Tampa Bay-Philadelphia: Troubled Buccaneers Begged to Just Compete, Baby!

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IOctober 8, 2009

And so it has come to this for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

There is no mention of "winning" Sunday at Philadelphia. Not even by the most optimistic of Buccaneer believers outside of One Buccaneer Place.

No, against these Philadelphia Eagles, there is no thought that there will be an upset of major proportions.

Instead, it is "Just Compete Baby!"

That would be a win for the Buccaneers.

Compete, play beyond their meager capabilities, make Philly sweat.

Coach Raheem Morris couldn't stop talking about all the "positives" from that 16-13 loss to the Washington Redskins.

There's only one catch: That is a Redskin team that is going nowhere. It is a Redskin team that will be lucky to win more than a half-dozen games. It was a Redskin team with a pathetic offense, nearly on par with the Buccaneers, and they proved it last week.

The Buccaneers were one decision away from a possible victory, but it was a decision Morris couldn't make. Go for the late touchdown and possible victory, or HOPE that you get the ball back and HOPE that your team can run a successful two-minute drill.

Hope, Morris found out, was his worst enemy.

Now the Buccaneers roll into Philadelphia, or crawl in, depending on how one envisions an 0-4 team. For Philadelphia, starting quarterback Donovan McNabb returns to action, as does all-everything, all-purpose back Brian Westbrook. Two more challenges for an already-challenged Buccaneer defense.

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Yes, Tampa returns safety Tanard Jackson, but what kind of shape is he in after his four-week suspension? Don't count on interceptions and big plays from TJ.

And how will Josh Johnson perform now that he's been seen on video by the Eagles?

If you perceive running for your life rather than throwing the ball downfield as improved play at the quarterback position, well then, Johnson was an improvement over Byron Leftwich.

How he'll survive against Philly is anyone's guess.

And that's what this Buccaneer team has done for its followers.

They can only guess how bad it might get in Philly.

And the expectations?

Just compete baby!

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