As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers enter the do-or-die game against the Washington Redskins, one of the many questions the Bucs will have to answer is, ‘Where's the Swagger?'''
Championship teams don't walk onto the field; they strut. They swagger, king of
the domain, and, most importantly, Defender of the House.
In a 34-14 loss to the Carolina Panthers last Sunday, the Bucs showed none of
those attributes. They were beaten, bullied, and pushed around by their
divisional; rivals in front of their home crowd. It was a humbling experience
for a Bucs team that started the season at 5-1 and it was never more disturbing
than when offensive tackle Kenyatta Walker was offsides three times in four
plays in the third quarter when the Panthers had started to take control. Walker
was jumping to avoid the rush of Carolina Pro-Bowler Julius Peppers, but that's
not he point.
Three years ago, during that magical run to the Super Bowl, the Bucs were the
intimidators. They were the ones that strutted onto the field in Philadelphia
and bullied the Eagles out of the Super Bowl.
Things have changed. No longer are the Bucs the master of the house. With a road
game at Atlanta next week, the Bucs need to find that swagger in a hurry.
Washington will not be easy. The defense can be dominating if you remove the
36-0 hiccup loss against an inspired New York Giants team two weeks ago. The
offense is much like the Bucs. It's anemic at times, but Mark Brunell is a
veteran quarterback who knows how to win if he gets time. Brunell used to be one
of the most mobile quarterbacks in the NFL, but he is playing on gimpy knees and
the Bucs can have a field day if they blitz successfully.
It still comes down to attitude for the Bucs. If they don't make mistakes, if
they can give quarterback Chris Simms time to pass, it's a winnable game at a
time when a win is desperately needed.
Otherwise, if the Bucs don't show up with an attitude, it could be a long day.
Do Bucs Still Have Swagger?
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