Sunday, September 16, 2012
Updated: September 18, 2:34 AM ET
Giants angry at Greg Schiano
By Jane McManus
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Tom Coughlin got heated with Greg Schiano after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' first-year coach told his players to knock Eli Manning to the ground as the franchise quarterback took a knee on the final play of the game.
Coughlin sought out Schiano on the field following the New York Giants' 41-34 victory and yelled at the former Rutgers coach.
"I don't think you do that at this level," Coughlin said after the game. "You don't do that in this league. You don't jeopardize the offensive line, you [don't] jeopardize the quarterback. Thank goodness we didn't get anybody hurt, that I know of, a couple of linemen were late coming in [after end of game]."
With the Giants lined up in their victory formation, Tampa Bay brought pressure on the last play of the game, forcing Manning back and knocking him down. Replays showed that Manning was not expecting the rush with the game all but decided.
"That was a first," Manning said. "Obviously I think it is a little bit of a cheap shot. Going down, we are taking a knee, in a friendly way. They are firing off, and it's a way to get someone hurt."
Schiano said it was a play he'd run before at Rutgers, and he would do it again. He said that he and Coughlin had "some stuff we needed to hash out" after the game. But it did not seem as if the coaches found any common ground before a terse handshake.
"I don't know if that's not something that's not done in the National Football League, but what I do with our football team is we fight until they tell us game over," Schiano said. "There's nothing dirty about it and there's nothing illegal about it.
"We crowd the ball -- it's like a sneak defense and you try to knock it loose. Watch Rutgers, they would know if they watched us that's what we did at the end of the game."
In his Monday morning conference call with reporters, Coughlin said he did not know yet if anyone was hurt on the play, with players still arriving to the facility for treatment.
The NFL, though, saw enough and decided that no punishment was needed.
"There is nothing further on the incident at the end of the game," an NFL spokesperson said. "There were no violations on the play or afterwards that would require follow up from our office."
On Monday, Schiano said, "I don't have any regrets or remorse."
Coughlin's players had his back, with Chris Snee pointing out Sunday that Schiano, who coached at Rutgers until last year, needs to learn what is acceptable in this league.
"It's just something you don't see at this level," Snee said. "I've played in a lot of NFL games and really never been around that. It's just one of those things where you have respect for the opposing team."
Giants offensive lineman Sean Locklear, who replaced the injured David Diehl at right tackle, agreed with Snee.
"It's nothing I've ever seen," Locklear said. "I think it's a dirty play. When we're all telling them we're going down, they're not gonna get the ball. They're not gonna get the snap, we're not gonna fumble the ball. But it's a play that they did."
Giants owner John Mara told ESPNNewYork.com's Ian O'Connor that he did not see the final play but said he was unhappy with the Buccaneers based on his team's reaction.
"You just don't do that in the NFL," Mara told O'Connor.
Snee said he was sorry to see that such a competitive game was going to get lost in this back-and-forth on the final play.
"When I get a helmet off my knee at the end of the game I'm not going to be happy," Snee said. "It's a shame that this is what we have to talk about, two teams who fought their tails off. It was a great game. Maybe that was acceptable in college, it's not acceptable."
Schiano did not back away from using the play after the game.
"We're not going to quit, that's just the way I coach and teach our players," Schiano said. "Some people were upset about it -- that's the way it goes. I don't have any hesitation. That's the way we play -- clean, hard football until they tell us the game's over."
ESPNNewYork.com's Ian O'Connor and Ohm Youngmisuk contributed to this report.
I don't know if that's not something that's not done in the National Football League, but what I do with our football team is we fight until they tell us game over. There's nothing dirty about it and there's nothing illegal about it.
-- Bucs coach Greg Schiano