As the Buccaneers cleaned out their lockers last week at One Buc Place, a handful spoke to Pewter Report regarding the 2012 season, and the culture change within the organization.
With the Buccaneers’ 2012 season officially over, it was that time of the year where the players reflected on the past season and looked forward to the next one.
Even though the Buccaneers didn’t have the end result they would have liked (7-9), for the players there were some things that can be encouraging when looking back on the season.
After clearing out their lockers this week, a few players spoke to PewterReport.com about the 2012 season and what they look forward to in the new year.
For rookie linebacker Lavonte David, it was about how the team remained a unit even when things got tough.
“How everybody stuck together, David said. “Everybody stayed together throughout [this year]. We had a little fall off towards the end, but everybody stayed together. We knew what we were capable of and that’s what we tried to accomplish this last game.”
Third-year wide receiver Mike Williams also reflected on the past season. For him, lessons were learned in 2012.
“I am going to take a lot of lessons learned,” Williams said. “We can go and learn a lot of lessons [like] how to win more games and how to stay in the games. We were in a lot of close games. Knowing that we can win them especially with the last game we beat the number one team in the NFC and they played their starters. So [just] learning from that too. Going into this off season learning from what we did this season.”
Kicker Connor Barth mentioned how important it is to focus on the positives of a season at this time of the year.
“Obviously it is always a disappointment when you don’t get in the playoffs and you are packing up this time in December,” Barth said. “You just got to look at the positives. Just what we have done this year and the culture change like you said. It just has been a lot better. Everybody has bought in the accountability factor. Everyone has been watching more film and just taking it more seriously. I think you will see a big change when we have our second year—second go around.”
Head coach Greg Schiano said from the start that he wanted to have a culture change within the organization, his players agreed that it actually happened.
“Yes, just the whole sense of being professional and just doing your job,” Barth said. “Just holding us to this sense of accountability. It has been great. I think guys have really bought in and we are looking forward to continuing like I said the second year is always better. We are still learning. It is a learning year this year for us, and our coach learning about us. I thought it was great. We had a good year and we just got to continue to build and hopefully do some damage next year.”
Williams also believes that the team has bought into the new culture brought in by Greg Schiano.
“Definitely, making it a family atmosphere and letting us know we can stick to his philosophy and still win,” Williams said. “I think he did a lot with changing the atmosphere.”
For now, all the team can do is look forward. Linebacker Mason Foster summed up his team’s 2012 football season.
“(We) didn’t win enough games, but I felt we got better as the year went on,” Foster said. “(We are) just going to continue to work and go into the off season trying to get better.”
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