Tampa Bay Buccaneers Coach Tony Dungy said he was not surprised the NFL fined 23 players a record $154,000 for a fight in Saturday's playoff game between the Washington Redskins and Detroit Lions. But he did not expect Redskins guard Tre Johnson to receive a one-game suspension, to be served next season.
Johnson, who struck an official during the melee, also was fined $50,000.
"I guess it's the league office's feeling that they don't want to affect the postseason, but I think most people feel like it either deserves a suspension--and you suspend them the next game--or it doesn't deserve a suspension," Dungy said. The league has "been very adamant about [players] not leaving the bench area during fights, so the amount of the fines and the number of people who were fined was not surprising."
The Buccaneers have prepared all week assuming the Redskins will have all of their players, including running back Stephen Davis, who has been bothered by a sprained ankle and a sprained knee.
"This is the biggest game of the year," said defensive end Steve White. "Nothing's going to keep guys out of it. We expect them to be at full strength."
Right to Privacy
The Buccaneers installed a series of 11 tarps today to block the view of their practice facility from an adjacent six-story office building and parking garage.
The tarps were planned for the facility before the team made the playoffs. . . .
Cornerback Donnie Abraham, who pulled a hamstring during practice last week, missed today's workout.
Abraham, a Pro Bowl alternate who intercepted seven passes, is expected to play Saturday. . . .
For the second consecutive day, defensive tackle Brad Culpepper left practice early for treatment on his right foot.
Culpepper tore the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot in the team's season finale in Chicago Jan. 2 but is expected to play against the Redskins. . . .
How tough is it to get tickets to Saturday's game? One single male season ticket holder placed the following advertisement in the St. Petersburg Times: "TAMPA BAY BUCS playoff ticket.
Will sell for $1.00 to female who must accompany seller to game."
Michael Muhlbaier has received more than 300 messages on his answering machine and 50 faxes. Muhlbaier will pick the winner Friday as part of a radio promotion.