdowns so it’s a shame when they actually score one and it’s taken off the board.

  5. If those are the rules then case closed, but I do question the logic behind them. Take the penalty at the end of the game for example. Are we going to start seeing receivers getting hammered now everytime a quarterback rolls outside the tackle box? I really don’t think so, hence my doubt on the validity of the call.
    The penalty on the field goal attempt is just a stupid rule, but a rule none the less. The shift was legal, but saying shift isn’t? Give me a break. The quarterback can bark as loud as he wants to try to draw the defense, but a linebacker can’t say move.
    Sorry this ran so long, but thanks for letting me get that of my chest. Go Bucs!

  6. Hmmmm…who is the guy who said that he didn’t understand all the whining about the replacement refs because the real ones suck as well?

    That would be this guy…

  7. Honest Ed (Hochuli) and the boys are back on the job and it seems even now we can’t escape controversies within the game . Are the players even cognizant of some of these rules , at all ? It’s bad enough that the coaches at times are unsure as to what’s happening on the field of play much less the insight into a the referees’ thinking in making or coming to a decision.

    So Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon is now calling out those criticizing Cam Newton’s play this season as being in part racists or that their comments are actually racially insensitive. Is he kidding or what ? There’s no denying that the Panthers have sucked this season with their moribund record and standing in the NFC South . For Moon to surmise that because someone says Newton shows a lack of command , maturity and that his play has been erratic is racist . Well that is so asinine , that you have to question Moon’s own mindset .

    If Moon wants to see racism at its very worst in terms someone being critical of an athlete, then his a#s ought to take a look back at how Ali was treated when he refused to join the military as a conscientious objector. Or the events leading up and after Hank Aaron broke what was then the all-time home run record …… held by Babe Ruth . Death threats not only to Aaron , but many were directed towards his immediate family along with some vile racial epithets . It’s at times like this I question the intelligence of some of today’s African American athletes ! What the hell is going on with Moon ? If he is as such , he (Moon) is a mentor to Cam Newton , then surely his first priority would be to assist the player in improving his game , rather than protecting him like a mother “hen” . Last I looked, Newton is a grown a#s man , and not a baby still suckling on his mother’s breasts . Better yet, Warren Moon should be answering questions why Newton has repeatedly thrown his teammates under the bus this season after everyone of the Panther’s loss during their 2012 schedule.

    In the midst of dropping a piece on the Florida Georgia game as well as on the firing of Ozzie Guillen. I hear Marlins’ fans are about to arrange a boat trip that would send Guillen’s dumb a#s to Cuba . Your thoughts ?

    So Kevind Garnett believes that the Celtics in their present guise can give the Heat a run for their money . I guess his hate of the Florida franchise goes beyond despising Ray Allen and indirectly calling him a “traitor” ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    That opening night game between the two , should prove to be really interesting. The Heat will begin the defense of their 2012 title . I’ll be attending that Heat season opener courtesy of a Miami friend whose company has a suite at the AA Arena .

    Tophatal …………

  8. So as the Giants make the World Series , their former MVP candidate Melky Cabrera is nowhere to be seen . GM Brian Sabean refuses to answer questions concerning the player’s future . Oops ! It’s amazing , how one minute you’re on top of the world, and the next , you’re seen as the scum of the earth , not only by the fans but also by some of your teammates . The Panda (Pablo Sandoval) refuses to mention Cabrera by name . Damn !

    A Rod should count his a#s extremely lucky that his teammates aren’t vilifying him at present . Mind you the player has stated in 2013 , he will be better than ever . In what context am I suppose to take that ? His batting avg will be above his body weight , or the fact that , he will be ” laying more chicks ” than a plumber laying pipe on his job ?

    Tophatal …………

  9. How about them Bucs!??

    Gotta love the NFL! Who was it playing in Minnesota last night? Is this the bell weather game for these young Bucs? Do they accept what their “college” coach is telling them now? I’m thinkin’ the answers are yes and yes! Now we’re going to hear from west central Florida for the next 5+ years… Can they overtake the Falcons? Yes. What about Cam? Don’t think so. The Saints? Their window is closing… We’ll see!

    BTW… How about my Giants flying in the face of “baseball wisdom”! LOVE IT!!!

  10. Chris

    1 800 A#S WHOOPING brought to you, courtesy of your friendly neighborhood Buccaneers . The Vikings are not as good , as first advertized ! Wow ! What a beat-down .

