TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – “I think we are getting better each and every week,” said the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bruce Arians.
“We are optimistic about the future and we are going to work towards that,” said Chris Godwin, a wide receiver for the Buccaneers. “We are all still pulling the rope together in the same direction.”
“I feel like the sky is the limit,” said the Buccaneers inside linebacker, Devin White.
Their positivity is not a ploy.
While the Buccaneers lost to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night, they nearly upset the defending Super Bowl champion in the final phase of the battle at Raymond James Stadium.
“We started to put it together in the second half,” said Godwin, “but it was too little too late. We understand where we are as a team and we also understand where we can be. I think the biggest thing though, as a team, we are all still together.”
The Buccaneers lost together but they fought together too.
Donovan Smith, the left tackle who had not practiced all week due to a bum ankle, fought through that pain for his team.
“I cannot say enough about Donovan,” said Arians after the game. “He was in a boot when he came to the stadium and tried it out and told me, ‘I can probably play a half. I do not know if I will finish the game but I can give you a half,’ and he played the whole game.”
Arians seemed to be at a loss for words as he paused before tossing more compliments toward Smith.
“He gutted it out,” said Arians.
Yes, Smith helped to protect his quarterback, Tom Brady, from a feisty defense that only recorded one sack on Sunday.
“He is a heck of a football player for me,” added Arians.
Smith has only missed one game in his six years in the league and he is not going to sit on the bench if he can walk, even gingerly, onto the football field.
He is fighting, his teammates are fighting, his coaches are fighting, and, if you are the betting type, you would be foolish not to bet on the fight of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“We are competing with all of the good teams but competing is not enough,” said the Buccaneers outside linebacker, Shaquil Barrett. “We just have to make the plays. We cannot keep being close. We got to make them and that will change the game for us.”