For the second straight week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers not only beat their opponent, but they left the game feeling like there were yards and points left out on the field. Tampa Bay dominated Cleveland in the second half of the 2010 season opener, yet only out-scored the Browns 7-0.
The same was true in Sunday's 20-7 win at Carolina. After building a 14-7 lead at halftime, the Bucs defense shut out the Panthers in the second half while the offense only generated two field goals.
Bucs head coach Raheem Morris is not surprised by his players' desire to not only light up an opponent, but also light up the scoreboard.
“They are greedy, man,” Morris said. “That’s the greedy mentality that we want. Josh looks at the tape and he sees the missed corner route to Mike [Williams] and he sees an opportunity to make a big play here and an option to make a big play there.”
Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman passed for two touchdowns and no interceptions while rushing for a career-high 43 yards and three first downs. Yet despite some good statistics, including a 40-yard throw to tight end Kellen Winslow and a 35-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Mike Williams, the 22-year old signal caller felt like there were more big plays to be had at Carolina.
"I feel like we left a lot of points on the field," Freeman said. "I think we could have had a much more crisp offensive performance and that would have taken a lot more stress off our defense. There is always room to improve."
That's the kind of talk that Morris likes to hear from his players because it's that mindset that has enabled the Bucs to start the season 2-0 and become one of the NFL's early surprise teams.
“Those guys go back and self-evaluating themselves and becoming a better team every week,” Morris said. “That’s a wiser team. It would be easy for those guys to be giddy coming off the Carolina game – they kicked our butt the last three times. But no, they want more for themselves and for us.”
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