One big controversy of Week 2 of the National Football League was the bull-rush done by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the closing seconds of their game with the New York Giants.
The G-Men were preparing to down the ball in their “Victory” formation when the Buccos’ defensive line crashed into the offensive line, trying to force a fumble or something, and knocking Eli Manning on his keister.
Well, in the post-game handshake, Giants coach Tom Coughlin had ... something to say to new Tampa coach Greg Schiano to the effect that it wasn’t appreciated.
Schiano’s response was that they had done this at Rutgers many times and it had worked and that he was trying to instill that same kind of “play until the referee signals the game is over” mentality in his team.
He added that his team would do it again if the opportunity presented itself.
That is a very good attitude to have but, at the same time, this is also the pros, where livelihoods are on the line.
There is a culture — maybe necessary with all the concerns about injuries; it’s a tough enough sport in this day and age — that says you don’t do this; this is crossing the line.
There may have been injuries as a result of this, too; the offensive line was not prepared for this and Coughlin did make a reference to some linemen coming in late.
I don’t think The League needs to get involved — this is like the “unwritten rules” of baseball: for example, if a batter gets intentionally hit in one inning, the other team’s batters better be prepared to get plunked in the next; or you don’t try to bunt to break up a no-hitter late or their will be consequences.
However, as the Giants players vowed afterward — “we won’t forget this” — there may be some problems in they ever meet again or some other team may decide to “take the law into their own hands”; Mr. Schiano better not belly-ache and complain if and when a team does the same thing to him.
Not saying he will but I have read of a few coaches that had no problem running up the score but when it was done to them, it was not so good; or they didn’t stick around when they knew it was likely going to happen to them on a regular basis and made their successors pay the price.
The Reds are oh-so-close to clinching a spot in the playoffs and Aroldis Chapman is starting to throw again.
The Reds are worried about their new star closer and his arm troubles, shutting him down the last nine days.
It appears he will be fine for the stretch run and the playoffs.
However, the question of the Washington Nationals shutting down their star starter, Stephen Strasburg, for the season after he reached his innings limit has been a hopt topic.
One, I was surprised they actually did it in the heat of a pennant race but they almost had to after talking all season about it.
Here is a good question: if they make it to the World Series, would they then decide to bring him back?
My gut says no: unless he does throwing on the side, he would have been out for well over a month and likely would do more harm than good.
Plus, that would defeat the whole purpose of shutting him down to begin with.
Ostensibly, they did so in an effort to keep him healthy and not damage his chances in the future.
I did not know they did the same thing with Jordan Zimmerman, who had the same Tommy John surgery a year before — done by the same renowned surgeon, Dr. Lewis Yocum — and the year after he had his innings limited, he did not miss a start.
I have read a few places that this was also done at the “behest” of his agent, super-guy Scott Boras, for reasons regarding long-term contract discussions — especially when free-agency nears — and the like but that will never be known for sure.
It’s possible but an agent’s job is to look out for the best interests of his or her client. Most of us don’t like it but I guess we do understand, especially someone that has a lot of potential for injury.
To read the rest of this article please subscribe or sign in