Where Was The Stiff-Arm?

October 22nd, 2012

Yes, Joe’s obsessing about Saints DB Malcolm Jenkins making up about 30 yards on Vincent Jackson to tackle the Bucs’ No. 1 receiver after his Bucs-record-breaking catch and run for 95 yards yesterday– one yard from the end zone.

Joe’s stunned disbelief that Jackson was out-willed on the play is no reflection on anything else Jackson does or has done. Like any dramatic play or action in sports, it’s only one play, and Joe’s simply judging the moment.

Yeah, Joe realizes many fans say, “how dare you” question Jackson’s will on the play, Joe? Joe’s response is that there’s no other way to describe what happened. If the tables were flipped and Jenkins was, say, Mark Barron, every Bucs fan today would be lauding Barron for “wanting it” more than his opponent.

Take this video clip from Bucs history in 2008 (2:47 of the video), when Jermaine Phillips simply wanted the ball more than the Falcons tight end wanted a touchdown. It was a huge play in that big game. Just an amazing show of will by Phillips. Yesterday, Jenkins gave the Saints that kind of extreme desire.

Chris Webber’s famous timeout that his Michigan basketball team didn’t have left for him to call, or Bucs running back’s coach Earnest Byner’s fumble that shocked the NFL and people of Cleveland, or Bill Buckner’s World Series gaffe, these were miscues that were magnified by the circumstances. 

Jackson’s failure was magnified by the Bucs’ inability to score on first-and-goal from the 1 yard line, and Jackson getting caught has flummoxed many an observer. And while it’s hardly of the magnitude of the famous ones mentioned above, it’s still a mind-blower being talked about today.

Joe ran into a couple of random Bucs fans at Publix — and talked to a Saints fan on the phone — and that’s the first thing they wanted to chat about this afternoon. 

One can speculate all day long that Jackson was somewhat hobbled by a calf strain, though that’s rather illogical considering his production and watching him run routes yesterday before and after that 95-yard play.

Perhaps the bigger mystery is why Jackson, after turning his head back three times during the run, to presumably see Jenkins, didn’t switch the ball into his left hand and try and fight off Jenkins, or make a dive for the pylon.

It’s one thing to run out of gas; it’s another thing to run out of gas and out of fight. Buccaneers Radio Network analyst and former tight end Dave Moore had no explanation during an appearance with the Ron and Ian Show this morning.

“I’m not really sure because we’ve seen him run,” Moore said of what happened to Jackson. “We’ve seen him run by defenders. Once that ball was tipped and then he caught it, he was never really in the fifth gear to slow down to third gear. He just never really, I guess he’s been bothered by a calf or something. I mean, you know, whether he was tired when he caught the ball to run, or either way, we can analyze it anyway we want. If he puts the ball in the left hand throws a stiff-arm, he can probably drag the guy for another two yards. But there are plenty of opportunities to second guess it.”

Jackon did nothing to end any speculation after the game and he discovered his stiff-arm move for prying reporters.

Joe’s still a big fan of Jackson, but he fell a small notch in Joe’s eyes for that play.

37 Responses to “Where Was The Stiff-Arm?”

  1. Justin Says:

    Enough about this. They guy had a franchise record for receiving yards on a bad leg. He kept looking at Jenkins because he knew he was gonna get run down.
    I believe he didn’t switch the ball to his outside arm because he didn’t want to chance a fumble on the exchange as Jenkins was closing in.
    Why don’t we start a thread about the Saints and how many times they picked up 15 yards on 3rd and 8?

  2. OptimisTroll Says:

    Looking at the picture, Jackson was protecting the ball. Living to fight another down. Must be the coaching. Hard to stiff-arm with both arms clutched tightly around the ball.

  3. Andrew Says:

    looks like joe is trolling.

    A very ignorant comment, Andrew. Trolling for what? Joe runs an opinion-driven Bucs site that also provides hard news. Do you really think fans will flock to JoeBucsFan.com because Joe wrote an opinion here at 10 p.m. during Monday Night Football? If Joe finds something interesting, Joe writes about it. It’s a simple standard, and the same one for the past 4+ years.–Joe

  4. Eric Says:

    Anybody remember Scott Brantley intercepting Joe Montana and running out of gas before he could score?

    A 95 yard run is an unusual event, even for Jackson. I think he just figured he had it made. Team then let him down by not punching the damn ball in.

    Give the man a pass. He is fabulous fools gold.

  5. BigMacAttack Says:

    I have no criticism for V Jax, he was brilliant. The failure was the following 4 downs, not taking a timeout and calling a play that would work.

  6. vic Says:

    I hate to be like Miguel, but given all the Schiano conditioning, there’s no reason a WR runs out of gas right after halftime. Jackson got wupped like Schiano likes to sayy

  7. Andrew Says:

    thats exactly why you would write an article to stur up fans. I honestly didnt think you would get all bent out of shape about it. but whatever man, i dont want to get into it with you, this just hasnt been my day.