    So David Stern , will retire in Feb’ 2014 , thirty years to the day , since he assumed the role as commissioner of the NBA . Over the past eight years , his average annual salary has been $22.5 million . Yet his ##s was trying to force the NBPA (players’ union) to make concessions , while his wages remained the same ? Forgive me, if I have no sympathy for an ingrate like Stern !

    Tophatal ………………..

  11. I agree with you on both counts, Aer. Well said, and frustrating as hell.

    At least we got some sweet revenge on Minnesota last night. That may very well be the best game I’ve seen that Buccaneers team play in years.

  12. Dub….

    And now the rules suck too. I wonder if the league offices will even bother looking at revising that rule in the off-season.

    Or maybe Goodell should ask Tagliabue.

  13. Al…

    One of the best sports books I’ve ever read is Hank Aaron’s “I Had A Hammer.” I think we’ve talked about this in the past. He breaks down all the hate mail and death threats he received while he was passing Ruth, a white man’s record. Incredible stuff.

    So, KG thinks the C’s have a shot, huh? We shall see what happens after an 82-game season where he’s all banged up.

    Look forward to that Florida-Georgia piece. Gators take this one and they’re a lock for the SEC Championship game.

  14. Dwin…

    Two incredible games last night. I was mostly glued to the Bucs and you’re right. Who the hell WAS that team?

    They would have beaten anybody last night. Let’s see if they can keep that up. Fingers crossed, fingers crossed.

  15. I’m as surprised about this series between the Giants and Tigers because of Leyland’s players have been so lackluster . I mean we’ve had both Fielder and Cabrera who’ve had phenomenal seasons . Now in the series that matters the most and the duo are now, nowhere to be seen .

    Let KG bitch and whine , he’s a great player ,but a shi#head as a teammate and a leader ! When Ray Allen and Rondo were arguing , and the relationship was detrimental to the team , Garnett’s punk as# was nowhere to be seen . Now that Ray -Ray has jumped to the Heat . A punk a#s bitch, like KG berates his former teammate .

    Florida , I see , as no than a 12 point favorite against the Bulldogs in today’s game .

    The Pats are playing the Rams in London on Sunday , and already New England’s owner Bob Kraft is proposing that an NFL franchise should be in London by the end of this decade . WTF ! Hasn’t the NFL got enough problems as it is , without this asinine notion that a franchise is needed outside North America ? Not only that the NFL has never been a truly viable option outside North America . NFL Europe lost the NFL lost tens of millions of dollars , and now major European corporation will be interested in a tie in with the game at present , or at some time in the future unless there is major improvement in the global economy , which at this point , no economist can actually give an accurate prognosis on .

    Breaking news or is it ?

    A hard rain is going to fall

    Tophatal ……………

  16. Stern may well go down as one of the best sports’ executive over the past three decades , but over the past five years , his decisions have in many ways cause many of the major issues that have put the NBA in such a bad situation .

    His successor Adam Silver , the current Deputy Commissioner will just continue in Stern’s footsteps .


  17. Turnovers killed Florida . ‘nough said !

    USC Trojans ? Blink and you realize how overrated this team just happens to be . Cheer up Lane , at least you get the chance to go home and “nail” that pretty wife of yours .

    Worst scene of the day, has to concern the injury to Marcus Lattimore of the South Carolina (Gamecocks) . Possibly either a broken leg or a badly torn MCL . This kid’s career is now essentially over . Two serious leg injuries in the last two years for Lattimore , and now what awaits him in terms of a career in the NFL ? .

    Is there such a thing as the “silly preseason” in the NBA ?

    OKC trades James Harden to the Rockets in exchange for Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb .

    The Thunder immediately get better with the versatility of Kevin Martin . In Lamb you have a future prospect who was on a NCAA championship winning team. Bear in mind also the Thunder got the better half of this deal as they also get two future first round picks (2013 &14) in the NBA Draft .

    Tophatal …………..

  18. Patriots’ owner Bob Kraft is proving that although he is a multibillionaire , his asinine intellect is now comparable to Donald Trump’s . Why the fu#k is he and the rest of the NFL so concerned with seeing or wanting an NFL franchise in Europe , specifically London ?

    Kraft’s concern should be whether or not the Patriots can hold up when the team ….. plays the Rams in London on Sunday. At the same time he should also be concerned with the family company (Kraft Foods) that bears his name .

