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Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris puts defensive end Gaines Adams on notice

Gaines Adams, talking to Dre Moore, has 121/2 sacks in two seasons. Raheem Morris wants at least 10 this season.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Gaines Adams, talking to Dre Moore, has 121/2 sacks in two seasons. Raheem Morris wants at least 10 this season.

TAMPA — Coach Raheem Morris is nothing if not consistent.

He already is establishing that when being critical of his players, he will take the same posture in public as he does in private.

So what Morris told the media about DE Gaines Adams on Saturday is the same harsh assessment he gave Adams behind closed doors:

Step it up.

"Double-digit sacks," Morris said when asked of his expectations of Adams for 2009.

"That's what he's graded on. There's no secret about it. I've got no problem telling him, 'Hey, Gaines, if you don't do it this year, you're going to be considered a bust.' I told him that in a team meeting. I tell him that every once in a while when we walk out together. He can't wait. He's embraced it. He's going to come out ready to play."

Adams, the team's No. 1 draft pick (and No. 4 overall) in 2007, has 121/2 sacks in his two seasons and is under considerable pressure to elevate his game this season. He has sometimes struggled to finish plays even though his unique quickness allows him to get off the ball with ease.

Adams has shown flashes: He had a pair of two-sack games in 2008 (against Atlanta and Dallas), and he scored on a 45-yard interception return at Chicago.

But Morris wants more. And he's demanding it.

"There's no other thing that's going to define Gaines Adams other than sacks and production," Morris said. "Production speaks volumes. I wouldn't say it's do or die. But if you ask what is it going to take for Gaines Adams to go over the top?

Double-digit sacks."

UNDER THE LIGHTS: The Bucs conducted a rare workout at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday night, opening the venue to fans for a free practice that featured on-field interviews with coaches and even the cannons firing from the north end zone.

The idea was to give the many new players a feel for the stadium while giving fans a treat.

For rookie DT Roy Miller, his first visit to the stadium was memorable.

"I've only seen this (stadium) on Madden playing video games," he said. "To actually be here and play in here and get on the field, it's amazing.

"This is how it's going to be. This is kind of like a simulation."

There was no official attendance figure, but most of the lower bowl was filled on the west sideline with fans also dotting portions of the east sideline and end zones. That would put the figure at roughly 10,000.

NOT HOLDING BACK: Morris ordered his team to wear full pads during the morning practice even though players didn't engage in all-out tackling. Still, wearing the pads in the brutal late-morning heat was part of his effort to set a tone.

"I believe that pads are going to be our winning edge," Morris said.

"There's no other place like Tampa that you have to come play at 1 in the afternoon and try to win. A lot of people looked at it as a negative that we didn't have a night game. I looked at it and said, 'We have 1 o'clock games, and (teams) are going to come down here and get tortured. We're going to embrace it.' "

INJURY UPDATE: DE Louis Holmes left the morning workout with a sprained left ankle. He's day to day.

Stephen F. Holder can be reached at sholder@sptimes.com

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris puts defensive end Gaines Adams on notice 08/01/09 [Last modified: Saturday, August 1, 2009 10:13pm]
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