A lack of execution has been what Tom Brady has consistently cited as the reason for the Bucs’ poor start this season, particularly on offense. Earlier in the week he added another component where his team is deficient: effort.
The assessment came after the Bucs’ comeback win over the Rams. Speaking on his Let’s Go! podcast Monday night, Brady called the team’s effort “embarrassing.”
“Correcting our mistakes, improving our effort (on game day) — which probably is the most embarrassing part of our team — is ... something we better fix,” Brady told co-host Jim Gray.
Two weeks ago, linebacker Devin White took a lot of heat for his apparent loaf on a play against the Ravens in a 27-22 loss. Brady sees more problems than one play.
On Friday at his news conference in Germany, he was given a chance to walk back some of his comments but instead doubled down on them.
“What can we control? We can certainly control our attitude, our effort,” he said. “And I think everything has been below the line this year — we’re 4-5. … I don’t think there’s any reason to be happy about anything we’ve done. Obviously, we’re not playing to our standards. We’re not there from an effort standpoint, execution standpoint, emotional standpoint. And we’ve got to figure it out.”
No one seems to want to disagree with Brady, but coach Todd Bowles tried to modify the criticism a little bit Friday.
“I agree with it but it’s not the effort I’m referring to … the effort is in the execution, so to speak — not in people loafing or doing anything like that,” Bowles said. “Doing the right things and executing the right way is the effort that we’re talking about.”
Brady was so concerned with the direction of the Bucs that he spoke in meetings to his teammates and coaches for the first time in a a while last week. He urged each player to take more accountability and do a better job.
One of those players Brady could be referring to is left tackle Donovan Smith, who has struggled since coming back from a hyperextended elbow. Three of the five sacks allowed by Smith this season have come in the last four games. All five of his penalties have come in the last three games.
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“I don’t think any of us are playing at the level we want everybody to play at or we’d be undefeated,” Bowles said. “(Smith) has just got to work to do, just like everybody else. It’s easy to sit up here and point out what he gave up, but we don’t point out what he did well. He does a lot of things well. He’s our left tackle. We like him. We understand we can’t have holding calls and we never want to give up sacks but it happens here and there. We just need it to happen less frequently.”
Tale of two teams
The Seahawks arrived a day earlier to Munich than the Bucs this week. The extra rest may or may not prove to be an advantage.
Judging from their practices, coach Pete Carroll’s team has a big edge when it comes to playing the game loose.
From the time they stepped onto the practice field Thursday, with music blaring, the Seahawks have been hooting, hollering and high-fiving their way all over Germany.
The Bucs, meanwhile, didn’t have any pep in their step Friday. There wasn’t much noise on the field. They looked as if they had given into the fatigue of a long flight during the portion of practice open to the media.
Linebacker Devin White’s father, Carlos Thomas of Grand Prairie, Texas, died Thursday in Natchitoches, La. He was 45. ... Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III has 570 yards rushing and seven touchdowns and is averaging 5.1 yards per carry. He has a pair of runs over 60 yards, so he knows how the run when he pops it. “As a defensive line we’re always chanting that: ‘Stop the run, stop the run!’ If the run pops, it’s on your defensive line,” defensive tackle Akiem Hicks said. “... They’re going to have their plays. You want to make sure you have more.”
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