Cody Mauch explains what led to Brian Burns punching him and getting ejected

The rookie made a veteran move after the game.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New York Jets
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New York Jets / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages

Sunday was a bounce back game for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, even though it wasn’t quite the resounding victory fans were hoping for.

Beating a 1-10 team shouldn’t be as much of a grind as it was for the Bucs in Week 13, but a win is a win more so than it ever has been before right now. Tampa Bay got back into the win column, back into the NFC South race, and into the heads of some Carolina Panthers players.

Specifically, Cody Mauch apparently got into the head of Brian Burns to such an extent that the pass rusher was ejected for throwing a punch in the third quarter. After Mike Evans scored a 75-yard touchdown to put the Bucs up 14-10, Burns lost his cool on the extra point attempt and threw a punch at Mauch after the play was over.

Burns was flagged for a personal foul and ejected from the game.

It wasn’t clear at the time what led to the punch, as it didn’t appear that there was much of a scuffle going on leading up to the swing. All we knew at the time was that the Panthers had lost their best player, but we got some clarification after the game.

Cody Mauch explains what led to Brian Burns punching him

Following the win, Mauch was asked about the incident and what led to the punch. The rookie shook it off with a laugh and was quick to point the finger at Burns.

“He was getting a little bit chippy. It was after the PAT and he came after the guys a little bit. And, I don’t know, he got a little heated and threw a punch,” Mauch said. “He was just getting too chippy.”

When asked whether he said anything to instigate Burns and goad him into a fight, Mauch claimed innocence.

“No, it wasn’t anything too crazy I don’t think,” Mauch said.

A savvy veteran move by a rookie, things we love to see. While Mauch didn’t appear to do much to provoke Burns, it does sound like he told him to chill out — in so many words — after getting a little too amped up. Whatever was said it resulted in Carolina’s best player getting ejected which no doubt played a factor in how things turned out.

Carolina ended up coming all the way back to within three points of the Bucs with under 10 minutes left in the game, but the lack of pass rush allowed the offense to control the field. Had Burns been in the game, perhaps the Bucs offense doesn’t hold things down the way it did and he has some sort of impact play.

That’s the sort of things that has happened to the Bucs this year in these close games, but it was nice to be on the other side of a boneheaded decision rather than at the center of one.

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