Schiano declines to take fourth-down chance

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Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano said Sunday after his team’s frustrating overtime loss at Seattle that he never put any thought into going on fourth down at the end of regulation when the Buccaneers were nearing field goal range.

The Bucs faced a fourth-and-3 at the 50-yard line with 25 seconds remaining and the game tied at 24. Seattle called timeout, hoping to save time to run plays after the fourth down. Schiano, whose team frittered away a 21-0 lead, could have gone for it in attempt to continue the drive and get a field goal.

Instead, Schiano lined up his offense in an attempt to draw Seattle offside, eventually took a delay-of-game penalty and then punted.

“No, there was no thought of going for it, zero,” Schiano said. “If you miss it and give them the ball at the 50, that wouldn’t be real smart.”

However, other coaches have often said taking a chance against a superior opponent, particularly on the road, is important. Two-time Super Bowl-winning coach Jimmy Johnson talked many times about taking such calculated risks. Merely trying to play out the normal strategy usually leads to a loss in those situations, Johnson said.

For Tampa Bay, which fell to 0-8, taking that risk seemed appropriate against Seattle, which is now 8-1.
Oddly, Schiano has several connections to Johnson, including former Johnson assistant coaches Dave Wannstedt and Butch Davis on his staff.

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