Face it, if the Buccaneers fail this season, it won’t be because of the lack of talent.
While the Buccaneers have had lots of talent filled rosters in recent years, they haven’t been able to succeed. Coaching and bad game management have contributed to their issues, but this season may be for different reasons.
Yahoo! Sports has been looking ahead to each team’s 2018 season. And so when it came to previewing Tampa Bay, they noted what may be the main reason for their failures: Jameis Winston.
This is a wholly uncomfortable season for the Buccaneers. They struggled last season but still retained Koetter, and he’s unlikely to survive another bad season. Licht has gotten four years as GM, he’s 20 games under .500 and his crucial decision on drafting Winston looks worse by the day. The Buccaneers are already starting in a bad spot this season because their quarterback got himself suspended. Then Winston will return, after three weeks to let rust accumulate, and then will have 13 games to basically decide his NFL future.
It’s nice to think that Tampa Bay’s 2018 season may not hinge of Winston. But their season will in fact rest on his shoulder. Not so much for his performance, but his off-the-field negligence is a major problem for the team.
As previously discussed, the team has to respond to him in some way, like perhaps revoking his captain label and making him earn it back. That is just a small solution to such a bigger picture and problem. We just won’t know if anything will happen.
The team has yet to prove they can overcome distractions. Last season was a waste after being on Hard Knocks — which proved to be a distraction.
So Yahoo! Sports has it right. It won’t be because the team failed, it’ll be because their franchise quarterback put them in that position. More importantly, failed them in a position he had 100-percent control over: Away from the football field.