Raheem Sounds Down On His Defense

November 9th, 2010

Arguably the most upbeat, positive-messaging coach in the league, Raheem Morris dropped a stunning negativity bomb about his defense during The Raheem Morris Show on WDAE-AM 620 last night.

A week ago the Bucs were “the best team in the NFC,” now Raheem is on the record saying he won’t have a feared defense in 2010.

A caller into Morris’ radio show last night asked him what it would take to get the Bucs back to having a great defense like in the old days.

Here is Morris’ candid reply:

“Anthony, you gotta have some patience, bro. We drafted Gerald McCoy this year. We’ve got a young football team. They’re babies. We don’t have Sapp. There’s no more Brooks. Lynch is not here. Ronde’s still here but he’s 30 years older. These guys are all young pups, man. Back in 1996 when those guys were young pups, they didn’t finish No. 1 in defense. But that’s what we’re trying to go to,” Morris said.

“You know, the second halves we’ve been able to play this year have been really good. It’s been awesome. We gotta find a way to come out and be better up front. We gotta find a way to come out rushing the quarterback and doing a bunch of different things. But right now, Anthony, it’s about trying to find the best way to win the football game every single week. And that’s the only thing that you’ll be guaranteed. We are not a feared defense in the league yet. We will not be that this year. But there’s no reason that you can’t go out and win as many games as you can with that happening right now.”

This really stood out for Joe, especially on the heels of Raheem talking more reality about the Bucs troubles stopping the run during his Monday news conference.

“We’re not the Ravens yet. You know I’m not going to kid you there. We don’t go out there and stand up …  shed blocks and shed tackles all day. Limit you to minus-2 rushing or something like that. I’m not going to be unrealistic,” Morris said Monday afternoon. “But what you do have to do is you got to get off on third down to limit the amount times [Michael Turner] touches the ball, because that takes three snaps off your plate every time you get off on third down.”

For a head coach who was talking so much about his philosophy of “mentality before reality,” Raheem’s comments yesterday are stunning. He sounds down on his defense, and to voice that publicly is a big leap.

Unless there’s some sort of new motivational tactic being rolled out (Joe doubts it), it sounds like Raheem looked at the Bucs’ talent and film at linebacker and defensive line and decided mentality can’t overcome reality in 2010.

26 Responses to “Raheem Sounds Down On His Defense”

  1. d-money Says:

    That in know way sounds like he is down on his defense.

    It just sounds like he’s being straight forward and realistic about how they approach the games.

  2. d-money Says:

    son of a…..i meant “in no way”

  3. jvato24 Says:

    This is extremely refreshing to read .. This is why Morris is our Head Coach and Jon Gruden is not .. His ability to be honest and realistic .. Although he is down on the Defense not being Feared yet, He does seem to believe we can win games as the D gets better but also play as a one unit and win more games.

    The other thing this tells me is that we will continue to address the Defense early and often through the Draft and possibly FA. Things could turn quickly with some of our core Defenders progressing and adding a Stud LB and DE. Believe That

    Although we struggle .. We are still near tops in Forced Turnovers .. That is Bigtime regardless of some other downfalls .. They actually fared decent against a top Run/Pass Offense.

  4. DieHard Bob Says:

    Morris is just keeping it real. No one is fearing our defence right now but they are starting to fear the offence, especially in the 4th quarter. In the past it was the other way around and the offence never reached the level of the defence, but this time I think we will get balance in the future and that is when we will be a feared team . . . period.

  5. AtlBucsFan Says:

    Morris is being honest with the fans and the team. It’s refreshing to hear this from the head coach especially when all we hear is how great a player or team is playing! This team is young for sure. I’m disappointed in Ruud however because his experience should be showing up on the field more. Too often our linebackers are not filling the holes on run play and are out of position. If that can be improved upon each game this defense will stop more runs than not!

  6. JDouble Says:

    I think a few things are happening here.

    First I think Rah realizes the small fan base still supporting the Bucs will turn on him if he continues to paint rosey pictures of a turd. We all see it, so don’t lie to us or sugar coat it. That sort of thing will just make the fans dislike you.

    Secondly, I think he sees that all the positive motivation and pats on the back might be working well for the offense, but the defense isn’t responding. It’s time to try a new tactic. If he still gets nothing from them, I wouldn’t be surprised to see his public disappointment turn into public fustration. Maybe bench a guy like Ruud, or make the entire D-line run laps. We’ll see, but I have a feeling he’s going to quit babying the defense so much and start being a bit more of a hard a$$.

