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Giants still steaming over kneel-down play

Eli Manning is knocked down as he took

Eli Manning is knocked down as he took a knee with 5 seconds left in the game at home against Tampa Bay. (Sept. 16, 2012) Credit: David Pokress

Two days after the Bucs’ controversial decision to fire out at Eli Manning in an attempt to force a fumble despite an obvious kneel-down situation, the Giants were still steamed about the play.

Even though the move that was ordered by Bucs rookie head coach Greg Schiano, the former Rutgers coach, was not against the rules, some Giants players continued to take issue with the play.

“I thought it was a classless play,” defensive end Justin Tuck said. “It has no place in the NFL. That’s how you get guys hurt. I’ve been in this league for eight years, and that’s the first time I’ve ever seen that. There’s guys who have been here a lot longer than I have and that’s the first time they’ve ever seen it. If that’s how they want to play it, then we’ll just do that to them and do that to everybody else. It’s not going to be an issue until somebody blows their knee out or get some prime guy hurt on national TV.”

Tuck said he has never been instructed to go after an opponent in a kneel-down situation. And even if asked, he said he’d refuse.

“If [defensive coordinator] Perry Fewell told me to dive at a guy’s knees when we were losing, I would say no,” Tuck said. “That’s just a man on man talking.”

When asked yesterday about the kneel-down, Fewell said he supported what head coach Tom Coughlin said regarding the play. Coughlin criticized Schiano after the game for going after Manning, who was knocked over during the post-snap scrum.

Giants guard Chris Snee said he, too, was annoyed about the play.

“There’s a first for everything, and that was a first,” he said. “We’ll just tighten up and be ready for [the opponent] to fire off. And I wouldn’t change my reaction in any way. If a guy dives at my knees, my knee is going into the back of his head. That’s what happened in the game, and that’s what will happen going forward.”

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