It was only a matter of time until the Bucs found their excuse for this dreadful season they've endured us with. Now 2-13 and 15 games into the season, it appears as if the excuse is now in full effect.
Jeff Tedford has not been around the Bucs as the playcalling offensive coordinator since the preseason, and while none of us will probably know the truth of what forced Tedford to not return to the Bucs, it appears that his absence is something the team, in particular the offense, can lean on as an excuse.
"He wasn’t here, but I’ll say it again – there are no excuses, but there is a reason why 31 teams have an offensive coordinator," said Josh McCown after his offense got just 109 total yards against the Packers on Sunday.
Well, Josh, that's the definition of an excuse. This team, particular players, the coaches, and possibly the organization wants to spin the Tedford departure as the reason the entire season has been a complete and utter embarrassment to the city of Tampa. Last year it was MRSA and Josh Freeman as the excuses for the organization. Three years the blame fell squarely on Raheem Morris and him "being in over his head" as a coach in the NFL.
I guess sooner or later you'd like the excuses to stop coming out of the Buccaneers organization, but with losing comes excuses, I guess. They've done a whole lot of losing too!
Look, I get it. Jeff Tedford was hand-picked by Lovie Smith as his offensive coordinator. He had a heart condition in the preseason and had to miss time. I just don't get why Tedford wasn't able to, or didn't want to, come back.
"We’ve talked about it and it’s not excuses, but we lost our coordinator at the start of the season," McCown said when asked about next season. "We fought our way through that for 16 weeks now and almost 17 weeks. Just that in and of itself can help a team. Just another guy upstairs working with those guys can help. We don’t make excuses, but there are things that we can point to and say that alone can help us improve. Just another person can help."
What's most frustrating to me when hearing McCown use Tedford as an excuse is that I do feel it's an indictment on the rest of the offensive coaching staff that Lovie Smith and Tedford put together. Tedford has been gone the entire regular season. How has this offense not improved at all? How have individual players not improved at all? If McCown puts this entire season on Tedford, then every offensive coach should be fired at season's end and most of the players on that side of the ball should suffer the same fate as well.
As for the Bucs interim offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo and his close relationship with Tedford, why has he not run Tedford's offense? Did Arroyo go rogue or just run what Lovie Smith wants him to run? There's been no up-tempo. There's been no "speed in space."
Use Tedford as your excuse all you want, but this season ticket holder isn't buying the excuses anymore. There's much more to a team with a 2-13 record than one coordinator not being part of the team since before the preseason ended.
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