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michael89156

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« : December 13, 2012, 12:31:22 AM »



Tampa Bay Bucs still have plenty to play for this season

 By Tom Jones, Times Staff Writer
 In Print: Thursday, December 13, 2012


 

[DANIEL WALLACE | Times]
Coach Greg Schiano could be judged, in part, by how well he’s able to motivate his players with the playoffs out of reach.
 
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The Bucs' scramble to the playoffs is pretty much kaput.

If you wish, you can get out the schedules and a calculator and study the tiebreakers and come up with all the different scenarios it will take for the Bucs to squeeze into the last spot in the NFC.

"Okay, so if the Bucs win the rest of their games and Seattle loses twice and the Rams lose once and the Bears tie twice and the Redskins beat the Cowboys by 78 points and all the Vikings get frostbite, then the Bucs make the playoffs. Uh, I think.''

Let's face it, it's over.

But that doesn't mean the rest of the Bucs' season is meaningless. Quite the contrary. Here's a look at what else the Bucs are playing for:



A successful season

Success, even in today's win-now NFL, isn't always determined by championships or even playoff spots. When you're going in reverse, you have to slam on the breaks and shift back into first gear before you can even think about getting on the freeway to the postseason.

Much of this Bucs season has been about stopping, turning around and heading in the right direction again.

Right now, the Bucs sit at 6-7. Not too shabby. After all, this team lost 10 in a row to finish last season with a 4-12 record. Then again, how good does 6-7 look when they were once 6-4?

See, it's not about the end result, but how you get there.

If the Bucs finish with a 9-7 record, it will be considered a tremendous success. (That same 9-7 record got Jon Gruden fired in 2008 because Chucky's Bucs lost their final four and missed the playoffs.)

If someone had told you before this season that the Bucs would win seven or eight games, you probably would have taken that. But if the Bucs do end up going 8-8, it will mean they lost four of their last six. Are you okay with that? You think coach Greg Schiano would be okay with that? And losing five of their final six and finishing 7-9 would be an awfully bitter end to what was once a promising season.

This Bucs season has been strange. They had a three-game losing streak, a four-game win streak and now are on another three-game losing streak. They've beaten only one team that currently has a winning record but haven't lost any game by more than eight points.

The most recent loss — Sunday's last-play gut-punch to the hapless Eagles at home while trying to stay alive for the postseason — was as bad of a loss as the Bucs have had. Ever.

"We weren't the best we could be Sunday,'' Schiano said. "Forget who had more points, we weren't the best we could be. And the winning and losing is what we get judged by, and we lost. So not playing our best and losing the game … if you're not sick, then there's a problem.

That brings us to the next issue …



Greg Schiano's reputation

He arrived in town as a hard-nosed, steel-jawed, leather-throated disciplinarian and demanded "toes on the line.'' That works in training camp when guys are fighting for jobs and trying to impress the new boss. That works when you have a taste of success. That works when you're in the thick of the playoff pack.

But what happens when there's nothing left to play for other than pride and a paycheck? Will players be so quick to put those toes on the line or their heads in the crossfire?

We're about to find out.

"The one thing about this team,'' Schiano said, "I don't see anybody that's going to duck from blame.''

Could you say the same thing a year ago when Raheem Morris lost his job after his players let the season swirl down the drain? Will this season's Bucs do the same? Will they be hard to motivate as the season draws to a close?

"I hope not,'' Schiano said. "I hope that we got the right people in the building who strive to be the best that they can be. … If that's not the case and I figure it out — and I don't figure it out all the time — but if I figure it out, they won't be here.''



The future of the franchise

Here's the deal: This is still a team trying to find its way, and the final three games will have a lot to say about how far it has come and how far it has to go.

Quarterback Josh Freeman has to get better. At the very least, as offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan said Wednesday, he must get more consistent. Just like Freeman, the rest of the team has to learn how to play four good quarters instead of one or two. The defense has to figure out how to stop the forward pass.

The Bucs need to go into next season on an upswing.

"Consistency has been our issue, but any team that's growing and getting better, that's usually an issue,'' Schiano said. "If you're good enough and you have talent enough to do it some of the time, that's the bigger tease. … We just can't do it over and over and over again. And that's my job and that's our coaches' job to do it over and over and over again.''

That's where the rest of this season gets interesting.

