While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers know that they won’t be playing in the postseason in 2015, it simply means that they’re going to use these final two games as a way to show teams what they’re capable of doing next season. Lovie Smith was the biggest backer of this concept, letting people know that for the Buccaneers, the 2016 season has started.
“For us, our 2016 season has started,’’ Smith said. “There’s a two-game part to that season, then we’re going to take a long break. But what we want to do is show everybody what we’re going to be next year.
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“So, there’s not going to be any shutting it down for the season or anything like that. We’re going to work this week as hard as we’ve worked during any week to make improvements and play our best ball.’’
In most cases, looking ahead isn’t a great idea, but Smith makes a lot of sense here, and almost seems to be using it as a way to motivate his team. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out in Week 16.