For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the 37-23 loss to the now 4-0 Carolina Panthers wasn't all bad, specifically if you ask head coach Lovie Smith.
According to Andrew Astleford of ESPN, Smith believes the team is "making progress." Smith also spoke about a few specific areas that leave the Buccaneers confident moving forward, even after the 1-3 start.
"Offensively, third downs," Smith told ESPN. "Red zone offense. Running the football. We had Doug Martin over 100 yards, Vincent Jackson going over 100 [receiving]. Those areas. Offensive line -- they got a little bit of pressure once we got in the passing game, but when we were able to do what we wanted to do, [we ran] the football. Those areas. Defensive side of the football, third downs. We haven't done a good job on third downs, but [we were] under 30 percent yesterday."
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Smith does make a few good points there, specifically about Tampa Bay's ability to run the ball. Martin has gotten off to a solid start to 2015, specifically rushing for 106 yards on 20 carries in Week 4.
Can the improved run game help Tampa Bay control the clock more moving forward? Only time will tell on that one.