By Max Luckan
Truth is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers aren’t a very good team. They haven’t been for a very long time and right now, the Bucs don’t seem to be getting any closer to becoming a top team in the NFL. The Bucs are currently an afterthought in the minds of many people around the league. They’ve started the 2013 season off with a record of 0-3 and while the Bucs may get a win this Sunday against the 1-2 Arizona Cardinals, no one knows when their next win after that will come, if at all. That’s how bad the Bucs currently are, but why?
Josh Freeman is not the answer
Well, at least for now Freeman isn’t the answer. He doesn’t seem to be capable of leading this Bucs team, and that translates to him probably never becoming a franchise quarterback with the Bucs. He’s still young so that could always change, but even though Freeman has played terribly, Bucs coach Greg Schiano appears to be sticking with him for now.
“Josh is our starter. That’s where we are,” said Schiano. “He’s done some good things and he’s done some things that he’d like to change and we’d like to. But it’s the whole offensive unit. We need to be more precise and we need to coach more precisely, it’s everybody involved.”
The offense has managed to score a whopping three points in the last seven quarters of action and actually compares rather well with Jacksonville’s offense at the moment. And no matter how Schiano frames it, the offense goes through the quarterback, who by the way, has failed to complete more than 50 percent of his passes in all three games this season.
What if Schiano was actually one of the few in the organization that supported Freeman? That would sure make for an interesting plot twist. At this point, it is unclear who is not a fan of Freeman in the Bucs organization, but it is widely believed to be Schiano. And Freeman is rattled. He’s rattled because he doesn’t have the full support of everyone in the organization despite many saying publicly they support him, and that’s not the position a team wants to find its starting quarterback in.
Bucs are currently a dysfunctional family
At this point, it’s safe to say they are dysfunctional, especially with all the drama surrounding the relationship between Schiano and the players. When everyone isn’t on the same page, the results can be catastrophic and they have been early on for the Bucs. But it can get a lot worse if the team doesn’t solve its issues soon.
There were whispers that many players weren’t buying into Schiano’s system and his ways. But left guard Carl Nicks publicly dispelled those rumors.
“My first year in the league was the hardest training camp I’ve ever experienced,” Nicks told the Tampa Tribune. “Schiano has not even come close to that yet. Seriously it’s not that bad. It was some of the guys that came from different teams or were rookies and they just weren’t used to it. The guys that were here last year, we’re used to it and to us it wasn’t that difficult.”
Nicks’ endorsement is a positive for Schiano, as he’s one of the veteran leaders on the team and his comments may be an indication that at least most players have bought in. But even if the players currently don’t fully support Schiano, he, as the head coach, has to figure out how to earn the trust of his players.
And with the season quickly spiraling out of control, Schiano has to figure out how to do that fast.
For more Bucs news and updates, visit Bucs Central.
Max Luckan lives in Tampa, FL and is a sports writer covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and NFL. Luckan has been covering the Buccaneers for a few years now. Max is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.