It surely was a long travel back from Green Bay this weekend – it always is after a loss, especially one that comes in overtime.

Despite their now 4-8 record, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were back to the grind on Wednesday at One Buc Place. The players know they still have a job to do for these last four weeks, and the coaches know they might be coaching for their jobs.

With that known, these were the five things we learned from One Buc on Wednesday.

Back On The Pitch

The Bucs had a laundry list of players out last week against Green Bay, but the hope was that most of the injuries/illnesses weren’t long term.

The team got defensive end Robert Ayers, running back Doug Martin and center Joe Hawley back at practice today, all of which would have been starters last Sunday.

However, though there was a dent in the injury list, it is still rather long. Defensive backs T.J. Ward, Josh Robinson and Vernon Hargreaves III were all still out today, and defensive tackle Clinton McDonald was sidelined as well.

We’ll have to monitor their statuses throughout the week to see if they can suit up against the Lions on Sunday here in Tampa.

McCoy: No More Negativity

It hasn’t been a great year in terms of morale and probing questions as a journalists covering the Buccaneers this year. We have a job to do, and the players know that, but it is somewhat of a downer asking different variations of the same question week after week.

“Why can’t you guys figure it out and get some win?”

Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was asked a question about why the Bucs are so bad at pass rushing during today’s locker room portion of the day – a question that has been asked many, many times already.

As a response, McCoy said that he isn’t going to answer any negative questions anymore. He said it in a polite way, acknowledging that we as journalists have a job to do, but he also knows that we’ve already had plenty of time to get those questions in. McCoy said it’s his job as a leader to bring some positivity to the locker room, so he’s taking his stand against the negative energy for the last four weeks.

Justin Evans: Hands Team

On Sunday, Justin Evans recorded his third interception of the season. That number put him in sole possession of the lead in terms of interceptions on the team this season. Considering the fact that Evans didn’t even start that the beginning of the year, that’s a pretty impressive stat.

Evans was asked about getting to go up for those interception passes and he smiled when he said that you know as a defender you don’t get many of those chances; you know you have to make the most of them.

Evans went on to say that his background as a wide receiver and baseball player in high school have probably helped him be at his best when the ball is in the air.

Mike Smith to Jump Ship?

It’s no secret that Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith is to be considered for some the head coaching positions that will become available this offseason. He’s won a Super Bowl with the Ravens and was ahead coach for the Atlanta Falcons for years.

One team that already has a head coaching vacancy might already be interested.

In the video above, Smith addressed the possibility of becoming a head coach again, specifically for the New York Giants. The Giants have already fired their coach, Ben McAdoo, so you know they’re already looking.

Will Smith’s phone be the first to ring?

He interview for the Giants’ head coaching position two years ago before McAdoo was hired, so the mutual interest could still be there.

Spence Surgery Update

Earlier this season the Bucs placed their top pass rusher, Noah Spence, on injured reserve due to a shoulder injury. This was the second shoulder injury Spence had had in a calendar year, and Koetter confirmed that Spence did have surgery to fix it.

Koetter also said that Spence’s shoulder problems were chronic or likely to re-occur before the surgery. They hope this fixes it for good, but it being chronic to begin with isn’t too encouraging long-term.

 

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4 COMMENTS

  1. The Spence shoulder injury update is extremely concerning and probably puts Dline at the top of the list for the offseason. We were really counting on him to make the next step. Hope the surgery fixes this either way.

    Good to know there’s still some leadership coming from the players in the locker room. This team doesn’t look like it has quit yet.

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  2. I expect nothing from Noah Spence. We have to treat the situation as if he won’t be back, which means drafting a couple of pass rushers and getting another in free agency if possible. When Spence comes back, I just don’t see him as a DE — he’s too small — and we have LBs. Where does he even fit in? I just don’t see him accomplishing much. Need to move on.

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  3. Another bad draft pick. It doesnt matter that he has talent and looked good in college. It hasn’t panned out. It was the wrong move. Too small for DE. Licht and Koetter will be in the same boast as McAdoo and Reese in a few weeks. Add Smith to that because he’s gone too. Any team that would consider Smith for a Head Coach is a loser.

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    • It’s disappointing that Licht couldn’t anticipate this happening to Spence when the rest of the league clearly did, that’s why he ‘fell’ to us so we could ‘steal’ him. Had he been drafted by a 3-4 team that would have played to his strengths the poor kid may have had a health(ier) and productive career.

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