  8. Eric Says:

    We also had a defensive guy in 76 when we were building a sizable lead on Denver who pulled a hammy when he was about 30 yards in the clear and had to pull up before he could score. Turned the game around.

  9. Hunter Says:

    Why no stiff arm???? Really? It’s obvious Jackson was doing his best to make sure not to fumble because Jenkins was coming to knock it out.

  10. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “If the tables were flipped and Jenkins was, say, Mark Barron, every Bucs fan today would be lauding Barron for “wanting it” more than his opponent.”


    I can honestly say without a doubt that I would not say that. I can’t speak for other Buc fans, but I can say with 100% certainty that I wouldn’t think it, much less say it. Like I said earlier, I never questioned Ronde Barber’s want to when he got run down against Cleveland in 2010, and I won’t do it with Jackson either. These guys want TD’s more than we want them to score TD’s, so I think that is hogwash to say the other guy wanted it more. For whatever reason (injury, tired, etc.), Jenkins was faster on that play. There’s nothing more to it than that.

  11. Red86 Says:

    I believe this is getting over blown. Jackson was a big part of the bucs being close to winning the game. If anyone deserved to be blamed for the lost is Brandon Mc Donald getting torch and missing assignment. I was actually willing to see Myron Lewis play after watching he get toasted. Lewis is horrible but atleast he’s good to stop one or two of those throws to Colston and Lance Moore on third down. It’s Sherridan for call 3 man front set. It’s Schiano for not teaching them how to fake a blitz properly during those 3 men set. They always gave Brees a clue that it was a zone by pull back early. Also blame who ever responsible for not focusing on Lance Moore on third and long and third down period. Or whom ever thought it was a good idea to run to the right side 2 time and then one time to the left at the goal line. Heck we can even blame the Oline for the penalties on their last drive causing a ridiculously long series just come up short of tying the game.

    Jackson did his part and almost win the game for us assuming we scored in OT. Despite the team shooting themselve in the foot with penalties and miss assignments. The Bucs win and lose as a team. Jackson is the absolute least of the Bucs problem if we have to point fingers at anyone.

  12. Have A Nice Day Says:

    Jackson caught another 6 passes that day for 121 that day. Questioning his will is moot.

  13. Eric Says:

    That picture also shows a man making damn sure he held onto the football.

  14. AK Says:

    it’s a hot topic but, it’s also not unreasonable to expect Vjax’s teammates to pick him up there and punch it in from the one. Joey Galloway had a similar play vs the Lions in 2005 where he clearly slowed up at the 30 yardline, and then turned it on at the end when he saw the Lion DB nearly catch him…still was an 80 yard TD reception but Joey made it more nervewracking than it had to be. I didn’t see Vjax just slowing up or “coasting”, or anything of the sort. His teammates need to pick him up and get it in from the friggin 1, they didn’t…maybe had they given him the ball from the 1, he’d have gotten it in…i’m half joking there but he probably stood a better chance than Blount.

  15. SteveK Says:

    Jackson gave it his all. Period. No question about it.

    How big of a notch did Dom fall when he signed Haynesworth?

    We should trade Reejus Benn to Detroit straight up for Titus Young.

  16. AtlBucsFan Says:

    Looks to me like VJ knew he wasn’t going to out run the guy for whatever the reason. So he prepared for the hit and maintained control of the ball. Only VJ knows why that play ended the way it did. The Bucs made mistakes in this game that cost them in the end. running 95 yards is not one of them.

  17. BucFan20 Says:

    From now on we should have a speed gun on all receivers and runners so if they have a long run and get caught we will know for sure . No questions.
    This is about as bad as the Bootleg. We lost. Bucs Blow 14 Point Lead Twice. Special Teams Makes Stupid Mistake. This did not cost us the game.

  18. Pewter_Power Says:

    They should’ve thrown a fade to Jackson from the one yard line andet him get that td that he should’ve had.

  19. 1976Buc Says:

    Bootleg on the first play not the last. Maybe one off tackle. QB up the gut etc. 3 up the gut = poor decision.

  20. loweredexpectations Says:

    the dude is 6’5 and 240 lbs. it takes a lot of oxygen to keep those muscles going in 80 degree heat, not to mention a strained calf.

    i can’t believe how much flack you’re giving this guy, joe… i get it from the perspective of how important that particular play was to the game, but to call the guys character (ie: fight) into play is just strange. v jack did what he has always does… catch the ball and protect the ball.

    how about your boy legarrette tip toeing on the goal line 3 times? i love em just as much as you joe, but i would blame him twice (maybe 3 times, haha) more than v-jack. we’re talking 1 yard here.

    i was appaled by the three man fronts more than anything yesterday. THAT is what lost the game, not zebras, not v-jack, it all falls on sheridan’s shoulders in my eyes.

  21. Wut Says:

    Yes, getting tackled on a 95-yard reception is great reason for Jackson to fall in Joe’s eyes.

    VJ is getting more flack for a great play than if he would have just dropped the damn thing.

    This post was digging for comments, and apparently I took the bait.

