In his second season on the job, Bucs coach Raheem Morris has gotten more aggressive when it comes to calling out players who aren’t performing up to snuff.
The latest? Defensive end Stylez White.
Morris doesn’t like White’s approach to practice. And, yes, Morris is talkin’ about practice.
“Stylez is my Allen Iverson, and he’s not going to change,” Morris said Friday, per Anwar Richardson of 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.”
Still, it sounds like Morris will put up with White, until Morris can find another defensive end who’ll perform better than White in games.
“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
“He shows up in the game and makes big-time plays on third down when it’s
called upon, and he’s got to continue to do that. That’s got to be his
calling card,” Morris added. “That’s what has got to make him stick.
That’s what’s going to make him his best self, but every day we have to
put a foot up his butt because he’s Allen Iverson. That’s exactly who he
White disagrees with the assessment of his effort in practice. “It’s completely overblown. Completely overblown,” White said. “I do
pretty good at practice. I’m just trying to get back in game shape.”
Either way, it’s good that Morris is holding his players accountable. It’ll be better when the Bucs have enough good players that the ones who lollygag in practice can be forced to walk the plank. Even if White brings the heat on game day, his perceived “cruising” in practice could make it even harder to get the most out of the other players on the team — especially if the team continues to tolerate White’s attitude and approach.