Going into the bye week the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are staring at a 1-3 record. If you count that out over the season, the Bucs would end up with the same record that they had in 2011, 4-12. But are they really that bad of a team?
There’s absolutely no question on it, they are light years better. Through four games the losses have all been competitive, with the Bucs having been in every game until the very end.
The biggest difference you see immediately in this team is the fight across the team. While we still are a couple players away and have seen key contributors injured for the season.
Tampa Bay has a fair share of problems, but you can tell it’s from youth across the team. Coach Greg Schiano is new to coaching in the professional level. He is still working on how to effectively manage the game.
The defense looks like an entirely different team as they can make stops when they need to, and have one of the better run defenses in the league. The biggest difference in it has to be the health and play of Gerald McCoy. He has been dominant and been the man that makes everything click.
The secondary still looks shaky, but they should gel better as the year goes on. Mark Barron’s physical presence has felt from the start, and I expect him to only get better as the season progresses.
The offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan has had some flashes, but for a majority a work in progress. He has been able to get the Bucs off to fast starts, scoring first in three of the first games, but after the first fifteen plays he struggles to find a grove.
Despite having an abundance of weapons at the wide out spot, we continue to try and pound it with two tight ends. Our personal doesn’t favor that attack, as Dallas Clark is not a good run blocker, and Luke Stocker hasn’t been the guy that they hoped.
I hope that with this bye week, they take a step back and look at what Josh Freeman did in the second half against the Washington Redskins. They put Freeman in the shotgun and put three wide receivers on the field.
Freeman responded ripping up the Redskins secondary in that half, and showed the promise that we all hoped as fans when we signed Vincent Jackson. Freeman looked on the money with his deep throws and hopefully that translates throughout the year. Freeman was known for his rocket arm coming out of college, so utilizing it would behoove the bucs.
What I’m trying to say, is Bucs fans take a breath and realize Rome wasn’t built in a day. Schiano appears to have a good plan in place, and we are a competitive football team again.