Martin, O-Line Surge While Clark Loafs

September 11th, 2012

It was one of the more fun moments of Sunday’s Bucs game, 2nd-and-10 on the Panthers 19 yard line with the Bucs leading 10-0 in the second quarter.

Josh Freeman completes a slant pass to Vincent Jackson, and Jackson is held up by Panthers defenders at the 7 yard line as Jackson keeps his legs pumping. Then Doug Martin sticks his head into the barely moving pile and tries to drive it, and then Jeremy Zuttah, Carl Nicks and Ted Larsen come flying in full sprint and collapse the pile to the 4 yard line — 1st-and-goal Bucs.

It was a great play, except for Dallas Clark standing alongside the pile out of danger while Martin and the O-line sacrificed their bodies. During the Raheem Morris era, that would have been classified as a “loaf.” Heck, in any era it was a loaf.

This disappointed Joe, especially after Bill Polian said over and over this offseason on NFL Radio that Clark is a guy who loves everything football and is the ultimate team player. Clark didn’t show it on that play.

86 Responses to “Martin, O-Line Surge While Clark Loafs”

  1. bucfanjeff Says:

    I think you’re making a mountain out of a mole hill.

  2. BUCTIME Says:

    I agree

  3. Jessup Says:

    While that play was fun to watch, I’m not sure it was smart. The first down was already had. All those players flying in to push the pile, especially man beast Carl Nicks, just needlessly increased the risk of injury. I fully expected someone to be injured on the bottom of that. Luckily there wasn’t, but it didn’t seem like a smart thing to do and I don’t fault Clark for staying out of the collision.

  4. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @bucfanjeff & buctime – So Joe reviews a play, celebrates the effort of five Buccaneers, and then states the obvious that Clark sat out the last half of that play. That’s a mountain? Don’t be ridiculous.

  5. Justin Says:

    I remember that play. Very reckless and dangerous play by Carl Nicks. I love the intensity and hustle but Nicks (a 300+ lb OG) left his feet and threw his body into a pile of opponents and teammates. With the game on the line I could understand, not in the 2nd quarter with us leading 10-0.

    That could have easily resulted in serious injury to Nicks and/or any player in the pile. I have no problem with Clark staying away from that.

  6. sandbagrudy Says:

    yeah then he gets flagged for jumping on and you call he foolish for costing them 15 yards save it skipper nontopic this kid is a baller and has discipline and gets open to make plays

  7. JonBuc Says:

    As the Bucs only legit tight end….probably best he stays out of harms way on a play like that then to suffer a Cody Grimm like injury vs the Ravens in 2010.

  8. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @Jessup & Justin & sandbagrudy– Greg Schiano went out of his way on his radio show to praise the three offensive linemen and called it a prime example of Buccaneer football. So this “nontopic,” drew the head coach’s attention.

  9. Ali Says:

    The guy is already injury prone and you want him to throw himself in a pile because it shows effort? He’s not some young up and comer in training camp, this is a proven vet that has a set of skills.

    I think you should watch the tape of his route running or blocking assignments (if any) and then rate Clark, Joe.

  10. BigBear Says:

    Isn’t it illegal for another player to push or assist a ball carrier other than by way of blocking? Because I’m pretty sure that it has been illegal in the NFL for a long time. This is far from a fully enforced rule, but one that is there for the safety of the players involved.

    I’m not saying that I did not stand and cheer after that play ( because I did!) but to point out a player for “loafing” while others were technically breaking the rules with their efforts seems to be a bit harsh.

  11. Justin Says:

    Who said it was a “non topic?” If coach thinks its a great idea for 3 offensive lineman to be launching themselves on top of our $55 million #1 WR then he needs to get his head examined. Its one thing to push a pile, another to dive into it. Nicks did a Superman dive. Looked like Alstott during the A-Plane days.

  12. Luther Says:

    That was probably my favorite play of the game. Never had we had a lineman that gives us that kind of hidden yardage.

  13. Kennedy Says:

    Did any of you guys watch the tape? Clark mailed it in. It doesn’t mean he’s not a great player, but he had plenty blue jerseys to block cleanly and safely on that play.


    Seeing as how he has injury concerns, I’m ok with him taking 1 play in the first game of the season off.

  15. SilenceTheCritics Says:

    Nicks did not leave his feet or launch himself into the pile. He ran into it as if he were trying to make a tackle and pushed the pile forward. Big difference.

  16. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @Justin – To answer your question, commenter “sandbagrudy” wrote this was a “nontopic”

  17. Miguel Grande Says:

    Clark was right, I saw a lot of loafing throughout the game. Survive to fight another day.

