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Shoving match between Bryan Cox and Adam Hayward is irrelevant


In case you didn't know yet, Tampa Bay Buccaneers front seven coach Bryan Cox shoved linebacker Adam Hayward, who then proceeded to shove back during last Sunday's blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints. The incident occurred with 8:37 remaining in the second quarter as the Buccaneers trailed 10-0. The Saints had just taken a penalty for holding, and Cox was shouting something toward the field when Hayward tried to get him to back down. A minor shouting and shoving match ensued, and that was that.

The incident was captured on camera, but had it not been captured everyone would have forgotten about it. This is not a huge deal. As Greg Schiano said in his press conference: it happened in the heat of the moment, and they've dealt with it. According to Eric Edholm of Pro Football Weekly, Schiano dealt with it by siding with the players. Which is amusing, since JoeBucsFan felt Adam Hayward had to be fired -- and they weren't the only ones.

Of course, that raises the question of whether or not Cox should be retained next season. Well, if we're going to fire coaches over one minor outburst, that's a bit over the top. I can think of other reasons not to retain Cox, though: the badly-run blitzes and defensive line stunts, which have killed this team on multiple occasions. Then again, he's also partly responsible for the outstanding run defense, and he's not coaching this awful secondary.

Regardless, this one incident is largely irrelevant. It's a minor shoving match in the middle of a game, one that was initiated by Cox, and that has since supposedly been wrapped up. If Cox loses credibility with the players because of this, he probably had some other issues going on, too. But most beat writers suggest that he's actually really close to the players, so that seems rather unlikely. As for Adam Hayward, he was reacting to being shoved -- hardly a great excuse, but not a reason to fire the guy, either. And with Schiano reportedly siding with the players, this whole thing should be done, dead, and buried.

UPDATE: Well, per Pro Football Weekly (h/t JoeBucsFan), Schiano warned Cox that he wouldn't be back if he repeated his behavior. So that's apparently a lot more serious than it appeared.