Schiano a knee jerk?

Bucs coach Greg Schiano (left) and Giants' Tom Coughlin weren't discussing dinner plans after Sunday's game.
Bucs coach Greg Schiano (left) and Giants' Tom Coughlin weren't discussing dinner plans after Sunday's game. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Posted: September 18, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Instead of a handshake, New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin had choice words for Tampa Bay's Greg Schiano.

The Buccaneers' rookie coach had his team play hard when the Giants tried to end their 41-34 win over Tampa Bay Sunday with a traditional kneel-down. Coughlin screamed at the former Rutgers coach as they met on the field after the game, and even turned around and yelled again when Schiano said something back to him. He seemed to mouth the word "bush."

"I don't think you do that," Coughlin said after the game. "You jeopardize the O-line, you jeopardize the quarterback. Thank goodness we didn't get anybody hurt - that I know of. A couple of linemen were late coming in."

Giants quarterback Eli Manning (31-for-51, 510 yards, three touchdowns) was knocked on his rear end on the play after the interior of the Bucs' line bull-rushed up the middle. Manning wasn't hit by a Bucs player, but the momentum of his line being pushed back sent him down.

"It was a little bit of a cheap shot," said Manning, whose team improved to 1-1. "We're taking a knee in a friendly way and they're firing off. It's a good way to get someone hurt."

Schiano, who spent the past 11 seasons coach at Rutgers, defended the play. He refused to say what Coughlin and he discussed.

"I don't know if that's something not done in the National Football League," Schiano said. "What I do with our football team is we fight until they tell us 'game over.' There's nothing dirty about it. There's nothing illegal about it. We crowd the ball. It's like a sneak defense and we try to knock it loose.

"If people watched Rutgers, they would know that's what we did at the end of the game. We're not going to quit. That's the way I coach and teach our players."

Bucs players said they do what their coach tells them.

"I've been in the NFL for a while and seen a lot of things," Tampa Bay defensive lineman Michael Bennett said. "Whatever the coach asks us to do, that's our job. It's like someone asks you to write a story about something you don't want to write about, you still do it. That's what coach believes in. That's how we play the game."

Meanwhile, Manning capped the second greatest passing day by a Giants quarterback by setting up Andre Brown's game-winning, 2-yard run in the final minute with a 50-yard pass. The two-time Super Bowl MVP overcame a miserable first half with 295 yards passing in the second half, tying for the eighth most in NFL history and coming up 3 yards short of Phil Simms' club record.

The game featured four touchdowns in the final 6:48. Josh Freeman (15-for-28, 243 yards) threw for two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Bucs (1-1).

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