TAMPA — Things finally seem to be shaking out between the Bucs and demoted defensive coordinator Jim Bates.
Coach Raheem Morris indicated Friday that Bates was leaning toward accompanying the team to Atlanta for Sunday's game. Morris said he would encourage it.
"He can help us in so many different ways," Morris said.
Morris said Bates would work from the coaches box. It appears he would be in contact with Morris via headset to make recommendations or be a sounding board.
"It's kind of mine and his," Morris said of the decision. "It's what's best for us. I want him to come. He wants to come. So, more than likely, he'll be there with us."
Asked about Bates' demeanor since he was stripped of his coordinator post this week (Morris now coordinates the defense), Morris said Bates was classy.
"He's been great. He's been very communicative with me upstairs," Morris said. "We talk about (teams') tendencies, about what the plan is and how we want to execute it. He's just been hands-on with me, helping me out big time.
"You're always concerned about (his feelings) because you're concerned about him as a man. But he's a great character guy. Always has been."
ALL ABOARD: The Bucs' final injury report was rather promising. All players participated fully in practice, and each of the five players on the report was deemed probable.
"We're healthy," Morris said.
LB Barrett Ruud (ribs), TE Kellen Winslow (knee), WR Antonio Bryant (knee), CB Torrie Cox (knee) and S Tanard Jackson (illness) are expected to play.
FEELING AT HOME: The Falcons are 11-1 at the Georgia Dome under coach Mike Smith, including 4-0 this season.
"They come out, and they play well at home," Morris said. "It's always a great environment and a great place to play."