By Tom Krasniqi
It wasn’t the ideal way to start the season. Losing on the road to an inferior Jets team leaves a sour taste in the mouths of Bucs fans on this Monday. The coaching staff and players feel the same way. 0-1 stinks especially when you lose the way the Bucs squandered that game on Sunday.
On Monday, Bucs head coach Greg Schiano says the game film of the 18-17 loss to the Jets on Sunday didn’t look all that great. “Certainly, I’m not okay with the way our team played because we lost in a game with 13 penalties. So, I’m not OK with the way he played,” Schiano said. “Did it look sloppy? Yeah, some parts of it looked sloppy. Some parts looked really good.”
The 13 penalties committed for more than 100 yards were certainly distressing. And that begs the question: Was the team adequately prepared to play? “They were very prepared,” stated Schiano. “I said it yesterday—maybe it was missed—I’m not sure that we weren’t just a little too excited to play together…new team, new group of guys, some additions. I think the guys were very excited to play. We made too many mistakes for sure.”
The first drive of the game by the offense was forgettable. The communicator goes out and the offense looked in complete disarray. A timeout was followed by two delay of game penalties. A sack and two false start penalties later and the Bucs looked like a team that had never played together before. Schiano says the team usually takes preventative steps just in case the communication goes out. He didn’t seem too thrilled about the penalties and offered this nugget about quarterback Josh Freeman and the communication issue: “Josh has the ability to call his own play rather than burn a timeout or take a delay of game [penalty].”
Hmmm, then why didn’t he? “I would’ve preferred to use the step before that. If worse comes to worse, that’s the last resort—he knows what to call—but I’d prefer to get the play in by another method.” It doesn’t sound like the coach has too much faith in his QB and that’s never a good thing.
As for the defense, Schiano wants his team to remain aggressive despite the personal foul calls on safeties Mark Barron and Dashon Goldson. “We’ve got to play on the edge, that’s the way we play,” Schiano said. “We’ve got to be smart about it.” Schiano said the defense’s hard-hitting style hasn’t been seen around here in a “long time”.
Schiano says team morale is just fine after the crushing Jets loss. Sure, the Bucs are 0-1 but guess what? After the first week, there are 16 teams that are 1-0 and the rest of the 16 are 0-1. Bucs need to get over the loss quick with Drew Brees and the high-powered Saints coming to town on Sunday. By the way, the Saints are 1-0 after a big 23-17 home win over the Falcons on Sunday.
News & Notes:
- CB Michael Adams injured his knee during the Jets game. Schiano says they’re not sure on the severity of the injury.
- Jeff Demps joined the Bucs on Monday. The former Florida Gator has just finished his track commitment and the team will waste no time in breaking him in. Schiano says Demps brings a dynamic speed element to the team: “He’ll walk into the National Football League probably as the fastest player in the league.” We’ll see what kind of football shape he’s in.
- With the starting offense looking disorganized on the first drive, Schiano was asked if he regrets not playing them more in the preseason: “No, I don’t regret it.”
- Schiano says LG Carl Nicks is “closer” to returning, although the coach stopped short of saying that he’ll be ready for the Saints game.
- Bucs CB Leonard Johnson raved on Monday about CB Darrelle Revis and his leadership qualities on the field: “His presence alone puts everyone at their ‘A’ game.” Revis looked like he was on his ‘A’ game yesterday or close to it.
- I asked LB Dekoda Watson if he thought Jets QB Geno Smith was inbounds on the controversial penalty on LB LaVonte David that set up the game-winning field goal: “It’s questionable…I’m gonna leave it at that.”
- The Bucs will have their home opener on Sunday against the Saints at Raymond James Stadium. You can catch the game on 620 WDAE and 95.3FM with our coverage beginning at 12 noon with the Floor & Décor Countdown To Kickoff show.
- For the latest Bucs news, keep it locked all day long on 620 WDAE and 95.3FM, your home of the Bucs and the best Bucs coverage. Don’t forget to check out the Bucs blog at 620wdae.com for the latest news and audio clips.