Make no mistake: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5) still have a lot of work to do despite beating the Los Angeles Rams (3-5) last week.

The Week 9 win was a great moment for the team. Fortunately, the defense came up with a clutch stop and the offense got itself together and played arguably the best 35-seconds of football it has played all year. It was just enough at the right time and the end result was a much-need win.

There have been so many questions and so many observations as to why the team has struggled. But in a surprise twist, Tom Brady added another layer to the conversation on Monday when he specifically mentioned his disappointment with the team’s effort.

“I think too much of good, bad, good, bad, good, bad, leaves you average, and no one’s trying to be average,” Brady said on the newest episode of his podcast, Let’s Go!. “If you want to be a great team, you’ve got to be way better than average. So correcting our mistakes, improving our effort – which probably is the most embarrassing part of our team – is our effort level on game day. And that’s something we better fix.”

No coach, player, or fan ever want to hear that about their respective team’s effort. And it’s hard not to immediately think of Brady’s defensive teammate, Devin White, when hearing Brady discuss this topic.

Todd Bowles doesn’t see it that way, however.

“It was huge [to beat the Rams] after losing three weeks in a row, you get very sour and you have a very sour taste in your mouth for a long time, not from lack of effort, but lack of execution, lack of doing things right,” Bowles said during his latest appearance on the Buccaneers Radio Network’s Bucs Total Access with Todd Bowles.

Byron Lefwich made things even more interesting on Thursday. He agreed with Brady and mentioned the issue has been addressed, as well.

“Well, it hasn’t been every down – we’ve had downs where we could be better from an effort standpoint,” Leftwich told reporters. “It’s been addressed. I think we can get better and that’s what I mean about what we can fix – I think we can fix all the things that [have] been in our way throughout the year.

“… We can’t be talking effort. We can’t be talking effort from anybody, especially at this time of year. We understand that and that’s why we’re excited to get the opportunity to go out here and play this week.”

It appears Bowles has been overruled in this situation. And it’s disappointing that there is a lack of effort that’s affected this team. This is supposed to be a Super Bowl-caliber roster and the greatest quarterback of all-time is at the helm. It’s the same system and the same coaches, outside of Bruce Arians.

For the most part, this team knows each other and has won a lot of football games together. How things could sink so quickly is pretty wild, to be honest.

In all fairness, however, this has been a very unusual year.

The good news is the issue has been addressed, per Leftwich. But, obviously, we won’t know for sure until kickoff on Sunday.

Featured image via Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

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