One day after the Bucs’ 27-23 loss to the Tennessee Titans, Bruce Arians was still frustrated from an early whistle blown by the referees. An inadvertent whistle on a forced fumble by Devin White stopped a play that was picked up by Andrew Adams and ran back for a touchdown, a play that would have given the Bucs a three-point lead with three minutes remaining in the game.

Arians didn’t hold back when venting about how referees get away with mistakes and aren’t held to a higher standard. Arians also admitted the Bucs made plenty of their own mistakes, but that early call by the officials changed the final outcome.

Here is a full transcript of Arians’ press conference on Monday with the media.

Opening statement
“Again, not to beat a dead horse but an inadvertent whistle, if we have those last three minutes and some change with a three-point lead and win the game, I think everybody is writing different stories, talking different things. It was more than just a play and everybody except one guy saw the ball out and blew a quick whistle and my biggest thing is – referees aren’t held accountable. Coaches get fired, general managers get fired, players get cut, referees aren’t accountable and it’s a shame. It’s been that way for 40 years and now that we got a new agreement it will be that way for 40 more years.

On the game itself, again, turnovers early in the ball game, poor red zone offense and poor red zone defense, poor coaching in some of those situations also, especially offensively. The 3rd-and-five play, we screwed that play up in practice, we fixed it, we liked the play. I should have vetoed that play, the fourth-and-one play. Again, that’s on me, not on Byron, that’s on me to have a better chance of being successful in those two situations, those are both on me. Defensively, our front seven, I don’t know if they can play any better, they’re playing outstanding. We got out of our gap one time and gave up a run, I think he had 72 yards and two of them were for 50 yards, we’re doing everything we can do on the front seven. Our back end was good at times and then we don’t play the right technique a couple times and those things have been a problem and we’re going to get them corrected, and I know we’ll get them corrected.

Again, when I look at the number of missed assignments in a game, after totally making that a point of emphasis in our off week and last week in practice, where they had disappeared, they show up back in the game. We got to look at our preparation, we got to look at our coaching, are we teaching it properly, something’s not happening from Saturday to Sunday and to take our base run and run it against a front that we saw everyday in practice and not block it correctly is baffling to me. It starts with coaching, it starts with me, as far as anything else, everything that we’re doing from right now is to beat Seattle.”

On if he got any explanation about the inadvertent whistle when there’s been an emphasis on letting plays go
“Exactly, that’s the emphasis. Now two out of three weeks for us, we get turnovers that we don’t get. We got a touchdown, we got the ball, now we still should have taken the ball and scored a touchdown and won the game, but instead we should have won the game already or had the chance to win it. In New Orleans, I was told to challenge it because they knew we had the ball, but when you go back to replay it wasn’t a clear recovery. Again, it was an inadvertent whistle. Why is it continuing? Since the Rams-Saints game the second week when the Saints got the touchdown that they didn’t get, there’s been an emphasis on letting plays go. If you can’t answer why it’s not happening, then I don’t know.”

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians – Photo by: Getty Images

On the fourth-and-one play, if it wasn’t blocked properly or if Ryan Jensen got overpowered 
“It wasn’t blocked properly, we didn’t get to the Mike linebacker. Again, part of it was design, part of it was the play, part of it was our execution of it, and I’ll take it for that one.”

On if he’s seeing Devin White starting to develop the sideline to sideline ability 
“Oh yeah. The injury hurt him, it set him back pretty good. He had a couple of blitzes that he could have gone and he held up a little bit, but he’s getting better and better.”

On if the first touchdown allowed by the defense if there was miscommunication 
“We totally lined up wrong. It started with our safety, who didn’t cover the right guy. It led to three guys talking back and forth and the ball snapped. It was just poor communication.”

On the details in the game costing the Bucs that ends up on the accountability sheet
“It’s very simple plays. That’s the frustrating thing for me is how am I not getting anything across? Why is this not getting across? I’ve seen it get across for a long time, and for whatever reason it ain’t happening. We got to find out why.”

On if it’s because they can’t win with guys that don’t get it, and you can only win with smart players
“That helps. But again, I’ve had guys that struggled but they had so much pride that they would not be on that sheet. They struggled to learn but they would not on that sheet.”

On the balance between short term and long term goals at the trade deadline and wanting to keep the team as close to winning right now
“Yes, and if there’s a trade that helps us win right now or if it’s the price is right and the deal is real, trade for the future, then yeah. But I’m all about winning and winning as many games as we can because when you sell the farm, you don’t know what you’re buying anyway. And you’re playing with a bunch of young guys that have to learn how to play again.”

