Despite several key offensive linemen missing from Friday night's practice but under contract, new offensive line coach Pat Morris likes the group of Buccaneers O-linemen that he has inherited.
New offensive line coach Pat Morris said he has had an easy transition to Tampa Bay. Morris learned his new players over tape in the offseason during the lockout, and found a make shift group to work with on the first day of training camp.
“We still have a couple of guys that were free agents and restricted and aren’t out here right now,” said Morris. “We got to hold time because there is like four guys we’re missing until the CBA gets approved. With [Demar] Dotson and [James] Lee we got a couple guys there. Right now though I call it underwear football. I think they are moving around okay, and we got some free agents and their head is spinning.”
Morris said he liked the effort and flexibility of the Buccaneers linemen when reviewing the tape from 2010. The veteran offensive line coach was happy that guard Davin Joseph and right tackle Jeremy Trueblood re-signed with Tampa Bay. Trueblood is reminiscent for Morris of a feisty right tackle that he had a lot of success with in a previous coaching stop with the San Francisco 49ers.
“Yeah, like Scott Gregg,” said Morris. “I think with any lineman if they care and they’re tough, they got a chance to play offensive line. Obviously Jeremy has got that stuff. He’s not here right now, but I think as an organization we wanted him back here because of those reasons. He’s been playing next to Davin for all those years. I think they work together well. I like his attitude and his toughness and the guy has played well and when guys play well they have good awareness and intensity.”
After the Bucs ran primarily a the zone blocking scheme the past two seasons the team is mixing in some man blocking schemes for 2011. Morris said he coached both in Minnesota the past few seasons as running back Adrian Peterson has had an excellent start to his NFL career.
“I think it should be a fair mix. You can’t just do one thing in this game or good defenses are going to catch up to you,” said Morris. “You have to be able to execute those plays.
“We ran zone and a man scheme (at Minnesota). Sometimes you can run a zone land mark and just have a man scheme. With Adrian we did both. It is predicated on what the defense gives you.”
Morris has worked in the past with offensive coordinator Greg Olson, and had some other familiar faces waiting for him.
“I’ve known [wide receivers coach] Eric Yarber too. I think the best about that is I know the system,” said Morris. “So it is an easy transition. It is good to be with the Tampa Bay organization. It is a great organization. Ever since I’ve come here the town and organization has welcomed me with their open arms. I think that’s class.”
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