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November 18, 2011 @ 12:22 pm
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Loafs, Missed Tackles Violated The Buccaneers' "Code"

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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When short gains turn into long touchdowns as they did in Sunday's loss to the Texans, a code that was established many years ago at the old One Buc Place was violated. Coach Raheem Morris and defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake shared with PewterReport.com what that code is.

Last Sunday’s disturbing loss to the Texans was made worse by what was perceived by some as a lack of effort and hustle. Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris, after reviewing the game film, also noticed some plays in which he considered to be loafs.
Both Morris and defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake commented this week on what constitutes a loaf and also about a code of core beliefs that the organization has held for a number of years.

“I didn’t start it,” Morris said Wednesday during his post practice press conference. “This started well before me, probably well before Coach [Tony] Dungy. I know we added on to it since I’ve been here with [former defensive coordinator] Coach [Monte] Kiffin and former [defensive line] coach Rod Marinelli.

Morris went on to describe the code in detail.

“A loaf is defined in seven different rules and it’s about getting passed up by another color on your team. It’s called not finishing the play aggressively and it’s different throughout the different position groups.

“So, if you get passed up by a DB and you’re a lineman, that wouldn’t be getting passed up by another color. Now, if you’re a DB and you get passed up by a D-lineman, that’s considered a loaf.”

While neither Morris nor Lake singled out a specific player, it was clear two that stood out were on the Texans' two longest plays of the game: an 80-yard first-play of the game TD by Jacoby Jones and a 78-yard catch and run by Arian Foster.

“We hold these guys to a high standard,” Lake said. “But for whatever reason, on a couple plays, we had a guy not going in his lane in the way he should have and that is what Raheem was referring to as a loaf. Obviously it shows up big time when a big play hits us. A check down in the flat goes for 78 yards. That shouldn’t happen.

“It has been a mentality around here forever. It’s a reason we have played great defense here for a long time. It's up in every single room. What is a loaf? Loafs are seven things. It's a code around here that we all live by. And a lot of people have pride about it."

Morris also added a few more examples or what breaking the code is.

“A loaf can be a really bad missed tackle because you didn’t finish a play aggressively. Those are things you have to make mention of to your football team in order to get those guys to feel such urgency and responsibility to one another. Nobody wants to have loafs on their role.”

When speaking with Lake after practice this week, it wasn't difficult to recognize the frustration in his eyes thinking back on those plays. But Lake reminded PewterReport.com, and maybe himself, that it happens even to veteran defenses.

“We've always had to have a wakeup call, whether it was my first year here or this year,” Lake said. “All 11 aren’t running to the football right now, whether it's one play or two plays. It’s not a problem that we have had every single football game. But it shows up a couple of plays here or there.

“We tell guys they can play fast and shoot on a person's leg because if you miss, the next guy's coming. All of a sudden, if you get to this mentality where this one guy misses playing fast and physical and that next guy isn’t there, now you see big plays.

“We need all guys to the football. All eleven surging to the ball. That’s Tampa 2, and every once in a while we need a wakeup call. And we got one last week.”

Rookie defensive end Adrian Clayborn is already familiar with the code.

“You never you want to be that guy not hustling to the ball,” Clayborn said. “You always want to be that guy making the extra effort. It's kind of like when something swarms on something. Not just one guy making the tackle but everyone swarming to the ball.”

Cornerback E.J. Biggers also knows how important it is to follow the code and how important it was for the Buccaneers teams that came before him.

“That code is the core beliefs of the defense.,” Biggers said. “That's going to make you play hard and smart and consistent. All the things Raheem talks about. Hustling to the ball, no loafs, no missed opportunities. All that stuff triggers into your play if you follow those core beliefs.

“That was the winning edge [during the playoff years] and not just on defense, but offense too. That was the winning edge to this Tampa Bay organization. We just need to get back to those things. Individually, if you get better, then the whole team will be better.”

While never used as an excuse Morris did say even some of the best to ever suit up in orange and white or red and pewter have been rung up by their position coaches for a  violation of the code.

“Loafs are inevitable at times, due to fatigue and where we play,” Morris said. “But you never want to have them. I can hear right now Derrick Brooks arguing with Joe Barry about a loaf or arguing about a minus for that matter. He didn’t want to have them. It was a sense of pride built throughout the defense that made that defense great.

