Buccaneers safety Ronde Barber could enjoy yesterday’s win over the Panthers with a bit of familiarity.
Because the team he saw on the other sideline was in many ways the same as the one he was on last year, the one that turned a 3-1 start into 4-12 and regime change.
When asked about the 2-8 Panthers’ problems, Barber disagreed that they were simply snakebit.
“A lot of different factors,” Barber told Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer. “I’ve seen most of their [Carolina’s] games. They have talent. It’s not the players and it’s not the coaches. They just haven’t been able to finish games.”
Asked how the Bucs turned things around, Barber initially said “No comment,” but then added: “New players and a new coach.”
“Our attitude changed,” he said. “Good for us.”
The kind of change Greg Schiano has created in Tampa Bay will have to be enacted by the next guy in Charlotte.
The fact Ron Rivera hasn’t been fired yet (although it’s early) probably has as much to do with the fact the Panthers’ next two games are on the road as anything else. Out of sight, out of mind.
After their previous two embarrassing home losses, the Panthers fired their general manager and their special teams coach. In a Survivor-style setting, there are only so many torches to put out before you get to Rivera’s.
After blowing an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter to lose in overtime, Rivera is now 1-11 in games decided by a touchdown or less, making his future with the Panthers an inevitability rather than a question.