Buccaneers’ Chris Baker reveals players meeting prior to Week 10

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 12: Tampa Bay Buccaneers players run by members of the military prior to kick-off against the New York Jets on November 12, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 12: Tampa Bay Buccaneers players run by members of the military prior to kick-off against the New York Jets on November 12, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

The Buccaneers broke their five-game losing streak in Week 10 by defeating the visiting New York Jets. It’s what led to the victory which may be even more significant though, as defensive tackle Chris Baker mentioned a players only meeting leading up to the contest.

A Buccaneers win is a singular thing to look at. Like the one against Chicago, and the one against the Giants later on, if a team can’t take away value for the future in those wins then it isn’t worth much once the ‘W’ goes into the standings.

It was a good feeling to wake up on Monday and not see a rash of tweets and Facebook comments from frustrated Bucs fans wondering when the team was going to replace their coaches, general manager, quarterback, running back, entire defense, and even the fan base itself.

Instead, peppered through it were messages of improvement and being happy with getting a win, even if it wasn’t exactly a one-week highlight reel.

More from The Pewter Plank

What we miss, on the outside, is how the team is functioning within itself. Baker changed this a bit this week, when he divulged to media members there had been a meeting with just players earlier in the week before the Jets game.

This, according to Trevor Sikkema of the Pewter Report in his latest article about the culture of the Buccaneers locker room.

It’s a great read, so if you haven’t read it yet, please do.

But I want to talk about this meeting. Now, Trevor stops short of flat-out calling it a ‘players only meeting’ in the sense we’ve all heard about. Instead, he writes,

“Baker told us that earlier in the week, the players got together, just them, and had a meeting among one another.”

This may seem like an innocent play on words. But maybe it means this wasn’t the Captains calling all their teammates in to yell about how everyone else needs to get their heads out of their fourth point of contact. No, instead, it feels like this was a meeting of the minds. Guys like T.J. Ward with his Super Bowl ring. DeSean Jackson and his playoff experience. Lavonte David and his experience struggling through year after year of disappointment getting criticized for a lack of effort on a subpar team with a subpar history.

Yeah, we all make fun of Panthers and Falcons fans because their teams have no titles to look back on. But how long ago did that turn into a cheap shot to hide our own frustrations and insecurities about the current state of the franchise?

Bottom line is this: these free-agents didn’t come here to lose. Jackson and the others could have gone to any number of places. They all came to Tampa. And now, they’re all relying on themselves to turn things around.

Against the Buffalo Bills, Adam Humphries lost a fumble which would prove to be the final dagger needed for perhaps the most disappointing loss of the year.

I was there. When he walked off the field he was maybe 20-yards from me. He was dejected and he was obviously upset. A few teammates patted him on the helmet and on the butt. Perhaps little whispers of encouragement were had. I can tell you what didn’t happen. Nobody got mad.

Nobody came over in the immediate aftermath and told him to shake it off. It happened. Move past it. Get ready for the next opportunity. Of course, that never came either. Instead, it was very calm, which is a bad thing when you play a violent sport.

Next: Week 10 Winners and Losers

This week, with the lead and the clock on the side of the home team. We saw defensive players get mad. They got angry at each other, and I don’t know what it was about specifically. I’ve seen speculation, but it doesn’t really matter. All that matters is, it’s the first time we’ve really witnessed accountable fire from this roster. And it was beautiful.

In Week 10 of the 2016 season, the Buccaneers got a home win to spark a five-game winning streak which put them back in the playoff hunt when things looked a little bleak after nine weeks had past.

This last game was their Week 10 match-up, and again this team came away with a win. Last year it was the Bears. This year, the Jets. Not world-beaters by any means, but who knows what one week of victory can do for the morale of a locker room.

Mike Evans comes back after his one game suspension. After seeing his teammates join together and put it on their own backs, I imagine he’s ready to get back and carry some of that load too.

It won’t be easy, the team has three straight road games against Miami, then Atlanta, and lastly Green Bay.

If the players have turned a corner I their self-accountability like Trevor speculates they may have, then this could be the beginning to all of us seeing the Buccaneers we’d hoped to see when the season began.

"Check out the latest PewterCast InstantCast Call In Show following the Bucs’ Week 10 Win!"

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