There are plenty of ways to point out and spread criticism when it comes to the game of football, but it's usually never a good idea to question a coach's, player's or anyone involved with the team's passion, effort, or hustle. That's usually left to those who actually play the game.
Bruce Arians had no qualms doing so on Monday. Arians was asked if he thought the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lacked passion in their Week 10 loss to the Washington Football Team and he made his stance abundantly clear.
"Totally," he told reporters.
That's a stark assessment from Tampa Bay's head coach, but an honest one, as well. It begs the question of where this mindset (so to say) has come from and why does it exist? One would imagine that a Super Bowl defending-team that has veteran leaders like Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Lavonte David wouldn't have this problem.
"When you practice as well as we did last week, I think they assumed they were just going to go out and play [well]," said Arians. "That’s something we’ll address. Just because you have a great week of practice, you have to show up on Sunday. If everybody played with the passion and the energy that Devin [White] played with, we wouldn’t have any problems. He should have been the player of the week with the game he just had and the way he played the game. We’ll use that as an example for everybody else to play with.”
Fortunately, each week represents a new dawn for Tampa Bay and that's the mindset going into this week's game against the New York Giants on Monday Night Football.
"This is a whole new week and [we should] practice as well as we did last week and put all the energy into it but show up on Monday night with the passion and energy it takes to win in this league," said Arians.
We'll see what happens on Monday night, but if Week 8's loss to the New Orleans Saints didn't provide a wake-up call, then Week 10's loss to Washington better have. Because it's November and the Bucs can't afford to keep shooting themselves in the collective foot with the mistakes and turnovers that have cropped up in recent weeks.
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