"No matter what, you got to finish strong,'' linebacker Mason Foster said. "In the NFL, every game is a big game, no matter what the records are, no matter what the situation is.''

The situation is this: The Bucs have three games left, and the playoffs have just about faded from sight. But even if the playoffs are no longer a part of the picture, Foster is absolutely right:

Every game is a big game.

1sparkybuc

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« #1 : December 13, 2012, 03:17:47 PM »

The biggest problem last year was attitude. There needs to be an adjustment in the scheme and in the talent level mostly on defense. Attitude is no longer a problem.  2013 will be outstanding. I am confident in that.

Ms Elam

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« #2 : December 13, 2012, 03:19:32 PM »

Yea better draft position.

1sparkybuc

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« #3 : December 13, 2012, 03:39:39 PM »

Screw the draft position. They'll play to win.

Boid Fink

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« #4 : December 13, 2012, 04:11:31 PM »

Meh.  I have lost interest in the season.  The secondary is so awful...between last years defense, and this years secondary, the team is just almost too bad to watch at times...seriously...

I do not think I have seen collapses occur like that as a result of bad play calls and piss poor coverage in my entire life.


The Anti-Java

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« #5 : December 13, 2012, 07:51:42 PM »

At this point in time, I would be happy to see Freeman light it up the last few games.   Good solid play.  Silence the doubters.  But I suppose if he put up 300 every game, 4 TD's, no INT's.  People would still complain.


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PewterReportMC....
\\\\\\\"Java, do you understand this a perfect example of why people beg me to suspend or ban you on a daily basis? Are you actually trying to make a point? Seriously what is the reason for even commenting. In fact why do you even bother coming to the boards? What happened to the intelligent poster from years ago?  A real shame. Like the Bucs yesterday, a wasted effort.\\\\\\\"

blind melon

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« #6 : December 13, 2012, 08:05:49 PM »

Three games to work out some of the bugs.  Coaching needs to be sharper, more proactive and less reactive.

Every snap is important.   

Will also help establish our young leadership. 

No difference btwn pick 12 and pick 17 IMO...  who in their right mind as a team mate would want to lose out ?  Dumbdididumbdumb

Who knew how good it would feel as a fan when we now know what it\'s like for our team to have a direction, an attitude, and dare I say an offense?.  

Good time to be a Bucs fan.

NotDeadYet

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« #7 : December 13, 2012, 09:51:47 PM »

    W's are always preferable to L's... First, they help the confidence, as we have a ton of young guys many of whom will be on our roster next season. Schiano is continuing the building process and will be in their ears coaching every game; no reason to stop now!
   

RogerGoodellSucks

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« #8 : December 13, 2012, 11:11:07 PM »

We're still technically not out of the playoff hunt yet. We would need to win out and have some teams help us out, but I was looking at the scenario's and it actually isn't as bad as I originally thought it was. Not saying this is going to happen because I said even before we lost the Eagles game we probably weren't making the playoffs, but we are still technically in it.

Anyways, I definitely want to see this team win. If we could win these last 3 games imagine the confidence we'd have going into next year with a healthy and improved roster through the draft and FA.


TheChronicHotAir

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« #9 : December 13, 2012, 11:44:02 PM »

After letting Nick Foles look like Nick Brees last week (and now he's Nick Kolb tonight), I say "NO THANKS".

We don't deserve to be in the playoffs.



kidding: would LOVE for us to make it... but i ain't holding my breath....
« : December 13, 2012, 11:51:29 PM TheChronicHotAir »


ufojoe

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« #10 : December 13, 2012, 11:44:13 PM »

No difference btwn pick 12 and pick 17 IMO...  who in their right mind as a team mate would want to lose out ?  Dumbdididumbdumb

Well, there are some dumb fans on here.

Morgan

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« #11 : December 14, 2012, 05:58:27 AM »

Who cares, but here's a picture of Doug Martin in a onesie.


Boid Fink

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« #12 : December 14, 2012, 06:52:26 AM »

Who said lose out?

The games just aren't that interesting anymore. Next year should be better.


Dolorous Jason

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« #13 : December 14, 2012, 07:55:37 AM »

Who cares, but here's a picture of Doug Martin in a onesie.



LOL

What is your point? I was wrong? Ok. You win. I was wrong.

           

JavaRay

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« #14 : December 14, 2012, 08:42:01 AM »

Who cares, but here's a picture of Doug Martin in a onesie.



Did he have any skittles on him?

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