  7. jvato24 Says:

    JDouble .. Im not so sure he is saying this just to send a message to his Defense. I believe he is just saying how he really feels. Also with the painty rosey pictures of a turd comment. Im not quite sure what you mean by that .. If being 5-3 makes this team a turd or having a young Defense needing to get better but still near tops in the league in Turnovers is a turd. Than that is your opinion.

  8. Not A Rocket Surgeon Says:

    I’ve never really been a ‘hater’, it’s just not in my DNA…

    However – Ruud and Wash are on my absolute last nerves on our defense and for those two reasons, I’m down on them too…

    SWG’s bull rush solidifies something for me… I’m not one to want someone fired, but either Wash needs some help getting this dline coached or he needs to be replaced.

    Other than that – Ruud is either not producing or is still trying to compensate for the dline’s lack of productivity.

    I can accept nothing is going to change at MLB this year. I am not willing to accept the sub-standard performance of our dline.

    Just imagine if the the line was productive… just imagine.

  9. D-Rome Says:

    I listened to it live and agree with some of the other comments. I don’t doubt that he still believes the Bucs are the best team in the NFC but at the same time he’s admitting there’s room for improvement. Even the best team in the NFL believes there is room for improvement. I don’t think there’s any contradiction. A year ago I wondered if the Bucs made the right choice in head coach. Now I’m certain Raheem is the right guy for the job.

  10. bucfanjeff Says:

    Here’s the reality: The Bucs assumed White and Moore would generate a descent pass rush to help out the DT’s. FAIL. Not only have they not done a good job (DE’s), they have been absent.

  11. Steve From Oregon Says:

    We are unable to trade for anybody at this point…..I wonder if we can go to the UFL or CFL and pick up their best defensive end/tackle/linebacker and give them a shot, see if they can bring some attitude to our defense.

    Just a thought.

  12. Bucnjim Says:

    The team needs field generals and this is where Ruud has failed miserably! If he is the leader/captain of the D then it is partly his responsibility to get them mentally prepaired when the bullets start flying. Barber on the other hand (even at the age of 36) is playing with reckless abandon and has the entire secondary following his lead. Unlike Ruud; he sheds blocks (yes even O-Lineman) and sticks it to whoever has the ball. Barber does not shy away from ANY contact even though the ball carrier out weighs him by 50 or 60 lbs.

  13. Dave Says:

    I like Raheem. I think he tells it like it is and doesn’t beat around the busshes or flat out lie like some other coaches do.

    He talks in circles a little, but he is honest and pretty upfront from what I have seen.

    For those that don’t think so, I honestly believe that many of you are so used to head coaches playing semantics and telling lies, that you are jaded. Give Raheem a chance and take him for his word until proven otherwise.

  14. Gary Says:

    Great point Bucnjim on Ruud vs. Barber, even though both are self proclaimed non-vocal leaders. Ruud flat out sucks. And he cant even step up and be a leader with all these babies around him… that to me is a pu**y move. I dont care if you are quiet and dont like all that rah rah stuff, when your team needs that from you and doesnt get it you are not a good NFL player.

    As far as the D-line, why hasnt anyone in the media been calling out Wash (you included Joe)? We have been saying he needs to go for a while now and Steve White confirmed with his analysis. The media needs to start raising those questions to Rah, I would love to hear his response.

  15. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @Gary – Joe has a post coming a little later. But realistically, what did you expect from the D-line this season?? …It’s also unclear who’s making the personnell decision on the D-line, Wash or Rah.

  16. Gary Says:


    Ok, I’ll give you that. But all I’m saying is that the line regressed from last year. GMC is a rookie so we give him a pass, but Miller… what the hell happened to him? He played better last year. If Rah is making the personnel decisions and starting players who shouldnt be starting (like Moore) then its all on him.

    And wasnt Wash brought in with the Bates experiment? I always wondered why he was kept when he followed the same plan of bigger linemen in Bates’ system.

    But I would love for Shelton or someone to ask Rah “given the poor play of the D-line, do you think changes need to be made in coaching as well as players?”… the perfect response would be “we will look at both aspects when the time is right” AKA bye bye Wash!

  17. BigMacAttack Says:

    I don’t know how to fix it, but a good place to start is replacing Todd Wash. Steve White called him out big time this week, and I think it’s time for a new D line Coach that knows how to train linemen and play in the NFL competitively. Where is the #1 weak link on the team? Who coaches that area? It’s time for a change and protect your large investment.

  18. jvato24 Says:

    I was watching NFL Sound FX last week and had a vision of the PERFECT D-Line coach to lead this team .. John Randle. This guy played outta his mind as well as being outta his mind. But he was a SMart type of crazy .. Towards the end it showed some clips of him in practice with Kevin Williams and he never let anyone slack or get bored during practice but in some quiet moments it showed him going over his wicked spin move with Williams and he appeared to be a Great Teacher.

