Bruce Arians says he will appeal $50K fine for slapping Bucs player's helmet

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians says he'll appeal a $50,000 fine imposed by the NFL for slapping the helmet of one of his players during last Sunday's 31-15 NFC wild-card playoff victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Arians said he was trying to prevent safety Andrew Adams from drawing a penalty for pulling players out of a pile when he stepped a short distance off the sideline and struck the player's helmet with his hand before trying to push Adams away from Eagles players.

At the bottom of the pile, the Bucs' Ross Cockrell had recovered a muffed punt, giving the defending Super Bowl champions the ball at the Philadelphia 48. Five plays later, Tom Brady threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski, putting Tampa Bay up 24-0.

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The Bucs host the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC divisional round on Sunday.

"I will appeal it," Arians said Wednesday. "It ain't got nothing to do with the game, so we're good."

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The day after the incident, Arians said he didn't feel he had done anything wrong.

"No, I’ve seen enough dumb. You can’t pull guys out of a pile," the 69-year-old coach said. "We just got a big play, great field position, and he’s trying to pull a guy out of a pile, and I was trying to knock him off of that guy so he didn’t get a penalty."