    People used to attack Franco Harris for stepping out of bounds and cheering Earl Campbell and Walter Payton for ending every play with contact. Earl’s now a cripple and Walter’s dead. I believe Franco’s doing alright to this day.

  18. Buc Fan #237 Says:

    You wrote an article about 1 play where the guy might have even been out of the play???

    This is a first.

  19. FlBoy84 Says:

    With Clark’s injury history, I’d prefer he stay as far away from piles as possible. Don’t see that as loafing as much as preventive maintenance.

  20. Bucs4life Says:


    Sane/Rational football fan here,

    Did you really feel it was necessary to express your, wholly unjustified, disappointment with Dallas Clark because he decided to not violently thrust his famously fragile body into a dead play? The same guy that’s received rave reviews from Freeman, his coaches, and everyone he’s come across on all levels of football in his life. And then to imply that Polian’s comments were untrue or misleading (Oh yes, Joe, you implied it), all because of one high risk/low reward play?

    Don’t be ridiculous.

  21. Kirk Says:

    Joe, you would bitch if they were to hang you with new rope. Looks like your attempt to drag a non story out of your ass is beneath this usually great site.

    Kirk, Joe wrote about a memorable play. Joe described multiple positives from that play and a negative. You can call it a “non-story” all you like. You’ve been reading here for years. You know that Joe writes about what he sees and finds interesting. Nobody’s attempting to “drag” anything. Feel free to scroll down on this page and watch the game video.–Joe

  22. SilenceTheCritics Says:

    Lol I didnt see Freeman throwing his body into the pile, was he loafing to?

  23. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @Bucs4life – Feel free to watch the tape of the play. If Clark is that fragile, then he has no business on the field at the tight end position. It was a loaf. That’s just one play, not a career assessment.

    Joe referenced Polian because Polian made it seem like Clark’s effort on this specific play would never be seen.

    @BucFan 237 — Joe has written about individual plays before. And Clark was not out of the play.

  24. Justin Says:

    Too bad the OL couldnt give the same effort on the 2nd and goal run that got stuffed by Thomas Davis. That play nearly cost us the game.

  25. sandbagrudy Says:

    ok rear admiral if you feel compelled to make some useless point about a nonfactor in a game blow the lid off of it but when a guy thats capable of making some game changing plays is not there for you becusae he gets leggwhipped in a pile he shouldn’t be around then god bless you almighty topic god launch away until you can’t walk away

  26. Brian Says:

    I have to agree with bucfanjeff on this one. Don’t read too far into it.

  27. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @sandbarudy – Joe gives equal play to all posts. Joe doesn’t blow the lid off anything. Joe runs this site writing about news and providing commentary on what Joe finds interesting. Joe found the stark contrasts in this one play interesting. Pretty basic.

  28. Bucnjim Says:

    I guess since we just got rid of a TE who took basically every play off; we’re O.K. with him taking one off.

  29. Mohak T Says:

    when you’re in a street fight of a game with your division opponent u have to go all out! He probably didn’t want any part of it knowing he’ll get hurt and end up on IR. Sad.

  30. bucfanjeff Says:

    It’s obvious that most people – so far – seem to agree in some shape or fashion, that you are making a mountain out of a mole hill. I rest my case.

  31. vic Says:

    Agree with Mohak and well played Bucinjim, Clark pussied out. I’m not ready to trade him, but it is what it is. You can’t play scared, if that’s what he really did.

  32. robert Says:

    I’m surprised nicks didn’t get a penalty for that one, and i bet it wasn’t given a thumbs up in the meeting rooms on Monday. could have really hurt one of the highest paid players on the team….for what 1 yard, when we already had the 1st down.

    joe deserves some flaming for this one….

  33. BigMacAttack Says:

    Bucnjim, well said.

  34. rhymenoceros9 Says:

    Quite the non-story, no?

  35. rhenry Says:

    Although Nicks play was inspiring, I have to agree with those who thought it was foolish to not only risk injury to himself, but also a 55 million dollar man. And by they way, I do not always agree with Joe, but this post sure produced a bunch of response which is a good thing for his site.

  36. ElioT Says:

    I disagree here.

    Clark does not need to be involved in a scrum like that. I think there were enough bodies and they moved that pile just fine.

    That was a great play and charged the whole stadium up! I wish they would have punched that drive in for 7pts!

  37. Justin Says:

    A reach of epic proportions

  38. Papawill13 Says:

    Where is the Video?