  19. steve Says:

    @Steve from Oregon.

    Not trying to hate on UFL players but the leading tackler in the UFL for 2009 was Teddy Lehman. I liked him early on in his career with the Lions but the dude couldn’t stick to our roster; was try out player for Jacksonville Jag’s this year and was released.

    I don’t think Teddy Lehman is our savior

  20. Ben Says:

    “Back in 1996 when those guys were young pups, they didn’t finish No. 1 in defense. But that’s what we’re trying to go to,” Morris said.

    Rights, they finished 11th in 1996 and right now the Bucs are ranked 24th. So that’s in the bottom 3rd instead of the top 3rd.

  21. jodikool716 Says:

    I feel where Coach Rah is coming from, but what took him so long to admit it. I know you dont want to talk negative about your defense but he is the one in charge. Why havent no changes been made like removing ruud and moore from the starting line up and Styles”Betty”White is just as the problem. Ruud and white are in contract years and they play like crap. I know steve white said its unfair to compare McCoy to Suh and he is right but Suh has more tackles and sacks than the entire bucs d-line not to mention a fumble for a TD and an int. Lets go out and get a couple of tarheels in there DE and MLB( plus Merriman )

  22. Buc You Says:

    Raheem sounds like he shouldn’t even be a head coach.

  23. BamBamBuc Says:

    Buc You sounds like he shouldn’t even be a fan.

  24. Architek79 Says:

    Gary’s concerns is exactly why I have graded Raheem with an C not a B+ as a Def Coord because I watch, I read, and listen to people that are DLine experts and they all are saying the same things. The presonnel and the scheme is not being maximized. Look, I clearly understand that we do not have the horses to dominate but we are not making the best of the players we have. I am not one of those fans that expect Lemonade from tap water but I will say that I don’t see McCoy growing like I see Mike Williams, Benn, and Freeman. These guys are being coached up and it’s evident. Dominik is a SMART GM and businessman so I get that he is evaluating and observing from the top but this mess on the DLine is like watching kids imitate adults. I am so proud of the franchise and where we are going but I seriously believe that this front seven on defense will possibly cost us the post-season. So what we go and draft the talent and bring in the vets, if the mentorship and the coaching isn’t there then it’s going to be the same results. I believe a lot of people support the Bucs and are willing to start over again as a fan base but the reality is until Morris gets a long-term deal and provides some stability we might not be able to get a A rated position coach and that’s unfortunate. Joe please find a to spotlight the DLine coaching and the LB coaching in the forthcoming weeks. We, your supporters, don’t have the means or the influence that you do and we count on you to get the inside slant (unlike PR who I’m souring on). Please get more info on the DLine situation internally because I watch the film and it looks like we are severely handicapped from a preparation standpoint and I want answers as I spend my money too to watch and travel to support the Bucs. Joe as I have stated to you many times before, keep it simple and your sight is becoming the most popular and I am asking for a REAL assessment from you because you don’t have to answer to the higher powers.

    You answer to your customer, US! LOL. Also Steve White is so talented in his analysis, why haven’t he been contacted to be contracted to evaluate the performance of the DLine, much like the personnel department hired an independent third-party to assist the draft process.

  25. Joe Says:


    First, thanks for the support. You are too kind!

    Joe thinks things are changing rapidly for the better. At worst, the Bucs will/should be 8-8 to end the season with the youngest team in the NFL. The Bucs are suddenly going to be very attractive to prospective assistants whereas just a few short weeks ago, no one wanted to touch this team and in fact, coaches were leaving (see Joe Barry).

    Joe believes once the CBA is signed Raheem will get an extension, if not before. Joe knows this will unnerve some but no one, not even the most devout Kool-Aid drinkers could see a 5-3 mark for the first half of the season.

    Joe believes Tod Wash will be very much under the gun at season’s end. Dominik is not one to sit and see a problem fester (Jags and Bates two examples).

  26. mike56wesley Says:

    bj .raja,glenn dorsey,sedrick ellis,vernon golsten,chris long,peria jerry,evander hood,justin harrel,amobi okoye,john mcargu,brodrick bunkley,haloti ngata these are d tackles drafted in first round since 2006.hard position to master,i hear a lot from steve white 6 or 7years in the league28 tackles bout 10-15 sacks i guess he got it after he retired.rahs bad coaching keeping us out of playoffs that we were not suposed to be in in the first place,we are ahead of schedule on offense and those teams with all those sacks still trail us in interceptions