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November 14, 2011 @ 2:47 pm
Current rating: 4.00 Stars/2 Votes

Players Accept the Blame, Say Morris Isn't At Fault

Written by Mark
Cook
Mark Cook

Mark
Cook

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On Sunday afternoon and again on Monday, Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris said he takes full responsibility for the loss to Houston. But the players in the locker room at One Buc Place don't agree.

Less than 24 hours after suffering their fifth defeat of the season, the game film looked no better according to head coach Raheem Morris and some Buccaneers players.

“Evaluated the tape and it was exactly what you thought,” Morris said. “It was a bad day for Buccaneer football. Didn’t look good and again I've got to put that on myself like I did last night. No different. This week and for the rest of the season [we] can’t be concerned about preservation so much. [We need to] get physically better — it’s what we need to do.”

Defensive end Michael Bennett agreed with his head coach. It wasn’t a pretty sight.

“No, it doesn’t look any better [24 hours later],” Bennett said. “That kind of performance as a defense … everybody has got their heads down for a couple days. But we have to get on to the next game. We have to start getting ready for Green Bay.”

And while Morris continues to take the blame for the team’s poor performance, players PewterReport.com spoke to said Morris can’t get on the field and play for them.

“He's the head coach and that's what he's supposed to say,” veteran cornerback Aqib Talib said. “It ain’t all on Rah. It’s not him. We're the players out there. It’s on everybody. It’s on the Bucs.”


“It can’t be on him,” Bennett said. “He can’t be in the game. At some point and time it has to be about the players. No matter what play the coach calls we still have to execute it. Clearly we aren’t executing the plays the coaches are calling. We have to do better at that.

“We've got to take the heat off of him. In the public eye he is the one getting blamed for a lot of stuff, but really, like I said, it's the players. It's the defense. As an offense we have to play better. On special teams we have to play better. We have to do better at everything."


The major problem on the defensive side of the football was again poor tackling according to Talib and Bennett.

“They had four really big plays in the game that really killed us,” Bennett said. “We just need to tackle better. One of the biggest things is that. The last four weeks we have played against some of the best backs in the NFL [and] as a defense you have to hold up. They are going to run through arm tackles and you have to get your body on them."

“I want go to the effort [excuse] but as a defense we have to get off blocks and make more plays,” Talib said. “From watching the plays it didn’t look like we didn’t want to get off the blocks. We just weren’t shedding those blocks. But I wouldn’t say it was our [lack of] effort though.

“Got to get back to it [gang tackling] if we want to do something. We've got to get back to it. There isn’t any other way to play defense. We are supposed to have pride in it and we aren’t doing it right now.”

While the new CBA limits the number of padded practices (14 padded practices for the entirety of the season, 11 of those sessions must be held in the first 11 weeks) Morris said it was time to get more physical during the week.

“The answer is putting on some pads,” Morris said. “I got my mulligan this week so I can put it on twice this week and get as many as I can based on the rules to get these guys going. We got to make plays in pads [and] both on offense and defense and special teams.”

Bennett said he has no problems suiting up during the week. In fact, the Buccaneers starting left defensive end said the team needs to improve even in practice.

“We need to go out and execute better at practice,” Bennett said. “Because at practice that translates to the game. Some people don’t realize some of the best players to ever play any sport practiced well. You hear about Michael Jordan and his practice habits. That’s why he was the best.

“This game was made to be played in pads,” Bennett said. “On Sunday you play in pads. You don’t play in shirts. People are really trying to score. It’s not like you can get better with the least amount of pads. You've got to have padded practices, especially as a defense. Maybe not so much on offense, but on defense you have to be able to hit and get used to hitting in the game.”

The road to improvement won’t get any easier next week as the team is traveling to play the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Besides facing the reigning Super Bowl champions, who could also be undefeated come Sunday with a Monday night win over Minnesota, the weather won’t be in the Buccaneers' favor. Early forecasts are calling for temperatures in the low 40’s and rain.

