Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Answer Man, Series 3, Vol. 8

An exciting weekend of playoff football leads to a new round of questions for the Buc fans’ inside man, from fumble returns to reviewable plays, and much more

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Nothing inflates the Answer Man's e-mailbag like the playoffs.

Everybody is watching the same games at the same time and every confusing or controversial moment is magnified into a national debate. Some of that leaks into my mailbag, as Buccaneers.com readers seek clarification on issues that never seem to be resolved. I'd like to think I help a bit, but the follow-up e-mails after each column indicate that we may never fully put some of these topics to bed.

And the previous weekend was a whopper. It was a thrilling two days of football – the Divisional Playoff Rounds might be the best NFL weekend of the year – but it was also a weird one, filled with pivotal moments involving the men in stripes. The Answer Man, as an NFL employee subject to fine, does not wish to get into opinions over which calls seemed right or wrong to me, but we can study the nuts and bolts of the rules that were invoked.

In fact, every January that feels like my reason for existence.

We'll get into several of the memorable moments from that weekend below, but first we still have some issues from the Wild Card round, specifically the Buccaneers' involvement therein, to clean up.

Judging from the slant of the e-mails I received this week, the Edell Shepherd play in the end zone wasn't the only moment that still has Buc fans reeling. The long fumble return for a touchdown shared by Marcus Washington and Sean Taylor – probably the key play in the game when it's all said and done – sparked a series of questions. In a thinly-veiled attempt to drive up my word count and please (or perhaps numb into submission) my editors, I'll print three of those e-mails in a row to get us started:

1a. Brett Szematowicz of Houston, Texas asks:

Dear Answer of Man, I was at the Redskins v. Bucs game. After leaving I had [a] burning question. On the fumble return after Cadillac dropped it, the first Redskin fumbled the ball forward and it was picked up and ran back for a touchdown. I thought you could not fumble the ball forward and continue to advance it.

And…

1b. Paul McAllister of Venice, Florida asks:

I thought that an offensive player can not advance his own players fumble as in the playoff game. Please clear this up for me.

And…

1c. Terry High of Plano, Texas asks:

In the Playoff loss to Washington, the fumble by Cadillac Williams was challenged, but the wrong part of the play was challenged. When the ball was fumbled by the Washington player on the return a different Washington player picked up the ball and ran it in for a touchdown. I thought that only the fumbling player can advance a ball fumbled forward, otherwise it is an illegal lateral. So, should this should have been challenged and Washington should have had the ball around the 50-yard line after the fumble?

Answer Man: With all due respect, Brett, Paul and Terry, I think you all are starting off with the wrong basic supposition. Let me quote a line from that literary masterpiece, surely the next book to be endorsed by Oprah, the NFL Rulebook (in this case, Rule 8, Section 4, Article 2:

Any player of either team may recover or catch and advance a fumble: (a) before the fumble strikes the ground; or (b) after the fumble strikes the ground.

I offer that up to back up this statement: You should begin with the assumption that any player on either team can advance any fumble, either by the opposition or by a teammate. A good example occurred in Carolina's Week 16 loss to Dallas, the one that paved the way for the Bucs to take the NFC South crown. In the third quarter of that game, Cowboys rookie DeMarcus Ware sacked Jake Delhomme, forcing a fumble. Wide receiver Steve Smith swept around behind the play, picked up the loose ball and ran around left end for a 12 yards (it officially became a five-yard gain when Smith was penalized – and ejected – for contacting an official).

That goes directly to Paul's question above, and I repeat my original point: Start with the assumption that any fumble can be advanced by anyone.

Now, from that starting point we start to add exceptions, conditions under which fumbles cannot be advanced by certain players.

For instance, if the fumble occurs on a fourth down, no one else on the fumbler's team may advance the ball. The same applies to any play after the two-minute warning of either half. In any such case, the ball remains in the possession of the fumbling team (of course, that may change if it's a fourth down play) but it comes back to the spot of the fumble.

The intention for this rule is obvious. The NFL does not want a player who is desperate – e.g. coming up short on a critical fourth down – to be able to benefit by fumbling the ball. To that end, the officials can also rule that a player intentionally fumbled the ball forward, in which case it is administered like a forward pass and, if it's beyond the line of scrimmage, is an illegal play.

