St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
tampabay.com

printer version

Bucs act naturally, except for pass

The Patriots give up a scoring pass in which the Bucs feigned disinterest for a "spike.''

By RICK STROUD

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 4, 2000


FOXBORO, Mass. -- For the Bucs, it was all in the acting. For the Patriots, it was not reacting.

Tampa Bay's 21-16 victory over New England in the season opener Sunday featured a fake spike to kill the clock that resulted in an 8-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Shaun King to Reidel Anthony.

The play was reminiscent of when Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino stunned the New York Jets in 1994 when he faked a spike and tossed a winning 8-yard touchdown to Mark Ingram with 22 seconds remaining. With the Bucs trailing 10-7 and having no timeouts, King drove Tampa Bay 50 yards in four plays, the biggest a 33-yard catch and run by receiver Jacquez Green with 56 seconds left in the half.

That was when offensive coordinator Les Steckel had King signal for the "kill" play.

The execution relies on all the offensive linemen, receivers and running backs acting as if they are relaxing, expecting King to spike the ball and kill the clock.

photo
[Times photo: James Borchuck]
Frank Middleton hoists Reidel Anthony high after Anthony's second-quarter touchdown catch.
In fact, receiver Keyshawn Johnson turned his back to the Patriots defense.

"The kill play? That was fun," Steckel said. "We've practiced that and the kids really responded. It was fun. I just saw what was happening. We always tell Keyshawn to turn his back to the defense and kind of bend over like he's resting. And I believe he did and that just made everybody fall asleep. So that worked out great."

With movie director Spike Lee watching on the sidelines, the Bucs' fake spike was a solid acting job. Green and Anthony waited until King went into his throwing motion before leaving the line of scrimmage. King noticed cornerback Kato Serwanga napping on Anthony and floated a perfect 8-yard fade pass for the touchdown.

"I took drama back in middle school," Anthony said. "I may have sold myself to get in the movies like The (Original) Kings of Comedy. I may get in there. Spike was watching. "(Serwanga) was very relaxed. We saw the picture and he had his hands on his hips, huffing and puffing and looking back in the backfield. And I had my hands on my hips and I was just looking. And when Shaun snapped it, I just stood there and I took a peek. He was still standing there. And when I saw Shaun bring the ball back to fake the spike, I took off."

Under Steckel, the Bucs first used the fake spike play in training camp against their defense. It worked then, too.

"Actually, the first time we ran it against our defense, we got them," Anthony said. "Yo (Murphy) caught it."

Patriots coach Bill Belichick knew his defense got burned on one of the most embarrassing plays in football.

"We didn't react to the play well at all," he said. "We obviously blew it. There is no explanation. We blew it."

Back to Sports

Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright
 

From the Times sports desk

Bucs
  • Sacking, looting: Bucs 21, Patriots 16
  • After changes, defense remains a power, still
  • The pizazz era begins with spike and Spike
  • Bledsoe bruised but stands until end
  • Hard lesson learned about special teams' importance
  • Bucs act naturally, except for pass
  • Special teams, special problem
  • Bucs quotebook
  • Bucs quick hits
  • Patriots quotebook

  • Devil Rays
  • Weakened Rays finish a slumbering weekend
  • Karsay struggles at bad time
  • Yan injury stretches out a weary bullpen

  • More sports
  • Fiedler looks like right pick
  • NFL briefs
  • Two USF football players arrested
  • Labonte goes from wrecked to winner
  • Captain's corner
  • Sports digest
  • '91 semifinal rematch:Capriati falls to Seles
  • UCLA attack overpowers UF
  • Olympics briefs
  • Gordon happy with fourth
  • Baseball briefs
  • Golf briefs
  • FSL briefs
  • Spurrier: room to improve
  • College football briefs
  • Toledo is the role model for pulling upset


  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts