Shaun King: Blame The Players

December 26th, 2020

Yeah, yeah, yeah, slow starts to games. Bucs fans have been witnessing them — and hearing about them — for many weeks.

Former Bucs QB Shaun King put his foot down on national radio when it comes to the cause of this Tampa Bay sickness.

Retired superstar NFL running back Tiki Barber asked King whether it was correct to wag a finger at offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, Tom Brady or Bucco Bruce Arians.

King went in another direction.

“I think it goes to the players, and here’s why I say that: You love this game; I love this game. We know that to play this game at a high level there’s a certain energy and effort level that exists on championship teams, and that’s kind of what you don’t see all the time from Tampa. They kind of are hot and cold as far as like how engaged and enthusiastic they seem about playing the game of football.

“And so I’m not going to put that on the coaches, I’m going to put that on the players. Like when you’re professionals, you’re supposed to show up and play the game with a love and a passion that is unbeknownst to most people that walk this earth. They don’t play it like that for fourth quarters. … I just think when you’re hot and cold like that, that’s a player thing. That’s not a coach thing; that’s not an organization thing. The players have to find a way to get themselves ready to go emotionally from week to week, and championship teams do that.”

Joe agrees with King and understands the limits of coaching, but ultimately coaches are responsible for getting players ready, regardless of the sport.

Derrick Brooks Pleads For A Complete Game

Another great episode of TAMPA TWO loaded with insight from Buccaneers legend Derrick Brooks alongside columnist Ira Kaufman. Don’t miss this one as the Bucs sit on the cusp of the playoffs.

24 Responses to “Shaun King: Blame The Players”

  1. '79 Defense Says:

    Well stated, Shaun.

  2. Swampbuc Says:

    Shaun need only to look at his own career to validate his position.

  3. Roy T. Buford Says:

    It’s on ALL of them to be ready. That’s what being a “team” is about. Sure, the “players” have to get themselves ready, but the coaches and team captains need to ensure they are, and ensure on gameday 1+1=3. Use strengths, minimize weaknesses, play complementary football. King is only half right.

  4. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    I’m warming up to King as a commentator. I agree.

  5. bucnole Says:

    Don’t agree at all, I think the players lose their emotion during games when they see lame play calls, and bad in game decisions. . . IMO they would be wayyyyy better motived if they believed in the system, which they obviously don’t 100% of the time

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Agree Roy that “King is only half right … It’s on ALL of them to be ready”.

    I watched the Saints yesterday systematically maul the Vikings 52-33, even though the Saints’ defense didn’t exactly have their best day (giving up 33 pts shouldn’t win you many ball games). What impressed me the most was that even though Drew Brees was hurting, the Saints found their advantage (OLine & RBs) & methodically controlled the game (37 mins TOP) by pressing that advantage. Kamara’s SIX TDs were the most by a RB in almost 100 years & the overmatched Vikings’ defense simply couldn’t stop the relentless rushing attack By Kamara, Murray & Hill..

    That win was as much as a result of Saints coaching (game-planning & play-calling) as it was players’ execution. As Rod said … “That’s what being a “team” is about.”

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You can have a high energy level and love for the game and still not execute well… can love the game and still miss tackles, block poorly for runs,drop passes….overthrow open receivers.

    Nobody loves the game more than Tom Brady yet Tom adds to the slow starts with errant passing early.

    Does anybody think Devin White needs much motivation to be great? Yet he missed a tackle early vs Atl that ultimately ended up with them scoring.

  8. NOLES Says:

    I agree in a sense that their body language shows they are not 100% enthusiastic & it changes as they get down big. Then you see a different fight in them. I believe what King is sayin is it shouldn’t take you being down to play that way. You should play w that DOG mentality right off the bat…..

  9. Roy T. Buford Says:

    @Defense….I totally agree on the coaching importance. How Payton used Kamara yesterday, and how they game planned and called plays when Taysom Hill was the QB in previous weeks is precisely how to do this. Not to mention they pulled no-names up from the practice squard and used a FB that has held the rock maybe twice all year. All with success. I hate the Saints, but this is how to do it.

    That said, IF the Bucs face the Saints post-season, I think they will take them this time. Law of averages if nothing else, plus there is a score to settle. Maybe Arians (who has never beaten the Sainst as a Bucs coach…0-4) would at least be up to getting the players fired up over that?

  10. RojoForever Says:

    What’s more likely…that the greatest QB of all time, and the players playing around the GOAT in their first winning season in years “aren’t motivated”?

    Or, that an unproven, 3rd year OC with less experience than the starting QB, scripts the first half poorly because he’s not that great at his job?

  11. ClodHopper Says:

    In every walk of life the management creates the environment.

    Everyone acts like players are robots without bad days, without morale, without being burned out. People think “If you make that much money you should be excited and ready” but that’s not how humans work.

