The Tampa Bay Buccaneers begin their season in 100 days.
And while the more casual observer may suggest a hundred days is plenty, only those who follow the sport closely are aware how little time that truly represents—especially when a new coaching staff is involved.
After all, the Bucs have offensive and defensive playbooks to master, position battles to observe and a roster to trim. They have practices to conduct, behaviors and tendencies to change, oh, and a fanbase to win over.
And did I mention, they only have 100 days left?
Trust me, they'll be practices and scrimmages during training camp next month when it looks like everything is coming together nicely and Greg Schiano & staff will look like geniuses.
But there will also be just as many instances when 3-13 looks like a certainty and Schiano & staff look like they haven't got a clue.
All of which is to be expected from a team that finished 4-12 last season and has new faces throughout the roster.
They have to get Josh Freeman's decision-making straightened out and LeGarrette Blount's fumble problem solved. They have to find a way to keep Gerald McCoy on the field and Aqib Talib out of jail.
Do you think it's too late to ask the commissioner for a Week 1 bye?
Now don't get me wrong, I like I've heard from the new coach, but I like what I've seen even more. His predecessor, Raheem Morris, seemed more inclined to be a pal to his players.
Schiano isn't concerned whether or not his players like him, only that they respect him.
Don't you think the players will respond in kind?
Look, 100 days isn't that long at all. Think about it: A hundred days ago, the Bucs were still two weeks away from spending $140 million on three free agents.
A hundred days ago, they were still a horrible team, coming off a forgettable 4-12 season.
But who knows where they'll be a hundred days from now.
By then, hopefully Freeman will have grown out out of his Vinny Testaverde phase and the Bucs will have found a "Get out of Jail Free" card for Talib.
I understand Rome wasn't built in a day, but certainly the Bucs can build a smarter, more-competitive team with a hundred of them, right?
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