Last week I premiered the Sunday Morning Pep Talk. This is a column meant to be a locker room type speech that Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano would be giving to his team to get them (and us) jacked up for the game. So without further ado here is your week 2 pep talk.
"A one week season…. We’ve been talking about this all year men. We’ve talked about coming out and playing with the intensity and urgency as if this was the last game we were ever going to play.
I want you to think about that for a second.
If you knew that this was the last time you were ever going to put on the pads, and strap up the helmet, how would you want to go out? I want you to think about a guy like Ronde Barber. I want you to think about the level of professionalism and exuberance with which he plays the game. He almost walked away after last year, but when he stepped back and looked at this team and looked in himself, he knew that there was still something very special to be done here and he had a part in that.
I want you to think about Eric LeGrand. Here was a kid that loved the game of football. He never thought about not being able to play ever again, and then all at once it was all gone. We’re not guaranteed tomorrow, we’re not guaranteed we’ll be playing next week, we’re not guaranteed ANYTHING!
So when we take that field today I want you to play as though this could be the last game of your life. I want you to play with all of the intensity and passion I saw last week then I want you to give even more!
Today we’re facing the New York Giants. They’re the defending Superbowl Champions. We’re in their stadium. They have a chip on their shoulder from losing last week and I’ll bet they’re licking their chops waiting to get after us. To them, we look like a good bounce back game. A team that only won 4 games a year ago. A team that has a banged up offensive line. A team that they can make an example of…
Well I am here to tell you that we are NOBODY’S doormat! I’m here to tell you that not only can we go out there and compete with the defending league champions, we can beat them! I’m here to tell you that they might be upset that they lost last week, but we’re pissed off that we’ve lost to these guys 3 times in a row. I will not accept that!
Everyone thought last week that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were nothing special. Everyone was predicting that we would finish at the bottom. You know what changed from last week to this week? Absolutely nothing. The excuses are everywhere. Well Carolina had an off day. They didn’t have Stewart. They didn’t open up the playbook. Carolina’s just not all that good anyways.
These are the reasons we’re told that you’re not going to win. I promise you this, men, after this week, no one will have any more excuses. This is the week we put the rest of the NFL on notice. This is the week when we go out there and TAKE the respect that no one is giving us. We’re going to go out there and hit and hit and hit all day long. We’re going to play sound football, but we’re going to play nasty football. Hardnosed, and tough is how we’re going to be known from this day forward. Every team in the league is going to be afraid to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and you know what? They should be. We’re a dangerous team with dangerous intentions. Let’s go show the Giants who we are!"