The “Mental” Time Of Year

December 18th, 2013

raheem morris 1220Dashon Goldson says the 2013 Bucs shouldn’t be plagued by something Raheem Morris said helped sink his team — and his job.

Diehard Bucs fans will remember how Raheem used to moan about how the new NFL labor agreement cut back on physical practices so much that it hurt his young club, especially during a post-lockout season.

The complaint was fair, but not really, considering the rest of the NFL faced the same challenges.

Right now, the Bucs are out of “padded” practices. Tampa Bay’s ugly running game, for example, can’t be fixed by Greg Schiano putting the offensive line in pads and having them refine technique and grind out changes on the practice field against live bodies. Or, for example, Schiano can’t ride Da’Quan Bowers hard even if he wanted to.

The Bucs haven’t been in pads for a few weeks. Before they ran out of allotted sessions, Schiano had cut back on the actual time spent in pads during those sessions, to help keep players fresh.

Today, Joe asked Goldson about whether it’s a challenging when the Bucs can’t get physical during the week.

“No. We haven’t been in pads for a long time. At this level it’s more mental than anything. I think everybody here is still physically in shape, Goldson said. “We work out every day. We lift weights. And we’re a physical team. There’s no slack when you don’t wear the pads. It’s more mental than anything. The gameplan is a lot, just getting your mind in the right place and guys keeping their legs and getting their feet right.”

It’s also worth noting that the late days of the NFL season offer a supreme test of the team’s internal leadership. If Goldson and Darrelle Revis, for example, bring September intensity to meetings, then young players like Johnthan Banks and Leonard Johnson will do the same.

Vincent Jackson, for example, can raise the bar — or keep it high — for those around him.

There’s been no quit in these Bucs, unlike what was seen two years ago. But Joe’s always on the lookout for signs. Joe remains somewhat in disbelief of how the Bucs didn’t show up in New Orleans last season, getting clubbed by 41-0 last December.

18 Responses to “The “Mental” Time Of Year”

  1. WalkdaPlank Says:

    “There’s been no quit in these Bucs, unlike what was seen two years ago.”

    Yeah, that’s sort of unsettling Joe. That Schiano’s team hasn’t quit on him, yet the record shows that they are doing just as bad as that team of quitters from 2 years ago. At this time back then, the Bucs were also 4-10. Big question is, will Schiano’s team of non-quitters finish 4-12 just like Raheem’s quitters did?

  2. Bucfan#37 Says:

    The higher draft pick after a 4-12 finish might be just the spot the Bucs need to grab a good player.

  3. chickster Says:

    wow all I hear is its coming next will be a lot of the same we just don’t have the leadership this team needs and deserves

  4. Hawk Says:

    A team that is ‘trying’ to win can be helped. A team that doesn’t care… is lost.
    If MERSA and the ‘Freeman Drama’ had not unfolded, I still do not believe this team would have made the playoffs. And if so, they would have been bounced out in the ‘Wildcard’ game. This was a team that was still one more off-season from making some serious noise. MERSA, Freeman, and the injuries just made the season look worse, but the bottom line is even 9-7 would have meant that the Bucs would be home for the playoffs. The silver lining is in the discovery of players who will make this team even better next year.
    *IF* Coach Schiano is retained by the Glazers, I have no doubt that they will require him to lay out his plans (assistant coaches, draft/FA needs) for next year. It would not surprise me if the Glazers were to make ‘recommendations’ in regards to some positions/needs. If that happens, let us hope that Coach Schiano is smarter than Coach Dungy, and then (maybe) we’ll see a dangerous team take the field next season.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    No pads at practice?…..Another great step in the wrong direction for the NFL……how ’bout “Maxi-Pads”…..can teams play in them…..
    Who is your vote for Buc “Maxi-Pad” player of the year?….and its OK to include players no longer on the team!!!

