After starting the season 1-5, I asked myself a very simple question pertaining to the Bucs the other day. Has this team gotten any better since training camp? After thinking it over for about five minutes, I had my answer. That answer wasn't yes. It's a resounding no! As I've written and said on air before, expectations for this years team were too high. They weren't going to be a playoff team this year. In fact, this season was about laying the foundation for a successful five to seven year run. But what alarms me the most about this team is that I don't see significant improvements. In fact, I see a team that's regressing. I see individuals regressing.
Of course when you hear Lovie Smith talk about his team, things are getting better.
"And I said last week that we are a better football team. That game did not say that, but we’re doing some good things, some better things behind the scenes and then hopefully we’ll put it together and we’ll eventually see that for one of the games.”
Um, coach, how are you a better football team? What does getting better behind the scenes mean? Look, not only is this team not showing any substantial improvement from week to week, but I could make a case they are worse this year than last year. The offensive and defensive lines get pushed around continually. The secondary, by Smith's own admission, hasn't lived up to expectations this year. The special teams might be the worst unit in the NFL. They've had two blowout losses in a league that prides itself on parity. Evaluating talent, specifically the free agents that were signed this year, has been a disaster. The coaching staff thought Josh McCown was a better option at quarterback than Mike Glennon. I could go on.
I want to believe this team and coaching staff will get better. Smith had a similar first year in Chicago back in 2004. The team that year had to learn new systems. They had to deal with significant injuries, specifically at the quarterback position. That year the Bears finished the season at 5-11. The following year his team won the NFC North. Will history repeat itself? I don't know. What I do know is that in order for that to happen, I need to see improvements. So far after six games, that hasn't been the case.
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