Friday, April 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs' good vibes are gone

Good vibes gone

Bucs coach Greg Schiano was in a sour mood Sunday, more irritated than normal after a loss. He called the 33-14 thumping by the 49ers "disappointing." A better word, perhaps: discouraging. All the good vibes built up over the recent 4-1 streak were erased in the three hours it took for the 49ers to manhandle the Bucs.

The offense was abysmal again. The defense couldn't stop the 49ers when it mattered most. Even the special teams goofed up and cost the Bucs a touchdown.

And I don't want to hear how the Bucs were playing a good team. We're not grading on a curve. This is life in the NFL. The 49ers are the type of team you have to play and beat when you're a good team.

After Sunday, it's hard to say this team is making progress, especially on offense and especially at quarterback.

Biggest play

Down only 20-14 early in the fourth quarter, the Bucs forced the 49ers into third and 12 from the San Francisco 29-yard line. QB Colin Kaepernick scrambled around, found receiver Michael Crabtree for a 14-yard gain, and the 49ers went on to ice the game with a gut-punching 17-play drive that chewed up more than 10 minutes and ended with a Phil Dawson field goal to make it 23-14.

Number of the day

22 Ten-loss seasons the Bucs now have after dropping to 4-10 on Sunday. Forget moral victories. Forget injuries. Forget opponents. Forget how they got here. Bottom line: a double-digit loss season. Again. Those don't do much for job security, whether it be for players, coaches or executives.

Not the worst call

If there was a lowlight that epitomized the loss — and just maybe the Bucs' season — it was the bumbling fumble that turned into a 49ers touchdown when the Bucs botched a reverse on a kickoff return late in the fourth quarter. The execution was horrible, but the call was not a bad idea. With the Bucs down nine points with fewer than five minutes left and needing two scores, trying a little razzle-dazzle is worth the risk, particularly when an offense is struggling to score.

Three things that popped into my head

1. An ominous tone was set when the Bucs' Brian Leonard dropped what would have been a first-down catch on the first series of the day. When an offense is struggling, you can't just gift a three-and-out on the first series.

2. If you paid to see Kaepernick, you got your money's worth. He threw for 203 yards, ran for 39 and generally looked like what an elite NFL quarterback is supposed to look.

3. Bucs LB Lavonte David is the best player on the team right now.

Final thought

Does this not feel like the longest season in the history of the NFL? And two games are still left.

Comments
NFL draft confessions: The Bucs set the trap, and I took the cheese on Johnny Manziel

NFL draft confessions: The Bucs set the trap, and I took the cheese on Johnny Manziel

TAMPA — The NFL draft is one big game of Liar's Poker. Deal me out.Even the guys with a seat at the table don't know when someone is bluffing.Bucs general manager Jason Licht knows that the team's No. 7 overall pick this year will be affected b...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
Bucs’ Jameis Winston, Mike Evans catch Miami Heat game from courtside

Bucs’ Jameis Winston, Mike Evans catch Miami Heat game from courtside

We've seen Jameis Winston and Mike Evans bonding this offseason, going to Texas A&M pro day together, among other events. The two Bucs stars and their significant others double-dated Thursday night, getting courtside seats to watch the Miami Heat in ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Bucs have a tough start to their schedule

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Bucs have a tough start to their schedule

The NFL did the Bucs no favors with their 2018 schedule, Rick Stroud says, making them open at New Orleans, followed by home games against Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Plus, linebacker Kendall Beckwith had surgery to repair a broken ankle, p...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Here’s the Bucs’ full 2018 schedule

Here’s the Bucs’ full 2018 schedule

TAMPA — How good can the Bucs be in 2018? Fans will get a good sense in the first three weeks, as Tampa Bay opens the year with three of its toughest games, all against reigning division champions. The Bucs open 2018 in New Orleans on Sept. 9 ...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Bucs linebacker Kendell Beckwith fractured ankle in car accident

Bucs linebacker Kendell Beckwith fractured ankle in car accident

TAMPA – Bucs linebacker Kendell Beckwith had surgery to repair a broken ankle he suffered in a car accident in Louisiana last week, putting his status for the start of the season in question.Beckwith was passenger in car driven by former L...
Published: 04/19/18
Bucs’ home schedule leaked: Hosting Eagles in Week 2

Bucs’ home schedule leaked: Hosting Eagles in Week 2

The 2018 NFL schedule won't be released until 8 p.m. tonight, but the Bucs' eight home games were posted early — and presumably accidentally — on the team's site, showing what would be a daunting start to the upcoming season.Multiple outl...
Published: 04/19/18
Is Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick a first-round fit for the Bucs?

Is Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick a first-round fit for the Bucs?

Minkah FitzpatrickPosition: SafetyCollege: AlabamaHeight/Weight: 6-1, 201Draft projection: First roundWhy Fitzpatrick makes sense for the BucsOne of the Bucs' biggest needs is to improve their secondary. Fitzpatrick is a playmaker, arguably the best ...
Published: 04/17/18
Jameis Winston set to make $21 million in 2019 as Bucs pick up his option

Jameis Winston set to make $21 million in 2019 as Bucs pick up his option

TAMPA — Jameis Winston is headed for a big pay day after this season, whether he gets a contract extension or not.The Bucs on Tuesday picked up the fifth-year option on Winston's rookie contract worth $20.9 million for 2019. The deal is not gua...
Published: 04/17/18
Get to know potential Bucs NFL draft target Vita Vea of Washington

Get to know potential Bucs NFL draft target Vita Vea of Washington

As next week's NFL draft nears, Bucs fans might want to learn a little more about a potential target at No. 7: Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea.The 6-foot-4, 347-pound monster moves very well for someone his size and could be an intriguing option...
Published: 04/17/18
DeSean Jackson and Jameis Winston were in perfect harmony on Day 1

DeSean Jackson and Jameis Winston were in perfect harmony on Day 1

TAMPA — DeSean Jackson and Jameis Winston were finally on the same page.For the first day of the offseason workout program, anyway.Jackson, 31, is coming off one of the worst seasons of his 10-year career with 50 catches for only 668 yards and ...
Published: 04/16/18