- Associated Press - Monday, September 17, 2012

TAMPA, FLA. (AP) - Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano didn’t break any NFL kneel-down rules and still isn’t apologizing for his aggressive tactics of going after the New York Giants when they were lined up in victory formation.

“To me it’s a clean, hard, tough, finish-the-game play,” Schiano said on Monday. “Some people disagree with that. That’s certainly what makes the world go round. Everybody has opinions. I don’t have any remorse or regret. It’s clean hard football. It was no sneak attack. We were down ready to go, and that’s how we do it all the time.”

What the first-year NFL coach did against the Giants _ instructing his defensive lineman to plow into the Giants‘ offensive line with Eli Manning lined up in victory formation with 5 seconds left on the clock in New York’s 41-34 victory_ sparked a debate on whether the Bucs crossed the line when it comes to kneel-down etiquette.

The NFL said the Bucs didn’t break any league rules and doesn’t plan to take any action against Schiano or the team.


“There were no penalties called on the play and it is not illegal for the defense to make contact on a kneel-down,” league spokesman Greg Aiello said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

What was less clear if any players might be subject to fines. There was pushing and shoving in the pile, and punches appeared to be thrown at the end of the play.

“Conduct that took place during the play that may warrant discipline will be reviewed under our normal process,” Aiello said.

After Sunday’s game, Coughlin said he felt such plays have no place in the NFL. Manning called it “a little bit of a cheap shot,” and both said it unnecessarily increased the risk of injuries on the final play.

The Giants coach had little to say on the subject Monday, saying it was up to the league.

“I said what I said and I believe it to be accurate with regards to the number of years that I’ve been in this league, and I’ve said my piece about it,” Coughlin said.

Reaction around the NFL was mixed, although a lot of people sided with the rookie head coach with one NFL victory over Coughlin, who has guided the Giants to two Super Bowl titles.

“The game wasn’t over,” Arizona defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said. “I don’t see why Coughlin was … complaining.”

Schiano arrived in Tampa Bay after 11 years at Rutgers with a reputation for being a tough-nosed disciplinarian, and his players have bought into his philosophy of playing until the final whistle.

“I’ll do anything for the coach. I believe in everything he coaches,” Bucs defensive tackle Roy Miller said, adding that Schiano prepares the team “for every single thing that can come up in a game. … That’s our No. 1 advantage.”

Schiano said the play against the Giants worked several times during his tenure at Rutgers.

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