  22. Joe Says:

    We should trade Reejus Benn to Detroit straight up for Titus Young.

    1) Why would Detroit do that?

    2). Not sure Jim Schwartz wants to run the Benn’d Around every game.

  23. Justin Says:

    Hey Joe,

    Most of those “other circles” you are talking about have no clue that Jackson was playing with an injured calf muscle. We should ignore their ignorance. It sucks to even walk with a strained muscle in the back of your leg.
    They are mocking Jackson and the Bucs because they think he got caught loafing, which is certainly not the case.
    Weren’t you in the locker room after the game? I’m not sure if you mentioned it or not, but wasn’t Jackson walking with a considerable limp?

  24. Joe Says:


    Weren’t you in the locker room after the game? I’m not sure if you mentioned it or not, but wasn’t Jackson walking with a considerable limp?

    Joe did not see VJax walk.

  25. K1ngAdroc Says:

    Joe, it was a tough loss. Maybe it’s a teaching point but as a loyal reader…. give it a rest

  26. SilenceTheCritics Says:

    I dont question someone who turned a tip ball into a 95 yard catch and run. If im questioning anything its the fact Blount and the O-line couldnt get 1 dam yard against the worst run defense in the league… You can also throw in Schiano/Sully for the horrible play calling that called for Blount to run right up the dam middle 3 times in a row. They all disserve more criticism than VJax does.

  27. espo Says:

    Our inability to score from the 1 did not magnify this play. Our inability to score from the 1 magnifies our inability to score from the 1.

  28. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Sorry Joe, but saying one player wanted it more than the other is not an honest observation, but an honest opinion. I don’t care if people say that he shouldn’t be caught, but I disagree completely that Jenkins wanted it more. At best case, it’s presumptive. If he got caught due to his injury, it’s flat out wrong. He got caught because the other guy was faster, period.

  29. BucfanBF Says:

    Joe, I usually agree with your comments and enjoy your articles but what is your point with this one? Are you that slow and couldn’t come up with something better? Give V-jax a break, the guy played his asa off and his effort doesn’t deserve to be second guessed. He is by far the best FA acquisition the bucs have ever made.

  30. Buc Fan #237 Says:

    Is this a bait article in hopes of getting someone to go off on JBF so that JBF can ban them?

    Jackson had a record day of 200+ yds. And I would venture to say that 99.99999 of the readers also don’t agree with this non-sense.

    In FACT, I have seen better out of Chris Chase on his worst day than this obvious reach.

  31. SteveK Says:

    Jim Schwartz is craving the Benn’d around.

    I just mentioned that because Bucs fans are as frustrated with Benn as much as Lions fans are with Titus Young. Both are 2nd rounders a d underachieving to say the least.

  32. Bucsfan70 Says:

    Very simply VJ screwed up, and he knew it. If he hadn’t looked over his shoulder three times, he would have easily scored. Stop worrying about a potential hit, and earn your $11 million!

  33. Jessup Says:

    Dude had 216 yards and 2 TDs on the day and people want to complain because his catch was only 95 yards and not 96 for the TD. Jackson is the very last person to blame for this loss.

  34. Miguel El Magnifico Says:

    I think Joe is dead right. To diminish the importance of the play is simply not credible. It turned the Saint’s miserable season around.

    Seriously affected the Buc’s season. 3-3 is .500 at 2-4 you need a 2 game winning streak to reach .500.

    You will see that replay 20 times a year for the next decade. Maybe, two decades. It’s always worse, when in the replays, the Bucs are wearing orange.

    Certainly one of the most inspirational plays in NFL and Saint history.

    Ignore it? Let it die? Shake it off? Joe, this what it feels like when your opinion is not the popular one but the correct one.

    One good thing is did for VJax is to divert attention away from his sloppy footwork in the end zone at the end of the game. $11 million a year, Vince, mix in a ballet class or two. Game of inches.

  35. BucfanBF Says:

    You are an idiot Miguel….. plain and simple

  36. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Nobody is saying this play wasn’t an important play in the game. Obviously it was a HUGE play in the game. Probably the difference between us being 3-3 instead of 2-4. However, that doesn’t mean “want to” had anything to do with the play. That’s where I, and I think most others, disagree with Joe. Jackson is not to blame for anything that happened in this game, period.

    As for the most inspirational plays in NFL history, LMAO at the exaggeration. It’s not even the most inspirational play in Saints history (the blocked punt after Katrina and Tracy Porter’s pick 6 are far ahead of it). It’s not even that big of a deal nationally. The play will be forgotten, unless by some chance the Saints re-introduce their bounty system and win the Super Bowl. As much as I know Miguel wants it to be an inspirational play, it simply isn’t.

  37. Miguel El Magnifico Says:

    I’m just saying, we play the Saints twice a year. The Bucs are one of the most unpopular teams in the NFL, saw that on a trivia game show. The Bucs are wearing orange, that in itself is an insult.

    The NFL and the networks will replay that 95 yarder repeatedly, and rub our nose in it, for the next 20 years.