Where oh where have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gone? The team we saw at the beginning of the 2011 season have definitely disappeared. It’s almost as if they have lost their confidence, but if they want a chance in the NFC South it’s a must they get more physical and make their presence known.
Even though most don’t look at preseason as a measuring table for what the season is to bring, there has been more bad than good with the Buccaneers thus far. In their first home game of the NFL preseason against the Tennessee Titans, they lost 30-7. This isn’t what the fans wanted to see from a team that has gone through a lot of changes in the off-season.
One thing you have to remember about this Tampa team is that they are still young and tend to lose sight of their fundamentals at times. They have strong moments though, which gives fans hope that they’re capable of a winning season. The Buccaneers only surrendered 43 rushing yards against the Miami Dolphins, but gave away 216 yards to the Titans. While the Titans do have star running back Chris Johnson Tampa did a good job of containing him in the beginning of the game.
That was about all they were able to do, as Chris Johnson was able to score 2 first half touchdowns and demolish the spirit of the defense. Even though the Buccaneers are young, the defense is fully capable of making huge plays. The first four games of the 2011 season, this team seemed like contenders to win the NFC South, so fans know it’s possible. It’s almost as if they have a lack of discipline, which is something people thought new coach, Greg Schiano, would bring to the team.
It’s still early and there is plenty of time for the Bucs to get their act together. The fact that they are in the NFC South doesn’t help them though because that’s a conference loaded with 3 other talented teams. Even with the Carolina Panthers still adjusting to their quarterback, Cam Newton, they will always be a threat because he doesn’t back down. The battle between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons will always be there too, so the Buccaneers have a lot of work to put in to be considered contenders.
Bottom line, the Buccaneers need to become more aggressive and make a stand. If they don’t, it will be another season of blacked out games and fans complaining of what once used to be with this team. Constantly showing people glimmers of hope that you’re capable of winning just won’t cut it anymore.
Here’s to hoping they are just playing possum in preseason and plan to make a huge run once regular season begins. This is the time for quarterback Josh Freeman to show the world what everyone has said he’s capable of. He needs to take control of his team and lead them to a successful season. No more immature decisions.
Only time will tell if this Buccaneers team is ready to take control and make a stamp on the NFC South this season. But one things for sure, right now, it doesn’t seem like they are capable of doing such.