I begin this article Cheap Tampa Bay Buccaneers T-Shirt , we are nearly 48 hours removed from the beatdown at the hands of the mighty Chicago Bears, and to be quite honest, I think I’m even more pissed off now, than I was at this time yesterday. I kid when I say “mighty”, but that’s what it felt like on Sunday watching this Bears team. It felt like the Buccaneers were going up against one of the best teams in NFL history.Every year, we as Buccaneer fans have become accustomed to witnessing at least one game similar to Sunday’s and it shouldn’t be this way. Seriously, enough is enough. What a difference six days make, huh? Last Monday afternoon, “Fitzmagic” and the Buccaneers were 2-0 and the talk of the league. The team had a chance to make a statement on Monday Night Football, in front of a national audience, but ultimately classic Buccaneer football (four turnovers) in the first half and 30 points allowed (yet again) was too large to overcome. Fast forward six days and the Buccaneers currently sit at 2-2, after Week 4’s debacle. How does a team with serious playoff aspirations, allow Mitchell Trubisky, who is an average quarterback at best, throw for six touchdowns in the first two and a half quarters? Before Sunday’s hall of fame performance, Trubisky, in 15 career gameshad a grand total of nine touchdown passes. Wow. Just to sum that up, in two and a half quarters of play, Trubisky threw 鈪?of the amount of touchdowns he had in his career in 40 minutes of football. Let’s not kid ourselves either, if the Bears wanted to, they could’ve dropped 60+ points on the sorry Mike Smith defense. No adjustments, no communication, no fundamental football. Seriously, Alabama’s defense would’ve had a better performance than the Bucs did. So, “where do the Buccaneers go from here”, is the question I ask myself after every game, win or lose. Right now, there are so many question marks surrounding this team, that I fear another 5-11 or 6-10 season is on the horizon. First off, Dirk Koetter made it clear Monday that Mike Smith will not be fired, so we should probably get used to allowing average quarterbacks have career games against this Buccaneers defense. I’d be the first to tell you that I don’t think it’s entirely Mike Smith’s fault, but he certainly isn’t helping. The Buccaneers had their best defensive game in week two against the Eagles, because they were aggressive and played to the strengths of their players. Since then, it’s back to the same soft zone coverage that obviously every quarterback can pick apart and will continue to do so unless adjustments are made. The secondary has been awful, but injuries Cheap Tampa Bay Buccaneers Hats , age and rookie players have been a big reason why. The defensive line outside of Jason Pierre Paul, who has four sacks on the season, has been non-existent. Where has Gerald McCoy been all season? Outside of his sack against the Eagles, I haven’t seen, or heard much from the $16-million dollar man. He would probably be the first to tell you that he needs to be better, but we’ve been hearing that for the better part of three years.Actions speak louder than words, and it’s time he starts playing like the highest paid player on defense that he is.The linebackers have been exposed all season, whether it’s on underneath crossing routes or in the middle of the field, it’s been bad and it’s clearly not getting any better. Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander need to improve and do so quickly. Is this franchise positive that they want to give Kwon that extension he is looking for and pay him over $10 million dollars a season? His play this year isn’t matching up to that type of salary. Bad routes to the ball carrier, poor in coverage,teams are constantly attacking him in the passing game and it’s becoming a problem. For the most part, the offensive side of the ball gives me hope. I still think the Buccaneers can be one of the best offenses in the league, but there are still some things that need to be improved. The right side of the offensive line was a question mark coming into the season and it remains that way through four games. Demar Dotson is a shell of his former self, and Caleb Benenoch is getting beat weekly. As a whole, the offensive line has underperformed the last two weeks after an impressive first two weeks. With Jameis Winston now being the full time starter, the offensive line must protect better so he can work the ball down the field.The running game is also something that needs to be figured out during the bye week. Whether it’s Peyton Barber or Ronald Jones, someone has to give the ground game a spark. Tampa Bay ranks 30th in the league in that department and that cannot continue. The offense needs balance, otherwise teams will do exactly what the Bears did early in the game this past Sunday, rush three guys and drop eight in coverage.If you told me Tampa Bay would be 2-2 heading into the bye week at the beginning of the season, I’d have signed up for it any day, but the way the last two weeks have gone, it has reminded me so much of Buccaneer football from