By ERNEST HOOPER
© St. Petersburg Times, published September 18, 2000
PONTIAC, Mich. -- Communication between Bucs always has been difficult in the din of the Silverdome, but it was a failure to communicate with an official that cost Tampa Bay a touchdown Sunday.
Guard Randall McDaniel knows he has to report as an eligible receiver to the referee each time he shifts into the fullback spot. And McDaniel said he did that before the Bucs attempted to convert fourth and goal from the Lions 1-yard line in the third quarter.
"I go right up to the guy and say, "No. 64 needs to be eligible,' " McDaniel said.
Quarterback Shaun King converted to tight end Dave Moore, but the touchdown that would have put the Bucs up 28-10 was negated when referee Gerry Austin ruled McDaniel did not report.
McDaniel respectfully disagreed. "I thought I went in, reported to the guy, but he said I didn't report. I know I went over there, but things like that happen. I came in the huddle late because I was reporting. I thought I did everything I was supposed to do."
The Bucs protested vehemently, going so far as to call timeout so coach Tony Dungy could talk to Austin. But it was to no avail.
"That was disappointing," Dungy said.
Tampa Bay settled for a 24-yard field goal, ending a maddening stretch in which the team ran eight plays (plus three wiped out by penalties) inside the Lions 7 but failed to score.
The Bucs drove from their 19 to the Detroit 6 in 11 plays to open the second half. From there, though, things got a little sloppy. Here's a recap of the 11 snaps inside the 7 that caused a 19-play, 75-yard drive to result in only a field goal:
1-G-6: King pass incomplete to Dave Moore.
2-G-6: King 3 pass to Keyshawn Johnson.
3-G-3: King pass incomplete to Johnson
Defensive holding penalty on Detroit
1-G-1: King pass incomplete to Randall McDaniel.
2-G-1: Alstott run left for -1 yard.
3-G-2: King pass incomplete for Moore.
Roughing the passer penalty on Detroit
1-G-1: Alstott run left for no gain.
2-G-1: King run middle for no gain.
3-G-1: Alstott run middle for no gain.
4-G-1: King 1 touchdown pass to Moore.
Illegal substitution penalty on Tampa Bay.
4-6-6: Gramatica 24 field goal.
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