Tampa, Fla. (CBS) With Sunday’s 23-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans, the Tampa Bay Bucs have lost five straight games and look to be heading to the point of no return.
Coach Raheem Morris has faith in his young squad despite all the setbacks, but it may be difficult to keep the team motivated, especially since a playoff spot is out of the picture. One thing Tampa Bay must play for is their pride.
“We remain committed to growing as a football team,” Morris said on Monday to reporters. “I don’t think the mentality of this team is ever going to change.”
It may not change, but it’s certainly been affected by the frustration that sets in when games aren’t going your way. Josh Freeman used to be the leader everyone knew he would be, but at 4-7 he has seemingly lost the ability to close out games for his team.
He had two great chances to orchestrate a comeback against Tennessee late in the game down a touchdown, but his first attempt he threw an ill-advised pass to Kellen Winslow which was intercepted, and the following drive he fumbled a snap and turned the ball over on downs.
The comeback kid made the name for himself last year with amazing comeback wins to lift the team’s spirits heading into this season, but right now Freeman and the Bucs are fighting for last place in the NFC South.
Freeman and the offense is only one thorn in the paw. The defense, which ranks next to last in the NFL, gave up 190 yards to Chris Johnson during last week’s loss.
Since the team is so young, the poor play is a concern because you ultimately want to build a team around players like Freeman, LeGarrette Blount and Aquib Talib.
The rookie mistakes need to stop, and Morris and the coaching staff are at fault than anyone.