WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs players realize the energy and excitement that a 2-0 start would bring to Tampa Bay. Some have even made, “bringing-the-fan-base-to-life” one of their main goals for the 2016 season.
Bucs RB Doug Martin – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Speaking in open locker on Wednesday, running back Doug Martin told reporters about an offensive dinner, organized prior to Week 1 by Jameis Winston, where the second-year quarterback went around the table asking each teammate their motivation for the season.
Martin’s answer would make fans even happier about the contract he received in the offseason following a 1,673 total yard campaign, culminating in a Pro Bowl berth.
“My motivation was to get the life back into Tampa and put that energy and buzz back in Tampa,” Martin said. “2-0 would look really nice. I’m glad that we started the season like this, with a W. It gives us motivation to do the same thing and have that feeling that we did at the end of the game continue into the season. It’s good to have that win.”
That one win gave fans “that feeling” after the game, too. The town has been waiting for a football team to feel optimistic about and now that they have one, at least for another week, they’ll embrace the Bucs more than other franchises in Tampa.
As Times’ columnist Martin Fennelly wrote on Monday, “The Bucs block out the sun when there’s even a chance at a good season.”
Mike Evans could sense the excitement just by hanging out around town.
“I went a couple places and I heard the buzz,” Evans said. “People didn’t know I was in there, they were just talking about the team. Hopefully we keep winning and bring this town back to prominence.”
The Bucs have moved on from Atlanta and shifted their attention to the Cardinals. Winston said the Bucs “can’t really focus on last week’s game” while Evans echoed, “it’s important to go 1-0 this week.”
The Cardinals, a playoff team entering the contest 0-1, present a steep challenge for the Bucs this Sunday. A win would certainly put Tampa Bay in the national spotlight.
“They’ve got some studs up front, they have Patrick Peterson at cornerback, so it’s going to be a challenge,” Martin said. “But we’re ready to take on the challenge.”
“(The Cardinals) have playmakers, but we have playmakers on offense,” Winston said. “I definitely trust my guys. It’s definitely going to be a match up game. We’re just looking forward to actual competing and getting a chance. We’re blessed to be on the road again and have the chance to make a name for ourselves.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: [email protected]
This is a winnable game for us. There will be plenty excitement if we get this win. Go Bucs!
The Cardinals have a good team, probably much better than the Falcons with more overall talent, but I don’t think we have to hand them the George C Halas Trophy just yet.
Offensively the Bucs have just as many weapons as the Cards. I think this game will be decided by the defense. As in which defense can keep the other team off the scoreboard the most.
Tough game this week,but I think we can compete.Heck maybe even win,but we have to get are run game going and be consistent.
Fans here in Tampa Bay have always cheered as much for the star players as the team in general. Sapp, Brroks, Lynch, Alstott, Dunn, Barber, Nickerson and others represented the “glory days” that seem so long ago. For a long time there was a bit of a lull in what many would consider nationally recognized players. Even after Martin’s 2015 2nd ranked rushing, he is still an afterthought by some fantasy prognosticators. One even suggested Mariota had a better chance to succeed in his second season than Winston because of a “better running game”. Really?
What the Atlanta game showed was rarely seen offensive firepower. No turnovers resulting in short fields and the offense still put up 31 points with four long drives. Impressive stuff. Highlight plays. Recognition beyond the bay. A few new stars are emerging that will become more readily noticed if the team wins. Guys like McCoy, David, Alexander, Evans, Winston, Martin, Hargreaves, ASJ, Sims, Ayers, Spence, Marpet, Smith and others are becoming the backbone of a team becoming worthy of our increasing enthusiasm. As that old 60’s song pleads, “Don’t Bring Me Down”.
It’s amazing how people love football. Have not heard this much enthusiastic talk about the Bucs since the Gruden days. Koetter has these guys motivated for sure.
If head coaches were included in the draft and if Belichick, Brady, Rogers and McCarthy could be picked who would you chose?
I’d chose the Belichick for sure. Even though he cheats. My respect for Koetter is growing weekly. The buzz is starting at the top for me.
Get to Palmer, win the game. I hate to say this, but it’s simple as that.
I think we have decent shot at winning, but not getting hopes up too high. This is good gage to see if can win or just play them well really. I circled this as an L on calendar before season started. After seeing Buc’s last week I give us decent chance. Tighter opponent and traveling to West coast is tough. I will say though Cards have a lot of talent but it doesn’t always show up. Very inconsistent team to me. Especially Palmer in big games. This is a big game. Go 0-2 at home and their playoff hopes shrink to 12% historically. Even the defense really looks inconsistent at times. I know one thing they are not the most physical team as evidenced by the Panthers clubbing them hard last year in playoffs.
I was at the game on Sunday in Atlanta and it was great to see so many Bucs fans! I hope these players know we’re out there representing for them no matter what state they’re in! Let’s go!!!
The buzz is definitely on its way back! Out in Hawaii (a notorious bandwagon state) I get far less responses like, “You’re a Bucs fan? Why??” Now I get responses like “The Bucs made me some good money in the early 2000s, they’re on their way back.” People are starting to recognize names like Martin, Winston, and Evans. Though the national media continues to hate and call our successes a fluke, I can see the tide slowly turning. We will be playoff bound soon. The days of automatically circling a Bucs game and placing a big L on the calendar are long gone. We may not win them all, but teams will definitely have to work for any Ws.
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