Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Joe Smith and Greg Auman

Barber: Morris took it upon himself 'to turn this team around'

24

November

Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber played a little defense Tuesday for coach Raheem Morris, who has stripped the duties of defensive coordinator from Jim Bates.

"The building is not falling down,'' Barber said. ""We're good. This team will stick together as it has all year when we've went through these tough patches. Don't worry about it. We'll find a way.''

Barber said the decision by Morris to take over the defense and re-install elements of the Tampa 2 scheme was in response to the team's 1-9 start. The Bucs rank 26th in total defense and last in the NFL against the run.

"You know what? We're a 1-9 football team,'' Barber said. "I don't think anybody ever expects to be that. Obviously, you'd rather have stability, but you live with your decisions, you know? At a time like this, I wouldn't say they made a bad decision on Jim Bates. Jim's done some great things for this defense. Raheem wanted to take it upon himself to turn this team around, and I'd like to think that's what he' doing.''

Barber said Bucs players did not lobby Morris to replace Bates or change the defensive scheme.

"I don't think any players, save a few, knew about this until today,'' Barber said. "There wasn't any player input, it wasn't a mass revolt against Jim Bates. That's conjecture and fun to write, but completely false.''

If the move by Morris doesn't work, Barber said there are likely to be more changes. The Bucs play at Atlanta Sunday.

"Let's not get it confused, we're still trying to form an identity,'' Barber said. "You can say it yourself, there's not anything we've done particularly great to say we have an identity. We know we've had a lot of turnover on this team, so we're still trying to establish that for the rest of these six games and going forward. Identity will be what it is from here on out. If it's good, it's good. If it's the way it's been, there probably will be more changes."

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:49pm]

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