When players and/or coaches find themselves unable to explain a loss, they run out of excuses. That is exactly what is happening with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- a bad football team that simply can not explain their faults.
Tampa Bay is now 1-8 on the season. A season once filled with so much optimism during the offseason is wasting away before our eyes and there are no answers for this debacle from anyone, especially from the team's most vocal leader.
"Usually I know what to say, but at this point, guys, I don’t know," a dumbfound Gerald McCoy said after Sunday's 27-17 loss to Atlanta. "I don’t know anymore. I know we’re going to keep going, but I don’t have an answer for you, I really don’t. I’m sorry."
Veteran quarterback Josh McCown, who was plugged in as the starter for this week (and most likely the rest of the season), was also at a loss for words after the game when asked about his own performance.
"I don’t know. I’ve got to look at the tape," McCown said. "It doesn’t matter. We lost. We lost. As the quarterback it starts with me and I’ve got to be better. It’s just disappointing."
The Bucs made countless errors and committed senseless penalties throughout the game. Penalties that would lead to touchdowns for the Falcons a few plays later and others that stalled their own drives on offense. This is a team that seems to never be in the game. Instead they give their opponents new life and dig themselves in holes they can't climb out of.
The players are putting themselves in that situation, but it's the coaches jobs to help the players correct this issue. Head coach Lovie Smith acknowledges that.
"Penalties really probably hurt us as much as anything throughout the game – especially defensively, some of the big third downs where you’re off the field and you get a couple of ticky-tack calls," Smith said. "But we have to get ourselves out of those situations and try to find a way.
"Make the plays at the end means not making stupid or bad penalties and everything else that goes along with it, and then just someone being in position making a play at the end also. Of course, we as coaches have to do a better job. It starts with us – that goes without saying."
Explaining each loss is getting worse each week. There is no discipline on this football team, no direction, and they have no identity. This team is lost. They are finding ways to lose week in and week out. Something bad teams do.
Whether it's the players, coaches, front office, etc., they need to get together and figure out a way to put a full 60 minutes of football together consistently because their version of football isn't working. They don't even have a way to describe it anymore.
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