TAMPA — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have tried for weeks to break their season-long losing streak. Is it possible they've been trying too hard?
Coach Greg Schiano certainly thinks so.
Schiano, whose team is 0-7 heading to Seattle on Sunday, said it is only natural for players mired in a long losing streak to try to break it by doing something special, even though that approach often has the opposite effect.
“When you try to do something, try to make something happen, that's usually when you get into trouble,'' Schiano said. “And there has been a little bit of that going on here.''
Schiano thinks the defense has been especially guilty of trying too hard to make plays in recent weeks. That's one reason he renewed his emphasis this week on playing with more precision.
“It's about the details,'' Bucs DT Gerald McCoy said. “If you're supposed to be in the A gap and Coach tells you to hit through the guy's inside armpit, then that's where you need to hit him.
“It's really pretty simple. So, we just have to stop trying to overdo it and stop trying to do too much. Guys are trying to make plays instead of just doing their job and letting the plays come to them.''
On the hot seat
The team's 0-7 start has made Schiano the primary target of fan and media displeasure, but one of his top aides thinks the criticism is unwarranted.
“I've worked for a lot of quality people in this profession,” defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan said Thursday, “and I would put Greg up against anybody I've worked for in regards to a guy of single-mindedness and purpose toward doing the job he's been asked to do and doing it with complete and total integrity.
“In our profession, if we get criticized for that, then he should be criticized. (Because) all he's ever done since I've been here is be the first guy in the building and the last guy to leave. (He) focuses his entire energy and concentration on what he can do on a daily basis to help the Bucs win and he's done it with complete unadulterated integrity.''
Schiano has left the field to a chorus of boos and chants from fans seeking his dismissal following each of the Bucs past two home games at Raymond James Stadium. He also has been the subject of harsh critiques by unnamed former players in news reports.
“It may be hard for people on the outside who don't know Greg (to understand),'' Sheridan said. “But some of the criticism he apparently is receiving, and I don't follow that, it definitely isn't warranted.''
Joseph: MRSA free
Bucs RG Davin Joseph on Thursday denied a report by WDAE 620 AM host Steve Duemig that the two-time Pro Bowler had contracted a MRSA infection.
“I do not have MRSA and I have never had MRSA,'' Joseph said. “I had a staph infection over the summertime, but it wasn't MRSA. People in general get staph infections, so it's not uncommon. But I did not get MRSA.''
Three Bucs players – LG Carl Nicks, K Lawrence Tynes and CB Johnthan Banks – have been diagnosed since the start of training camp with MRSA infections, which are serious staph infections resistent to many common antibiotics.