Tampa Bay, Fla. (CBS) A season ago, things weren’t so bad for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A 10-6 team with young talent and an enthusiastic coach is what Tampa Bay needed after years of dismay after winning the Super Bowl in 2003.
But things haven’t gone as planned in 2011. The Bucs have lost seven consecutive games, and at 4-9 the team has regressed dramatically from this point last season. Josh Freeman burst onto the scene last year as a dominant quarterback in the NFL, but his personal success has yet to carry over from a season ago.
Everyone bowed down to Raheem Morris for his team’s strength in the face of adversity, but now he is arguably a loss away from getting the boot. Jack Del Rio and Tony Sporano have lost their head coaching jobs with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins, and with the way the Bucs are playing Morris may be handed the next lump of coal in the Sunshine State.
So why is Tampa Bay playing like a pee-wee squad among a cluster of professional teams? The Bucs made a good run last year, but that success could’ve had a direct affect on the attitudes of the young players. They earned their respect with good play in 2010, but entering this season they grew too complacent.
Discipline must not have been a priority for Morris during the off-season, and instead of acting as a coach he played the role of friend to his players. As a result, the team grew too comfortable and lacked the professional relationship needed to improve as individuals and as a team.
Players like Aquib Talib, LeGarrette Blount, Mike Williams and Kellen Winslow can be liabilities with their hot-tempered personalities, which takes away from their incredible talents and athleticism.
No matter what the cost, the Bucs need to turn things around and restore the confidence back in this successful franchise.