Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bucs admit they're desperate for a win

Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy admits he was rooting for a Giants loss Monday that would have kept them winless as well.


Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy admits he was rooting for a Giants loss Monday that would have kept them winless as well.

TAMPA — Those who like to rubberneck at accidents will no doubt be tuning in Thursday night to see Team Turmoil when the Buccaneers host the Panthers.

Whether it's three players with MRSA, the Josh Freeman fiasco or the 0-6 record, there are probably several reasons why the hazmat suits are worn to clean up after the Bucs. With luck this bad, black cats won't cross their path.

Players and coaches would love to rewrite those dour headlines in front of a national TV audience.

"First and foremost, we desperately need a win, right?" coach Greg Schiano said. "That's a good headline: desperately need a win.

"What's most important is I think the guys recognize that every other NFL player watches this game, at least if they're a football fan they do. The Thursday night football game is part of their week. It's a big part of our league. Yeah, when you get a chance to be the only show in the league, everybody understands that. Sure they do."

Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was rooting hard for the Vikings to beat the Giants on Monday night, to no avail. The Giants extricated themselves from the cellar where only the Jaguars and Bucs remain winless.

"Desperate, that's kind of like the last straw isn't it? If you don't have a win?" McCoy said. "The Giants won. I was like, 'C'mon now.' I was like, 'Dang it! Another team with a win.' We've got to get one. We don't want to be the last ones. We've got to get it."

The Bucs don't have to travel on a short week like Carolina. But the Panthers are hot, having won two straight. Quarterback Cam Newton has completed 81.3 percent (35 of 43) of his passes the past two weeks for 446 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.

Meanwhile, the Bucs are expected to be without running back Doug Martin, who suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder in Sunday's loss to Atlanta.

McCoy said he's fine with the quick turnaround considering the winless start.

"I hate waiting a week to play another game," McCoy said. "To lose the way we did in Atlanta, or to lose the way we've lost games in the past, it (stinks) to sit and wait.

"I don't think we're going to play desperate if that makes sense. I think we've going to go out there and execute better. We do need a win because we don't have one, but I don't think it's going to be like, 'They're playing desperate.' "

Panthers coach Ron Rivera can relate a little to the Bucs' slow start under Schiano, who is in his second season. In Rivera's first two seasons, the Panthers were 13-19.

"I think what Coach Schiano has done is they're building the defense, trying to establish the offensive line," Rivera said. "They've had some unfortunate things with the offensive line right now, but I think the direction you had, you establish your defense, you establish the toughness or who you want to be, you go out and get big, physical offensive linemen, you put them in front of your unit and run the ball.

"It's just a matter of time. They're going through a tough time and a tough stretch, which we get and we understand because we've gone through it, too. Hopefully, it's a matter of time before things start to work."

Under Schiano, the Bucs are 3-8 at Raymond James Stadium. He would like to establish a homefield advantage. Add it to the list.

"One of the frustrating things, there (are) a few," Schiano said of establishing homefield advantage. "Do I think we're going to? I do. I've seen that stadium be an intense homefield advantage and I know we can get it back. Hopefully that starts Thursday night."

Bucs vs. Panthers

8:25 Thursday, Raymond James Stadium. TV/radio: NFL Network, Ch. 32; 620-AM, 103.5-FM, 95.3-FM

Bucs admit they're desperate for a win 10/22/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 11:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays say they don't want to be satisfied with hovering around .500

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As pleased as the Rays were to win consecutive series against the contending Red Sox, Indians and Yankees and to briefly get back over .500, there was a lot of talk in the clubhouse before Monday's game against the Angels that it was time to do better.

    Corey Dickerson gets a high-five from third-base coach Charlie Montoyo after tying the score at 1 with a leadoff home run to the opposite field in the first inning of Monday’s late Rays-Angels game, his 12th homer this season.
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Monday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    OF/DH Corey Dickerson missed out on a good birthday gift when AL player of the week honors went instead to Detroit's J.D. Martinez. Dickerson hit .385 with five homers, nine RBIs and nine runs; Martinez went .389-4-9-7 and got the nod.

  3. Rays journal: Alex Cobb learning to work with what he has



    If this were 2012 or 2013, even 2014, RHP Alex Cobb would have problems. He would find himself working with only two of his three pitches, with the missing pitch being his trusty changeup.

    Alex Cobb, working mainly with his fastball and curveball, is 3-1 with a 2.78 ERA over his past five starts. The Rays right-hander tries to continue his strong stretch tonight against the Angels.
  4. Rays vs. Angels, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Angels

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  5. Fennelly: This season's Chris Archer is a pleasure to watch

    The Heater


    At this time last season, through 10 starts, Rays pitcher Chris Archer was 3-5 on his way to 9-19.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, May 21, 2017.