TAMPA – The Buccaneers are brimming with confidence. They are on the offensive side of the ball at least.
We told you yesterday that, according to wide receiver Mike Evans, they’re playing with some “swagger’’ right now and that point was reiterated again on Tuesday on several occasions.’
Quarterback Jameis Winston used the very same word to describe the way the Bucs are conducting their business these days, as did left tackle Donovan Smith, who also explained why.
Smith said the fact the Bucs are now in their third year in coach Dirk Koetter’s offensive scheme is one reason they’re playing with a previously unrealized level of confidence.
Another reason is the fact that of the 10 players that most often surrounded Winston during his first two years in the league, only two have changed.
That hasn’t just raised the team’s confidence level, it has also raised expectations for the offense, which in turn has raised the level of expectations the Bucs have of themselves.
“Any time you can get three years under your belt in the same offense and understand it with the same group of guys, the confidence is going to build and be there,’’ Smith said.
“So we definitely are playing with more confidence, a little more swagger, because we know (what we’re doing). We’ve seen it and done it and that’s why, you know, there’s really no excuse for messing up really.’’
No excuses. That’s the sound of a team holding itself accountable taking responsibility for what it produces on the field and it’s yet another good sign that the Bucs are indeed progressing.
There’s a growing belief around the NFL that the Bucs could have one of the most dynamic offenses in the league and that they could also be one of the surprise teams of the 2017 season.
Koetter has tried to temper those expectations and rightfully so. You never want to get too far ahead of yourself but it’s clear the Bucs feel as if they’re on the brink of a breakout season.