If you possess the ball on fourth down or within the final two minutes of either half and you fumble, you are the only player on your team who can advance it any further by recovering it. Anyone on the opposing team, however, can advance it.

In all other game situations, the assumption is that no player would be intentionally fumbling the ball in an effort to gain more yardage because the risk far outweighs the reward. On the play in question, for instance, Marcus Washington could have just as easily given possession back to the Buccaneers with his fumble, which was caused by guard Dan Buenning after Washington had advanced it seven yards. The ball could have bounced forward to quarterback Chris Simms. Instead, it shot a little diagonally to the right, where Taylor was able to scoop it up almost without breaking stride.

That play occurred with a little over four minutes left in the first quarter. It was on a first down, though that's basically irrelevant since possession had switched sides on Washington's recovery. It was completely legal for Taylor to return Washington's fumble, even after it went forward; thus, it was the correct move by the Buccaneers not to challenge that part of the play.

The Answer Man hopes that helps. And, yes, we will take one more look at the Shepherd play, as prompted by some new e-mails. First, though, let's address some of the action from this past weekend as we dive into the rest of this week's queries.

**

  1. Andrew of Sarasota, Florida asks:

Hey Answer Man, I have a great question for you regarding the Chicago Bears vs. Carolina Panthers game. Late in the fourth quarter, it basically was all or nothing for the Bears, trying to comeback vs. the Panthers. It was a third down play, and the play clock reached "0" before the snap got off, the refs didn't notice and Grossman threw an INT. My question is, could the refs have issued a review on when the play clock expired before the snap, and reverse the call, giving them a 5 yard penalty instead of an INT? Thanks a lot Answer Man, keep up your hard work buddy! Go Bucs!

Answer Man: If the answer to this one seems obvious to any of you out there, then you have a leg up on the Answer Man, because I have to admit that I was wondering the same thing at that moment.

One minor clarification, though. That play occurred with 2:33 left in the game, so it would not have been the job of the officials in the replay booth to call for a review. At that point in the game, the Bears would have had to throw the red flag to challenge any play.

The basic question, though, is whether or not that is an issue that can be challenged. Off the top of my head, I would guess no, but ever since Coach Gruden successfully pulled off the 12-men-on-the-field challenge in Atlanta on November 20, I've realized that there are some unusual ways to use that red flag.

So let's not go off the top of my head, no? Let's consult an expert.

First, I checked out the NFL's own on-line columns on the subject. Unfortunately, that proved to be less specific than we need. Here's what they said:

The instant replay system will cover a variety of plays in three main areas – 1) sideline, goal line, end zone and end-line plays; 2) passing plays; and 3) other detectable infractions, such as runner ruled down not by defensive contact, and the number of players on the field.

Interesting that the example I used above is specifically mentioned in this very brief summary. Still, there just has to be a more detailed list than this, doesn't there? Something, perhaps, that coaches can train themselves on before the season?

Well, yes, there is. And the Answer Man got his hands on it, defeating ignorance again with my awesome superpowers!

Okay, I probably shouldn't wax too heroic about this, because, well, it was right there in the 2005 NFL Record & Fact Book.

The Answer Man has printed love letters to this tome in the past, and here's another one. There aren't too many reference books more helpful in studying the NFL's past and present than the R&F Book, which is commonly referred to as the "White Book" in league circles (for years, the cover was always white, though now it typically bears a photo of the last Super Bowl's MVP).

On page 38 of this manifesto is a detailed look at the NFL's Referee Replay Review system, as it is officially known. Among the facts on this page are the specifics of how the system is administered and a brief history of instant replay in the NFL, complete with a yearly breakdown of the number of plays reviewed and reversed.

What we're looking for is on this page, too. It takes the three categories outlined above and breaks them down into the specific situations that can be reviewed. It leads off this section, called "Reviewable Plays," with this important reminder:

"The Replay System will cover the following play situations only:" (my italics added). Thus, we know that if we don't find your scenario on this list, Andrew, it can't be reviewed. Let's take a look.

Excerpted from page 38 of the 2005 NFL Record & Fact Book:

*A) Plays Governed by Sideline, Goal Line, End Zone and End Line: 1. Scoring plays, including a runner breaking the plane of the goal line. 2. Pass complete/incomplete/intercepted at sideline, goal line, end zone and end line. 3. Runner/receiver in or out of bounds. 4. Recovery of loose ball in our out of bounds.