"You can walk through the building and in every single defensive room you can see the sign there. It’s embedded in everybody’s playbook. That’s what you've got to become to become a really good defense; a really good team period.”

Last modified on Friday, 18 November 2011 12:55

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  • avatar

    I'm not a big fan of Sean Jones and really liked Ahmad Black as a Gator. But it's a stretch to assume Ahmad Black would necessarily be an upgrade. To mention David Sims (who was released by the way) as a replacement when none of us knows anything about him is a little far fetched. Sometimes you just have to roll with what you have until the off-season. I think there are a lot of players who have been a disappointment to the organization. At the start of the season, we seemed far more set at certain positions than it looks now.
  • avatar

    As SR and I have stated the problem with benching a player is this is a "one-deep" team for the most part. I'm not making excuses for them but as a head coach you still want the best shot of winning. Bench Quincy, who plays there? Dekoda is hurt. Sean Jones? Now you have Lynch and Assante if Tanard cant go facing Aaron Rodgers. Ahmad Black hasn't seen game action since the Redskins in preseason. I believe Raheem handled it internally. He's not going to run to the media and say hey I chewed Jones out and made him run 30 gassers after practice. Jones has been decent this season minus this past game. Although personally I'm with you guys, Jones would have been the one guy I would have benched, regardless of the Packers. And who knows, we wont know that he isnt playing until kickoff Sunday anyways. Jones is in his contract year so he has essentially "benched" himself. I don' t think he is back next season. The point I found interesting was this written code that was established years ago and added to. Maybe someone has already done a story and I missed it over the years.
  • avatar

    When players don't perform there has to be discipline for the poor performance. Simple as that. Find the Youngry Bucs and promote them instead to the slacker's positons and tighten up the ship or it will sink.
  • avatar

    Pathetic.......if you have to define what a loaf is b/c your team is loafing you have already failed as a head coach. This just should not happen...ever.
  • avatar

    Bench or cut Sean Jones, bench Quincy Black, bench Mike Williams, Geno gets one more strike, teach Clayborne to protect the outside on run plays... no idea what to do with Josh.....
  • avatar

    I could care less about the definition of "loaf"; just played hard football.
  • avatar

    "Loafs are seven things." OK, I missed the list. What are they? If two same color pass you, is that two loafs?
  • avatar

    As much as I think we need a coaching change I would accept if he benches Jones this week. Then if he continues to loaf when/if he gets back on the field THEN cut him. That will show the team he's serious while at the same time showing he's still being fair and consistent (see benching of Hayes).
  • avatar

    This year and the lack of effort against the 49ers and the Texans is all about coaching. Not one single player has a FEAR of losing their job.....becaise of coaching. Cower, Parcells and Belicheck would have cut Jones and benched Talib for the lack of effort and sent Geno Hayes packing a long time ago. Morris will not even call out the players by name let alone deal with the problem. Coaching is the Bucs problem and it festers until the problem is fixed. Fear drives performance NOT friendship!!!
  • avatar

    Very well said Buc4life79. Jones should have been cut Monday. He won't be on the team next year anyway and it would have sent a strong message to a young team that needs strong leadership. I've never been a fan of Jones. On his best day I think he's a very average SS. Let's see if A. Black can make some plays. It's a safe bet Black is more hungry than Jones.
  • avatar

    So, it's no secret with Larry Asante coming into last sunday's game for Sean Jones, that Jones was the painfully obvious and shameful "loafer" on the field...So..a veteran, in a contract year, who's play has already been questioned this year, is out on the field setting that kind of pourous example for your young players to see and as the head coach, YOU DON"T take the opportunity to send him packing and set an example for the rest of your team??? Especially when you live by the "next man up" mantra and have players like Ahmad Black and David Sims waiting in the wings??? Raheem needs to treat a cancerous tumor for exactly what it is and cut it out before it spreads....Bottom line, as of this past monday, Jones should have been released...and it's on Raheem Morris now as to what he is excepting and allowing to happen in the locker room and on the field of play...Better Wise UP and act like a head coach there Mr. Morris, before the NFL ends up meaning not for long regarding your tenure as head coach in Tampa. Very disappointed with this one...after Jones compilation of play this season..He without a doubt should have been sent packing...What kind of message do you send to the rest of your team by not giving him his walking papers??? A possible death sentence for the rest of the season that's what!!
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