Bucs players try peer pressure to force better effort
When Bucs coach Raheem Morris told reporters this week that effort was a problem in Sunday’s loss to the Texans, the message didn’t end there.
Morris took that message to his players, emphasizing it in Monday’s team meeting. In short, Sunday’s display fell well short of what Buccaneer football used to represent.
“He addressed that in the defensive meeting, as far as how everybody needs to run to the ball,” safety Tanard Jackson said. “That’s been our standard around here and that’s not going to change. It’s always been a part of our success around here. (Morris) definitely made a point of that.”
The message is getting through on the offensive side of the ball, too, where the effort of the team’s receivers was called into question.
“When you talk about everything that goes into a football game, not everything is going to go your way,” quarterback Josh Freeman said. “But the one thing you can make sure goes your way every play, (at) every position, is effort. That’s really inexcusable for someone to go out and not give 100 percent on every play.
“It’s really disgusting.”
Jackson, drafted by the Bucs in 2007, said he began his career in Tampa Bay at a time when players held each other to higher standards. That now seems to be lacking in certain units.
“That’s what I came into,” Jackson said. “That’s what it’s always been like around here. Obviously, the team has changed since then. We have a much younger team now. But the leaders on the defense – myself, Ronde (Barber), guys who were during those times – we need to make it a point of emphasis.”