Following Sunday’s 19-17 loss to the St. Louis Rams, Bucs left tackle Anthony Collins was visibly shaken. For 15 minutes he sat in the back of the locker room on a box with a towel over his head speaking to no one. When he finally returned to his locker, most of the media had cleared out. PewterReport.com and Tribune reporter Ira Kaufman approached Collins who was still in a state of shock. To no one in particular Collins finally mustered the gumption to speak with tears welling up in his eyes.
“It’s not easy going against those defensive ends,” Collins said. “Yeah I am here for that. I know my ability. People know my ability. But it is not easy. You put your heart and soul into it. I know it is two games but… it hurts.”
Less that 24 hours later Collins familiar grin was back, but the pain from the loss was still evident.
“I am still upset, I can say I am over the game, but until the next game…we can’t let that happen anymore,” Collins said. “I just took time to myself and had to get away in my mind. I put everything (in) it. It is not easy playing who I have played against the last two weeks (Greg Hardy and Robert Quinn). Going into the Atlanta battle I am just ready to get the taste out on my mouth and come away with a W instead of an L.”
Despite the outcome Collins pointed to some positive things, which included an offensive line that gave up just one sack and helped the Buccaneers gain 157 yards on the ground.
“It was just effort, we went out there knowing those boys were going to be from a dome, and it is hot down here in Tampa,” Collins said. “So once we put that body on them and that effort on them, I knew we were going to be able to run the ball.”
Part of that was from the line getting more and more used to playing with each other.
“It is coming along, I got my All-Pro (Logan Mankins) next to me,” Collins said. “Our center (Evan Dietrich-Smith) is getting it down, we have a good right tackle
(Demar Dotson) and Pat (Omameh) is playing very, very well. I just have to take care of my business. The chemistry is coming with the tight ends. Shortly. But it is coming.
Collins went on to talk about Mankins leadership.
“I have never played with a guy like Logan (Mankins), I have played with some good left guards in Cincinnati, some great guards in Cincinnati” Collins said. “But a guy like Logan is telling you the game as the game is going on. I have never had that and it is different. I am loving it. As long as everybody stays healthy I think we are going to be alright.
“I see improvement and the places we have men we are going to be good. This is the first time we have ever played together period. Dotson is the only one from last year that is here. That has played in this weather and had played in these circumstances.”
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, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. 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 [email protected]
Passion! You can’t coach that. Maybe this lights a fire under other players. Go Bucs
Amen Shawn731. Go Bucs!
I gained a ton of respect for Collins after talking to him last night and today. These weren’t fake tears, he was devastated they lost. Lavonte and Mason were nearly as upset also. This locker room is different after a loss than previous ones.
His play the past two weeks has been a bright spot. Very encouraged by his passion. Now, if we just had some swagger.
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