Bucs merely getting what they deserve
Martin Fennelly, The Tampa Tribune, published 21 October 2013

We interrupt prep work for your Josh Freeman “Monday Night Football” watch party to bring you Chapter 6 in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Book of the Dead. It’s 0-6 for just the sixth time in Bucs history. We would have thought there would have been more of those, but, really, it’s only the sixth time. Frankly, 0-6 takes some work. But Greg Schiano and his endless coaching staff and players were up to the task, or down to it. Sunday was for Atlanta and a 31-23 loss to the Falcons’ B team, featuring a junior varsity offense. The Bucs still found a way.

Despite some good Mike Glennon throws, a one-armed Vincent Jackson touchdown grab, more Lavonte David tackles, plus a slight comeback ... despite the Bucs outgaining the Falcons, running 31 more plays, possessing the ball 15 more minutes, your sons of pewter put their skulls together — clunk — for 11 more penalties, more blown coverages, more bad coaching. It takes the village. This one is burning down.

“All that matters is we lost and we’ve got to find a way to win,” said Schiano, who can’t. “I could say this and I could say that, but let’s speak in reality: We’re 0-6 and we’ve got a game Thursday,” Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said.

Yes, dead ahead is Thursday night at Ray Jay against the Panthers, for all the nation to see, then turn off. I’m telling you, if the Bucs lose that one, there will be players setting their alarm clocks on Josh time to make sure they miss the flight to Seattle. By the way: Harry Douglas? Not Julio Jones, not Roddy White ... Harry Douglas?

You can’t stop him? You can’t stop that middle screen that the Falcons use constantly in goal-line situations, but which the Bucs appeared completely clueless about? Well, at least the offense punched home its first second-half touchdown of the season before adding those two important field goals. What was Schiano thinking? A field goal to close within 11 points, at least two scores, but with just five minutes left when it took three-and-a-half days to get down there in the first place?

Maybe we shouldn’t blame him. Whose brain didn’t short circuit over the bone-headedness the Bucs displayed to end “The Drive” — 18 plays that took more time than AL East baseball and brought them to first and goal at the Atlanta 5? “We’re knocking on the door,” Glennon said. “Their guys are tired, 5 yards to go, we’re right back in the game.” Then we self-inflicted,” Schiano said.

Donald Penn and Jackson combined for 25 yards in penalties. It was fourth-and-goal at the 23-yard line in no time at all. It was mesmerizing. “It’s like we’re going one step forward, two steps back,” Jackson said.

Two Falcons touchdown drives lasted one play — Atlanta scooping up a Glennon fumble for a touchdown, then Matt Ryan again finding the great Harry Douglas. I wonder if any fans will take Bucs defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan’s light-hearted offer when questioned about the team’s use of Darrelle Revis, for folks to come in at 5 in the morning and stay until 11 at night four days a week to game plan. Yuck, yuck.

By the way, if you are coming, bring donuts. The Bucs are playing hard, but what’s the use if you’re not playing smart? Or coaching smart? That’s how you get a donut in the win column. Knock, knock. Who’s there? 0-6. “It just seems like we can’t even make a mistake and then trip into a win,” Revis said.

The fact is the Bucs players and coaches haven’t deserved to win any of these games. Another fact is that there were still believers in the losing locker room. “Every Sunday when I wake up, I think we have a chance to win, a good chance to win,” Bucs offensive lineman Davin Joseph said. Wonder how he is on Thursdays.