    Did (Kraft) he not learn anything from the multi-millions of dollars lost while NFL Europe , that lame assed league was existence ? The team owners appear to be bereft of any goddamn intelligence .

    The NFL cannot compete successfully against soccer , in Europe, when the seasons in the UK , France , Spain , Netherlands , Germany and Italy , are in full swing . But somehow these morons (NFL hierarchy) …. feel that they need to go down this road once again . Bear in mind also that it was a rarity where any major corporations showed any interest for a commercial tie in with the league at the time . And it is liable to be the same , when it comes to any such proposed exercise , as is being envisaged by Kraft.

    Jags’ owner Shahid Khan recently said , that he is interested in playing at least one scheduled league game in London , each season for the next five years . That scenario I can understand , as Khan does have business interests in the UK , as well familial interests there as well .

    Tophatal ………………..

  19. Al…

    I’m kind of disappointed in the Tigers myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan but them showing up would have made for a more entertaining World Series. Perhaps it’s time for Leyland to take up chain-smoking again.

    I can only assume that Goodell and company have a game plan to establish the NFL overseas but as it is, players are complaining about recovery time with the Thursday night games. Imagine what having to travel across the pond regularly will do.

    Fortunately, I was working during the Gator game so I didn’t get to see them cough up the ball SIX TIMES during that contest. I probably would have been throwing things at my TV screen.

    I’ll have my thoughts up on the Thunder trade soon enough.

  20. The BUCS have made believers out of us. This team this season is no longer a team that you want to face, instead a team you better take seriously. Vincent Jackson was a great addition.

  21. That was the biggest thing about that win, BS.

    We finally got some national exposure and showed up big time. While it was big around the nation, it was even bigger here locally for a team and a city that really needed to believe.

  22. Chris

    It would be an understatement to say this World Series has been a tremendous disappointment . You have Leyland saying his team has been playing with heart ? No they’re not ! Their hearts have been ripped out by San Francisco and trampled on .

    Ode and Tigers’ fans ” I left my heart in San Francisco ”

    Can you imaging the residuals Tony Bennett is now getting from this song ? LOL,LOL ,LOL !!!

    Tony Bennett sings “I left my heart in San Francisco ” .

    Don’t cry Tigers’ fans , simply rejoice that you’re getting your a##es kicked . ‘nough said !

    Great win for the Bucs , but I was never impressed with the Vikings to begin with ! Ponder hadn’t really faced anyone of note , yet everyone was sucking down the Kool Aid like it was the elixir of life .

    Goodell and the NFL hierarchy, are a bunch of idiots ! The NFL cannot compete with soccer during what is now the peak of its season . Never mind the logistics involved of NFL teams traveling across the Atlantic . Yet a blowhole like Robert Kraft , is still carrying on as if it is something being craved for in Europe , when at no time has there been a call for it . Losing over $125 million over the period that NFL Europe was in full swing wasn’t obviously a lesson learned or heeded by those as#holes !

    So Rex Ryan doesn’t believe that now is a time for change ? He obviously had his eyes closed while the Jets were getting their a#s kicked by the Dolphins at MetLife Stadium .
    Ryan’s postgame press conference was a sight to behold . Rex remains anally retentive !

    And for the idiots out there still buying into Tebow . Wake up and get a goddamn clue !

    The Saints are for real …………. really shi#ty from where I sit, and it couldn’t be happening to a nicer bunch of as#holes ! Broncos whooped that #ss (34-14) !

    Heading down to Miami for opening night in the NBA . Celtics vs Heat , and I’ll be there, in a suite courtesy , of a friend who’s a Heat season ticket holder . Also it will give me a chance , to get in touch with some old friends and family over the next couple of days .

    Tophatal ………..

  23. Hey, Al, at least now that baseball season is over, basketball season is beginning.

    But for next year, it’s back to the drawing board for the Tigers who simply could not get their bats going and Verlander is left scratching his head.

    So the Jets aren’t going to make a move on Ryan? They better do something quick before their season is over… or is it already?

    And yeah, the only defense worse than the Jets this season is the Saints. That’s good for the Bucs though as playoff seeding is still anyone’s ballgame… except for the Chiefs.

    Have a blast in Miami, man. Sounds like fun. Tell Mango’s I said hello.

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