There are no more ‘two games out of first place’ conversations going on at One Buccaneer Place.
It’s now official, at 2-11, the Buccaneers, are mathematically out of postseason contention. And while it may have seemed that way months ago – at least for those outside the organization – head coach Lovie Smith constantly reminded fans and media loss after loss that they were still alive.
But after Sunday’s, 34-17, thrashing at the hands of the Lions, that talk is over.
“This week is a little bit different for us,” Lovie Smith said. “There’s no destination Phoenix, or anything like that. I know last week it was pretty much the same situation, but again, (it’s a) different mindset with all of that (playoffs) off the table.”
The press conference started with brutal honesty. Smith didn’t pull any punches when it came to evaluating his team’s performance in Detroit.
“A few of the weeks, when you lose that many games, I’ve talked an awful lot about us having chances to win… maybe even should have won and didn’t handle the situations at the end,” Smith said. “That wasn’t the case yesterday. They were better than us from start to finish. We were close at times, but they had control of the game throughout. Offensively we couldn’t get the running game going. Passing game, they pretty much shut us down. Defensively we’ve been playing a lot better, but we didn’t yesterday. Those things happen sometimes. That’s where we are.”
During his post-game press conference on Sunday, Smith was asked if there would be a move back to Mike Glennon, as well as other younger players in order to start the evaluation process for 2015. On Monday he was asked the same question. For now, he hasn’t thought that far ahead. Smith didn’t confirm nor deny any position changes, instead, reiterating his philosophy of starting whoever provides the best chance to win.
“I said yesterday it wasn’t the time”, Smith said of answering if younger players would play. “Today really isn’t either. But I have made a statement on that, we’re going to do what gives us the best chance to win. If playing a (younger) player at a position won’t hurt our football team to win the game, we’ll always look at that. (We) haven’t even made it that far to decide. We haven’t even started looking at video from Carolina yet. We won’t give up a game to put a player in a situation like that.
“And I would like to think that if there’s a younger player that we haven’t played and we…when you go through a 2-11 season, you would’ve looked at that option earlier. I don’t think we have a lot of those situations around.”
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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