Even though we as members of the media get the chance to talk to Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter on Monday following the games, the real first media day is Wednesday. That’s the first day we have to get in front of the players, the coach and the coordinators.

When it comes to media availability following losses like the one the Tampa Bay Buccaneers suffered to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, days like today are important to gauge mood, morale, changes and how the team is looking forward.

These are the five things we learned from One Buc on Wednesday.

Winston Down; Griffin Returns

Even beyond the unfortunate final score, the biggest loss for the Buccaneers on Sunday was with their starting quarterback, Jameis Winston, who had to leave the game because of a shoulder injury.

It was later confirmed that Winston had an AC sprain in his throwing shoulder. He was considered “day-to-day,” which is certainly better than it could have been. He was out at practice today, but was not throwing. We will have to wait to see if he throws at any point this week to be ready for Sunday. For now, Ryan Fitzpatrick took the reps with the first team.

On another note, Ryan Griffin returned to practice for the first time today, but he is not eligible to return to a game until November. So, all he can do is practice.

As of right now, Adam Humphries is the team’s emergency quarterback.

Hargreaves Admits Struggles

Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves has been the topic of discussion for most of the start of this season, and those voices got louder with another poor performance by him on Sunday.

On Monday, Koetter said they are “extremely” concerned with the play of Hargreaves, and defensive coordinator, Mike Smith, echoed that sentiment today, in different words. Smith said that it’s something that must be addressed and figured out and that it’s their job as coaches to do so.

Hargreaves doesn’t talk to the media too often, but he stuck around his locker today to answer the firing squad of questions he knew would be waiting for him.

Hargreaves owned up to his poor performances to start this season, saying things like, “[The coaches] should be concerned. I’m not making plays, I’m not producing.”

Hargreaves may know he’s not getting it done, but next he has to figure out how to get it done. Perhaps that involves some shifting of the defense, but whatever it is, it needs to get better.

Fitzpatrick Nullifies “QB Controversy”

After coming in for Winston in the second quarter, Fitzpatrick went on to throw for 290 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. At the end of the game, the score was just a one-score game. That led people to wonder if Fitzpatrick can run the offense better than Winston.

Today, though he did say he’s always preparing as if he’s going to be called upon to start, Fitzpatrick said this is, “100 percent Jameis’ team.” He went on to say that he respects Winston so much that when he thinks about starting in his place, he just doesn’t want to let Winston down.

McCoy: It Was Like a Boxing Match

As you would expect, most of the players weren’t too excited to talk about the thrashing that took place on Sunday in their defeat to the Cardinals, but, alas, they are the professionals and that’s part of the gig.

Captain and team leader, Gerald McCoy, said it was like a boxing match where they got hit hard right off the bat, but waited until after the round was over to respond.

He said that can’t be. “We have to fight back right away.”

Evans: We’re Been Here Before

When asked about the current morale of the team and what the mindset of the guys is this week after falling to 2-3 on the season, star wide receiver Mike Evans calmly said, “we’ve been here before.”

The Bucs were 3-5 before they went on the five-game win streak that propelled them to a 9-7 record in 2016, and though they’d rather not fall in that 3-5 hole again, they know that each week is a new week to right the ship of a season.

Now that ship has its sights on Buffalo and the Bills.

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About the Author: Trevor Sikkema

Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]
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4 years ago

If I hear the term from Koetter or Smith as to players on the team “we have what we have”, I’m going to scream that’s plain BS! They can’t tell me the bottom 5 of the 53 Roster can’t be changed; give someone else a chance if these guys can’t complete with the next man up mentality. It’s Koeter and Smith bag if they can’t get their offense and defense to get in sync. Has Hargreaves played good; of course not, but the guy has had no help from the LB’s, Safeties and wait for it; the Defensive End’s! Now… Read more »

Buc 1976
Buc 1976
Reply to  Horse
4 years ago

Agree some changes need to be made I read opposing QB rating against VH3 is 128% so why not try Ryan Smith maybe he can do some what better. As far as Safety goes Tandy should help he is a smart player.