  39. J 2.0 Says:

    Completely disagree Joe. This article comes off petty.

  40. bucfanjeff Says:

    The replacement refs should have probably blown the play dead sooner. Momentum was clearly stopped long enough to warrant a whistle, or so it seemed.

  41. SilenceTheCritics Says:

    I just watched the play over again a couple times to see this “loafing” and I still disagree. It’s not like he was just standing there with his hands on his hips or anything. He was actively following the pile. He just didnt make an attempt to jump into it which was smart in my opinion. Im not gonna bash you for your opinion but I definately disagree with it.

  42. JMatUCF51 Says:

    As a lineman in high school if you were not already in the pack of blocks you were unable to come run and try to push the pile forward. As soon as you did that they would blow the whistle dead and the ball would be spotted there. Trust me there were many times I would want to help push the pile, if the play was down the field. As a lineman I would not want to interfere with the pile for that reason and just hope that the guys who were already involved can continue to run there feet and move the pile forward. I was at the game and don’t quite remember this play but technically Carl Nicks would have caused the ball to be blown dead once he entered the pile or from what I see in the NFL more often a personal foul. So to back up Clark on this he was in the right on what he did. Also to me it shows how well he knows the position and rules of the game. One other thing being at the game I noticed is how we are getting back to Buc ball. Were we play sound defense, and run the ball. Reminded me alot of the days when we won the SB and Brad Johnson was at the QB helm. Did not have the stats but also did not turn the ball over. Great game guys lets see if we can continue it against the Giants. Go BUCS!!

  43. Kyle Says:

    Kind of ironic to read how some of you idiots are piling on Joe. It’s one play people. You want to argue the rules of the game, then that’s interesting, except in the NFL anything goes until the whistle blows.

    Schiano himself said he loved this play and demands it. I’ll go with the coach.

  44. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I don’t care about Clark getting involved in the play. I was watching the game with 2 Cowboys fans and a Colts fan, and we all jumped out of our seats cheering when that happened. One of them mentioned almost immediately how you could tell that they’ve been coached to finish the play, because there were 3 offensive lineman that simultaneously moved that pile. That would not have happened last year with Raheem Morris. That was a statement play, and by far my favorite one in quite a while.

  45. kh Says:

    Ever occur to Joe that players he mentioned are O-linemen and Clark is a tight end?! Tight-ends (especially those that are known for their receiving skills like Clark and aren’t known for their blocking like Anthony Becht was) generally do’t throw themselves into piles like linemen do.

    End of story, close thread.

  46. kh Says:

    Not to mention, that if you know you’re football, O-linemen see themselves as the RB’s bodyguards in some sense. It’s a matter of pride for them. Tight ends don’t share this mentality, yes they need to block to the whistle and all that but it’s not the same as if they were on the O-line.

  47. OAR Says:

    Foos-ball? Buncha overgrown monsters man-handlin’ each other…

  48. Kyle Says:

    @kh – This was not a RB they were “bodyguarding”

  49. kh Says:

    True, I should have said skill players instead of RBs. Point is, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a receiving tight end stick their head into something like that. Leave it to the big uglies.

    Anyways, Joe posts something controversial followed by an advertisement… I see what you’re doing here.

  50. JBUC24 Says:

    When that play happened, I loved the intensity, but was very concerned an injury would follow. I wouldn’t classify Clark’s non actions to “loafing”, as you never now what flags will be thrown for “unnessary roughness”.

    Not running down a defender after an interception or trying to chase down a reciever from behind…loafing; waiting for the pile of X amount of players to stop moving a pile….not loafing. IMO.

  51. BK Says:


    I disagree also. I guess the other 6 guys were loafing too because they didn’t hit the pile? Clark plays smart football and being a veteran (knowing its the first game) I dont think he wanted to mix it up and get hurt and potentially end his career/season.

  52. ben Says:

    slow tuesday eh?

  53. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @KH – First off, Joe finds it comical how you and many others out there seem to think Joe posting a take like this drives more traffic. It doesn’t. Joe didn’t even put this out on Facebook. If you want to use your twisted logic, this post was “controversial,” as you call it, which likely annoyed many people from returning today and viewing said advertisement that you think was the primary reason for this Bucs post. …

  54. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @Ben – Actually not a slow Tuesday at all.

  55. Drew Says:


    Is J 2.0 actually Thomas 2.2?

    No. –Joe

  56. tommy Says:

    miguel….payton died of cancer you moron!!!

  57. Bob Says:

    Clark was right save it for a real play, nicks was lucky he did not get a foul and ruin the whole play.