the last decade, that I can’t help but think the season is doomed. If the defense doesn’t turn it around, this team may have trouble beating last year’s 5-11 record.Bucs’ strength found in unity amongst teammates If you’re reading this, then it’s safe to assume that not only are you a Bucs fan, but a football fan in general. Therefore, I don’t need to get into excruciating - and repetitive - detail about how football is the ultimate team sport, nor explain how important it is for a team to click. But when it comes to the Bucs, things are a bit different. There isn’t any other team in the league that plans to start off the season - barring injury - without their starting quarterback. Even Carson Wentz is looking like he’ll be ready to suit up on September 6th, after participating in team contact drills on Saturday and avoiding the PUP list during training camp.Winston’s suspension isn’t the only issue. If this team falls flat like they did in 2017 then you can bet that the entire staff, front office, and a lot of players will be looking for new homes next season. Several key areas of the team are in dire need of drastic improvement and if they don’t develop properly then it will be another long season. So where do the players find the inspiration and motivation to come out on top in 2018?It’s easy, within themselves and with each other. And that’s exactly what has shown up more consistently than any other theme so far in training camp - these players like each other and they want each other to succeed. We’ve seen the evidence from star players like Gerald McCoy lugging around pads and working with teammates after practice. We’ve seen it from Jameis Winston staying late after practice and working with the younger receivers. Gerald McCoy coaching rookie Vita Vea - credit Evan Winter, Bucs NationNow, we’re starting to hear about it too. “I thought I had seen and been through it all Cheap Tampa Bay Buccaneers Hoodie , but another year, another different situation. I think the biggest thing in all of this is just we’re all professionals and we’re just communicating as well,” quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said after Thursday’s practice, later adding, “I think leaning on plenty of that past experience not just on the field, but in how you treat guys or how you deal with guys whether it’s up front or receivers or the different personalities, that’s some of the good experience I have and why I still love playing the game.”For Fitzpatrick, it’s another season during a 13-year career that has seen multiple stops throughout the NFL, some successful and some not. Other players - like McCoy - haven’t tasted much success at all and he knows the onus is on not only the team, but himself to get better. Fortunately for McCoy and the Bucs, they have plenty of help in the form of new teammates.“Well we brought in four new guys that have all played in a Super Bowl, and three of them have won it. That’s a lot of experience. Guys who know what to do and how to do it; do it the right way,” McCoy said at the podium. “We have a new D-line coach who played in three I believe, and had numerous opportunities to go back as a coach. Just the room overall is different, a lot of experience, and a lot of knowledge. Guys bouncing ideas off of each other, things you’ve never heard before, I’m helping him, they’re helping me. Its only just going to make us great in the long run. But we’ve got a lot of work to do.”McCoy has always held the reputation as a great teammate and leader, but this year he seems to be taking it up a notch. Then you have players like running back Peyton Barber, who finished last season as the team’s no. 1 back just to watch the Bucs draft Ronald Jones II in the second round out of USC. He’ll also have competition in veterans Jacquizz Rodgers and Charles Sims. That doesn’t phase Barber, however, he looks at it as a positive. “I get the best of both worlds,” he told me after practice as we walked off the field. “I get a vet to teach me everything and I get a rookie who I can teach things. But at the same time, both of them are going to push me.”This team-first, work-together attitude was something that was missing last season. This became clear with players such as Chris Baker. After kicking him out of the Bay, it’s safe to say that this year’s crop of free agents have a much different thought process.“It’s been great. We just keep creating chemistry out there. Everybody pass rushes differently; everybody plays the run different,” new defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said. “As veterans on the team, we’re teaching the young guys how to come up and how to do things correctly. We were all once in their position, so we are having great chemistry together. That’s a great start for us.”Without a doubt, this mindset is becoming a contagious attitude seen on both sides of the ball and it’s an attitude that is developing more and more every day. The more this team bonds and develops their chemistry, the better they will get and that could be the key to not only surviving - but succeeding in 2018.