  6. buc4lyfe Says:

    A lockout with the youngest team in the nfl is a much better reason for winning 4 games than the garbage excuses Schiano has been spitting out for the last two years

  7. The_Buc_Realist Says:


    I would award the whole box to the pop-star!

  8. WalkdaPlank Says:

    honestly, we don;t even know what kind of football knowledge the Glazers even have. They hardly ever talk. And when they do they speak of the Bucs as a business rather than a football team (well, I guess they are the ones with the cash but still). Seems like they are more interested in futbol across the pond.

  9. Mr. Patrick Says:

    If you have a team of talented players that are working and playing very hard but still losing games, what does that tell you?

  10. Waterboy Says:

    Morris had a team full of first and second year players and was probably the youngest overall team in the league that year (avg. age was like 25). Not having off-season workouts would hurt a team like that more than it would a team with more veteran leadership.

  11. Jo_mama Says:

    Everyone says we have talented players.

    Show me running back
    Show me WR (how many dropped balls does Jax have)
    Show me TE

    The reason why we are last in the league in offense is because we have no talent to support our Future Hall of Fame QB – Mike Glennon.

  12. Eric Says:

    No problems. Dominik always dominates in the offseason and were almost there.

  13. BucFanForever Says:

    I say let Schiano stay through his contract, and Dom longer. Here is why:

    If the two keep drafting like they had the last two years, although some of the current players will move on from the Bucs, the Bucs will be loaded with disciplined players. Maybe Schiano wins some game, maybe he doesn’t; it doesn’t matter for this scheme. At the end of Schiano’s contract, bring in a head coach who tries to win games; with the loaded roster he would inherit, it would be like the 49ers last year or even the 2002 Bucs. I can wait a couple of years for that, although the Buc’s offense is REALLY,REALLY PAINFUL to watch right now.

  14. Mike J Says:

    WalkdaPlank ,I prefer owners who are like that.

  15. Andrew 1 Says:

    I look at it this way, with a better coach would we have won more games? My first reaction would be to say hell yea, but then I cant help but think of all the crap that this team has been through such as the Freeman debacle, MRSA, and having the most players on IR in the league and so the answer to the question becomes a little more difficult. So Even though a better coach would probably have won more games, I seriously doubt it would have been enough to have a winning season imo. I believe the Glazer’s have also taken all this drama into account and as a result will bring back Schiano for at least one more season, and I’ve made my peace with it. The only thing we can hope for is to pull a carolina panthers next season.

  16. BucsFan68 Says:

    The coach needs to be held accountable/responsible for this season. Every team has internal issues and the great teams rise above those. The dolphins had turmoil and are still in playoff contention. MRSA and the Freeman situation are just excuses. The coach handled that situation in the wrong way. 7-9 to potentially 4-12 with more talent than the previous coach is not improvement, it’s regression.

  17. Awaiting moderation Says:

    Really tired of the rhetoric and excuses. It’s time for a zero tolerance policy.

  18. Rob Says:

    No do overs for Schiano and his “offensive” staff. 4-12 is our reality, or soon to be reality. When the only thing you look forward to is how high a draft pick you will get due to how bad you stunk it is just miserable. Good or even above average game day coaching would have doubled our win total. Do not accept mediocrity. 4-12 is horrific and the Buccaneer faithful deserve better. Schiano knew Freeman was not the answer and no capable experienced backup was aquired in the offseason. That is the GM and the head coaches responsibility. I’m glad our defense shows improvement but the high draft picks and free agency should have improved our defense. Good coaching and management overcomes expected adversity and our 0-8 death spiral to start the season cannot be forgotten. Yippee, we beat a few terrible teams and the team continues to try and earn their pay checks by not quitting. We are still cellar dwellers jockeying for a top draft pick. That sucks and Schiano needs to answer for this dismal season along with the GM. 7-9 to 4-12 does not merit a pass in my book. If we finish 6-10 I would agree going 6-2 and finishing strong could merit another year but do you think we go on the road with our terrible offense and beat the Rams and Saints? Yeah, me either. Go Bucs!