On having 12 passes in the fourth quarter with none of them going to Mike Evans
“You don’t throw into double coverage, but just because it’s Cover 2 doesn’t mean Mike’s covered. There were some passes, he hit Chris when Mike was open, so as a quarterback, you take what they give you. But there are times that we tried to move Mike around to get him open and we didn’t get the ball to him.”

HC Bruce Arians – Photo By: Mary Holt/PR

On Ronald Jones not playing as much because the offense is in pass heavy packages
“He’s gotten much better at blitz pickup and we talked about it. He’s improved each week, which should get him more snaps. As far as two-minute, Dare’s been the best one that we have as far as who to block and how to block them. I think Ronald’s going to have a hell of a future.”

On if it’s on the coaches to design plays so they don’t let the defense take Mike Evans away from the game
“Yeah, you can’t just leave him back there. You got to move him over, get him in the middle, which everybody, eight or nine snaps of that, somewhere in there. Maybe you don’t catch Cover 2, then all of a sudden it’s man-to-man and he’s doubled some other way. You can’t force balls to guys but as a coach you can still get him open.”

On how tough it was to make the call to punt on a fourth-and-one on the Titans’ 43 early in the fourth quarter
“It’s not tough at all, you got a three point lead. If you got a seven point lead, hmm, but a three point lead, no, you’re two first downs from a tie. Punt it down, man, Pinion did a great job, our special teams did a great job. They started at the one, the eight, the 10, T.J. Logan was what I thought he’d be. He made the best of his opportunity and he’ll keep doing it as a cover guy and as a retuner. Our special teams I thought won the battle for us, we’re just not doing a good job of backed up football, holding them down there. That one little play out on third-down-and-four, third-down-and-six, that’s where we got to improve. And then we get the ball back at the 50 and with short fields we’ve been really good offensively at turning them into touchdowns. 

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Dman

Have not seen Dare OG do anything special, or even average. He might be great in practice, but not in games. Keep either Barber or RoJo in the lineup and let Dare play special teams.

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EastEndBoy

Agree – he might be “the best one that we have as far as who to block and how to block them”, but you keep (trying to) give him the ball…stop it!

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surferdudes

This could’ve been the news conference of the last three Buc head coaches. Same excuses, same mental mistakes, same could’ve called a better play, same old, same old. Bruce, you were hired to make this team better, not to make excuses as to why we suck. We can see that plainly ourselves. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Two constants are Licht, and Jameis. They are tied together. You can make a mistake drafting a kicker in the second round, but when you blow the #1 overall pick on a QB it usually gets a GM… Read more »

PriMech54

The Bucs W-L record during Winston’s career is SOLEY placed on Jason Licht’s head. You aren’t saying that Jimmy Garoppolo is the driving force of the undefeated 49ers, now are you? Nah, because he’s top 10 in turnovers just like our tantalizing young Jameis. You’d say “man, John Lynch really has built a great defense and hired the right coach who’s using a nice west coast system that runs the ball effectively behind a solid offensive line and doesn’t ask too much of it’s QB” But of course, when it comes to the Bucs, you all get a hair up… Read more »

Sector2814

JESUS CHRIST! I had to double check who posted this because I’ve been saying the same thing for years.

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PriMech54

And no, the two constants are not Licht and Jameis. You’re forgetting about the 35ish years of certified dumpster fire before they got here. The constants are any owner not named Malcolm Glazer. Specifically the ones who own soccer clubs.

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BUC-ASS-BOB

Bruce Arians and Jameis Winston are not held accountable for 2-5 record
They make excuses, Bucs had the ball 2+ minutes on the clock with 4 downs to make first downs and we got a nothing burger
and an interception and a loss!

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Captain Sly

I kinda wish I didn’t hear him say this! Man coach the more you talk the more you sound like a Dinosaur. Nobody punts the ball on 4th & 1 from 43yd line in that situation especially when you have a weak defense like ours. You Put the game away, Step on your opponents neck, Play to Win. The more you talk the more convinced I am that you are Outdated!

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pomer1eau

We are fucked.

