Next Opponent: Defenseless Bucs

Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris isn't happy with his team's effort after another bad defensive performance on Sunday against Houston. In fact, the Buccaneers' defense is playing at a historically bad level.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris said Monday his team had "some issues with effort" from several players on defense while yielding two long touchdown passes that resulted in their third straight loss and fourth in five games.

While continuing to take responsibility for the discouraging defeat against Houston, Morris said the Bucs will practice in pads twice this week in preparation for their game at Green Bay in hopes of improving the team's lack of "physicality."

On the first play of the game, Texans quarterback Matt Schaub connected with receiver Jacoby Jones for an 80-yard touchdown pass, a play in which safeties Sean Jones and Tanard Jackson appeared to take bad angles and missed tackles. Later in the first half, running back Arian Foster took a pass in the left flat, made cornerback Aqib Talib miss and avoided Sean Jones as he was chased to the end zone by Jackson for a 78-yard touchdown.

"On defense we had some issues with effort on some of the big plays, the two big plays," Morris said Monday. "That's something that is very uncommon. Some of it was because of injury or whatever the case may be, but you can't go out there and make excuses. You've got to play as hard as you possibly can at all times.

"We had a loaf. We had a couple loafs, uncharacteristic loafs we usually don't have ... that popped up on those big plays and those are things that can't happen."

Morris, who also doubles as defensive coordinator, watched his team yield 453 yards to the New Orleans Saints two weeks ago and 420 yards to the Texans on Sunday. The Bucs are allowing 6.39 yards per play. In the past 20 years, the only NFL defense that gave up more was the 2008 Lions at 6.41. Detroit was 0-16 that year.

Moreover, Schaub, Drew Brees, Alex Smith and Matt Stafford have had passer ratings of 154.9, 101.4, 127.2 and 118.9 against the Bucs, with Aaron Rodgers and his astronomical season rating of 130.7 up next.

Part of the problem has been poor tackling and Morris hopes to improve that with two padded practices. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, NFL teams can only have 14 total padded practices during the regular season, 11 of which must be during the first 11 weeks. Only three padded practices can be held in the final five weeks.

"This week, and for the rest of the season, I can't be concerned about preservation so much and get our physicality better," Morris said. "The answer is putting on some pads. I got my mulligan this week, so I can put them on twice this week, and get as many as I can based on the rules to get these guys going. We've got to make plays in pads, both on offense and defense and special teams.


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