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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Confident Morris tells team it's a 'race to 10 (wins)' as camp begins without McCoy, Penn



Coming off a 3-13 season, coach Raheem Morris knows that people outside of One Buc Place don't have very high expectations for his team in 2010.

But after players reported to training camp Friday, Morris talked to his team about posting a double-digit win season that he believes might get them into the playoffs.

"Last year doesn't matter right now, we're 0-0,'' Morris said. "And by the same token, '02 doesn't matter right now. You can't go back and dig up a championship just like you can't go out and dig up a bad season. That's over with.

"The message I give to these guys is it's a race to 10 (wins). It's a race to 10...once you get there, you give yourself a chance to get into post-season play. And once you get into post-season play? Start flipping coins.

"It's bold statement. I know national guys probably don't look at it that way. I know you guys probably don't look at it that way. But our mentality? That's what it is.''

The only Bucs players not reporting to training camp Friday were unsigned first-round pick Gerald McCoy and starting left tackle Donald Penn, who has refused to sign his one-year tender as a restricted free agent.

As if not having the new centerpiece of the defense and the player who protects the blindside of quarterback Josh Freeman isn't daunting enough, the Bucs will be relying on lot of new faces in key places like defensive tackle Brian Price, receviers Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn and cornerback Myron Lewis.

Morris said he has some concerns about relying on so many young players, but nothing out of the ordinary. 

"Just the normal concerns, the unknown,'' Morris said. "The guy hasn't been out there yet, he hasn't seen what it's like when it gets a little sticky for him. But I have a lot of confidence in our scouting department, I've got a lot of confidence in our evaluations after the season, I have a lot of confidence in the work we were able to put into their backgrounds. So when we drafted these guys, we wanted to pride ourselves on knowing more than anybody else did.''


[Last modified: Friday, July 30, 2010 6:03pm]


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