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Schiano Believes the Bucs Will Be Good, Falcons Still Battling Injuries for this Week’s Game

Just as two NFL teams remain undefeated, there’s also three winlesss ones left in the mix. This includes the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-5).

On Sunday they’ll take on the struggling Atlanta Falcons (1-4) and for one team, their losing streak will continue. Bucs coach Greg Schiano knows fans are frustrated but earlier this week he vowed the team will be good. He just didn’t say when.

Greg Schiano

Greg Schiano

Schiano said for the fans via Tampa Bay Times, “If they can hang in there, we’re going to be good. If they can’t, we’re still going to be good, and they’re welcome back. I’m not being smart. I mean that. I think our fans are great. When I came out to start the game, warmups, our fans were awesome. The end of the game, I’m disappointed just like they are.”

As noted by CBSSports, the Bucs finished the 2012 season, under Schiano, with losses in five of their last six games. Since Nov. 25, 2012, the team is 1-10. But he’s just one of the their many issues.

The team stopped the quarterback Josh Freeman drama, but it is now dealing with MRSA issues. Three players have it which has resulted in the union filing a grievance for Lawrence Tynes, the team’s kicker. Guard Carl Nicks had a recurring case of it and could have surgery. The third player affected by it is rookie cornerback Johnthan Banks.

Cornerback Darrelle Revis, never at a loss at words, has said the MRSA issue is a distraction to the team and it did in fact have an effect on last Sunday’s game. Schiano responded if that’s true, then “I need to lead better.”

But there’s more distractions for the team. With the exit of Freeman, rookie quarterback Mike Glennon has stepped in as the starter for the last two games. In Sunday’s 31-20 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles (3-3), Glennon passed for 273 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. However, it didn’t stop the Bucs from again not scoring an offensive touchdown in the game’s second half; the third quarter appears to be a jinx as they’re yet to score a point in those 15 minutes each week.

While it remains to be seen when the Bucs will turn things around, Schiano added, “Certainly, we’ve got to win. But I don’t sit there and say by this date, this should take hold and then this date this should take hold, because there are too many variables to predict.”

Will this week’s matchup against the Falcons break their losing streak? Vegas doesn’t think so as Atlanta gets the win (-8.5, 43 o/u). Maybe the better question is, will a victory come without Schiano as the Bucs coach?

Meanwhile, the Falcons aren’t doing much better with their sole win. One of the factors affecting them is the injury bug and for running back Steven Jackson, he may again be on the sidelines for this week’s game.

Steven Jackson

Steven Jackson

At Tuesday’s practice Jackson was not there. This followed coach Mike Smith’s comments on Monday that he did not have an update if Jackson would return to practice this week. The player has been battling a hamstring injury since Sept. 15 and has been out for the team’s last three games.

Fortunately for the Falcons, running back Jason Snelling has returned after suffering a concussion. With the lack of offensive depth, Snelling has stepped up and to-date, has 28 carries for 111 yards with a touchdown. In the air, he’s grabbed 16 receptions for 134 yards and two scores.

Also absent from Tuesday’s practice was wide receiver Roddy White. He is having ankle/hamstring problems and it has been said there’s a “50-50 shot, at best” that he would play in this Sunday’s game. Should he not play, it would snap his 133 straight games played streak.

For now the Falcons just want a win while their 2014 Super Bowl chances sit at 66/1.

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