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Passion.

It's a word that's been used a lot since Tampa Bay's Week 10 loss to the Washington Football Team. As of right now, there are questions surrounding the Bucs' passion and energy and they're not coming from the outside, for once. 

They're coming from within. 

Bruce Arians made his stance clear on the issue both Sunday after the game and during his Monday press conference. Tom Brady also spoke about it Monday evening during his podcast, Let's Go! With Tom Brady, Jim Gray, and Larry Fitzgerald.

"I think when you win it's a relief and when you lose it's a real disappointment," Brady said when asked about how he handles losses at this stage in his career. "So sometimes you're missing the joy in this and I have to be reminded of the joy of playing. And that takes a little perspective, but it's hard when you're in the fight."

Usually, internal problems are dealt from within. As well they should be. And the Bucs need to do some soul-searching this week, per Arians. 

But there's another coach on the staff that can help this team tap into its ethos, so to speak, and that's assistant defensive line coach, Lori Locust.  

Locust was recently featured alongside Washington Football Team assistant running backs coach Jennifer King and two military veterans in Yencris Baez and Vanessa Thomas in a video titled, Women Of First, which recognized the quartet's accomplishments in their respective lines of work. In the video (which was organized through USAA's Salute To Service initiative), Locust explains her perspective and her journey in becoming the first full-time female coaching hire in NFL history while also listening to the perspectives of her three counterparts.

"It was incredible meeting those women," said Locust. "I think the most important thing that we got out of all of it - other than meeting some really interesting women - is how many parallels you can draw between some of the things they've faced in their military careers, some of the things they're shooting for or championing for in their respective careers."

Locust's journey has been one of stark odds and defying tropes. But it's paved the way for others, such as King, to start forging their own path in the NFL, too. 

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And for Locust, it's her passion and commitment that have been the catalyst in getting her to where she is today.

"You really have to have a commitment level that's unparalleled, because this is not for everybody," said Locust. "There are some people that this seems like it's great and glamorous and wonderful, but it's just a lot of hard work and a lot of long hours... You have to get it in your head that if this is something you truly want to succeed at, this becomes your singular focus. This becomes your commitment and you're loyal to it.

"And I think that when you can mix that with expertise, when you can mix all of that type of passion to do the best job possible and make people around you better; that's the type of leadership that's going to stand out."

Locust's experience while filming the video helped her recognize the parallels between not just her and King, Baez, and Thomas, but between people all over the world who share the same work ethic and determination while facing the same odds that she has. 

"It parallels," said Locust. "We have all had the same types of challenges. We've all faced rooms where we are the only women. We've faced the doubters and the naysayers, but because of the passion that we have for what we do and the commitment that we have for doing the best job possible and staying very professional and above [the] board; it was just really enlightening to see how much that mindset carries to other things outside of football."

Now, that same work ethic and determination will be used to pull the Bucs out of their current hole. Tampa Bay is lucky to have someone like Locust on the staff who has persevered despite the odds throughout her career. And while that is the story for a lot of NFL players, it's Locust's perspective -the message that she represents- that matters. 

And that's the message of strength, commitment, loyalty, and passion. A message the Bucs need to rediscover - and quick.

The Bucs have proven they can turn things around when their backs against the wall and with proven people like Locust on the staff, there's no reason to think they can't do it again. 

Because she knows what this team is capable of. And by all means, she knows how to bring out the best when it comes to the roster of nearly 70 players.

"I don't know that we've hit our stride yet, consistently," said Locust. "And I think that's a good thing. Because this team, with the way that they know one another -it's three years now in the same system for us on defense- I think that we've yet to gel and when that happens, I don't think anybody is going to stand in our way."

You can check out USAA's Women Of First video in its entirety, here.

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