B) Passing Plays: 1. Pass ruled complete/incomplete/intercepted in the field of play. 2. Touching of a forward pass by an ineligible receiver. 3. Touching of a forward pass by a defensive player. 4. Quarterback (Passer) forward pass or fumble. 5. Illegal forward pass beyond line of scrimmage. 6. Illegal forward pass after change of possession. 7. Forward or backward pass thrown from behind line of scrimmage.

C) Other Detectable Infractions: 1. Runner ruled not down by defensive contact. 2. Forward progress with respect to first down. 3. Touching of a kick. 4. Number of players on the field.*

And that's it. As you can see, Andrew, the play-clock is not mentioned. I expected to find it in the "Other Detectable Infractions," if anywhere, but that proves to be a relatively short list.

It does seem like a "detectable infraction," though, doesn't it? Should a delay-of-game situation be included among the reviewable plays. Well, on one hand the Answer Man thinks it's within the spirit of why instant replay was instituted (others might disagree). On the other hand, I'm not too keen on the idea of opening Pandora's Box.

That is, if we start adding items to the above list, when do we stop. Personally, while I like that the league has replay, I don't want to see it become any bigger than it is. This is still a human game with human error; we can't erase it all, or perhaps we only could by taking the soul out of the game. I have heard, for instance, that some NFL fans would like to see pass interference situations added to the list of reviewable plays. I disagree. That would slow down the game mercilessly and isn't appreciably different from reviewing to see if a holding call was justified. Some portion of the game – a big portion – needs to remain in the arena of judgment calls.

Off soap box, on to next question.

**

  1. Gregg Pompe of Cheswick, Pennsylvania asks:

Re the Indy-Pittsburgh playoff game: Could you explain the rule that was interpreted to mean that Troy Polamalu's interception was really a dropped pass. If this is a real rule, does it apply to offensive receptions also? Thanks and Good Luck.

Answer Man: Well, since the NFL has since stated that the referee's decision during the replay challenge was in error and that the interception should have stood, it's safe to discuss the details.

The rule that should have been applied, as the NFL described it on Monday, is very similar to the one that was applied in the Edell Shepherd situation in the Bucs-Redskins game. Since Polamalu was diving when he intercepted the pass, he had to hold onto it when he hit the ground to establish possession. Replays show that Polamalu clearly did this; the ball never shifted in his hands as he hit the ground and rolled, and it was even secure as he started to get up to return it. At that point, his own knee knocked the ball loose, which should have been ruled a fumble, which Polamalu recovered himself.

Of course, that is exactly how the play was interpreted on the field. Indianapolis understandably challenged the play – they were desperate, as the interception probably would have sealed their defeat – and they struck gold when the official applied the wrong rule during his review of the play.

Again, that is not the Answer Man's interpretation. That is specifically what the NFL said. According to the league, the official applied a rule stating that Polamalu had to perform an act common to the game of football to establish the possession. Apparently, his view at the time was that Polamalu's dive, roll and rise were all part of one action and that he didn't hang onto the ball throughout that action.

According to the NFL (I know I keep using that phrase, but I want to make it clear that this is their own explanation, not mine), that rule is to be applied when the player attempting to catch the ball makes contact with a defender and the ball comes loose.

Picture a receiver running over the middle and catching a pass. As he comes down with the ball, he is struck by a defender and he drops the ball. Obviously, if that happens almost simultaneously, it's an incompletion. And if the receiver catches the ball and runs four or five steps before the hit that pops the ball loose, it's a fumble. The "football move" rule is for the gray area in-between. It helps the official determine if the pass-catcher had actually established possession of the ball before he lost it, and thus whether the resulting loose ball is an incompletion or a fumble.

So, yes Gregg, to answer your original question, the rule that was mistakenly applied during the review of the Polamalu play is applicable to offensive receptions.

**

  1. Jonathan Beard of San Antonio, Texas asks:

Hey Answer Man, I was watching the Chicago/Carolina game this weekend and came up with this question. The Bears running back is running along the sidelines. The Panthers face-mask him prior to him fumbling into the end zone and it's called a TD on the field. Quickly the Bears decline the penalty run on the field for the extra point…then the red flag challenge. Well, the play is reversed, no TD. Now the Bears accept the face mask to avoid the touchback. So how can they now accept a previously declined penalty, is there a time limit for reversing a penalty call? Because if they were to get the extra point kick off they wouldn't care about the facemask.

