Raheem The Dream Not A Tampa-2 Disciple

August 6th, 2009

Given Raheem the Dream’s background — mostly a Bucs defensive assistant — one would assume he would be a Monte Kiffin, Tampa-2 defense devotee.

Not so, per Thomas George of NFL.com. Apparently defensive coordinator Jim Bates let it slip that Raheem the Dream wanted to get away from the Tampa-2.

The Cover 2 defense has long been the identity of not only the Buccaneers teams but also, in part, the franchise. But no Gruden and no Monte Kiffin, the team’s long-time defensive coordinator who is now at the University of Tennessee, means a whole new game, a whole new brand. And Jim Bates is the new defensive coordinator implementing his schemes in Tampa.

“Raheem and I talked and he wanted a fresh change and he let me bring my style and my beliefs to his new defense,” said Bates, who was Denver’s defensive coordinator last season. “I listen and I take input. We have brought in a lot, changed a lot. There will be a lot more bump coverage, a lot of mix. And we’ve got a lot of good defensive football players and quality leaders to get things done.”

When you have run a scheme as long as the Bucs ran the Cover 2 and then change, struggle early in the regular season usually comes. Bates is a high-tempo, high-octane coach in practice who is fighting against that, pushing this group to get ready — fast.

This surprised Joe when he read this. There’s little question that this Bucs team, sink or swim, certainly has Raheem the Dream’s stamp all over it.

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