Currently, the Buccaneers hold the 5th overall pick in the NFL draft. They have finished back to back seasons at 5-11, although that is nothing new for a franchise that has just two winning seasons in the past decade.
In 160 games, Tampa Bay has gone 65-95 for a winning percentage of .406. That’s just stats though! Some of those 95 defeats have been ugly. Some have been heartbreaking, narrow losses. Some have been the result of being outcoached and some from being outplayed. No matter the style the result is always the same, another L on the record.
Despite the losses, the Bucs are not the worst team around. They admittedly sit in the top ten of ineptitude, but just. I am, of course, aware that since the inception of the team they DO have the worst winning percentage; however, those early teams nearly pulled guys off the street. If you haven’t seen Birth of the Bucs yet I’d recommend it.
Why do I focus on the last decade? Simply because it’s the freshest in fans’ minds, and games are more easily recalled. Look over so many of the games that have been lost. Truthfully, many of those games could have gone the way of the Buccaneers, but a missed call here, a lucky bounce there.
These are the margins of football. The game of yards is most often won by inches. But then history doesn’t record the near interception that would have been a pick 6. There is no record of a missed PI call that could have turned the game.
Sure there have been games that the Bucs looked completely hopeless and unable to compete. In reality, those games have been few and far between. How many games have been decided by a score or less?
This is my main point regarding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The team has been mostly competitive and poorly coached. No team in the NFL has the capability to flip perceptions in the next years, unlike the Bucs. A solid structure is being formed. The right players are being brought in. Not flashy high profile names. Not players who are nice guys, but can’t compete against football players.
Complain, if you want, about the lack of splash in Free Agency. Bemoan the choice made in the NFL draft. Some will be unhappy with picking at #5, and some will be distraught about not trading the pick. Just remember that Arians and Co. have a plan and will carry it out.