Glass half-full or half-empty?
The Bucs stand at 4-4 at their mid-point of the 2011 season, a study in equality, a matching of par for the golfers out there. But is the proverbial glass half-empty or half-full?
Naturally if the previous game was a win, then the message boards would be full of confident claims, boastful brags and how the Texans might as well not even bother turning up in Tampa next Sunday.
But last Sunday was a loss and two weeks before in London, another loss. And of course this enough to have the sky falling in. Sometimes I really hate the internet for giving some of these people a mouthpiece that simply cannot be shut up.
The Bucs have now lost Gerald McCoy again for the season and before the cries of "draft bust" echo (too late in some cases), this is just one of those things that happens in football and in life. What really hurts is that it is at a position the defense needs stellar play the most.
Do you have belief that the coaching staff will get it done? They did it late last season when Frank "The Tank" Okam started playing more extensively. They have already made changes in benching Geno Hayes and scrapping the idea to play rookie Da'Quan Bowers inside. Can they do it again?
And how about the offense? We all seem quick to forget that the four receivers are all second-year NFL players, LeGarette Blount has less than a season starting and outside of Kellen Winslow, there is no other real experience reception-eligible out there. Hence mistakes and penalties often flow.
There has been a lot of criticism of some of the play-calling recently but this only happens when a play does not work. I have no problem with the wildcat packages, the receiver reverses and the like, as it is one more thing for a defense to prepare for, and I know how much it benefits the whole team mantra that Raheem preaches.
So coming back to the half-full or half-empty question. If you are a Buc fan, and if you are reading this, then I naturally assume you are, then the glass is half full.
I have always maintained that an 8-8 season would be a success this season for such a young team, if necessary a step back ready to take two forward in 2012 just as Tony Dungy's team did in 1998 after their surprising success the season before. At 4-4, Raheem's 2011 unit is half way towards achieving it.
The Bucs still have a pair of Carolina encounters and an in-state trip to Jacksonville you can presume they will be favourites for. All I am looking for is one more win to make my prediction a reality and speaking purely personally and selfishly, I would love it to be this Sunday against the Texans whilst I am at Raymond James Stadium.
You've been great, enjoy Tiffany.