Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Raheem Morris, Tampa Bay Buccaneers open minicamp today

TAMPA

Raheem Morris likes to joke that he's the only defensive coordinator in Bucs history who has never given up a single yard or been scored upon. Morris' meteoric promotion from coaching defensive backs to defensive coordinator to the NFL's youngest head coach in the span of 23 days is part of team lore. But his rubber-meets-the-road moment starts today when the Bucs hold a three-day, voluntary minicamp at One Buc Place (closed to the public). How will Morris approach his new duties?

"Call it naive, call it young, I don't know," Morris said, "but this is how I'm looking at it: I had 15 (defensive backs) before. Now I've got 66 DBs sitting in front of me, and I'm going to approach it like that. All my DBs have always been competitive. They've always done what I've asked, I've always messed around with them in the locker room, I've always been demanding, and they've responded. You tell Ronde (Barber) the same thing you told him before: 'I'm going to tolerate you until I can replace you.' "

Some changes Bucs players will notice starting today:

It's no health club

During the past few years, it has been easy to confuse One Buc "Palace" with L.A. Fitness. And minicamps cannot include any contact, so no pads. But you can bet Morris will find a way to let his players know that the country club atmosphere has changed.

"In order to get your team to be a violent team, you have to practice a little bit violent," Morris said. "In order to get your team physical, you have to practice physical. It'll be easy for some because some guys like that. It'll be hard for others.

"The only way you finish strong in this league is if you make yourself miserable early. You learn to love to be miserable."

New leaders

Morris was 18 the first time Derrick Brooks attended a Bucs minicamp. But Brooks, along with released veterans Warrick Dunn and Joey Galloway, won't be around today.

So who will lead the family? Barber can't do it alone. It's time to see if Barrett Ruud will have a louder voice.

But Morris will be watching players such as Gaines Adams, Tanard Jackson, Aqib Talib, Kellen Winslow and Quincy Black.

"In each (meeting) room, you've got a guy," Morris said. "You've still got young guys who have been around those (veterans) for years and have learned how to do that."

New schemes

Teams with new coaches get an extra minicamp to implement changes. That benefits the Bucs, who have a new defensive coordinator (Jim Bates) and offensive coordinator (Jeff Jagodzinski).

On defense, there will be changes from the Tampa 2 scheme made famous by departed coordinator Monte Kiffin. The Bucs keep the 4-3 scheme, but with more man-to-man, press coverage on the outside with more blitzing and defensive tackles who play more heads-up on the guard and center.

Players who struggled in Kiffin's scheme might thrive. There's competition at every position, particularly linebacker.

Offensively, the biggest change is a zone blocking scheme that should help running backs Earnest Graham and Derrick Ward.

Raheem Morris

Raheem Morris, Tampa Bay Buccaneers open minicamp today 03/30/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 7:15am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. College World Series: Gators, LSU face off in all-SEC finals

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — The matchup for the College World Series finals bolsters the case for those who say the best baseball in the land is played in the SEC.

    Florida’s Brady Singer, delivering during a CWS win over Louisville last week, is scheduled to start tonight against LSU.
  2. Jones: Fox Sports Sun shows depth in Rays coverage

    TV and Radio

    tom jones' two cents

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) makes a run home for a score in the in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  3. Brian Boyle says returning to Lightning a 'huge option'

    Blogs

    As former Lightning forward Brian Boyle approaches free agency this week, he said he's trying to stay busy.

    Former Tampa Bay Lightning player center Brian Boyle (24), on the ice during first period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa on March 16, 2017.
  4. Rays journal: Blake Snell to rejoin rotation, Erasmo Ramirez heads to bullpen

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Blake Snell is rejoining the Rays' rotation, but the move has as much to do with helping the bullpen as it does with Snell's improvement during his time at Triple-A Durham.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.