Answer Man: I've actually answered the root question here before, Jonathan. Usually, that means I would put your question into the "Quickies" section at the end, but it's probably worth reviewing in more detail here. Plus, it really fits into the theme we've got working, which is another thing my editors love.

Actually, I've answered this question twice before, but the original and more complete treatment was in Series 2, Volume 1, just a little over a year ago.

The answer, then and now, is that a team that declines a penalty is always given the option to accept that penalty if the original ruling of the play is overturned by a replay challenge. It's obviously the fair way to handle the situation, so it's reassuring that the NFL does it that way.

Look at this particular scenario you chronicled, Jonathan. Had the play been ruled correctly originally, before replay, then obviously the Bears would have accepted the penalty. A personal foul committed by the defense during a play that later results in a turnover erases that turnover. Had the Bears been told immediately after the play that they were going to lose the ball if they declined the penalty, they obviously would have accepted the penalty on the spot.

Instead, they were told that the play was a touchdown. Given that information, it would have been ridiculous for the Bears to accept the penalty and erase their own touchdown. You also can't fault them for trying to get the extra point off quickly, because their own coaches in the booth had probably seen the replays and hoped to render a challenge moot by snapping to start the next play (and, yes, an extra point would count as the next play in this situation, even if it is not a timed down).

Obviously, as you mention, Carolina did get the red flag on the field before the extra point. Replays overturned the correct ruling because Thomas Jones fumbled before he got to the end zone and the loose ball then went into the end zone and out of it, which is ruled a touchback and possession to the other team.

The replay reversal essentially rewound the situation to the point of the call. Now, Chicago is given a new set of information, the correct set of facts, and is allowed to choose to accept the penalty. The time limit is same as it would be any time a flag is thrown; in other words, the Bears had to make up their mind right then and there, though it wasn't difficult.

The way you word your question, Jonathan, it appears that you think this is unfair. Would it have been fair to hold Chicago to its original decision on whether or not to accept the penalty, given that the original decision was based on what proved to be faulty information? The Answer Man would say no, that would not be fair, and the way it was handled was correct.

If you still think the Panthers got hosed, well, as Ron Burgundy would say, "Agree to disagree."

**

5a. Zain Mansoor of Boca Raton, Florida asks:

If you look at the play in the Washington game when Edell Shepherd's catch was incomplete, wasn't he down by contact? I mean, his two knee's were down and an elbow w/Carlos Rogers touching him and then he lost the ball?

And...

5b. Mark Tobert of Spring Hill, Florida asks:

The rule regarding the Edell Shepherd catch was not called correctly. The rule states "if in the act of falling" they must maintain possession once they hit the ground. But Shepherd had the ball caught, and took two steps before he even started to fall. What is the difference if you dive over the goal line, run it or catch it and then the ball hits the ground, as long as the player has possession when the ball breaks the plane of the goal line? You will never convince me that was the right call.

Answer Man: Zain, I feel you man. I don't agree with what you're proposing, but I understand. I have a feeling that a lot of Buccaneer fans are never going to be at peace with Edell's end zone moment in the playoffs.

That being said, I can't agree with your specific point here. What we all need to come to terms with here is the definition of possession as it applies to a pass reception.

It is completely irrelevant whether or not Shepherd was "down by contact" if the official rules that he was falling as he made the catch. You see, it doesn't matter whether or not you're down if you don't have possession of the ball, and when it comes to making a reception, you have to hold onto the ball when you hit the ground in order to have possession.

Yes, Shepherd went to the ground with a knee as he caught the ball, with Rogers on his back. But he then continued in his fall and his torso hit the ground, at which point the ball slid out of his hands for a moment. The official ruled that this was all part of Shepherd's fall, so he had to hold onto the ball even as his torso hit the ground, regardless of the fact that his knee or any other part of his body was already down.

The part about his elbow being down has always struck me as stretching the point, too, since it was the jolt of his elbow hitting the ground that caused the ball to slide. If anything, that part of the argument supports the other side of the argument.

Mark, your point is more crucial to the ongoing debate, as far as the Answer Man is concerned. As the rule is written, it's hard to argue that Shepherd completed the reception if it is true that he was falling as he made the catch.

