This is a follow up on my recent article, Sit back and relax, we’re just not there yet. Can we put aside all the unbridled optimism that comes with the fan pack you get when you first become a Bucs fan? Let’s be brutally honest, no matter how much it hurts or discourages all of you and myself, take a deep breath, and brace yourself.
Anyone that thought Bruce Arians, or that fellow from Nazareth for that matter, was going to come in here, and turn this team completely around, and magically transform it into a playoff contender in his first year, honestly should consider checking themselves in, and getting some help. I’m as guilty of it, as the guy with the pewter and red face, in the Sapp Jersey and an eyepatch on Gameday. Who wouldn’t really, when we beat Carolina in their house, then went out to L.A., and scored the most points in team history while upsetting the Rams, again on the road, at their place. Games like that really get us jacked up, and thinking, no-one can stop us now. When we should be saying, “Only the Bucs can stop us now.” That is the only real thing that the Bucs have been 100%, WALK THE LINE CONSISTENT with. That, being complete self-destruction without fail.
In fact, if the Bucs win 8 games to finish even, or even one game over five hundred at 9, Arians should be declared Coach of the Decade and immediately enshrined in the Ring Of Honor, and Hall of Fame without delay. As things go south here annually, we Bucs Fans start losing our minds and start hollering about trading some of our best players, and draft picks, for this guy, or that guy. “We got to get him, we get him, and we run this, and that other guy, that other guy is awesome, we give them Howard and a first-rounder for that one guy, our problems are solved.” There’s nothing as precious as a Bucs Fan/Jr. GM that has it, all figured out after the latest loss. At some point, I think we all have probably done it, or at least thought about what we know is the right move for the Bucs to make to end our woes.
Being honest with myself, though, I’m pretty sure that Arians and Licht are probably the best candidates to guide this team to where it needs to be. Arians, as well as the entire fanbase, should already know, you aren’t coming in here and taking a Tampa team that only had 5 wins last year, and double that number of wins, and take us to the playoffs year one. Not Tampa you aren’t. This team is a special breed of dysfunction, and they have more to overcome than the normal badly performing team in this NFL. The good news is that it can be done, and I believe the right people are in place to, in fact, make us a team to be respected and feared again. When it finally happens again, it will be that much more Glorious because of where we came from, as it was in 2002.
So embrace the pain as it means we are growing and changing, and getting closer to where we want to be. It rarely ever happens in one season, but part of the process is doing just what is happening now, beating much better teams here and there, but still losing to teams we should beat. As we get closer, we will lose less often to those lower-tier teams, until we get to the place where it rarely happens. When we can do that, we will have arrived. Until then, just support them and just believe. Just believe. Go Bucs