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Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris enjoys taking hands-on role with defense

TAMPA — Bucs coach Raheem Morris said Thursday he has enjoyed taking a more hands-on approach in practice and looks forward to making the defensive calls Sunday at Atlanta.

Morris, 33, was named the Bucs' defensive coordinator last Christmas but never actually assumed the role. The only time he called plays was in 2006 as the defensive coordinator for Kansas State.

Monday, Morris relieved Jim Bates as coordinator.

"That's kind of my strength. That's kind of what I missed being a head coach," Morris said. "Not being so much hands-on, but being the director, the general and the leader and the manager and all those things.

"Now you pick up another title. I'll be the manager, the deliverer, the general and you get back on the field so you can be hands-on."

The Falcons are expected to get injured running backs Michael Turner (high ankle sprain) and Jerious Norwood (hip flexor) back.

"It's just another challenge for me," Morris said. "Fortunately, I'm in a position to call plays. And I've got to do the best job I can do for this team to go out there and progress and we can all get on the same page."

BATES LENDING A HAND: Bates is breaking down film of the Falcons offense for Morris but still is undecided about accepting a limited role with the team.

"He's been here every day … giving me tendency information and things of that nature," Morris said. "We're just working through this for both of us. He's always been a great guy."

Morris said it's undecided if Bates will travel to Atlanta.

INJURY UPDATE: The Bucs held a short practice and appear close to full strength.

LB Barrett Ruud (rib) and TE Kellen Winslow (knee) fully participated. CB Torrie Cox (knee) was limited and S Tanard Jackson was out with an illness. Oft-injured WR Antonio Bryant (knee) was given the day off.

Falcons update: Turner practiced lightly for the second straight day while Norwood fully participated. If they don't play, Jason Snelling will start. Sunday against the Giants, he ran 25 times for 76 yards and two touchdowns.

Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris enjoys taking hands-on role with defense 11/26/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 10:01am]
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