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MizzouBucs24

Arians has coached 7 games for the Bucs. It’s not his third season with the team. He inherited most of the players on this team. This was a bad football team when he got here. He is the best coach we’ve had since Gruden and needs time to build this team. If we don’t miss a chip shot field goal against the giants and the refs don’t blow the whistle Sunday then this team is 4-3 and the narrative is different but that’s not reality. We are 2-5 and Arians is pissed about it, you can tell in his voice… Read more »

Captain Sly

I’m going to stop you right there!!!!
You only need 2 things to win in this league, Coaching & Talent. BA said himself that talent was not the issue in Tampa, Sorry my Friend that only leaves Coaching!

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MizzouBucs24

Then let him the coach!!! It’s only been 7 games!!! Some of you sound like you don’t even watch the games, you just read the headlines and comment. We had 4 turnovers and still should have won the game. You guys call players bust before they even get a chance to play. You want Arians replaced and he hasn’t even coach a half season. Do any of you realize how dumb you sound? Football teams aren’t built over night. Most players don’t have consistent success early in their careers, it takes time. It’s not BAs fault the team has sucked… Read more »

Pete Wood

Agree one hundred percent. Give our coach a chance to get his players on the field.
And, for those of you want to replace the coaching staff, who do you suppose will take their jobs?
There’s a lot right with this team.
Winston is an issue and our OC is an issue, but don’t clean house based on those two.

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Captain Sly

Mizzou this thread is about “Accountability”, and I’m judging him based on 7 games. 2-5 is unacceptable! Why shouldn’t we demand more from our head coach. If he wants to hold the players accountable then hold yourself to the same standard. Coach’em Up & stop with the excuses we keep hearing in these Pressers.

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MizzouBucs24

Then read the article again. He said the fourth and one call is on him. He said he should of vetoed the 3rd and 5 in the red zone. But he also called out the refs. Was he wrong? Did the refs not screw us? He also called out the wideouts who didn’t do their job and also said they have to coach better. That’s not coach speak that’s the truth and holding everyone accountable. You want more but what else can he do in 7 games. Fire his coaches, bench Jameis for Griffin lol, trade everyone he can, is… Read more »

Hockey Duckie

From a sportstalkflorida article: **** “I think we have the core here to win quickly,” Arians said. “I’m not about building, I’m about reloading.” When Arians was hired in Arizona, he took over a team that finished 5-11 the year before his arrival and went 10-6 in his first season in 2013. “This one’s much easier, I believe,” he said. “When I walked into Arizona we had no quarterbacks.” -source link: http://sportstalkflorida.com/featured/bucs-are-close-to-being-a-playoff-team-says-arians/ **** At 2-5, the Bucs aren’t winning quickly enough. They’re worse than Koetter’s Red Zone efficiency and the defense is allowing more PPG this year than last year’s… Read more »

twspin

Great comments here MizzouBucs24. Although I am one of my teams harshest critics, You cannot expect Arians to turn Chicken Sh** into chicken salad like a magician overnight. Arians is not a Loser. Give him time and he will right this crippled ship and bring it into championship harbors. I do believe this! He initially said coming in he was here to Win now. But he sees clearly its gonna take a hellava lot more effort to rid this franchise of its losing mentality. He’s gonna even have to bark at Licht a little louder. And he will. I’m passed… Read more »

BucRy

Would be cool if Arians held our OC accountable….

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Buc off

Apparently neither are coaches and players in Tampa. Stop complaining do what you were hired to do, fix this sorry excuse for a team.

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Horse

A lot of excuses being thrown out there, but yet good teams overcome referee mistakes & players mistakes.
How many times have we heard these speeches before. I certainly am sick of them and I want to see some real changes being made instead of hearing a lot of bull. Arrians is new can you use types of ways of finding how to lose and maybe not used to it, but we certainly have heard the song and dance before.

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Hockey Duckie

Agreed. Despite the blown call, the more egregious mistake was the lack of execution on 4th-and-1. That had nothing to do with the refs and possibly had the game in hand if it was converted. Oh, talk about not executing, Arians said that all of Winston’s turnovers weren’t on him. If it wasn’t on him, then everyone else involved in those plays didn’t execute. Did the refs cause the interceptions? Did the refs cause the fumbles? Did the refs cause Perriman to take out Dare in the Red Zone? Did the refs prevent the Bucs from being 2-4 in the… Read more »

Horse

“Arrians is new to this team and not use to these types of ways of finding”

Sorry I’m using voice texting and I forget to check the wording.

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Captain Sly

Yes horse, he’s singing the same song that Koetter sang for 3 years and his voice is getting eerily similar. Eventually he’s going to run out of excuses and admit “If I knew how to fix it I would”. Damning quote from Koetter

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MizzouBucs24

It might sound like the same song but it’s a different tune. Koetter didn’t have a track record or a reputation as head coach in this league BA does. He will fix this team but it won’t come over night.

