Tracy’s Take: Buccaneers Present True Test For Patriots
BOSTON (CBS) — You aren’t necessarily what your record says you are. Sunday will be a true test for the Patriots
All eyes will be on Tom Brady and his attitude this Sunday when the Patriots take on the 0-2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Last week his open and honest frustration led to considerable criticism from fans and media alike. Most felt he should tone down his act and be a better leader. No way. I saw nothing wrong with his body language. He’s a competitive guy watching the sun set on his career and wants to win, so how can you blame him or criticize him? These rookie receivers are making mental mistakes that wouldn’t be acceptable in a college game let alone the NFL. When most rookies come into the league, veterans don’t even give them the time of day. Rookies earn respect by what they do on the field and the fact that Brady was showing that much emotion and getting on them for their shortcomings should have motivated them to want to do better. These guys are teammates and shouldn’t take it personally. It’s a business and if they want to be successful, they’ll need to do a lot better if they want a shot at any sort of a title this year.
TB12 is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, so he’s come to expect a lot out of those who play around him — and right now, that group is lacking in talent. Like Gisele said, he can’t throw the ball and catch it, too.
I don’t think we’ll ever really know why the Patriots brass wouldn’t pony up the additional $2 million that Wes Welker was looking for. It seems like a small price to pay to keep Tom happy — especially since he voluntarily restructured his contract to keep good, reliable players in place. We’re still about a week away from Rob Gronkowski’s return and it’s anyone’s guess as to when we’ll see the oft-injured Danny Amendola back on the field. I have to wonder, how long can Brady rely on Julian Edelman to carry the load?
Even with a 2-0 record, the Pats are off to an awful start. This team has eked out 2 wins against two pretty bad teams by a combined total of five points. A win’s a win, I guess. Up next are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are also off to an awful start, only they’re 0-2, losing both games in the final seconds by a combined total of three points. The Bucs are having problems of their own. It’s been reported that Josh Freeman wants out, regardless of what he tweeted. Darrelle Revis seems to be unhappy with how the team is using him or not using him for that matter, (you’d think he’d be happy that someone signed him to a $16 million contract) and we’ve all heard the rumblings that coach Greg Schiano is losing control of his team. Despite the issues both teams are having, they’ll need to make adjustments on and off the field, and fast. This is anyone’s game Sunday.
The Pats have already seen a lot of the Bucs this season. They had three days of joint practices with them over the summer, ending with a home preseason game in which the Pats won 25-21.
During Bill Belichick’s Wednesday morning press conference, he said, “This is a big challenge for us. Defensively, they’re obviously very good; creating negative plays, taking the ball away … they can score on defense. They create a lot of negative plays. Offensively, they’re one of the most explosive teams in the league.”
The Pats certainly can’t go to sleep on Vincent Jackson, who has reemerged as one of the league’s elite receivers. And the New England offense is going to have to contend with a strong and fast Bucs defense that can close open space quickly.
This weekend will be an interesting test for the Pats because I don’t believe you are what your record says you are. The Bucs could well be proof of that.
Tracy Clements is a weekend producer on 98.5 The Sports Hub. You can follow her on twitter at @clementine_12.