Despite still featuring Tom Brady under center, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' roster had a lot of problems this year. Tampa Bay's flaws were evident during an underwhelming 8-9 regular season, which was immediately followed by a first-round playoff exit.
Head coach Todd Bowles blamed pretty much everyone but himself at some point during the season, taking out his frustrations on players and coaches alike. His latest target was kicker Ryan Succop, who recently caught flak from Bowles on his radio show.
In terms of people to blame for Tampa Bay' woes this year, Succop's name should be pretty far down the list. Granted, his 81.6% field-goal rate was one of the lowest marks of his career, but that was largely due to his struggles from deep, as he went just 2-of-7 from beyond 50 yards.
While it would've been nice for Succop to hit a few more of those long-range shots, he did tie his career-long with a 54-yarder. At the end of the day, the former Super Bowl champ was solid and mostly did his job, so it's strange to see Bowles calling him out like this, especially when a couple of field goals wouldn't have significantly changed the Buccaneers' season (six of their 10 losses were by double-digit points).
If anything, Bowles' demand for Succop to hit longer field goals is an indictment of the team's offensive deficiencies under his watch. Teams that move the chains and get into the red zone don't have to rely on risky 50-yard field goals to score points. If Bowles thinks Succop is the reason for Tampa Bay ranking 25th in points scored this year, he's sorely mistaken.