Playing Hard Is Not ImpressiveDecember 22nd, 2013
It’s late December and there’s no doubt that radio and TV announcers will remark today about how the Bucs are playing hard for Greg Schiano.
Big freakin’ deal. Likely seven out of eight teams across the NFL are playing hard for their coaches, not to mention themselves and their fans.
Are Bucs fans so scarred by the Raheem regime that we have to celebrate effort?
When Joe catches himself doing that, Joe feels like he’s adopted a loser-fan mentality. NFL players are supposed to play hard. They’re paid to do just that, and they’re supposed to be men of enough character where they can handle giving their all for six or so months a year.
Joe’s had many face-to-fact chats with Darrelle Revis and listened to all of Revis’ radio shows on WDAE-AM 620. One common subtlety Revis expresses regularly is being ready to play in late January. It’s naturally woven in various ways into his conversation.
Joe doesn’t hear that playoff/Super Bowl mentality in most Buccaneers. Understandable. The point is Revis is always wired for championship preparation. That’s the way it should be, and that’s why Joe can’t celebrate the fact that the Bucs have played hard for Schiano.
And it’s not like there haven’t been lapses. Adrian Clayborn fingered his teammates questionable effort in Carolina this month.
“After watching the film we know why we lost, we wasn’t playing with that much passion on every play,” Clayborn said. “And we wasn’t gang tackling and we wasn’t doing the stuff that we’d been doing the past three weeks to win the game.
Can you put your finger on why, Adrian?
“No. I mean we started off good. But I guess stuff happens within the game and guys get frustrated, Clayborn said. “So we just gotta learn how to play through that stuff.”
Ironically, it was Raheem who always said his team goal on gameday was “to play, hard, fast, smart and consistent.” Frankly, that’s the only combination worth celebrating. With the New Schiano Order Bucs, they win when they combine those four.
Playing hard is nice, but it really doesn’t mean much. It’s not enough to win games.