Tampa Bay Team Report Week Eight

With the Green Bay Packers coming to town on Sunday, the Buccaneers have their work cut out for them. Along with naming a new starting quarterback, the Bucs have made additional moves in an attempt to improve the team. Read on to find out more about the moves, what Raheem Morris said about the Bucs struggles on offense and why Earnest Graham will continue to be the team's starting fullback.


--The Buccaneers signed fullback Chris Pressley from the Cincinnati Bengals' practice squad. In addition, the team has signed defensive end Maurice Evans to the practice squad. Evans was inactive for Tampa Bay's season opener against Dallas after being claimed off waivers from the New York Giants on September 6.

--Regardless of the change to Freeman at quarterback, Morris said the Bucs' supporting cast on offense needs to play better. Both Byron Leftwich and Josh Johnson were victimized by dropped passes, penalties and poor protection at times.

"All the quarterbacks that have been in there have been subject to some other people not doing a great job for them as well," Morris said. "But now it's time to get Josh out there, you know you've got to run the right routes, be in the rights spots, everybody's got to do the right thing. You've got to block and protect the right way and you've got to get it all done together. And it's up to the quarterback and he's the leader of the offense. He's got to get everybody going the right direction and that's what he'll do and that's what we're going out there planning to do and that's what he will prepare to do and practice to do and play to do."

--Earnest Graham will continue to start at fullback for the Bucs, Morris said.

"Earnest has been a bright spot. He has been at fullback, clearing some holes open, making some lanes out there for Cadillac and busting out some positive things. We need to get into a game where we can use that more."

BY THE NUMBERS: 11 - Consecutive losses for the Bucs, dating to the 2008 season. It's the Bucs' longest losing streak since 1976-77 when they lost 26 straight games.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We went out there this week and played a very good team in the Patriots and you saw them go out, you saw them compete. See how hard they're playing, see these guys go out there and really play hard. You can't really go on tape and say they're lazy, they're lackadaisical. They don't have any of that." -- Bucs coach Raheem Morris.


The Bucs released C Sean Mahan and G Marcus Johnson, who was arrested for a DUI Tuesday (Oct. 27) morning. Mahan, who didn't make the Bucs' original 53-man roster, started four games in place of injured C Jeff Faine.


--QB Josh Freeman struggled in the preseason. He completed 44.9 percent of his passes for 238 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. He also rushed for 75 yards and one TD on eight carries.

--QB Josh Johnson will serve as the No. 2 quarterback behind new starter Josh Freeman.

--QB Byron Leftwich is expected to be the inactive third quarterback against the Packers.

--DE Kyle Moore is nearly completely recovered from knee surgery and could be active against the Packers.

--DT Roy Miller, the team's third-round pick, is seeing more reps with the starting unit in practice and should play more following the bye week.

--RB Clifton Smith is expected to return to action Nov. 8 against the Packers after missing last week's game with a concussion.

INJURY IMPACT: The Bucs are as healthy as they've been all season. RB Clifton Smith has a concussion but is expected to play the Nov. 8 game against the Packers. WR Michael Clayton has a right wrist sprain, but no fracture.

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