Former Buccaneer defensive lineman, Steve White, who is now an opinionated blogger. Talked a length the other day about the lack of a consistent tempo after taking in a training camp practice at the friendly confines of One Buc Place to the dismay of many fans that presumably have been spoon feed something different from other news outlets.
Well, those who decidedly cast what White stated aside, as just another ex-player boasting, might want to begin eating a little crow. As White, for all intensive purposes seems to have been spot on with his observation in respect to the lack of “tempo” at Bucs camp thus far. Backing up White’s stance is none other then Head Coach Raheem Morris. In a column penned by Stephen F. Holder of the St. Petersburg Times Morris tells Holder that “We just have to understand consistency in our tempo. We have a young football team. It’s hard for these guys to get out there and really get it going unless they’re going live. Then I make them go live, and they want to keep going live.
“But you can’t practice like that. … You have to be able to come out and play at a high tempo without taking each other to the ground. We need to keep each other healthy so we can make it through the season.”
It’s safe to say, that with Morris stopping practice several times over the past few days, to demand, that his team practice with a higher level of intensity and better tempo. He’s cautiously aware of the fact that some players need to have a fire light under their ass. As not all players are wired the same way and some need that extra motivation.
Now if you think, that maybe White is a disgruntled ex-employee who’s got an axe to grind. Then this next quote should put the axe to grind theory to rest, as former Bucs defensive line coach, Rod Marinelli, who is now the defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears tells Jerry Bonkowski, of Aol NFL Fanhouse.com that “The thing I want to continually emphasize is our tempo and pace and how physical we have to be. It’s a mindset, all of that is a mindset of day-to-day work. You have to come out every day and it’s got to be consistent. It can’t be up one day and down the next. I’m just looking for that toughness of mind, which represents consistency.”
With the Bucs trying to build a lasting contender through a youth movement, via the draft. It could be expected that the youthfulness of the team is the biggest factor with the teams’ lack of a consistent practice tempo. But as White surmises it’s up to the coaching staff to demand that the players give more effort. Which is, exactly what Morris has done every time he has stopped practice and went to live tackling.