August 28, 2010
First, Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris gave safety Sabby Piscitelli(notes) a hard reality check about how his poor play was related to his current position on the depth chart, Then, Morris took after running back Derrick Ward(notes), who the Bucs signed to a four-year, $17 million contract just last year, for being out of shape. Now, Morris has his sights on defensive end Stylez G. White(notes) for his practice habits.
"Stylez is my Allen Iverson, and he's not going to change," Morris told the Tampa Tribune. "He's gotten better. He's gotten better the last couple of days and practiced (better) throughout training camp than he has in the past, but he is Allen Iverson."
Of course, Morris is referring to Iverson's famed "We talkin' about practice ... practice ... practice?!?!?" rant:
"It's never acceptable, and he's gotten better, but like I tell him every day, we're going to tolerate him until we can replace him," Morris concluded.
The 31-year-old White is no "franchise player" - he's part of a Tampa Bay defense that gave up the NFL's worst yards-per carry average in the NFL last season. The Bucs' front office responded by drafting two defensive tackles - Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy(notes) and UCLA's Brian Price(notes) - in the first two rounds. It would seem that Stylez has little margin for error right now, and that he might want to ramp up his notoriously lax practice habits - Iverson notwithstanding. Morris, who finished his first season as head coach in the NFC South cellar with a 3-13 record, is obviously trying to issue wake-up calls all along the roster.
The Bucs next face the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday evening, and we'll see who's next on Morris' list as a result of the performances in that game.
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