Goal line situations were the focal point of Wednesday's morning practice. The defense came out on top in the battle to find the endzone. How does QB Josh Freeman feel about the play of the defense? What defensive players also saw time on offense? Find out the answers and more in this article.
The Bucs offensive and defensive line squared off in eight goal line plays that the defense won 6-2. Pewter Report will have all the details in our Pewter Insider report later this afternoon, but Bucs head coach and defensive coordinator Raheem Morris was a live wire during that session and was talking plenty of smack to the offense. The defense played outstanding and deserved Morris' praise.
"They do a really good job of keeping low," Bucs QB Josh Freeman said. "There were a couple arguable spots where we thought we scored on and the ref thought we scored on, but with Raheem being the head coach he vetoed that and forced us to run another play. It went well. The intensity was up. It was our first real live experience at camp. We got to see a lot from a lot of different guys.
"Obviously, we wanted to score every time we are down there. At the end of the day we are all teammates and it's great to see those [defensive linemen] do such a great job."
Running back Cadillac Williams seemed to agree with his starting quarterback saying that Morris is a little biased being the defensive coordinator as well as the head coach. All that does however, is make the offensive hungrier to get the upper hand, according to Williams.
"It is [frustrating] at times, but it just makes us feel that much better when we actually get the best of them because he (Morris) is always cheering on the defense," said Williams.
With the defense dominating the opposition today, Morris believes that his young D-Line is starting to show some resemblance to the prominent ones in the Bucs' past.
"That D-line is looking real similar to one of the great ones that we've had," Morris said. "If they can just figure some of the stuff that goes with that for when a guy like Sapp comes in here and Sapp tells you, ‘We rush together.' You don't know what that means until you sit around him for a while and you start to understand what he's talking about. Those guys have to figure that out - how to rush together and how they can all stop the run on the way to the quarterback. That's got to be their belief. They'll grow together. I'm excited."
During the session, the Bucs used DT Roy Miller as a goal line back for Earnest Graham and LB Adam Hayward also got some snaps at fullback in short-yardage (but not goal line) situations.
"I played a little fullback today," said Miller. "It is something that we have to continue to work on. I did it a little bit in college. I just want to fine tune it, and be able to help this team out whenever they need me at fullback."
Williams likes the idea of having Miller and his 310-pound frame leading the way for him and the rest of the running backs.
"You know, he actually has experience there," Williams said. "We brought him in last year where once we get to the goal line we stick him in there. I mean he is a big guy. Once he gets going downhill he is going to move the pile.
"Once you have a guy that's 300 pounds - that's agile like that, that can move like that - it [excites me]."
Miller had a busy morning on Wednesday. When he was not lead blocking in a power package that featured FB Earnest Graham as the lead ballcarrier, he was in on three or four reps as the starting nose tackle on defense. Miller said it was his head coach's infectious attitude that fired up the defense to go out and stop the offense from getting into the endzone.
"Rah is a high energy guy. Players mirror the coach as they say," said Miller. "He's hyped up. We want to go out there and stop the run even more for him. He's just a ball of energy for us."
Now the Bucs are just hoping they can take that defensive intensity and carry it over into the regular season.
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