  58. Miguel Grande Says:


    Walter Payton battled with depression, considered suicide, had extramarital affairs, and abused painkillers, cancer was the final straw. Cancer is simply a fungus.

    In February 1999, Payton announced that he had a rare autoimmune liver disease known as primary sclerosing cholangitis, which may have led to his cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer).

  59. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I love how you put “had extramarital affairs”, as if that was a reason. What you don’t understand Miguel, is that by putting stupid crap like that, it negates any decent information you may put out.

  60. bucobruce Says:

    How about this guys,this is what all of you need to think about.Tampa Bay bucs are the best team in NFL wooooooooooooooo Go bucs!!!!!!!!!

  61. ClayBURN94 Says:

    I agree with you joe. In high school as an offensive lineman, i was taught to finish the play and make blocks down the field because coaches saw that and loved it. But id rather see o-lineman than a TE trying to push pile due to the higher risk of injury. But all that matters is that W!! Go bucs!!!

  62. Miguel Grande Says:


    I tried to post the complete paragraph twice and twice it was spam filtered. It’s out of context.

    I’m just trying to post, you guys are examining everything I write like it was my doctor’s thesis. Geez, lighten up already.

  63. BKNYfootballhead Says:

    Jimmy-crack-corn, and I don’t care.

    Thanks Joe, for an observation I missed.

    Now we have an epic proportion of rope in an extra-marital fungus of 2.2.

  64. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    You want to know why Miguel? Because everything with you is a f-ing stupid negative statement. You are a negative, ignorant, little boy what no one respects. We don’t care about your opinion, and we consider you nothing more than a bad joke. If you disappeared forever, no one would give 2 sh!ts. You make Thomas seem like a smart guy. Is that clear enough for you?

  65. Miguel Grande Says:


    You are a poster boy for cyber-bullying. Nobody takes the time to tell you what to say or think.

    Maybe, you think cyber bullying is acceptable as long as the victim has a foreign sounding name, different religion or darker skin?

    I think not and I will always preserve my freedom of expression especially on this day of infamy. Is that clear enough for you?

  66. aj Says:

    Two different things. It is the interior linemens job to protect the Hamster. It’s great that they aren’t just going to stand around as the guy gets gang tackled by five guys on the other team. It’s not even about the yardage as much as the mentality.

    Dallas Clark’s has a different job, and it’s not to stick his head into piles in the open field. And definitely not get in the way of Carl Nicks, when the train is coming through you stay off the tracks.

  67. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Cyber bullying? Really? Cry me a freaking river. All the names you call people and you criticize me? Pot, meet kettle.

    I don’t know what color your skin is, nor your religion. Nor do I give 2 sh!ts. I’ve never heard of racial cyber-bullying. Must be something you created while enjoying some hemp.

    I didn’t say you can’t express your freedom. But you can damn well expect me to point out how ignorant you sound. Besides, I find it kind of ironic that someone who on many occasions criticizes this country, yet you can’t wait to take advantage of all of our freedoms.

  68. Digger Says:

    I rarely post here, but I read every story Ste-, errr Joe posts daily. It’s an enjoyable site, except for the comments by two particular posters

    Miguel Grande should look for a ride to the top of The Skyway, and then jump. He/she/it is nothing more than a negative waste of everyone’s time

  69. Rican Says:

    Hahahaha lol this nontopic def provides a nice laugh. Have to say Joe haven’t seen such a reach of a topic from you in a long time. It’s almost like your trying to get a reaction? Lol

  70. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Back to the topic at hand, the more I think about it, the less I think Dallas Clark should stick his nose in there. It reminds me of a comment Kobe Bryant recently said about how he doesn’t take charges, in order to prolong his career. Certain players need to take charges, others don’t. Only bad things are going to happen by Clark sticking his nose in there. Let’s be honest, he’s not going to move the pile. We really can’t afford to lose him, especially just to “show face” in a pileup.

  71. Miguel Grande Says:


    “I find it kind of ironic that someone who on many occasions criticizes this country, yet you can’t wait to take advantage of all of our freedoms.”

    Natural rights are rights not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and therefore universal and inalienable.

    The 1st amendment to the Constitution is God-given and inalienable. Which means your US Congress or your president can not pass a law (lien) restricting it.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Words to live by, words to die by.

