You play to win the game.

Herm Edwards’ press conference tirade has been rightfully mocked in the years since the former Jets coach leaked his in-depth coaching philosophy.

Maybe he was on to something. On Monday Sean let his feelings be known on Bucs’ coach Greg Schiano’s decision to rush the passer on the last play of Sunday’s game against the Giants.

Since then pundits, analysts and bloggers have weighed in – was it the right thing to do? Never did I think I’d find myself agreeing with Mike Ditka, Eric Mangini and Ron Jaworski, but here I am.

Down by a score a Manning fumble was the last chance for Tampa Bay to salvage anything from a game they let slip away in the second half. While I don’t agree with the Bucs’ decision cut Giants Center David Bass with three men – that’s an injury waiting to happen -  I find it difficult to lambaste the rookie coach for doing anything he can to win games in a league that demands it.

Recall last year’s Monday night game between the Chiefs and Chargers. Phillip Rivers had led San Diego down the field and was a kneel down away from setting up a game winning Field Goal attempt. And then this happened:

For Schiano, the play has worked before:

“We’ve caused a fumble four times in the last five years with that play, and it’s something that we practice,” Schiano said. “To me, it’s a clean, hard, tough, finish-the-game play. Some people disagree with that, but that’s what makes the world go round. Everybody has opinions. But I don’t have any remorse or regret. There was no sneak attack. We were down, ready to go and that’s how we do it all the time.”

Those four fumbles occurred during Schiano’s college coaching days at Rutgers, with the last one happening on September 10th of last year against North Carolina.

It’s a different game in college, only in the sense that every single player involved has everything to prove on every snap as talent evaluators determine whether or not they’re worthy of playing in the best league in the world. But the same can also be said for the NFL. A bad snap in week three can result in someone losing their job. An egregious decision to put yourself before the team – ahem, Josh Morgan – can lead to the same thing.

Schiano has opened his team to retaliation from teams across the league, but for an organization that was thoroughly embarrassing under Raheem Morris last year, a change in mentality – i.e, not giving up – can only be a good thing. The majority of fans agree, as an ESPN SportsNation poll indicated 55% of fans supported the call.

Respecting your opponent is an ethos that has been lost in the current game, no disagreement there. But if I’m a Bucs’ fan I love the message this sends both to the team and the league – we aren’t quitting for nobody.

And now the links part of the links post…

  • Michael Turner’s DUI will not result in a suspension. [ESPN]
  • Ron Rivera isn’t worried about Cam Newton running too much. [Charlotte Observer]
  • Troy Polamalu is unlikely to play in week three according to Mike Tomlin. [Beaver County Times]
  • Reggie Bush and the Dolphins haven’t had contract extension talks. [Miami Herald]
  • Fred Jackson will not have surgery, which means he could be back earlier than previously thought. [Buffalo News]