Players and coaches know time is running out to turn this season around, but don’t seem fazed by their next opponent. Not outwardly, anyway.

“This week is the best challenge in the league,” Talib said. “We're going to start something. It’s got to be this week. We have the best team in the league so we have to prepare like we are playing the best and get it right, right now.”

"That’s awesome. This is the best time for us to play those guys, “Morris said. “We’ve got the best team in the National Football League lined up on deck ready to deal. I’ve got a chance to go upstairs and get a rebound and make all you guys [the media] love me again next week."

Last modified on Monday, 14 November 2011 15:55
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COMMENTS

  • avatar


    Gulfstrings: Good point about relationships potentially interfering with decision making. But those personal connections will always be a part of relatively small organizations like a 53 man roster. Not sure about Morris, but Dominik has shown he can make those tough choices that no doubt tug on his heartstrings. The point is that people respond differently to a boss/coach with whom they have a personal relationship. With some it would be a source of motivation but sadly and perhaps here, there are those who would take advantage knowingly or unknowingly. It's difficult for anyone to move up in an organization like Raheem has and make the transition to be just a little more distant. Time will help do that. All of that said, I do think there are certain players who maybe have gotten a little too comfortable and are not playing as hard as they think they are. I hope the other posters didn't get too bored with this Management 101 discussion.
  • avatar

    "MORRIS IS NOT AT FAULT" What a Joke!!! Morris and Dominick are precisely who are at fault. The youngest coach in the league was afraid to have any veteran players on the team that were older or more experienced than him because of his insecurity in his leadership. He needed a bunch of green rookies to buy into all the bull he was selling. Why did he get rid of Derrick Brooks??? Youth movement!! Well you wanted a team full of inexperienced rookies and now you got it! The 4 games we won were by the skin of our pants. Fire the coaches! Offensive play calling sucks, Special teams are no longer what they used to be. And conditioning and strength coach obviously isn't doing his job because these buccaneers are weak and getting man handled. The Defensive and Offensive line coaches seem to be the only good coaches on the team. Get rid of Talib, he can't tackle and he's the biggest liability on the team! We need new talent in the secondary, we need a speed back with good vision, and new outside linebackers who have instincts, strength and most importantly can tackle!!! As for our new DE? Take a look below. Smart move Morris and Dom____________________________________________________________ 2011 Regular Season: TACK/ SOLO/ AST/ SACK/ FF/ FR/ YDS/ INT/______ Ryan Kerrigan Stats: 41/___28_/__13/___ 5.0/__ 4/__ 0/__0/___1/______ Adrian Clayborn Stats: 19/___ 15/___4/____3.0/___1/__ 0/__ 0/___0/______ Good Job letting him get away!
  • avatar

    scudog - A raving management style isn't at all what I was referencing. Autocracy is a thing of the past ( perhaps the drill sargeant analogy was ill advised) in business, but when a coach is asking - demanding that his team members go out there and "hurt" themselves, he must get a conditioned response. Period! A leader must not allow relationships with staff to gopvern his making the tough decisions. Those decisions can be made more difficult when relationships are personal. Or worse, when that manager (coach) presents himself as "one of the guys" and struggles because of his feelings. I do believe that respect and consideration are critical to creating a successful workplace environment, but it is a shaky foundation when compromised by emotional ties.
  • avatar


    Welcome home Horse! Look forward to meeting you someday. East side, Section 134, Row Z, Seats 19-24. Stop by and say hello. I'll be the one in the red shirt.
  • avatar


