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December 9, 2009 @ 11:00 am
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Morris: Trueblood Must Play With More Discipline

Written by Jim
Flynn
Jim Flynn

Jim
Flynn

Former Editor-in-Chief E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Bucs head coach Raheem Morris has a problem with RT Jeremy Trueblood's personal foul penalties. Morris went as far as temporarily benching Trueblood in Carolina on Sunday. Trueblood doesn't have a problem with the discipline and said he must play with more controlled emotion.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris has stressed to his players the importance of not riding the emotional rollercoaster this season.

While he's heard Morris' message, Bucs right tackle Jeremy Trueblood has had some difficulty following those orders over the past two weeks.

During Tampa Bay's game in Atlanta two weeks ago, Trueblood slammed his helmet to the turf in frustration during a scuffle. Those actions drew a 15-yard penalty from the officials and $7,500 fine from the NFL.

Last Sunday in Carolina, the Bucs were in a second-and-8 situation at Carolina's 18-yard line, but Trueblood was called for a personal foul for pushing a player in the back after a play had ended in the first half.

That penalty put the Bucs offense in a second-and-22 situation from Carolina's 33-yard line. The Bucs eventually settled for a 46-yard field goal during the team's 16-6 loss to the Panthers.

Tampa Bay's head coach and defensive coordinator had seen enough. Trueblood's actions in Carolina prompted Morris to bench the former second-round draft pick for a series, replacing him with rookie Demar Dotson.

Morris said Monday that Trueblood's actions would not be tolerated.

"You constantly have to talk to Jeremy about that," said Morris. "It's something you have to get over. It's been happening since he was a rookie and starter around here. It has to stop. The other day he felt like he was just hustling down the field, but he has to know better. You're a targeted guy. You have to be smarter. Foolish penalties won't be allowed or tolerated. We've got to grow from that. If he doesn't grow from that it will be his own fault and his demise.

"At the same time, I think he will learn from it. He has a coach in Pete Mangurian that is constantly harping on it, and as a head coach I'm constantly harping on it. You don't want to cool him down too much because you don't want to take away from his aggressive nature, but we just can't have those foolish penalties."

Trueblood, 26, plays with a mean streak. He said he needs to do a better job of walking the line of being a physical football player and an undisciplined football player.

"Unfortunately it's happened two times in the last two games, but we've played 12," said Trueblood. "That's not to say it's okay, but you have to [walk the line]. It's part of the game, and if I don't walk on the right side of that line I'm hurting the team, and I want to be accountable to all my teammates. They back me and I want to back them."

As for Morris' decision to discipline him, Trueblood didn't object to it and acknowledged Morris' message of not riding the emotional rollercoaster.

"It sat with me just fine because he's the head coach and he gets to make every decision," said Trueblood. "What did I take from it? I know it wasn't a smart move on my part. I just need to go out there and play with controlled intensity.

"I have conversations with Raheem every week, just like everybody else does, Whatever is said is between he and I. I'll just leave it at that. He's a great coach and I respect him a lot, so every decision he makes I back it."

Trueblood admitted that he is more prone to making mistakes in the heat of battle against more physical football teams. That said, he and Tampa Bay's offensive line face a big challenge Sunday when the New York Jets' No. 2-ranked defense invades Raymond James Stadium.

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