Morris practices tough love on Bucs by taking away days off
Bucs coach Raheem Morris planned to give his team the weekend off. But that was before Tampa Bay played poorly in a 31-14 loss to the New England Patriots in Friday's preseason game at Raymond James Stadium.
On Saturday, following a team activity, the Bucs practice was rained out and players were instead directed to the weight room. The Bucs were back on the field Sunday morning in helmets and shoulder pads, a practice that was extended 30 minutes than planned by Morris.
“I was going to give them off and get their bodies back,'' Morris said. "But the reason being, like I just mentioned, getting those guys back on the field, being around each other again, that’s how you get rid of those cobwebs.''
The Bucs trailed New England 28-0 at halftime and were ineffective on both sides of the ball while their starters were in the game. Some of the breakdowns came as a result of Patriots blitzes the Bucs had not specifically prepared for. But Morris' team also lost one-on-one, physical battles.
"I talked to them,'' Morris said. "I challenged them. I challenged my receivers, that was a game you got to win. If a team is going to play bump man on Mike Williams, he’s got to win. If they’re going to play bump man on Briscoe, he’s got to win. Whoever. Kellen didn’t play, but I blame him for not playing.
“You’ve got to win those one-on-one battles. That’s exactly what New England did, they came in and played man free and they had a couple zero blitzes and they won. They made Free(man) hold the ball and eventually the protection broke down they hit him. So we’ve got to win those battles.''