    Gulfstrings: Here's 's another management tip maybe your mentor failed to disclose. "Be yourself" You can't be someone you aren't because it comes across as fake. Subordinates respond differently but all respond to being treated with respect and dignity. An arms flailing, screaming, jumping to a conclusion, indecisive, blaming without having facts, closed-minded tyrant doesn't work any better than the push-over. You don't have to be an a$$hole to be demanding. You simply have to put people in a position to succeed and allow them to progress and find satisfaction in their accomplishments. Threats, belittling, continual irrational scoldings and more pay are not long term motivators. Having a boss/coach whom you respect, makes good, sound decisions and to whom you feel a sense of loyalty and obligation to fulfill his and your expectations is what will allow people to do their best. Create a workplace where people are self motivated to want to remain part of a successful organization not one where people are afraid and spend their time in self-preservation mode. Morris may never be a successful head coach but the fact that his style is to be closer to his players wont be the reason he failed. It may even be the reason he had some modest success in 2010. It's funny though; when teams change coaches they often change styles from "players coach" to "tyrant coach" thinking that the opposite demeanor will work better. Fact is, they both work or fail fairly equally.
  • avatar


    scubog, most of what you have said makes obvious sense; however they're usually a small percentage of employees that don't fit and they are replaced. I use to call that competition. There is nothing wrong with taking the bottom 5-10% of your employees/staff and seeing what else is out there. Now that is also based on all employees being paid above the norm. I believe the Bucs are in this same position and I support the GM and HC to follow the same above mentioned practice. By the way, We have sold our house and will be back in my old town in two weeks. I hope to get to a game with my son and or grandsons before this season ends. Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    My mentor, when I entered management, asked me if I was a "people person." The correct answer, according to him, would be "no." Managers that are people oriented struggle to make tough decisions when seeking results. It's proven over the years to be a fact of (my) life. Player's coaches are nothing more than people persons. Great for workplace get-togethers with the families - bad for charging up the hill against roaring gunfire ... or a Houston defense. Many components go in to motivation. but you've never met a friendly drill sargeant. Time to grow up Bucs. War's almost over ...
  • avatar


    Gulfstrings, well put.
  • avatar


    I just wanted the Bucs to be competitive this year, not expecting a ton of wins or the playoffs...but they are not competitive and they tackle in a way so that they avoid getting hurt...which means they don't tackle. A big disappointment of a season and they look to be in a tailspin.
  • avatar

    Criticism is good if it's constructive and not just whiney. This board is just whining all the time. I would agree...I think we need a DC and a new OC but certainly not in the middle of a season. We do what we can do this year to get the ship righted and get these players improving instead of regressing and then in the off season some moves need to be made. This does take time folks. Look at how long the Texans have been working at it. Do you think the fans have been screaming for their head coach to be fired for years? Of course they have but they're lovin' him now aren't they? Same with Green Bay. That team is nearly all built through the draft. I'm not excusing bad play. There is no excuse for lack of effort and apathy and that is what I saw on Sunday. That has to be corrected. I believe we have talent but in the NFL talent is everywhere. Only the talent that applies itself to excellence will rise to the top and these players need to realize that or they won't last long in this league. There are just too many good players being churned out of college every year to settle for second best. The second half of this season will define this team because there are no breaks. We face challenges every week playing good teams and we will either rise to the challenge or do a Roberto Duran and say "No Mas"! I'm hoping these players have more character and heart than that.
  • avatar


    gahtadreem, we could bring in Mike Singletary as an example to help Coach morris right now.
  • avatar

    Ok, I am usually silent but not this time. I am tired of hearing the youngest team in the NFL. It is becoming an enabling excuse for the player to be stupid. Horribly childish penalties that stop dirves and cast us games. Lackluster tackling, Aqib the worst in my opinion. For weeks I have been stating that he will not tackle. Just watch when the other team comes by him it is an effortless attempt to tackle AND he is not catching interceptions. The defense in general is not tackling or defending. The offense is also underperforming. It is like watching a bunch of immature HS kids play anymore. Time to grow up Bucs and be a team again.
  • avatar

