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October 1, 2012 @ 11:26 pm
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Bucs' Bye Week Comes At The Perfect Time

Written by Dory
Dory LeBlanc


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The Bucs have a bye week this week, giving them the perfect opportunity to go back through the first quarter of the season and diagnose what they need to do to improve on their 1-3 record. Although they will be away from One Buc Place physically, many players will balance taking a break and continuing to move forward mentally.
Heading into the bye week, the Buccaneers are a one-win, three-loss team. Each loss was by seven points or less; essentially, the Bucs are three plays away from a perfect 4-0. The bye week couldn’t come at a better time for Tampa Bay.

Monday during his press conference, head coach Greg Schiano said the coaching staff will spend the next few days watching tape of the first four games and reassess the season so far in terms of why the Bucs are 1-3.

The players on the other hand, will spend the end of the week resting their bodies and taking a much needed mental break.  During open locker room last Monday, PewterReport.com spoke to linebackers Mason Foster, Dekota Watson, and Adam Hayward about the upcoming bye week.

“[We’ll] Just rest a little.” Foster said. “Take a chance to rest your legs, get your body right, get treatment and continue to get better. Watch film, take mental reps and get ready for the Chiefs.”

Watson said taking a mental break was just as important as resting your body, but was quick to add that you don’t want to completely lose mental focus.

“Mentally we try to get away for a little bit, that’s what a bye is – just get away.” Watson said. “Not too far, because ultimately it’s still your job. For the most part, like he (Foster) said, try to just get away for a little bit but when you come back, be ready to go – mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We’ll be ready to go when the bye week’s back around.”

Right now, the Bucs aren’t even thinking about Kansas City in two weeks. This is a time for the players to reflect on the first quarter of the season, and the close 22-24 home loss to Washington.  After that, how they can make their own adjustments moving forward.

“You got to watch film and get better from film.” Foster said. “You can always learn every little situation. So you got to watch that, then you worry about the Chiefs tomorrow, or later on today. But first you have to watch the film.”

With all three losses coming by one possession, the Bucs have beat themselves at times; a block here, a penalty there – and Tampa Bay could be looking at the bye week in a different light.

Overall, the Buccaneer linebacking corps has played well this season, among all NFL LBs Foster is 10th in the league in tackles with 36, while rookie Lavonte David is tied with four other linebackers (including Ray Lewis and A.J. Hawk) at 16th most with 33 tackles.

Last season, Foster was second on the team in tackles with 84, and is on pace to overshadow his rookie season by breaking 100 tackles in 2012. Currently, David leads all rookie linebackers in tackles.

“We’re just going to continue to get better,” Watson said, “And just be the leaders of the defense on and off the field.”

An early bye week is usually looked upon as unpopular by most standards. But if you are a member of the Bucs, this week is a time for the team to work on getting all three phases working together as a cohesive unit.

“It can’t come at a better time after losing three in a row and having a hard camp.” Hayward said. “It’s time to recoup and find out what we need to do to get over the hill. Right now we’re just right there and it’s kind of frustrating. This is the time we need to take a step back, relax, and start all over again.”
Last modified on Thursday, 04 October 2012 21:57

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    Deacon: Who cares what a replacement ref thinks? I know there are far more credible people, like Bill Belichick, who hold our coach in high regard. Of course Schiano is acting and doing things as he did at Rutgers, but he will no doubt adapt to the NFL's ways in time as we all would at a new position. I for one, will judge him myself, but will reserve a conclusion until after this season.
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    I read somewhere that coaches basically break up the season into four,4 game blocks.the coaches assess what works and what doesn't then recalculate their approach for the next four games..it's great if your team clicks from day one and the adjustment needed seem minor,but this isn't the norm.though this season hasn't started the way we have all hoped,the next four games will/should be more telling.if the coaches and players make the right adjustments,we have a chance over our next four games to possibly go 3-1.this would take us to .500 which is where most of us thought we would end up.the offense really needs to find itself and I really want to get to know who Freeman is and what a leader he can be.if he remains the mystery he is currently,it will not bode well for him to retain this job if he continues to slip..He really need to step up and LEAD this team.also I would like to see some better clock and game management and maybe develop a few no huddle situations to help us take advantage of our opponents..good luck Bucs,hopefully we will see more in the next four..
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    This is time for the coaches to get it together and come up with decent game plans. I think the players have done well enough to win if the game plans were better on both sides of the ball. I blame the coaching for the losses, but am satisfied that the Bucs have a chance to win in the games they play.
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    Hey PR... on one of your links to Profootballtalk.com it mentions that replacement Ref Jim Core refers to Schiano as "College" and its not a complement. Can we get some insight here?
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