The Bucs lost today to the Jacksonville Jaguars 41-14.
Staking themselves to a 14-0 lead by the second quarter, the Bucs watched impotently as the 3-9 Jags reeled off 41 unanswered points. At one point, Jax scored four times in the span of seven minutes.
Looking at the stats of the game, the teams played nearly identical. Using only that metric, someone who had not watched the game would assume the final score was more like 17-14 rather than the embarrassing blowout it was. But the telling difference was turnovers. The Bucs committed seven of them -- interceptions, and fumbles that gave the Jags either a short field or a walk-in score. Even against the league's worst teams, you simply cannot do that and expect to win.
Head coach Raheem Morris' post game interview had him talking about returning to basics and running things more like training camp -- focusing on ball control and other things that professional football players, who get paid millions of dollars, should not have to be reminded to do.
On the FOX halftime show, Howie and the guys were talking about how the veterans on the team need to stand up/speak up and so on. What veterans?! This is a team of rookies and guys with only one or two years in the league. Morris jettisoned all the leaders off the team as soon as he took over from Jon Gruden.
Rhonde Barber? Not exactly a huge voice in the locker room. Albert Haynesworth? Yeah another game with no tackles. Who's going to listen to a guy who's been kicked off three other teams for being fat, lazy and a distraction?
Contrast this with two other events in the NFL today -- in Green Bay, the undefeated Packers are laying a b*tch slapping on the Raiders (46-7 last time I looked), playing angry and focused because they were disappointed in their performance in last week's last minute win against the Giants. And Patriots qb Tom Brady sitting on the bench getting his ass chewed out by the qb coach for throwing an interception in the end zone during a close back and forth game with the Redskins.
What's the difference? In a word . . . coaching.
Raheem Morris might be a nice guy, but he's out of his depth as a head coach. Three years in and under Morris' direction the team is regressing not progressing. That's bad coaching, plain and simple. Scaling back the playbook, talk of returning to basics, longer practices at the end of a long season as punishment . . . that's the noise made by coaches who don't know what else to do.
Bucs ownership had their Obama moment when they hired Morris -- a guy with no experience and no reasonable expectation he would succeed. And they/we got exactly what the country got/is getting from the President -- a long ugly tumble into disaster and mediocrity.
It's time for a change, both in the White House and at One Buc Place.