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Hockey Duckie

It sounds worse when you say BA is a known quantity in NFL head coaching and Koetter was new.

BA has more weapons this year than Koetter has had. BA has a better kicker, better starting RG (before falling to injury), better RB Duo in Barber & Rojo, more pass rushing talent, and more DB’s.

Shouldn’t the Bucs have a better record than 2-5 with a veteran head coach and more talent than the previous year?

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Hockey Duckie

If Koetter and BA are having the same problem, then maybe it’s the players. That would fall under GM Licht’s responsibility.

Coaches coach the players. GM’s get the players for the coaches to play.

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MizzouBucs24

Or maybe he has only been coaching for 7 GAMES!!!

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Ron Potter

I feel your pain, Capt Sly. But BA definitely has more clout than Dirk Koetter ever will or ever did. BA was right to focus more on the officiating after this game. We are clearly disrespected by the NFL while losing has festered here. The losing has been a convenient excuse for the NFL to turn a blind eye while the officiating is clearly a reason why we’ve lost some of these games this year. BA and this staff need some more time and there’s still a chance we end the season somewhere between 7-9 and 9-7 as many thought… Read more »

Captain Sly

I agree with you that BA need’s more “time” But Time in the NFL is called Training Camp, Preseason, Practice, The Bye Week. So let’s be honest here BA was hired for his HC “experience” along with his staff, the expectations where that we would be seeing marketable improvements from this team: Winston’s turnovers, A defense that can actually make a Stop, WR that can run a proper route, how about a coach who won’t challenge a PI and waste TO’s (game management) and so on. I’m not talking about wins vs loses here let’s table that argument, I’m strictly… Read more »

Pete

Reality is another sad loss and I drank too much. I think everybody has a right to vent or you would go crazy. 8-8 was what I thought the Bucs would do this year and 9-7 would be great. Bucs were clearly the better team against the Titans but couldn’t overcome mistakes. Hey 2-5 sucks and I know most of you are tired of watching the Bucs loose but hang on we need to let the coach handle the mess. BA is a good coach and I’m sure we will see some changes. Go Bucs Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit… Read more »

surferdudes

I’ve seen enough of BA’s BS to know he won’t live long enough to get this team right. The only reason BA is here, and Licht was kept is because they sold all of us on a quick turn around. Arain’s said he had the talent to win now, and he’s not. If he came in and said I can’t win with these players, and this GM, I need three years to rebuild it would be a different story about giving him time. He was hired to win with what he has now. If he can’t do that, what good… Read more »

Sactobuc

“If he came in and said I can’t win with these players, and this GM, I need three years to rebuild it would be a different story about giving him time.”

Is this what you do at your job?, you walk into the board room and throw your co-workers and boss under the bus.. How’s that work for you?

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fredster

So many morons on here. Fire the coach and blame him after 7 games. So idiotic.

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Horse

What I’m reading is most of them are frustrated and are blaming it on the GM not the coach?

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Ron Potter

BA is right! Some see the NFL as glass half full (Patriot fans). Some see it as half glass empty (Buc fans). I see it as half full of horse pee and Buc fans who see it as half glass empty are drinking it… not even aware that it’s horse pee. I’m ok with the NFL going away as the officiating and the number of rules in this league has ruined the game. Referees can impact the game way too much and there are so many rules that it would be easy to script these games like wrestling matches. If… Read more »

Pit of misery

92 turnovers….

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Ron Potter

111 TDs

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jiggyjoe

I wonder why Atlanta is 1 and 6. Ryan is a fine QB. Winston has not ever shown the ability of Ryan. So you tell me. It must be coaching or play calling.

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stlbucsfan

Another head coach with no answers. Bruce it’s easier to admit you were wrong about the player assessments and release most of this roster. Brate needs to be traded so OJ can get those targets and most importantly you restore financial order to the roster. We are not good enough to pay a luxury position that much money. Jensen needs to be restructured or released if the money is not guaranteed. Fresh out the 2 min warning and completely blown up is inexcusable for a man with that price tag. Jameis should be gone and we should target Derek Carr.… Read more »

GrayBalls

Dean was taken in the third

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Dman

BA needs to shake the tree. Certain guys shouldn’t be playing – Periman, Dare OG, Haergarves, I’m sure there are others – and Leftwich shouldn’t be calling plays.