  72. bucobruce Says:

    Hey guys lets stick to football talk,I think Clark should of hit the pile I bet he does the next time because he is no loafer.Ill cut him a little slack on this one because once again I know he is no loafer.You can bet your house that he will hit that pile next time after the NEW ORDER saw it on film,I think his reaction might have been alittle off sunday its his first game in a while.GO RAYS beat them o’s and this sunday in NY we will finally get on espn after we beat the little Giants.I just heard from an unknow source that Cam Fignewton is having nightmares about the bucs d-fence and he keeps waking up with sh-t and piss all in his little toy story underwear

  73. 76buc76 Says:

    Play to the whistle boyz.That was all Jackson keepin his legs churning lol.I’ve never seen a team get called for aiding the ball carrier.Injury’s phhhhh please when you play not to get injured guess what happen’s.So I guess defender’s should play like that too.I could come flying in and drop that ballcarrier but no no I can’t someone might get hurt.This team need’s play’s like that.Guy’s going above and beyond setting an example.Hustle is contagious

  74. Mr. Patrick Says:

    Is you are “alongside” the pile you can only push it sideways. Not smart

  75. Ricky Bobby Says:

    @Joe, I think most fans are a bit worked up over the term “loaf”. I’m sure you have different vocabulary to use than that. Dallas Clark isn’t a “loafer” by any means just because he was following his assignment. Didn’t coach also say to do your job and not “go and make a play”?
    Just sayin’ Joe. It would be a good idea to not use “sensational” words to get more views. That’s just tacky.

  76. TrueBlue Says:

    Clark did the right thing. The risk of injury, the risk of penalty, the return on investment in additional yardage – it just didn’t add up to piling on. Bennett piled into superman and got a roughing the passer penalty. Which was the smarter thing to do?

  77. tommy Says:

    no miguel, your an idiot,, theres nothing simple about cancer

  78. McBuc Says:

    LOL…Nice article Joe, if it was a “non story” not only would the coach not have mentioned it, but you would not have had so many posts. Nicely done sir, and keep up the great work.

  79. TrueBlue Says:

    And Joe, when you called it “loafing” you made it a much bigger deal than was necessary, but hey look at all the traffic it generated.

  80. advertisement overload Says:

    Readers need to understand that while u enjoy excessive articles about ur team every day on the internet this is what will happen. Joe has a responsibility to keep traffic flowing daily to appease his advertisers. Quite simply there aren’t always intelligent subjects to write about and when that happens u are left with topics such as this. While seemingly a ridiculous topic please don’t take it all so serious.

    Frankly, you are wrong, @advertisement overload. There is plenty to write about, and Joe doesn’t not need to appease his advertisers. Joe’s advertisers pay far under market value for their advertising and would be happy if had half the traffic it does. This post was written to analyze a memorable play. The head coach even praised the three offensive linemen for their effort in his radio show. You continue to go out of your way to misreprsent Joe and this site. This is your final day under this screen name. Just like Thomas 2.2., Joe has no time to babysit those who choose to misrepresent the host. –Joe

  81. Yar Says:

    So in other words you just make stuff up.

    Not sure who you’re referring to, but there is nothing fabricated in this post.–Joe

  82. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    I know you don’t know anything, but I am completely obsessed with finding out what the heck is going on with Blount. I can’t believe in this day and age, Schiano is able to keep this thing so mysterious. I’m surprised the media isn’t camped outside his house like BSPN was with Favre. The national media seems to care less, but that’s to be expected I guess. Do you think you will find out more tomorrow when they practice?

  83. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @Hawaiian – There really isn’t much to know about Blount. He did some good things in the game and didn’t block a D-lineman well, which led to a tipped pass and a chat with Schiano. Joe’s been told Blount did not have concussion and we’ll learn more about his potential leg issue as the week progresses. If he doesn’t appear on the injury report, then we can assume he’s fine.

    Literally, Blount jogged at a good speed about 50 yards from the locker room to the parking lot after the game in front of reporters waiting to enter the locker room and he jogged briskly off the field (the first one Joe might add) and he didn’t look a bit hampered). He looked darn healthy to Joe.

  84. BK Says:

    I didnt agree with Joe either but I think this makes great conversation. Its okay to disagree as long as your being respectful.


  85. Jason Aris Says:

    I’d prefer Clark not to be involved in any “scrums”. need him him healthy ALL season!

  86. lifebuc Says:

    I havn’t read all the comments here, but it is an interesting point Joe raises about not trying to drive that pile forward when Jackson has 5 blue jerseys on him. Also, if Doug Martiin at his size is willing to sacrifice his body and try and drive the pile forward, Clark should have also. Another point someone else raised was about it being illegal for Nicks and Zuttah to hit the pile like they did. Its perfectly legal as long as the push the pile and not pull it forward. That small difference makes it legal vs illegal.