It’s been preached by the coaching staff all season that the NFL is a week to week league, but with the Buccaneers sitting at 5-10, the playoffs out of the question and the season coming to a close, the conversations around One Buc on Wednesday largely revolved around the development of players and the takeaways from the season as a whole.
Defensive coordinator Mark Duffner stood at the podium before the team’s open locker room period, talking only slightly about their upcoming game against the Falcons.
He started with his opinion on where the defense has grown and improved this season as well as his evaluations of rookies Vita Vea, Carlton Davis and Jordan Whitehead.
With the rookie notes out the way Duffner was able delve into talk about what Gerald McCoy and Dirk Koetter have brought to the team. The two have been keys in the franchise for years now, but both face their futures hanging in question.
In the locker room it was again more about the season as a whole than the team’s upcoming game. Jason Pierre-Paul, Adam Humphries, Beau Allen and Vea spoke to the media covering everything from how they’ve grown and improved this year to keeping the motivation alive to fight through the team’s last game.
Here’s Pierre-Paul on how his season went and how he was able to fight through injuries all year to stay on the field.
After his thoughts on his own season, Pierre-Paul joined Duffner in praising Vea on his improvement throughout his rookie year and then spoke to the development of Carl Nassib, a diamond the team was able to find in the rough through waivers, and Coach Buckner.
In Adam Humphries’ chance to talk to the media he touched on some important notes, from his season takeaways and his views on Koetter’s work in Tampa to his thoughts on Sunday possibly being his last game with the Bucs.
Finally, after being a talking point all day, first round pick Vita Vea talked about what he has learned throughout his rookie season and what it was like transitioning from college football to the NFL.
Last to the podium was head coach Dirk Koetter. In a long line of grading positions and players that were asked about, Koetter gave his thoughts about how the defensive line changed from last year to this season.
Koetter then gave some insight on why Cameron Brate’s statistics have been down. He attributed it to both the rise of O.J. Howard and a list of injuries that Brate has been playing through, despite not letting the public know. Koetter know’s that once healthy, Brate can return to his form.
The ending to this edition of Inside One Buc is dedicated to a burning question throughout the minds of Tampa Bay fans everywhere: should the team lose to improve their draft spot or fight to win their final game of the season, despite the playoffs being out of reach?