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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Raheem Morris stops practice, raises voice



UPDATE, 5:20 p.m.: Raheem Morris said he stopped practice and ripped his players primarily for a lack of intensity.

Morris had implored his players to take a game-like approach to this minicamp, and coaches have conducted in game-like fashion as opposed to more routine practices.

Morris felt he wasn't getting the response he desired, so he did something about it during an expletive-laced tirade.

"It’s easy to get caught up with the fans in a game, and it’s easy to get caught up in the mode of a regular practice, walking off, talking to your (position) coach, being coached on every play," he said. "You have to get that out of you when you’re talking about game situations. That’s just not realistic. That’s not what happens.

"We have to increase our urgency in practice and you have to try to simulate it yourself. Everybody has to do it. When you come out to practice, you have to put yourself in a game-like situation. We have to increase the urgency with that tomorrow."

Morris figured it might be difficult to change the mentality after nearly six weeks of routine offseason workouts, during which the tempo and attitude is laid-back compared to actual games. And with a young roster, players often have to be reminded to take a game-like approach to practices. Perhaps Morris' little "talk" served as a sufficient reminder.

"It’s hard to turn it over," Morris said. "It’s easy to sit in a meeting and say, ‘It’s going to be a game-like situation today.’ Then you have to go out there and (change) your mindset. It’s easy to go out there and run on the field like it’s an OTA day. That’s why I think it’s critical, I believe, for me to stop the practice, let them know where we are, refocus, and then you get the chemistry back."

POSTED 4:37 p.m.: After what looked like a very shaky two-minute period in today's afternoon workout, Bucs coach Raheem Morris called his team to midfield for a talkin' to.

He proceeded to rip into his players in a very strongly-worded rant, telling them they had one more day to get things right. The Bucs have two practices scheduled for Tuesday, then finish their mandatory mini-camp with a team-building activity on Wednesday.

The two-minute session was marred by a flurry of flags, a few errant throws and an overall lack of precision.

If it wasn't Demar Dotson holding Stylez White, it was a defender jumping off sides, an offensive lineman false starting or a quarterback missing his receiver. The first offense moved the ball enough for kicker Connor Barth to nail a 52-yard field goal, but the second unit didn't produce any points in its first possession.

Don't discount the fact that players might be anxious to get this week in the books, knowing their long offseason is about to come to a close. Focus can be lost under such circumstances, but we suspect Morris won't want to hear that excuse.

We expect to hear from Morris shortly and we'll ask him what specifically he wants to see his team clean up in its final two practices.

[Last modified: Monday, July 19, 2010 2:42pm]


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