Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 6-8: So What's in Front of Them?

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IDecember 17, 2012

Greg Schiano says "the sky is not falling."
Greg Schiano says "the sky is not falling."Chris Graythen/Getty Images

You saw it.

Most likely, you couldn't stand what you saw.

Greg Schiano called it "a clunker."

It was all that and more—the ultimate clunker, the ultimate giant, stinky egg, a mighty face flop, a huge embarrassment, the ugly outing you feared might eventually show up.

Take a deep breath and consider what Schiano said on Monday afternoon:

"The sky is not falling."

He's right, it's not. It's still up there and what happened on Sunday in New Orleans was bound to happen sooner or later.

For you see, this team is NOT that good. It wasn't as good as the 6-4 band of Pewter Pirates that had too many using the "P" word hereabouts, but this guy wasn't among them.

We'll say it again. This team is a year away. At least.

The Chicken Littles of Tampa were hitting the streets and the airways Monday screaming that the sky is falling, that Josh Freeman is a bum and he certainly won't take this franchise anywhere soon.

ProFootballTalk.com was spewing something about an unknown player, obviously one of dubious courage, talking about sending some of these Buccaneers coaches "back to college."

Schiano shook that one off as well. "Anonymous sources are anonymous sources," he reiterated. 

He's right, anyone, anywhere can make up something and attribute it to the good old "anonymous source."

So yeah, maybe someone in that locker room spewed that. If that's the case, they may not be back next year and right now, that's what this is about. It is about next year.

Two games, one winnable...one, not so much, remain in front of the Bucs.

If they can regroup and find enough pride to put out a good effort against the St. Louis Lambs, er, Rams, well then this team could finish 7-9.

Is that so bad after last year's 4-12 debacle? They're already two games better and have lost enough players to Injured Reserve to field a baseball team.

The sad fact is that there are a lot of guys now starting who should be special teams players at best.

We're not here to make excuses, we're here to put all of this in perspective. This team isn't that good. It got to 6-4 on November 18 and suddenly four games later, everyone's jumping ship, so to speak.

The bandwagon is now empty. The "Doug Martin for the Pro Bowl" crowd is gone, the Freeman haters will surely find new reason to spew their beliefs. And lo and behold, Mike Florio's telling us that some player wants to send some coaches back to college.

It's amazing how fast it can all go south.

This four-loss slump started with a one-point loss to a really good Falcons team, then a pretty good stand against a Denver team that could be Super Bowl-bound. Sure the loss to Philly was dreadful and shouldn't have happened.

Then there was Sunday.

Yeah, the blowout, an ugly one at that.

You can tell us how bad the New Orleans Saints are, but the fact is, they're still loaded with offensive weapons and stuff happens.

We'll leave you today with this Christmas tale about the little boy who was a supreme optimist.

The boy was presented with a beautifully wrapped box. He tore off the wrapping paper, popped open the box and found it full of horse manure.

The little boy was elated. No one understood why.

"It's easy," he said. "I see all this manure and it can mean only one thing!

"There's a pony waiting for me!"

The pony needs to show up at Raymond James on Sunday.


P.J. Fleck hired at Western Michigan?:  OneBucSite.com