    Fire Olsen. Get rid of the players who quit (Lewis, Jones...ets). Bring in a new O.C. that plays to our strengths. Josh is pretty good in the gun with 4 receiver sets (however, we need a speedy receiver to blow the top off the D). BRING IN COWHER, god knows he'd love to get a house on the water and go fishing and golfing around tampa during his final years of coaching. I think keep Raheem around as DC ONLY. I do think that Dominik is a good GM regardless of some of the moves he's made inthe past. He HAS made the team more talented, that talent just doesn't show up on game day and/or the coaches don't know how to motivate the players to realize their talent. I truly think Cowher may be the answer, BUT HE WONT COME CHEAP. So PONY UP Glazers and make something happen. Also, a new LB coach is a must, no production under Baker. GET BISACCIA BACK!
  • avatar


    When the BUCS lost to the 49ers 48-3, several 49er players were quoted as saying..."...the BUCS just quit!" I was at the game on Sunday and believe me, the BUCS quit again!!! This begins with coaching. Morris has always tried to be the players best friend. AS THE YOUNGEST TEAM IN THE NFL, the bucs need a coach they fear...a Bill Parcells type head coach. The players just don't get it! They are not performing on the field and they aren't going to any time soon.
  • avatar


    Watched a little of the Packers game last night. Another very young team. Focusing just on the defensive side there were always two or three players making a tackle with more on the way. They were consistently in proper position to limit the effectiveness of the play. They played with an angry spirit and full of swagger, bordering on cockiness. Our mighty Bucs looked nothing like that this past Sunday.
  • avatar


    The Bears and Lions got in a FIGHT yesterday. Can anybody imagine the Bucs getting into a real fight yesterday? Maybe a dance fight, but not a real one. They looked more concerned with getting post-game manicures and tea.
  • avatar


    I've spent good money going to every home game thus far this year, however I will attend no more. The Texans game was horrible and I don't think I've ever watched worse football. I was sick of watching the team under Gruden play average ball with old hand-me down players. I thought I would rather see young guys out there taking their lumps but at least building into something good, and last year was very hopeful. I now feel like we need some of the "old dog's" back that were let go. This team is in shambles right now. I fear that this adversity over the past few games is ruining this season for the Bucs or worse and that they are farther away from becoming something special than ever... They have seven games left to prove me wrong but I just can't be optimistic with these guys at this point. Morris has quite the task ahead from keeping these guys from packing it in for good.
  • avatar

    Glad to see the players union telling coaches how to practice. That's like a student telling the teacher what to teach. Great Job Players Union. I am really shocked the wind sprints did not work. Maybe 2 laps around the field will get the attention of these highly paid professional athletes.
  • avatar


    skanji65, again I agree fans should be upset but you didn't answer my question. How would you like Morris and his players to respond to the questions they're being asked? What answers would you like to hear for the "hard questions"? I ask because I theorize that there is no answer on earth these guys could deliver that could be accepted as the right answer after a loss.
  • avatar


    pinkstop, If the Glazers haven't said anything to the GM and the GM to the Coach like "how can I help you right now" then that is a big management problem. Why not bring in Mike Singletary to be the DC? He is a very good defensive coach and would bring discipline; something that is lacking. Why are we keeping Lewis, Lee, Lorig, Jones, on this team? Bring in some other players; tha's what you do with back ups that are not contributing enough unless you are a real playoff contender. Most of us want this this team to get better; you think saying nothing is a better way then go ahead and be part of the silent majority and nothing will ever happen. Criticism and change is good, not a negative.
  • avatar

    Fans should be mad after a game like that. It shows they care honestly. And they can be upset at the post game comments because the answers to the hard questions are the ones we have heard before. Sounds ok on the surface but what actually changes behind the scenes? Bennett said the team needs to practice better. Glad that is being recognized now. I still scratch my head to wonder what gameplans are being thought of during the week if zero wrinkles are introduced on either side of the ball to account for the other team's weaknesses or strengths. Fans are not as stupid as you think (even though some of the history on these boards may indicate otherwise!), they will not show up and spend top dollar for below average product. Its not the fact we lose, but how we lose that gets people riled up. These are painful games to watch, even when we win. As a die hard I will take the good with the bad and hope we can keep winning. But when I said the wheels were off two weeks ago after Chicago I wasn't getting any pleasure out of saying it. Something is wrong with this team and it needs to get addressed. Going up to Lambaeu to play the best team in football is not something I am looking fwd to.
  • avatar


