Morris stresses timing and precision

Published: March 31st, 2009
By Bucs Beat

For Raheem Morris, the first day of minicamp as the Bucs new head coach wasn't a chance to see where his team stood, but rather where he should stand.

The former defensive backs coach bounced from position to position, from player to player, at times keeping to the rhythm of the hip-hop music he selected to play on the loudspeakers during warmup drills.

"To be honest with you, I'm just trying to figure out where I'm supposed to go during individual drills,'' Morris said. "I'm just kind of floating around and trying to figure out the lay of the land. I want to get around to everybody, I want to be around everybody.

"I wanted to go hang out with my O-line. I wanted to go see my new tight end move around a little bit. I wanted to go see my old tight end move around a little bit. I wanted to see those two young quarterbacks throw the football. I was just fired up to go anywhere. That D-line looked pretty good today. They came out and worked hard. They did everything you asked. They bounced around, they moved well. I was excited about seeing the team.''

Prior to the first workout, Morris addressed his team and challenged them to work on timing and precision, particularly on offense. The Bucs have a new offensive coordinator in Jeff Jagodzinski, who is installing zone run blocking scheme and a new defensive coordinator in Jim Bates, who will utilize more bump coverage

"I wouldn't say (I was) nervous. Actually, it's becoming a little bit of the norm now,'' Morris said. "It's not really a nervous thing, it's just an anxious thing. You can't wait to get out. You want to see the guys go out there and run around a little bit. You want to see the guys compete. Your new guys you want to go out there and see. Your old guys you want to come back and see their enthusiasm and their juice.

If anything, Morris said he resisted the temptation to gravitate to his defensive backs.

"I just wanted the guys to know what the program was going to be like,'' Morris said. "What we were going to do, exactly how it was going to go, our expectations, what we're looking for, some of the things we want to get accomplished, some of the things we want to get done. Sometimes you've got to hit with a straight-forward shot. I gave a couple people some straight forward shots. We're a family. That's what I mean why I don't want to give you all the goodies. The things we say in that room are confidential. Most people do it in a one-on-one setting. I like to do it in a 66-man setting or 83-man setting or a 53-man setting -- whatever the case may be.''

"I don't want anybody feeling embarrassed talking among family members. When we're at the house sitting around the table, we bring up all your dirty laundry and we've got the ability to do that in those settings with our team...That's what I did this morning. Whenever you deliver messages like that and it's to the heart, challenging a guy, inspiring a guy, leading a guy, enforcing your will on your opponent -- whatever you want to talk about -- you give them that message to end your meeting and we went out and had a lot of fun today.''