With first place in the NFC South on the line, a national television audience watching and back at home inside the friendly walls of Raymond James Stadium, the Buccaneers laid an egg against New Orleans on Sunday night.
With a 38-3 loss in a game that wasn’t competitive from the start, fans – and some in the media – have been blasting the team for their play and coaching schemes that provided little resistance to the well-seasoned Saints.
Veteran captain and star linebacker Lavonte David told the media on Monday, fans aren’t the only ones angry with the embarrassing loss.
“Guys were pissed. You saw it on the sidelines, you see it today [and] you saw it after the game,” David said. “Guys were pissed because we know we’re not that type of team, especially against a team who we obviously wanted to really beat. To go out there and put on a show like that on Sunday night – guys feel some type of way about it. All you can do is move on from it. It’ll show how we prevail from it this week.
“Like I said, we’re focusing on the Carolina Panthers right now. They’re a pretty good football team with some talented weapons. A lot of guys took it to heart yesterday. We came in today and the good thing about it is didn’t have to go to [anybody]. Guys were coming to me [and saying], ‘That’s unacceptable. We can’t have [a] performance like that again. We have to do find a way to get better.’ That’s going to start this upcoming week and I’m really excited to get to work this week, move on from last week and get back going.”
A multitude of things went wrong on Sunday night, including the decision to play more zone and blitz less than normal against Drew Brees.
Head coach Bruce Arians defended the game plan, instead giving Brees a lot of credit, while also mentioning a couple of position groups that performed poorly.
“Going back, we blitzed more than I even thought we did on the field – it’s whether it was blitz zone or blitz man [and] we went zero [coverage] a couple times,” Arians said. “We got him off the spot, but Drew [Brees] did a great job last night of moving in the pocket and still being accurate. Guys were getting ready to hit him and he threw some really good balls down the field accurately. It was the best I’ve seen him play in a while. Defensively, our safeties and our inside linebackers did not play very well. There was really, really poor communication.”
David said there is a sense of urgency with the team headed on the road to take on an improved Panthers squad on Sunday in Charlotte.
“Most definitely. I talked to the guys already – this is over with,” David said. “We played last night [and] it wasn’t the outcome that we wanted. After we watched the film, we got together [and] it’s over with. [We] talked to our coaches, watched the film, examined it, did what we had to do [and] talked it out. We know what we did wrong and we know what we can do better, so that’s over with. We’ve got another divisional opponent coming [up] with the Carolina Panthers, who [are] a great football time, even though the record shows otherwise. We honestly feel that they present a challenge to us, so we’ve got to be able to get better and be able to play a full four quarters of fundamentally sound, smart football on Sunday.”
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org