The Tampa Bay Buccaneers entered this season with division championship and playoff aspirations. Heading into Week 8, the team now finds itself at 2-4 following a brutal late-game loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
Following that game, multiple members of the Buccaneers aired their frustration over the lack of playing time.
“You got to talk to coach Mike Smith and Dirk Koetter, but I’m at my wit’s end. I’m tired of it. I mean, that’s not why I came here. I did not come here to rotate,” T.J. Ward said, via the Tampa Bay Times. “I did come here to be a part-time player. I came here to make this defense better.”
Meanwhile, defensive lineman Chris Baker aired a similar grievance on social media.
FACTS I feel the same way Bro https://t.co/8UsmnNfKOS
— Chris Baker (@cbakerswaggy) October 23, 2017
Needless to say, things aren’t going swimmingly in Tampa right now. And head coach Dirk Koetter is speaking out about it.
“My biggest concern is we’re 2-4,” Koetter said, via the Tampa Bay Times. “Of course, when you’re not playing up to expectations, it’s easy for your team to shatter from the inside out.”
If Bucs players are going to openly criticize coaching decisions in the media, it’s unlikely to get much better from a team-wide standpoints. Sure the effects of blowing a late-game leads on the road against an equal or inferior opponent hurts. But these are professional athletes. If they have an issue with coaching decisions, it might make sense to actually air those issues with said coaches instead of in the public eye.
For his part, Koetter still seemed a be restrained in his comments. But he, too, has to be frustrated over Tampa losing four of its first six games after turning it around big time this past season.