Committing penalties during the play is one thing, but pre- and post-snap fouls are a different story.
Of the Buccaneers’ 81 flags this season, second-highest total in the NFL, 32 of them have come before the snap. A league-leading eight have been called for unnecessary roughness.
Tampa Bay has 81 penalties in 8 games – Photo by: Getty Images
It’s understandable that players can get caught up in the heat of battle, but the lack of composure has cost the team over 100 yards this season, 60 of which on defense. It’s safe to say the Bucs can’t afford to gift opponents any more first-downs than they’ll already earn on their own.
“Unacceptable. Way too many penalties,” said defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who claims it’s on the players, not coaches, to get it fixed. “The coaches are going to say what they’re going to say, but that’s an issue we have to address in the locker room and amongst each other.”
McCoy called it a “selfish act” when a player gets flagged after the play and keeps the rest of the defense on the field. While he realizes that emotions are high and the first jab isn’t always seen by refs, he advises his teammates to retaliate within the boundaries of the game. In other words, use the anger to their advantage legally.
“With us going out on the field believing we’re a tribe of men, when you do that you hurt your brothers. We’re all professionals,” he said. “There is a lot of chipiness, a lot of dirty play in the NFL – all across the league. You have to learn how to be the bigger person and think about, ‘If I do this I’m not just hurting myself, I’m hurting my teammates – it’s bigger than me.’
“We have to move on the next play, because there will be another snap. Do it legally. The extra is unnecessary. I know it’s easy for me to say because I’m one of the nicest guys you’ll ever run into. But guys just have to swallow their pride and move on to the next play.”
Last Sunday Tampa Bay had two post-snap penalties, one each by Lavonte David and Akeem Spence, that either moved the ball into Bucs territory (the first) or helped to ice the game in the fourth quarter (the second). Both players acknowledged their mistake, as did McCoy with his offside call. One way for a young team to show growth and mental development is by limiting the amount of focus and composure-related penalties.
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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I’m not sure all the coaching is the blame. The good teams get flag breaks and the bad teams get no breaks. Add a home game to a good team and they even get more breaks; it’s the life of a refree who can get intimated or be in awe with the superstars. Not many superstars on bad teams.
i wish we had spell check.
I didn’t see any misspillings.
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