The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in a world of trouble, and what’s worse is head coach Dirk Koetter believes he might have already lost some of his players.
The Bucs have lost five games in a row and are uncomfortably sitting at the bottom of the heap in the tough AFC South. With a record of 2-6, they’re two games behind the Atlanta Falcons. When discussing the team’s recent failures, Koetter admitted his players may have already lost confidence in him and his staff.
“What happens when a team loses is sometimes (the players) are not confident in the coach, or the scheme, or the other side of the ball or their teammates,’’ Koetter said, per Roy Cummings of Florida Football Insiders. “That’s human nature. That happens in every aspect of life. Do I think there is possibly some of that going on (here)? Yeah, there probably is. The easiest way to fix it is (to) play good team football and get a win.’’
While Koetter is certainly taking the look-yourself-in-the-mirror approach to heart, this isn’t a normal comment by an NFL head coach. It could potentially lead further down the rabbit hole, especially for a squad that has struggled to live up to the hype, lights and glamour of being the 2017 Hard Knocks team.
Last Sunday, all this came crashing down in a huge way. There was a total loss of composure by the team’s top stars in their game against the New Orleans Saints (watch here). Because of that loss of composure, Mike Evans will be watching Sunday’s game from home, suspended one game for his dirty hit on Marshon Lattimore. Jameis Winston, who is unable to play at this time because of a shoulder injury, was fined for his part in sparking the sideline fight.
Needless to say, playing “good team football and getting a win” is going to be hard this weekend.
With Evans and Winston both sidelined, Tampa Bay’s already struggling offense will be hard pressed to do enough to generate a win. Even if it’s against the New York Jets, who surprisingly have looked a lot more like a potential playoff team this year than the Bucs.