A FedEx package is not among the items most welcomed by players in an NFL locker room. Finding one of those big white envelopes in your locker usually means you've been fined.
And so it was with Bucs defensive tackle Brian Price.
As he walked toward his locker after lunch one day last week, he saw a FedEx package sitting there and knew immediately that he'd been fined. For what, though, he couldn't imagine.
In fact, Price still has a hard time believing he was fined. After all, he was tagged for $7,500 for head-slapping a guard, a move that made at least one NFL defensive lineman – Deacon Jones – a Hall of Fame member.
Times have changed, though, and the NFL is more about player safety than ever before. So, what worked for the likes of Jones cannot work for the likes of Price, which doesn't sit well with Price at all.
"It's football, not patty-cake,'' the second-year standout out from UCLA said. "I don't know what they want us to do – play two-hand touch or something? I don't get it. It wasn't like I was aiming for the guy's head.''
Price was aiming for the guard's upper arm, which is what he's been taught to do since he came to the NFL as a second-round pick in 2010. He's not sure, though, he agrees with that approach.
"In the trenches there should be different rules,'' Price said. "This is a man's sport. And I understand they're trying to protect us. But if this is what they're going to do, they should just cancel football period.
"I knew what I was getting into when I got into this sport. I know I can get concussions. I know I can break bones. I know all these things and yet I still choose to play. So I know what I'm in store for.''
What NFL offensive linemen are in store for is more of the same from Price. Not head slaps, necessarily, but the angry play that produced the head slap.
"I'm not going to let this change the way I play,'' he said of the fine, which he appealed in an effort to get it reduced or eliminated. "I'm always going to play the same way and play tenacious.
"And I'm not sorry for what I did, either. Like I said, I didn't intend to hit him in the head. But we almost got a sack off of that play, so I'm going to (use that move) again.''
Staying on track
The B-Train is starting to gain ground on Tampa Bay's ever-popular A-Train.
Bucs RB LeGarrette Blount's 127-yard rushing effort against the Colts last week gave him five career 100-yard rushing outings, just two fewer than Mike Alstott had during his Tampa Bay career.
Blount is still a long way from passing the Bucs' all-time leader in 100-yard rushing games. That title belongs to James Wilder, who had 14 from 1981-89.
Blount, meanwhile, has been gaining big yards in the clutch. The second-year pro out of Oregon is ranked fifth in the NFL in fourth-quarter rushing yards with 97. Blount also has two fourth-quarter touchdowns, tops among NFL running backs.
Turning the tide
It has long been said the team that wins the turnover battle usually wins the game. The Bucs are proof the adage has credence.
Tampa Bay did not commit a turnover in its 24-17 victory against Indianapolis, marking the 27th time since 2002 it played a game without committing a turnover. The Bucs' record in those 27 games is 23-4, including 5-3 during coach Raheem Morris' three seasons.