    I'd love to hear how you posters would like Morris and his players to respond to the questions they're being asked. Last week everyone complained that Morris didn't take any responsibility (which he had in games past, he just didn't after the Saints game for whatever reason). This week he took full responsibility and you guys are just as pissed. I understand being mad that we're losing but I don't understand you guys being so mad at the responses to questions you've read. It's like after a reporter asks a question you expect for Morris to say nothing, step away from the podium, backflip 24 hours in time, land in RJS and single-handedly beat the Texans.
  • avatar


    Players? SHUT UP!! Most of you have never managed a lemonade stand; you all don't know anything about management and how to run anything. Seriously players, you may have large ego's and big bank accounts (for a short time), but most of you will burn thru your money within 10 years out of football because you don't know anything about management. Just shut up and play some hard football. All most all you guys quit on your teammates yesterday. That's sad; that's also coaching problem; that's also poor management of the whole organization. Go Bucs! Become a team again.
  • avatar


    It's a combination of the HC, the OC, the DC, the STC AND the players. They just all flat out quit yesterday. That's the kind of crap that is unforgivable. I'm making 2 road trips this year and buying the NFL Ticket to witness this? If this keeps up, there had better be some heads rolling.
  • avatar


    I like how Talib still managed to say "we" instead of "I". Talk about being accountable. Fix yourself first, then you can be a good teammate and say we (which really means everyone else). Until then, you need to say that I missed that tackle and I did not get off that block. Of course, what good would that do? It is not like you have consistently shown the ability to make a tackle or get off a block all season. I love how everyone including the writers on PR were touting Talib as a pro-bowl corner. What a joke. He should not even be starting on the worst defense in the league!
  • avatar


    Good grief - the Bucs can't even coordinate who's fault it is
  • avatar


    Tired of fans complaining about the team this year and ticket prices. The team went 10-6 last season and people still didn't show up so stop actinf like more people will show up if they were winning because when they were people still stayed home.
  • avatar


    Keep drinking that kool aid! The economy still sucks - and the team is getting worse, so stop trying to say its anything else. I'm tired of horse-blinder wearing "fans" that think they know better than anyone else....
  • avatar


    Fans have the right to complain about the team after a game like that. The team gets praise when they play well don't they? It works both ways. That's sports. It's frustrating when you spend hundreds of dollars and walk out of the stadium pissed off. The Bucs have lost half of the games I've gone to and I've never complianed before but that was horrible. I realize they are going to lose games but I expect them to put up a fight. The ticket prices are too high when you can stay home and watch the game in HD for free. I go as many games as I can afford. Paying the mortage comes before a trip to Ray Jay. If they lowered ticket prices they would get more people in the stands. Ticket sales dropped off last year because of the economy and the fact they went 3-13 in '09. People don't want to spend $125 for a ticket to bake in the sun and watch a beating.
  • avatar


    You got to see the other team's kicker throw our returner around and you got to see our running back make a nice spin move, albeit 5 yards away from the defender.
  • avatar


    I spent my hard earned money on overpriced tickets for a FOOTBALL GAME yesterday. I did not see the Bucs "play" I saw the Bucs "show up." If you don't get what you pay for don't you typically get your money back? Well at least they let me pay $25 to park my car after I drove 4 hours to watch that turd fest. Thanks Glazers. Still wonder why the games don't sell out? Pretend the Bucs play soccer and spend some money in FA to fill the giant holes on our roster! You can't build a team on the draft alone.
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