McDaniel denies report that he failed to report
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.
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.
Ernest Hooper , The St.Petersburg Times 2000