Defending the Bucs defensive line
The Bucs haven't done much to address their needs on the defensive line this off-season.
They were out-bid for Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, who signed with the Redskins. They lost Jovan Haye to Tennessee in free agency. They retained defensive tackle Ryan Sims.
But coach Raheem Morris says the Bucs could get better in the draft and there is more time to add players before training camp.
"We did re-sign Ryan Sims, who was our free agent, so to speak. I know it wasn't the big splash that everybody wanted,'' Morris said. "We did make a bid for Albert (Haynesworth). It didn't work out. We felt it went past our limit where we wanted to go, where we were comfortable going and we didn't go there. We feel good about that.
"We still have the upcoming draft. We still have to get ready for training camp. We don't know where we're going to end at. We don't know where we're going to be. We just are looking to improve every position and obviously that's a position we have to improve. We feel pretty good about the guys we have. Hovan is not a slouch. We've got Ryan Sims and we've also got some young guys who are really unproven when you're talking about Greg Peterson, when you're talking about Dre Moore. We feel pretty good. I can't wait to see what happens. It's a competitive situation.
"There's so many players on our team, on defense that people just haven't heard about -- the Quincy Blacks and the Geno Hayeses and (Adam) Haywards. These guys are quality draft picks and we can't wait to give them a chance to prove themselves.''
Morris says anybody who believes the Bucs are content to rebuild and have lowered expectations for 2009 are mistaken.
"Well, they obviously haven't talked to myself and Mark Dominik,'' Morris said. "People are entitled to their own opinion, I tell people that all the time.You can think whatever you want to think. Until you get out there. It's nothing you really have to talk about. It will all be determined in September between wins and losses.
"I think we've done a good job. I guess (the media) made it a youth movement. We didn't really see it that way. We went that way to make our team tougher, more physical, faster, more ready to finish down the stretch. That's some of the things we wanted to do by bringing in some of the guys we brought in during free agency, good guys, character guys as well. Also guys who have been part of winning teams and are able to finish.
"We lost some great leaders and we've got to find some new leaders. There are some guys on our team we feel comfortable with, some guys on our team that have to step up and fill those roles, but we think they're ready to do it and really hope they will.''