Eight Pro Bowlers, No AnswersOctober 13th, 2013
Once upon a time, Raheem Morris, Josh Freeman and double-digit rookie contributors led the low-payroll Bucs to a 10-win season.
Now, the Bucs have a huge coaching staff, a fat payroll, and eight Pro Bowlers 30 years old and younger, and the team is 0-5 and sinking.
Joe asked players from that 2010 team what’s the difference around the Bucs now, versus during the glory year under Raheem. Nobody had a good answer.
“I don’t think there’s a difference. I really don’t think there’s a difference,” Gerald McCoy said. “I can’t pinpoint it. I’d be a liar to tell you I could. I can’t right now. I don’t know. I was a rookie then. I wasn’t a leader. I was in a completely different position. I was behind the scenes looking up. Now, I’m one of the leaders trying to patrol everything.
“I’m confused, too. We have eight [Pro Bowlers]. I don’t know. I just get paid to play.”
Joe asked Donald Penn, and Penn was at a loss.
“I can’t pinpoint it for you. I’m sorry. I really can’t. I’m out there playing my ass off. I know my teammates are out there playing their ass off. You know, we’re just not coming up victorious right now and it really sucks. Some things didn’t fall our way. We hurt ourselves a lot today with penalties. We haven’t really don’t that that much as an offense. Today we did. I mean it”s tough right now. I’m not going to lie to you. It’s tough, man. Like you said, there’s a lot of talent on this team and we’re 0-5 right now. It hurts. I went out there and played my butt off. And I know everybody else did. To lose again, it’s really hard.”
New Bucs running back Brian Leonard, who went to the playoffs three times with the Bengals, said he sees a team playing extremely hard but not executing.
As for the postgame message Greg Schiano delivered to his team, Penn gave the impression that it was a tough one.
“Coach did what a coach is supposed to do at this point,” Penn said of Schiano’s postgame speech.
Joe’s got no answers, either. Sadly, it seems the Bucs might have to endure another overhaul to find success.