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On Thursday, the New England Patriots crushed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a 31-14 win that wasn't anywhere near as close as the score indicated. Tom Brady(notes) was rolling his offense along so well, the young Bucs had trouble keeping up — and had no trouble admitting it after the fact.
But on at least one play, they gave it their all.
The play happened with 10:04 left in the first quarter, and the Pats at their own 39-yard line. Chad Ochocinco(notes) ran an inside route after trailing right for about 10 yards, got his arms up to catch the ball from Brady … and got completely 'faced by Bucs rookie linebacker Mason Foster(notes).
The pass was incomplete — fortunately, Ocho was complete when he got up. Foster was penalized under the "defenseless receiver" rule, the Bucs were docked 15 yards, and Foster can most certainly expect to be a little lighter in the wallet when the league sends out fines this week.
Bucs head coach Raheem Morris talked about the play of his aggressive rookie linebacker after the game.
Obviously, they're going to err on the side of caution with the National Football League, but you don't want to deter Mason either. We're not going to let that be a deterrent for us in how physical we want to play. We're going to abide by the rules, obviously, but you've got to keep that type of mindset in your MIKE [middle] linebacker's mentality.
It's bang-bang. There's going to be some questionable ones like that all year. The human element (from the officials) is definitely going to be a factor.
But the way it's been explained to me and all the other teams is they're going to err on the side of caution and I don't have a problem with it. I didn't blink.
Here's the play — it's kind of an "owie":
However, according to the ever-magnanimous Ochocinco via his Twitter account, Foster may not have to reach for his checkbook at all:
Foster responded in kind, via his own Twitter feed:
Awww. Isn't it nice when we can all get along?
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