“The Driving Force Of Our Football Team”

April 30th, 2010

If you’re a glass half-empty kind of guy, you might have listened to Raheem The Dream talk to Steve Duemig, of WDAE-AM, yesterday and been blown away by his comments about former practice squad running back Kareem Huggins.

If you’re an optimist, you would have walked away impressed that an NFL team could have been led consistently by a rookie who has barely sniffed the field.

Kareem Huggins, no doubt about it, he was absolutely the driving force of our football team in practice. Every day he touched the football he made our defense work harder …no matter what the call was, what the duty was, he was able to do it. And the old saying goes, ‘You’re driven from the bottom up.’

Joe never played in the NFL, so Joe can’t really speak to what makes winning leadership in the locker room and on the practice field.

Joe’s always been a fan of Huggins. Joe even interviewed his college coach last year and wrote a feature on him for a New Jersey newspaper. But Joe is stunned to learn just how big a role Huggins played on the 2009 Bucs.

What it all means for this team, Joe will leave that up to his readers.

17 Responses to ““The Driving Force Of Our Football Team””

  1. JimBuc Says:

    Joe — can you give us the short-version of your New Jersey piece? I don’t get the hype about this guy. Can you shed some light? Maybe what the coach said?

  2. d-money Says:

    Rudy! Rudy! Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!

  3. admin Says:

    JOe here,

    JimBuc – The story Joe wrote for the central New Jersey paper is no longer in their free archives. As for the college coach, every college coach loves his players who are sniffing the NFL. Nothing stood out other than the sotry that Huggins always runs out every touch to the goal line in practice. He was doing that with the Bucs as well.

  4. Buc Stuck in NJ Says:

    I can’t help but hope this guy does well. The sliver of time he got in pre-season games he was giving his all. I hope he gets some reps this season. This team can use his heart.

  5. JimBuc Says:

    Thanks Joe. I guess we will just have to wait and see.

  6. sgw94 Says:

    Before people start piling on, which I am sure they will anyway, Id like to ad some context to Coach Morris’ admittedly odd sounding quote.

    Being on the scout team, especially if you are on the practice squad, is a damn thankless job. I started out on both when I got here in Tampa. You get paid much less money to go out and be a tackling dummy and you see almost none of the perks. Nobody ever knows your name, you never get to make a big play on Sundays and you never even get to travel with the team.

    In that situation there are some guys who get lazy or give half assed efforts. I mean think about it, you’re the scout team running back and your going to be running behind an average to below average offensive line running off cards drawn up by the coaches and going against the first team defense. You break off a long run instead of celebration theres nothing but yelling and cussing and you have to run the same play again with everybody knowing the play now and the defensive guys pissed off that you made them look bad.

    But in order for everyone to get better your scout team has to have an edge. Guys who truly believe they should be on the roster and are determined to show the coaches that everyday. Guys who are willing to make a starter look bad or rather not give a damn if they make a starter look bad and go 100 mph every play. And they have to show up every day with the same attitude and same work ethic no matter what or else your starting offense and starting defense won’t get the looks they need and won’t be prepared on Sunday.

    Now I wasn’t there and I don’t know just how hard Hudgins went in practice or how many times he got blasted and got back up and ran just as hard but when a guy goes full out on special teams people notice. I got my shot on defense that way. Another guy was Brice Hunter may he RIP who used to torch our defense on a regular basis at WR. Maybe the most epic scout team player we ever had was Eric Rhett the year Warrick Dunn took over for him. He never once complained and instead made sure on every play he was either trying to run over people or he was blind siding guys away from the ball (he got me too) And because he did that you couldn’t take a play off or take it easy. He raised our level by keeping us on our toes each and every day in practice. And if you think thats easy over the course of a 17 week season when guys are getting banged up all the time you’re crazy or naive or both.

    That’s what I think Coach Morris was getting at even though like I said I know it sounds weird.

  7. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    Thanks, Steve. Excellent perspective. Makes sense that Raheem could be going in that direction, even if he took it a little far.

  8. tampa2 Says:

    I’m glad Steve explained it. I was certainly addled.

  9. topdoggie Says:

    Thanks Steve always a pleasent read.

  10. Hosstyle in Tampa Says:

    Good Read, Steve!!

    That’s another reason to bring Jevan Snead in here (even though his first day was mediocre). Why not have him and Grothe come in to assist in the Rookie Camp? It can only help our young WRs get quality reps…

  11. Eric Says:

    Dang, i would hate see how the run defense would have been WITHOUT the “driving force”.

    But, i guess you can’t get much worse than 32nd in the league.

  12. gotbbucs Says:

    NFL history is full of RB’s coming out of obscurity to have great careers, granted the system needs to fit their running style to a T and the O-Line needs to be great, but here’s hoping Huggins is one of those stories. I was on the scout team my 1st year in college and it is very hard to get yourself up for doing that everyday but you have to have great scout teams to make the 1st team O and D good.
    This is why sometimes when the Bucs make a signing of a guy that nobody knows or cares about it doesn’t mean that that player isn’t helping the team out greatly, you just don’t get to see his role on Sundays. He’s doing all the dirty work that needs to be put in during camp and during the middle of the week.

  13. Eric Says:

    unbeknownst to us, we apparently won the scout team championship last year.

  14. ShulaIsStillABum Says:

    This site really benefits having Steve White around. That was a great job unpacking the quote there, Steve. Thanks,

  15. topdoggie Says:

    Steve, How long does a player have to be in the NFL to stand up and provide the leadership our young team is going to need?

  16. sgw94 Says:

    @topdoggie

    There is no set time period. But it has to be someone who is busting their ass and giving everything they have on the practice field as well as in the games. Being loud isn’t enough, leaders have to perform and not just some of the time, all of the time. In theory that could happen as a rookie but its the rarest of occurences. Generally around year 3 a guy has himself squared away enough to start helping to jumpstart other people. Of course when you have a team that doesn’t have very many veterans then there are opening for leadership from very young players. It just has to kind of play itself out because real leadership is usually earned not granted.

  17. JimBuc Says:

    Steve, thanks for all the great insight.

 
 

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