However, what if we say that Shepherd wasn't falling? If he caught the ball on the run, standing up, got his feet down in the end zone and was then tackled, then we have a different story, don't we? Unfortunately, that is a judgment call. The official obviously ruled that Shepherd began to fall either as the result of his action to make the catch or Rogers' tackle during the process of making the catch.

I don't think you can say that the rule wasn't applied "correctly." You can only argue that the opinion that Shepherd was falling in the act of making the catch was incorrect, and thus the rule shouldn't have been applied at all. That's simply a ruling we have to live with.

I will say, though, that you hurt your argument with the following sentence:

"What is the difference if you dive over the goal line, run it or catch it and then the ball hits the ground, as long as the player has possession when the ball breaks the plane of the goal line?"

We've discussed this before but I'll say it again: It is all a matter of possession.

A runner who takes the ball into the end zone already has possession of the ball. As soon as he takes that ball and puts it over the goal line, it's a touchdown and the play is dead.

A receiver who is catching a pass, in contrast, has to establish possession. If he were to make an uncontested catch at the five and run it in then, yes, it would be the same scenario as a runner running it in. However, if there is any question as to whether or not he completed the reception, then it doesn't matter where he is on the field.

A receiver might start to make a catch at the 50, in the end zone or as he's crossing the goal line. In each situation, the rule is the same: If he is in the act of falling as he makes the catch and he does not maintain possession through contact with the ground, it is an incompletion.

Put plainly, the Shepherd ruling had absolutely nothing to do with where he was on the field. Mark, I'd stick with the portion of your argument that Shepherd was not in the act of falling as he made the catch.

**

  1. Ziggy Luis of Montgomery, Alabama asks:

Dear Seer of all things Buccaneer! My question is probably a simple one for You but I had to ask. Have all three Florida NFL teams ever made the playoffs in the same year?

Answer Man: Yes, it's simple, but it's still worthy of my attention, Zigs.

What makes this one particularly easy is that Jacksonville has only been in the league since 1995. The Bucs' current run of playoff success began in 1997, so we have a simple nine-year window to examine.

The answer, Ziggy, is yes. Moreover, it has happened more than once, thanks in part to Jacksonville's rather rapid rise to prominence in the Jaguars' early years.

In 1997, the Buccaneers broke a 14-year playoff drought by going 10-6 and winning an NFC Wild Card berth. Jacksonville, in just its third year and only a season removed from a surprise appearance in the AFC Championship Game, went 11-5 and took one of the conference's Wild Card spots. The Jags actually tied Pittsburgh for the AFC Central lead but lost a tiebreaker on net division points. Miami went 9-7 and snuck into the playoffs with one of the other Wild Card berths.

The three Florida teams also went into the postseason together in 1999, and this time both Tampa Bay and Jacksonville were division champs. In fact, the Jaguars had the NFL's best record at 14-2 and were the number-one seed in the AFC, though they eventually lose the conference championship game to Tennessee. The Bucs won the NFC Central and also advanced to the conference championship game before barely falling to the Rams in a memorable game in St. Louis. Miami once again made the playoffs at 9-7, though they had to endure a 62-7 thrashing by Jacksonville after beating Seattle in the Wild Card round.

**

  1. Lee of Sarasota, Florida asks:

I remember seeing a Mike Alstott play against either the Browns or the Bengals. This play is a 15 or so yard run into the end zone where he breaks an amazing amount of hits. I remember the radio announcer saying, "Shakes and breaks the tackle, dances...etc." I was wondering if you could remind me which game this was and from what year. Thanks!

Answer Man: That was against the Browns, and it was indeed one of the most amazing runs of Mike Alstott's amazing career, but you should know that it actually happened near midfield, not the end zone.

Hey, we don't blame you for this embellishment in your memory, Lee. Alstott has certainly had many incredible touchdown runs during the course of his career, and he's had enough highlight-reel moments that they tend to blend together a bit. This particular run didn't have to hit paydirt to stand out, though.

It was early in the fourth quarter of the Bucs' 17-3 victory over Cleveland on October 13, 2002. This was the fifth of five straight victories early in Tampa Bay's Super Bowl season. The Bucs were grinding out a slugfest against the Browns in Raymond James Stadium, and they were giving it to Alstott on almost every play. In fact, the big fullback carried the ball on 15 of the team's final 21 plays.

