Don’t “Sink The Ship”

August 5th, 2020

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Discipline between the lines was a major issue for the Bucs last season. In 2020, discipline off the field looms as a critical component for success.

Tampa Bay led the NFL with 133 penalties during its inaugural season under Bruce Arians. Combine those flags with a league-high 41 giveaways and suddenly that 7-9 finish doesn’t seem so difficult to explain.

Winning off the field takes a new shape

Arians expects many of those mistakes to be cleaned up this fall. He has Tom Brady to establish order and accountability. He also has a large, veteran coaching staff to develop players and put them in positions to flourish.

But in a season like no other in the NFL’s 100-year history, the regimen away from One Buc Place takes on added significance. There’s a virus out there waiting to infect Buc players, coaches and staff — if proper off-field precautions are disregarded.

Arians says he is “very confident” the 2020 season will play out uninterrupted, capped by a Super Bowl matchup at Raymond James Stadium between conference champions.

“The protocols that are in place are extremely safe,” he says. “It’s going to take coaches, players and staff being smart outside the building. Nobody is going to get sick over here because everybody’s got a negative test that’s in the building, so you’re going to get sick somewhere else. We’ve just got to have a lot of discipline this year and I have a lot of confidence we’ll get it done.”

Unlike some other clubs, the Bucs haven’t had to deal with multiple players opting out. That’s good news for a fan base bracing for a special season, but it’s no guarantee the coronavirus won’t threaten to undermine this franchise’s playoff quest.

Twenty-three hundred miles away, a former Buc coach hits the sheets every night worried about errors in judgment that could generate tragic results.

“What you do in the building is being evaluated,” says Jon Gruden. “But you can’t evaluate everything you do off the field. We have great leadership here that understands one mistake can be our demise. One mistake can bring us all down in a real bad way and it’s not just coming to football — it can create a terrible illness. I want to dominate when we leave the building. We want to crush this virus, beat this virus into the ground.”

Unlike organizations in the NBA and the NHL, pro football players have the liberty of returning to their home base at the end of the day. They’re not bubble boys, sequestered in a city and subject to strict protocols off the court and off the ice.

Brady isn’t sleeping at the Buc facility. Rob Gronkowski doesn’t have a cot set up in what used to be the media workroom at One Buc Place. When Devin White leaves the building each day, team officials don’t have drones monitoring his whereabouts.

Tampa Bay’s new “all-in” attitude has been well chronicled. Perhaps the Bucs should display George Allen’s mantra — “the future is now” — on the side of their helmets.

Center stage is not for the virus, explains Ira Kaufman.

But if this franchise is serious about January football, everyone needs to be all in when it comes to guarding against COVID-19.

“We talked about having a commitment to one another,” Arians says. “It only takes one to sink the ship. I kind of trust our guys right now.”

Trust in August could give way to despair in the fall.

“It’s not going to be an equitable, fair season,” says Gruden. “Some teams are going to be hit hard by this virus, some teams might not. Some teams might have fans, some might have cardboard cutouts.”

While the Bucs have yet to announce a policy regarding fan attendance for home games, Arians is promising a good show.

“If we have all our players,” he says, “I like our chances.’

Bill Currie Ford
5815 N. Dale Mabry Hwy.
Tampa, FL 33614

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12 Responses to “Don’t “Sink The Ship””

  1. mark2001 Says:

    Basically what I thought was pretty clear. The results by the end of the season might end up being the team that can stay the healthiest, as the team winning the SB.

  2. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Isn’t always about health/injuries for the most part?
    Hell, a lot of you were bitching about us missing one bye week a few years ago….. like it was the end of the world.
    Or, how can we forget that lengthy, almost 2 month stretch without a home game….. even though we almost always lose at home.

    Keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best.

  3. mark2001 Says:

    Health and Injury is a big deal D… and as you say, always has been…but rarely that I ever remember has one team suffered a double digit number of “injuries” at one time. And if it were during the playoffs…or SB? End of season.

  4. mark2001 Says:

    And Yeah D…I remember when JJ and Mike the “A Train” had that injury in 2003 against Carolina, I believe. At that moment, I had a sinking feeling. And the wheels did seem to come off after that.

  5. SB Says:

    And……….Ndog complaining about the 29 total points Matt Gay cost us last yr in 3,2,1…

  6. stpetebucsfan Says:


    You had to go there didn’t you? LMAO

    So do we feel more confident about Brady taking care of himself away from OBP than his predecessor?

    I mean why not trust a guy that goes out with a convicted rapist after just beating that charge himself…getting blind drunk…yeah that’s a guy to trust under pressure.

  7. bojim Says:

    Gonna be a hell of a season that’s for sure.

  8. Ndog Says:

    It’s going to be hell alright.

  9. SB Says:

    Ahhhhhhh Ndog I love that you are still here!
    No comment on the 29 points???
    I guess mathing is out of your wheelhouse.

  10. SB Says:

    . To be honest and yall know that it was more games lost because of our kicker and that’s why we have been asking for a new kicker every year and why you think they are bringing in another kicker to compete with Matt Gay


    DING ding ding.
    Dumbest comment ever!
    Matt gay cost us 29 points last yr
    How many by JW Oniel Bucs????????

  11. Bucsfanman Says:

    The penalties are real killers. We have to stop beating ourselves, first and foremost.

  12. 40TDs Says:

    Check the sheet!!!!!!!!!!!