Buccaneers’ trick play to lineman Donald Penn almost tipped off by video tribute

Frank Schwab
Shutdown Corner

The Buccaneers dialed up a sneaky play to offensive lineman Donald Penn against Miami, hoping to slyly get him into a pass pattern into the end zone without anyone knowing.

And after the play was called, there was a break for an injury to running back Mike James. Just at that moment, wouldn't you know it, the Buccaneers decided to play a video tribute to Penn, who had started his 100th consecutive game the previous week.

And in that video – this really is unbelievable – was the clip of Penn catching his first career touchdown three seasons ago against San Francisco on the same trick play.

“We’d already called the play when Mike goes down,’’ Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano said, according to a Tampa Tribune story posted on its site Tuesday night. “During that stoppage, I knew we were going to recognize Donald because his 100th (consecutive) start came on the road. I was great with that, but then (quarterbacks coach) John McNulty says, ‘They’re playing it on the board.’”

This wasn't a poker tell, this was having your cards turned face up during the hand. And the coaches started to panic and wonder, should they scrap the play?

“The conversation on the headset, you wouldn’t believe it,’’ Schiano said. “You can’t make this stuff up. But cooler minds prevailed. One of our coaches said we can’t let the JumboTron make our decisions.’’

The Dolphins must not have been paying attention to the video tribute to Penn. The Buccaneers stuck with the same play, and quarterback Mike Glennon hit Penn for a 1-yard touchdown. The Buccaneers went on to win their first game of the season.

"I was a little nervous because they showed me on the big screen, but it was a great pass by Mike," Penn told the Tampa Tribune.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!