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michael89156

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: December 20, 2012, 12:27:24 AM



Bucs' Williams thankful for Fleck's role in his growth


 By TBO.COM | Staff
Published: December 20, 2012



TAMPA --

The Bucs players and coaches who will soon say goodbye to P.J. Fleck praised the departing receivers coach as a powerful motivator.
 
A day after Fleck was introduced as the head coach at Western Michigan, WR Mike Williams said Fleck has played a key role in his development.
 
"I think about all the techniques he taught me, techniques I will continue to use the rest of my career,'' said Williams, who is averaging 16 yards on his 50 receptions, with seven touchdown catches. "And he's been great about not letting me get down on myself, letting me know I'm still a good player and keeping my head in the game.''
 
Fleck joined the Bucs this season after spending two years with head coach Greg Schiano at Rutgers.
 
"I knew from the day I interviewed P.J. that's what his ultimate goal was (to be a head coach), and that's good,'' Schiano said. "I'm happy for him. He'll be here through the end of the season. He has very strong beliefs and he's very sure of himself. The one thing he's got is great energy, and 80 percent of leadership is knowing where you're going.''
 

Take a break
 
After a 41-0 loss at New Orleans that Schiano described as "a clunker,'' he altered the weekly routine and gave Bucs players Monday off.
 
Tampa Bay practiced with pads on Wednesday in preparation for Sunday's home finale against the Rams, which will likely be blacked out locally.
 
"The extra day off was big,'' said RT Demar Dotson. "It gave us a chance to rest and throw that last game out of our minds.''
 
After Tampa Bay's fourth consecutive loss, Schiano sensed his players needed a respite.
 
"I felt it was time for everybody to kind of get away from each other and come back here ready,'' Schiano said. "I thought we had a good practice today.''
 

Friends until Sunday
 
Rams QB Sam Bradford, the No. 1 choice in the 2010 draft, is bracing for an encounter with former Oklahoma teammate Gerald McCoy, chosen two picks later.
 
Bradford threw for a career-high 377 yards and three TDs last week in a 36-22 loss to Minnesota, topping the 3,000-yard plateau for the second time.
 
McCoy ranks second on the Bucs with 5 sacks, and he has played a key role as a run-stuffing tackle in the NFL's No. 1 rushing defense.
 
"I think Gerald's playing at a really high level,'' Bradford said. "Watching the tape, he seems to show up a lot. I've got to be aware of him, and I'd really like to get out of this game without him hitting me.''
 
Bradford has been sacked 35 times in 482 pass attempts. Josh Freeman of the Bucs has been dropped 21 times in 469 throws.
 

Extra points
 
DE Aaron Morgan (shoulder) and TE Luke Stocker (head/nose) were limited in Wednesday's practice. Bucs RB Doug Martin needs 353 scrimmage yards in the final two games to join Eric **CENSORED**erson and Edgerrin James as the only rookies to reach the 2,000-yard plateau. Since 2006, Rams RB Steven Jackson tops all players with 11,057 yards from scrimmage. Led by DE Robert Quinn (9.5), St. Louis leads the NFC with 41 sacks. Rams rookie CB Janoris Jenkins of Pahokee, who was dismissed from the University of Florida due to misconduct, has scored three TDs in the past month.
 
Ira Kaufman
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