Of all the penalties the NFL has levied this season, this one might be the most ridiculous. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians has been fined $50,000 for his actions on Sunday. During the third quarter against the Eagles, Arians grazed the helmet of safety Andrew Adams and bumped him away from an Eagles player. Adams was trying to pull his opponent off the pile, which would have been a penalty.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 19, 2022
The involvement from Arians came in the third quarter, right after gunner Scotty Miller forced a fumble on a punt return. The Bucs had recovered in Eagles’ territory, leading 17-0. Adams attempted to pull an Eagles player off the fumble recovery pile, when Arians tottered over to intervene. The 69-year old head coach, who is moving on a partially torn achilles, slapped the side of Adams’ helmet to get his attention.
After the game, Arians explained the situation.
“No,” Arians said when asked if he regretted it. “I’ve seen enough dumb [things]. You can’t pull guys out of a pile. We just got a big play, great field position. And he’s trying to pull a guy out of a pile and I was trying to knock him off of that guy so he didn’t get a penalty.”
This is the height of the NFL doing whatever they want. There is clearly no ill-will here from Arians, and he barely touches Adams’ helmet. It’s obvious he’s trying to get his attention and stop him in a loud stadium right after a pivotal moment in the game. The fact that the NFL feels they must police such a meaningless situation is pretty on-brand for them.
“I’ll appeal it,” Arians said after practice on Wednesday. “It ain’t got nothing to do with the game, so we’re good.”