There’s a lot to talk about after yesterday’s loss to the Saints. My colleagues here have discussed the play on the field and coaching issues at length over the last few lengths as well as yesterday. James put together a great recap that can be read here and Gil touched on the highlights here. That said, what is there to actually react to?
Jameis Winston turned the ball over. Already reacted to that at length this season. The offensive tackles killed this team, reacted to that as well plenty of times. The defense was atrocious, maybe Todd Bowles should call Flex Seal and see if they can plug some holes for them for next week? Actually, that’s it right there. Let’s react to this staff yet again.
Offensive staff gives team little hope of change.
Bruce Arians and Byron Leftwich need to take a long look in the mirror this morning after a humiliating loss at home... again. For starters, it’s unacceptable that the third best back again outpaced the top two backs on the team. I don’t want to hear about how game situations dictated personnel. Plain and simple, good teams utilize their BEST players and find a way to get them involved. Dare Ogunbowale is not a better option in any scenario than the combination of Ronald Jones or Peyton Barber. Dare outpaced the others snap wise 29-21-12.
Let’s move on to the next scapegoat for the staff, O.J. Howard. Howard had an inexcusable bobble that turned into a Jameis Winston interception. That very well may be the complete turning point of Howard’s usage in Tampa Bay as the tight end finished with only 17 snaps. Not throwing the ball to Howard is one thing, but not utilizing him as a blocker when your tackles are playing god awful is just blatant abuse to your quarterback.
The quarterback... Jameis Winston is credited with four turnovers but there’s an obvious asterisk next to the first one and probably should be on the last one too when he was visibly injured with the team out of the game yet this staff, the very staff charged with caring for and helping him grow, left him out there behind a shot offensive line to repeatedly get abused. Worse off, there was no change in play calling as the team continued to lack creativity within the offensive play calling leading to more hits on the quarterback than anyone deserves.
To make matters even worse and more embarrassing, the head coach who sure is seeming to be more washed by the week, challenged another pass interference call. Sure, the call was terrible but with the team down and time of the essence, Arians had no issue blowing another time out and losing another challenge to “prove a point”. The only point you’re proving Bruce is that you are not fit for this job anymore.
Defensive personnel decisions were questionable, excuse given was just laughable.
Jamel Dean is not an all pro caliber corner. Now that that’s out of the way let’s get honest. Dean played better last week than any corner has played in any single game all season long. Fast forward to yesterday and tell me you trust this staff when they tell you he wasn’t good enough to play a single snap because the team ran more zone coverage than man. This staff was suppose to come out and utilize the best players to the best of their abilities. If so, why leave the top player from the prior week completely out off the field? Why not do what it takes to put him onto the field?
Listening to the locker room stuff while driving home on the radio I found it particularly disappointing to hear a defender state that the team saw some things they didn’t expect out of the Saints offense. Fast forward to Carlton Davis’ post game on the team site and he starts with “We never really adapted”. Enough said. The Buccaneers went forth with a game plan that they couldn’t properly execute and simply didn’t adapt. Folks, we are stuck with this staff. Ugh.
There is a lot of football left. There are a lot of players whose futures are up in the air still. This staff has not provided much evidence of any of the growth that they portrayed would come this season. The staff doesn’t appear to adapt to the talent on the roster. The staff doesn’t appear to recognize that their star quarterback was clearly hurt. The staff doesn’t seem to be with the times quite frankly and that is disheartening.
We are a slew of losses away from going into another off-season with one of the leagues oldest head coaches who has already retired and a general manager that has struggled to find talent in the draft. Folks, there is no future. Just the present reborn.