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Ron Potter

VH3 played more of the slot and I was discouraged by the results. He has shown to be strong there in the past but Adam Humphries burned him twice by my count. Undrafted WR beats first round pick… that sure is frustrating but it’s just one game where I’ve noticed this staff playing VH3 there. Hopefully it works out in the long run as I hate to see any of our first round picks failing as much.

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Farley

In my estimation Bruce Arians is the coach of a lifetime for the Bucs. He owns up to coaches play calling like the 4th and 1 against the Titans that didn’t work and some other plays. He’s frustrated with defensive players confusion and not on point with assignments as executed in practice. He’s angry with officiating that potentially cost him 2 games: A fumble recovery against the Panthers in London though many bodies were around a camera showed conclusive recovery by the Bucs and a Bucs player taking it up but not given by the referee and now this week… Read more »

Ron Potter

Well said. I’m hoping with a little more time it will translate to wins and I think that it will. I think BA is on the right track with this team.

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Sector2814

I don’t think most here doubt Arians as a coach but he is pushing 70 with health issues. He came back thinking that this would be an easy fix… Surprise! Jason Licht has been putting together this roster for years. You’re fucked, BA. Should’ve taken that Cleveland job instead. Licht hired Coach Arians because he wanted to save his job and did so by hiring a name. This is a rebuild and we need a young up and coming coach for that.

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PriMech54

Refs aside (because I don’t even want to get started, it’s criminal), in terms of Bruce Arian’s comments/reactions in general – this is just BA outwardly realizing that he’s in for far more work to whip this ball club back into shape than he anticipated. He’s experiencing having a roster that has to score 30 every single game just for a chance to win. He literally said he’s baffled that some of the concepts are not sinking in with certain players. I did a double take when I heard that. The eye test says he’s talking about the offensive line… Read more »

Captain Sly

While BA is complaining about the refs, he needs to look in the mirror and ask “how did I lose to 4 backup QB’s” 2 of them were rookie backups. Thats the real shame in all of this. We can talk about the missed calls the refs made but what about the breaks you have been given as well. Shameful!

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Ron Potter

I think the problems with our secondary are well-documented and that’s why QB backups and QB rookies continue to come out on top in wins. Yes, sometimes Winston puts them in a hole but 3/3 in red zone last game and a 90 yard drive where our secondary continued to get burned… Tom Brady would be a loser on this team in last game! Belichick and Brady would be losers on this team. We will continue to see what you’re talking about until the young secondary grows up or they are replaced….and they’re not going to be replaced anytime during… Read more »

Captain Sly

Well that is why punting the ball with a 23-17 lead on 4th & 1 was a bad coaching decisions. Your offense is your best defense and gives you the best chance to Win. BA should know this.

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EastEndBoy

1) The flip flopping on PR is truly amazing…all offseason it was “we have the talent, it’s not talent, it was all coaching (blame Warhop, Koetter, Smith, you name it)”…and now it’s “we have the coaching, it’s not the coaching, it’s the talent (it’s too young, it’s all Jameis’s fault)”. Amazing. 2) Some folks called this pretty accurately this offseason – one of them was not our GM. We had a poor looking OLine, and a poor looking secondary. We were counting heavily on some rookie CB stepping up as DROY, or it was a disaster waiting to happen on… Read more »

Allanh1

if zebras were fined for crap calls, the game would change dramatically.

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Sector2814

Here is the thing when it comes to refereeing the Bucs: Last week Tennessee’s Harold Landry forces a JW fumble, there is a pile of players on top of it, Titans come up with it: Fumble Recovery Tennessee! Earlier this month against New Orleans, Saints punt returner Deonte Harris lost the ball when he was wrapped up by the Bucs’ T.J. Logan and fell on Logan, which kept Harris from hitting the turf. As the ball popped out, the Bucs’ Antony Auclair jumped on it and then emerged from a pile of players with it. The Bucs challenge, the replay… Read more »

Dy-nasty D

Accountability? LOL

Let me know when our GM is held accountable.

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plopes808

Preach coach!

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mark2001

No wonder players and coaches never read these comments…the number of DA’s would astound and dismay them. Bruce was talking about the officiating. Newsflash boys…you think we get the same quality of officiating the Pats and Packers get? The same calls? That Jameis is protected like Brady and Rodgers? Boys, the league has their favorites…teams and players… one player even suggested checking the bank account of a ref.. Wake up boys…until they are accountable, it will be all a sideshow…wrestling with the players and other team staff being the only guys on the up and up. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb… Read more »