On Tuesday, Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles blamed the disruption arising from last week’s hurricane on the overall preparation for Sunday night’s game, a loss to the Chiefs. On Wednesday, the man replacing Bowles during a one-day absence for personal reasons walked back those remarks, a bit.
“It was just tough all around,” assistant head coach/run game coordinator Harold Goodwin said, “just from the last-minute travel because at the end we really wanted to stay. The decision was made to leave town and thank God — unfortunately for other people, they didn’t have that same thing that we had as far as not getting hit — but to come back home was good. But last week was a little weird from the standpoint of traveling with your families, trying to get ready for a game. But that’s not an excuse. We still have a game to play, we’re all getting paid as players and coaches. We didn’t do a great job of executing.”
Goodwin was asked directly whether the hurricane affected last week’s game.
“Not a big part, just a little,” Goodwin said. “It’s just that kind of getting out of your normal routine — a lot of guys come in post-practice, get in the cold-tub, get in the hot-tub — you lost all of that stuff. Being able to go to the weight room and getting stretched out, you just lose little things like that. And just your normal preparation routine was out [of] the window and that was a little bit hard, but it’s no excuse. We didn’t play well enough.”
Right, but maybe they didn’t play well enough because they didn’t prepare well enough. Regardless, it’s not an issue this week.
“It’s good to be back,” Goodwin said, “good to be back. Just more than team meetings — I talked about, ‘Hey, let’s get back in our routine, let’s get back to the way we play, the way we prepare and try to get this [win] this weekend.’”
Thus, whether it’s being called an excuse or not, last week’s turmoil surely was an issue in the loss to the Chiefs. And it’s no surprise. Football coaches and players are creatures of habit. Last week, the habits were turned upside down. Against a great team, that’s a recipe for defeat.