There have been plenty suggestions on how the Buccaneers can attempt to turn the season around and make their record somewhat respectable by season's end. The playoffs may not be an option, but optimism for next season is certainly an option.
Tampa Bay is in its bye week and it couldn't have come at a better time. With lots of injured players on the roster, the off time could bring some back out on the practice fields next week. Coupled with the return of some injured players will be the work that the staff has focused on to correct the many problems the team has. And to correct some of the problems, Bucs linebacker Lavonte David said they went back to the basics on defense this week during practice.
“It’s been real easy, it’s been real good. Everybody is starting from point one, everybody is going back to basic techniques and basic assignments," David said. "I think it will help out. It’s been a while since we’ve been doing things like that – a lot of studying and game planning and stuff like that. Once you get back to basics and knowing what you’re supposed to be doing, it helps out a lot.”
Reviewing the film, you see a lot of what David is referring to. Almost every defensive player has found themselves out of position or have missed assignments often throughout each game. Even safety Mark Barron has been seen after some plays pointing things out to players who may have missed something or allowed a big play.
This week, players have sounded off from the locker room and many seem confident the bye week will allow them some time to get a better grasp on the defense. The unit has been the team's biggest disappointment by far this season. From the first day of Lovie Smith's arrival, many felt this would be a team that opponents would fear its defense. It has not been the case.
We'll see if Tampa Bay can play a better brand of football following the bye week. If not, well, we'll just continue to wait on these changes Smith has been saying would happen for weeks now.
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