There are many reasons to hate Monday’s, but Monday after a win in the NFL; Victory Monday, as you will, is a joyous and wonderful thing.
Especially as a Buccaneers fan. There have not been too many to celebrate this season. However, a win against old rivals Carolina have indeed scraped away some of the misery, doom and gloom and it has been replaced with a rare, albeit joyous feeling of hope and happiness.
I saw Buccaneers fans talk about running the table and making the playoffs on twitter last night. There was also talk of keeping the coaching staff and that Mark Duffner is the man to take the Buccaneers forward.
Now, I love Victory Monday’s. They are rare as Buccaneer fans and they should be enjoyed. Like a fine red wine and a steak, savoured as you aren’t sure when you will have such a lovely occasion again to enjoy it. I also love the optimism.
However, whilst I enjoy Victory Monday’s, embrace them, crave them, they should not paper over the cracks. Because the Buccaneers have had six interceptions in their last 2 games and picked Cam Newton for four of these, it doesn’t mean the defence is elite. Andrew Adam’s ,the Buc’s 6th choice Safety, playing because the entire Defensive Backs have been wiped out with injuries this season, is not a Pro Bowl safety. He’s had a career game, and will win NFC Defensive Player of the week for sure, but I don’t want him signing a $10,000,000 extension just yet.
The Buccaneers are not right. The errors of the last two seasons are still there. All this talk of Jameis Winston being this new Quarterback who doesn’t throw interceptions is slightly baffling and a tad daft. It is 2 games, which based against the 40 odd games he has played, make them the anomaly and not the norm.
This talk of complimentary football, Offence and Defence playing in harmony together and by not giving the ball away, and creating turnovers to allow us to win games is all very nice, but isn’t it obvious!
I hear a lot of talk that the Buccaneers have turned a corner. They have improved in the last two weeks. No one can deny that. But was it hard to improve? The days of Quarterback roulette have ended and there is clarity at the position for the first time all season. The defence has created turnovers, which is amazing, but it took them 9 weeks of not creating any before they did, and against an injury riddled 49ers team and a Panthers team who have lost 4 straight.
I’m not one to tell a fan how to feel. Far from it. If you are happy with the current setup, then I wish I was you. I wish I could be content with what is going on. But I am not. The coaching staff have finally figured out how to win, after 6 wins in their last 18 games. That’s not good enough. I bought into the FitzMagic hype, and quite badly, as I was desperate to believe the coaching staff had actually coached the players. I do not see much improvement in the players from a coaching perspective. Dirk Koetter has had more resources than any coach in the history of the franchise in terms of players talent and autonomy over coaching.
I’m not going to deny this is the best Offence we have seen in Tampa, probably ever. But this Defence is historically bad. The names and talent on the roster, competing with the Saints at the top of the division is the aim that I am sure was set at the start of the season. Instead, the Bucs cannot win the division now, and there is still a month to play.
I don’t want to dampen any enthusiasm for the way the team are playing now. It’s better than it was, and back to back Victory Monday’s have put a spring back in my step. But I don’t want them to be as rare as they have been over the last 6 seasons (one 9 win season in 6 years is poor). I want the Buccaneers to compete again for Division titles and NFC titles, like we were are the turn of the century.
And it is because of the Victory Monday’s that I believe, for the most part, we have the roster to compete. Jameis needs more coaching and development. He needs an experienced coach with experience of deep playoff runs and scheming great offences to help him realise his talent. But the Bucs also need a defensive wizard to help conjure up spells to defy the best offences the NFC have to offer, courtesy of the NFC South.
The Bucs need a winner as a coach, to brighten up the franchise, and show the path to glory. That beating the 49ers shouldn’t be celebrated as a huge win. It should be business as usual, as a playoff run starts to develop. Dirk has had time, resources, and investment to get us to the playoffs for 3 years, and he has failed. It’s time for experience, and it’s time to start winning.
I want a Victory Monday every Monday. I want to dine out on steak every week, and not be stuck with a microwaved Macaroni and Cheese meal every week, just because we did not make the necessary change of bring in the experience leader to teach us how to make the change. Switching from Macaroni and Cheese in a Microwave to Steak and chips is all about confidence and willingness to do it. Funny enough, so is coaching a team to the playoffs.
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