With much of the football world buzzing about the confrontation between himself and Giants coach Tom Coughlin after Sunday's loss, Buccaneers first-year coach Greg Schiano refused to apologize for the way the game ended.
Coughlin was not pleased with the way Tampa Bay players attacked the snap on the final play of the game, when the Giants were in the victory formation and ready to kneel to end what was a 41-34 decision in favor of the defending Super Bowl champions.
A debate has ensued in the days since as to whether, as Coughlin alleged, Schiano and company broke any sort of unwritten rules or otherwise ran counter to the ethics and ethos of the game by playing that final snap in an aggressive manner.
For his part, as Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune writes, Schiano refused to apologize.
"We've caused a fumble four times in the last five years with that play, and it's something that we practice,'' Schiano said, referring back to his lengthy tenure as a college coach at Rutgers. "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.''
Cummings notes that when Schiano was at Rutgers, the tactic forced a fumble in a 2011 game against North Carolina and 2009 games against Pittsburgh and West Virginia.
Opinions on the merits of the move were mixed, as according to Cummings, some including former Lions coach Steve Mariucci and former Chiefs GM Charlie Casserly indicated at least partial agreement with Coughlin. But former Eagles QB and current ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski sided with Schiano.
"And quite frankly, I'm disappointed in Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin for their response to that, because the stance in New York has always been finish, finish, finish," Jaworski said.
Bucs among those with officiating complaints: A pair of plays that perhaps should have been penalized both went against the Bucs in Sunday's loss and cost the team substantially. Stephen F. Holder of the Tampa Bay Times opined that with Tampa Bay just one of several teams left to complain about calls missed by replacement referees, the time has come for the NFL to stop being "heavy-handed with its locked-out officials."
The plays in question, according to Holder, included a potential face mask foul committed by a Giants defender when tackling running back Doug Martin near midfield in the third quarter, ultimately costing the Bucs a first down and a chance to drive to score more points and/or take time off the clock.
That play, and one that saw receiver Vincent Jackson take a hit to the head from Giants safety Kenny Phillips, both will be re-evaluated by the NFL after the Bucs turned the plays in for review, according to Schiano.
Offense shows signs of life in loss: While much of the attention after Sunday's game went to QB Eli Manning and his 510 yards passing in leading the Giants to a comeback win, the Bucs also found a measure of offensive success in their performance.
A pair of long touchdown passes -- a 41-yarder to Mike Williams and a 29-yarder to Vincent Jackson -- showed that the team has the capability to stretch the field vertically, something that was missing in past seasons. Jackson, an offseason acquisition in free agency, showed what he can bring to the offense, finishing with 128 yards on five catches.
"Vincent did a great job running his routes," QB Josh Freeman told Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune. "We had him singled up several times and had a couple of chances to make big plays there, and Mike had a couple of big catches too."
Aggressive defense a boom-or-bust proposition: In the first half of Sunday's game, Tampa Bay's aggressive defensive scheme looked brilliant, picking off Manning three times and returning one of those picks for a score.
But by the end, there were a few questions about the tactics, as the Giants finished with 604 yards of offense (the most ever allowed by a Bucs team) and exploited matchup problems posed by receivers Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz to lead the comeback.
Schiano defended the team's approach.
"Here's the deal," Schiano said, according to Stephen F. Holder of the Tampa Bay Times. "If you look at us, we're more non-blitz than blitz. And we never do it without a deep middle safety. So there is someone over the top all the time. There's not two. There's one. Some of those balls (thrown) outside the numbers, it's hard for that guy to get there. We're not a blitz-heavy team. But, yeah, we're going to mix it up. That's who we are."
For more from Tampa Bay Bucs blogger Patrick Southern, follow @CBSBucs on Twitter.