One of them was the first play of a drive that started at the Bucs' 32. Alstott broke six tackles and ran into virtually every Brown during a 19-yard run off right tackle. At one point, he appeared to be staggering to the ground off of one hit only to use the next hit to right himself and get several more yards. The entire run was a vivid example of Alstott's greatest strength as a runner: Balance. He has always been able to stay low and absorb hits without losing his feet.

The Answer Man has to say thank you, Lee, for bringing up that play. What a delightful memory!

**

Okay, let's take this thing home with a couple "quickies." As always, these are questions that either require little elaboration or have been addressed in previous Answer Man columns.

  1. Jeff Welman of Brisbane, Australia asks:

I am going to be visiting Florida over the December/January period at the end of this year. I want to know, is it possible to find out what games the Bucs will be playing at home during this period, and at what time prior to matches can tickets be purchased for games? Thanks.

Answer Man: I wish I could help, Jeff, but the NFL schedule won't be released for at least two more months. It is usually announced in late March or early April, most often April. Keep an eye on Buccaneers.com during that time period, as we will break the news as soon as it is available.

Single-game tickets always go on sale in the summer, usually near the end of July or the beginning of August. Again, watch this site for details.

**

  1. Joseph of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida asks:

How is a QB rating determined?

Answer Man: I've touched on this a few times, but the first and most extensive treatment was in Volume 14, way back in October of 2004.

Follow the link for all the details, if you wish. In a nutshell, the formula takes a passer's numbers in four categories – completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdowns per attempt and interceptions per attempt – and combines them into one number, using a somewhat complicated formula to make those four rather disparate numbers work together.

One note: It's actually called passer rating, not QB rating.

**

  1. Ascian of Sarasota, Florida asks:

Can you explain the cap and how it works...also touch on the possibility of losing some key players due to this year's salary cap.

Answer Man: That's a rather broad topic, Ascian, and I'm not sure which aspect of the cap is vexing you. May I suggest a stroll through my archive, wherein you'll see a wide variety of questions and answers on the subject.

I guess if I had to sum up the NFL's salary cap in just a few sentences I would say this:

Each year, NFL teams are allowed to spend a maximum of a certain dollar figure on combined player salaries. That figure is determined by league revenues, the largest portion of which comes from network contracts. The cap is absolute – that is, teams can never be in violation of it. If you hear that a team is "over" the cap, what that really means is that it would be over the cap when the new league year begins if it did not trim salaries before then, one way or another.

As to the second half of your question, it is far outside the Answer Man's boundaries to speculate on the comings and goings of specific players. All I can say is that player losses due to the salary cap are extremely common in today's NFL.

**

  1. Dana Clark of Moreno Valley, California asks:

Are the Bucs thinking about acquiring Terrell Owens?

Answer Man: Moreno Valley – had to look that one up to add "California," since Dana wasn't state-specific in his or her e-mail. Apparently, it's "one of the best-kept secrets in Southern California." Also, it has recently unveiled a new city flag which, to the Answer Man's eyes, appears to have a smiling mountain on it. Check it out.

Anyway, Dana, I'm not going to answer your question. I only printed it to acknowledge that there were literally dozens of similar letters in my mailbag this week.

I'm sorry, but the Answer Man is not going to be commenting on potential player acquisitions, now or at any time during the offseason. That's not my place. Moreover, Owens is under contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, which makes the topic specifically one I can't address, even if I wanted to. I will simply repeat what General Manager Bruce Allen said when given the same question last week:

"Next question."

**

  1. Leo James of Denver, Colorado asks:

Hey Answer Man! In your last column you answered a question of where mail to a player or coach is to be sent by saying it should be sent (via snail mail) to One Buc Place. However, through the Answer Man column one can select any player or coach to be a recipient of a question -- not just the Answer Man. Seeing that I've actually sent messages that way on several occasions (and never gotten a response back), I'm curious. Is the Answer Man column an effective way to send questions to Buccaneers other than the Answer Man and have questions sent that way in the past been forwarded to the indicated players or coaches?

Answer Man: The purpose of that option in the Answer Man domain is to send questions to me to potentially be asked of those players. Periodically, I take those questions and get answers on video, then Buccaneers.com posts those videos. You can see some of them on my archive page.

That being said, the players won't be around much over the next few months, so the Answer Man's options are limited for awhile.

**

That's it for the Answer Man this week. Thanks for all the great questions. With another round of playoffs this weekend, I'm sure there will be more. Keep 'em coming.

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