    They don’t have to be a rah rah kind of guy. You see those Belicheat videos? Hes not rah rah. Hes succinct, calm and motivating at the same time.

    One example from the our own history. I’m sure we all remember the week leading up to this game. Janurary 2002 right before the Eagles game at the Vet:

    “Gruden isn’t worried about the turf, the forecast for biting cold or the 7-1 record of home teams in this year’s playoffs.

    “He’s not going to let the fact that it’s going to be 20 degrees mess with our heads,” cornerback Dwight Smith said of his coach. “I love that.”

  12. RojoForever Says:

    What is more likely…that the greatest QB of all time, and the players playing around the GOAT in their first winning season in years “aren’t motivated”?

    Or, that an unproven, 3rd year OC with less experience than the starting QB, scripts the first half poorly because he’s not that great at his job?

  13. Hodad Says:

    I think if the game plan called for more aggression from the get go on defense, we may start faster. Why did they wait till the 4th quarter to unleash White on the Q.B.? If you’re going to defer till the 2nd half, and put your D out first, don’t have them start the game in soft zone rushing four. Try to make a big play on defense instead of trying to sit back, and prevent one. If you get beat, you get beat, but you have to go after any Q.B. from the get go. Maybe that will get us going. A turnover, or 3, and out, instead of a 7 minute T.D. drive.

  14. Jason Says:

    It seems to me that certain players on our team DO play with that passion. Guys like TB12 and JPP come to mind, and what do you know, they have Super Bowl rings.
    I think this is what people are talking about when they say we need to change the culture in the locker room right?

  15. El Buco Realisto Says:

    What a bunch of BS!!!!!!!!!! So the coach that picks the players cannot bench a player?????? That this so called A+ coaching staff just will sit back until the players figure out their passion for the game????????

    What was quoted was just an attempt to stuck up and maybe get a job on the largest and largely overrated coaching staff in the NFL!!!!!!!!!!

    And the sheep fall for it every time!!!!!!!!!!!

    go bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    TBBF … Good points about the missed tackles, poor blocking, dropped passes, errant throws, etc. But I still keep thinking that those aren’t isolated issues; they keep happening game after game. And they’re much more pronounced early in games, so there is a common thread there.

    Personally I don’t think it’s about players’ motivation, it’s more about proficiency. Looks like we’re using the 1st half to settle in & by the start of the 2nd half our proficiency has improved to the point that we play decent football on both sides of the ball. That smells an awful lot like ‘poor preparation’ to me (especially for our defense), combined with ‘lousy game-planning’ (especially for our offense). The Saints game-planning against the Vikings yesterday didn’t look to be very elaborate; they just capitalized on their obvious advantages (OLine & run game) from the git-go and had their way with the Vikings defense.

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    Rod … I’m hoping that we don’t face the Saints again in the playoffs. They’re a better TEAM IMO, and I don’t think that our defense can stop their attack. In our 1st game against them we were behind 17-7 at the half & ultimately lost 34-23 because we made 3 turnovers (to 0 TOs for the Saints). In our 2nd meeting they were ahead 31-0 at the half & went on to win 38-3 (they let off the gas IMO because we couldn’t stop anything they did in that 1st half). And oh ya, we also made 3 TOs in that game too (to their 2 TOs).

    Oops, forgot to mention that they controlled the ball for OVER 40 mins TOP in that game. Hard to win when your offense only scores 3 pts and your defense can’t stop the other team from scoring at will.

  18. Tackleblockwin Says:

    The way I’m looking at it is that the Bucs have 8 quarters of regular season football to “turn it on” on both sides of the ball. I don’t care that the next two games are against weaker teams. It’s time to get it together and build some confidence for both the coaches and players. I’m really pleased that special teams has been very good this season for a change. On O and D, we know they are talented enough to blow teams out if they start clicking. They just need to turn the corner now and we will be ok.

  19. Chesapeake Bucco Says:

    Everybody, just quit obsessing on the Saints….just quit it! Geezus

  20. Beeej Says:

    EVERYONE on the team seems more effective on the second half. Do we seem to run different schemes on BOTH sides of the ball, or are the schemes from earlier suddenly more effective?

  21. Beeej Says:

    One problem: We couldn’t do crap against the Vikings on the ground, a week later, Saints get 264 yards on the ground, 5.5 average, they gained even MORE when the Vikings were exPECTING a run

  22. Risingandcomingwithbreakfast Says:

    King has obviated not been eating Smoothies. Wade

  23. Cobraboy Says:

    Mauling teams build to bully at the LoS can start a LOT faster than a team build for finesse…like the Bucs.

    The Bucs don’t maul anyone on O, and not since Vea went down on D.

    That was a serious mauling offensive show the Saints put on.

    Even with luck, I don’t see the Bucs getting past NO in the playoffs. That’s a complete team.

  24. Fernando Diaz Says:

    Why everyone listens to this gasbag.
    A has been with an opinion.
    He is not even welcomed to be around the team.