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Tampa Bay Bucs coach Raheem Morris says status quo is fine on defensive line

Faceoff: Matt Bryant, hitting a winning field goal in OT on Sept. 21 in Chicago, now faces competition from Mike Nugent.

BRIAN CASSELLA | Times

Faceoff: Matt Bryant, hitting a winning field goal in OT on Sept. 21 in Chicago, now faces competition from Mike Nugent.

DANA POINT, Calif. — Bucs coach Raheem Morris defended his team's apparent failure to address their defensive line needs in free agency.

"We did re-sign Ryan Sims, who was our free agent, so to speak. I know it wasn't the big splash that everybody wanted," Morris said Monday. "We did make a bid for Albert (Haynesworth). It didn't work out. We felt it went past our limit where we wanted to go, where we were comfortable going, and we didn't go there. We feel good about that.

"We feel pretty good about the guys we have. Chris Hovan is not a slouch. We've got Ryan Sims, and we've also got some young guys who are really unproven when you're talking about Greg Peterson, when you're talking about Dre Moore."

Not kicked to curb: The signing of Jets free agent K Mike Nugent might not sit well with incumbent Matt Bryant. Bryant is coming off a career year, making 32 of 38 field goals.

"Matt Bryant has been a very good kicker for us," general manager Mark Dominik said. "I talked to Matt and he understands it's a competition. I've made it very clear to him that he can win it."

Bucs bits: Dominik said he is excited about the team's return to Tampa for training camp. "I was fortunate enough to be here when we used to practice at (University of Tampa) Pepin/Rood," he said. "That was really a lot of fun, and our players loved it. A lot of our fans had a chance to go see their team in their town, and we're going back to that." … The Bucs were not among 16 teams receiving compensatory draft picks Monday.

Tampa Bay Bucs coach Raheem Morris says status quo is fine on defensive line 03/23/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 24, 2009 7:44am]

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