The Bucs never went out on the field Friday, but that didn't stop DE Marcus Jones from adding a sack to his season totals
With no game to play on Sunday, it was an easier decision than usual for Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Tony Dungy.
With rain and high winds lashing the practice fields behind One Buccaneer Place, and radar showing no relief in sight, the Bucs spent Friday morning indoors rather than hold the planned 90-minute practice. The time was passed instead with meetings and a team-wide football-autographing session.
Buc players then left team headquarters before noon and will not report back until Monday.
Friday's intended practice had already been moved up an hour on the schedule after the National Football League cancelled this weekend's games on Thursday, as there was no longer a need for game-planning. Had the Bucs' practiced Friday morning, it would have resembled a training-camp workout, with an emphasis on fundamentals.
The inclement weather that forced the Bucs indoors was brought on by the presence of Tropical Storm Gabrielle.
Tampa Bay won't play again until September 30, but that didn't stop at least one Buccaneer from padding his stats this week.
On Friday, DE Marcus Jones was credited with his 22nd career sack, moving him into a tie for eighth place with John Cannon on the Bucs' all-time list. And, no, the league is not suddenly counting practice stats.
The word on Jones' sack came on Friday, but the actual play occurred in Dallas on Sunday. In that contest, the Buccaneers were credited with just one sack, DE Steve White's takedown of QB Quincy Carter in the fourth quarter.
However, after reviewing film the next day, Dungy believed that Jones should have been credited with a sack on a play in the third quarter on which Carter fumbled and recovered the loose ball in his own backfield.
When a team needs a play reviewed in this manner, the governing body is the Elias Sports Bureau, which compiles and keeps all of the NFL's statistics. On Friday, Elias reported that the play had been reviewed and that the Bucs' assessment of the play had been accepted. Thus Jones received his first sack of the season.
Actually, two plays from the game were corrected.
During a second-quarter drive that began deep in Tampa Bay's own territory, the Buccaneers had three consecutive third-down situations solved by Dallas penalties. In each instance, the play that was run failed to gain the first down, but the following penalty on the Cowboys erased the result and gave the Bucs a new set of downs.
However, on the second of those three plays, a 12-yard reception by Warrick Dunn on third-and-13, the play was mistakenly allowed to count in the stats as a reception for zero yards, even after the penalty was accepted.
By overturning that decision and calling the catch a no-play, Elias affected a few areas of the Bucs' stats page, including the team's final third-down conversion numbers, which improved from an already excellent 50% (8-16) to 53.3%. In addition, QB Brad Johnson will see his passing numbers reduced from 26-of-35 to 25-of-34 and Dunn will now have four catches for 21 yards instead of five.