First there was a bit about how the coaches have to "push his buttons".
The problem Morris and his staff are addressing during training camp is how to keep Moore steady.
"I know how to push his buttons," Morris said. "I just don't know how to push his buttons and turn it back off fast enough for me in practice yet."
Defensive line coach Todd Wash also knows how to push Moore's buttons.
Although Moore can be hot or cold, Wash cannot contain his excitement when thinking about what the protege might accomplish this season.
"He definitely has a fuse," Wash said. "When we get here, I think all you've got to do is say something one time. When he was a rookie, we had a situation where we had to have a ... meeting (about playing consistently) and he responded.
And then there was this.
Moore also is focused on excelling as a starter and is taking practice more seriously. Although he coasts sometimes, coaches are optimistic he is becoming a player who plays consistently in practice and will against opponents on Sunday.
Now you will recall that I referenced what I perceived as a lack of tempo when I watched the Buccaneers practice on Monday morning. Well these kinds of anecdotes in an article about the guy who is going to be your starting left end kind of dovetail with that.
Now talk is talk and I have no idea if Moore actually "coasts" in practice or not. But I have to say that just the thought that a guy COULD coast in practice is mind boggling to me. Back when I was playing from Warren Sapp all the way down to the lowest guy on the totem pole, when you hit the practice field you were busting your butt. It wasn't even a question of whether you could coast or not because if you tried to you could forget about somebody "pushing your buttons". Instead Rod Marinelli would be down your throat with his foot in your ass. And if it happened enough times you just wouldn't be around anymore. If there was one thing our coaches didn't put up with it was a lack of effort.
I know it takes awhile for guys to transition from college to the pros and I know that not everyone has the same work ethic at first. But its just weird to me that it seems to be an open secret that Moore's effort is inconsistent and yet he has been handed a starting position. Think about this, when was the last time you heard about a starting NFL player who had to have their button's pushed?
I'm not trying to make a mountain out of a molehill but the hallmark of our defense has always been playing hard and fast with an emphasis on both. You can't practice soft and play hard, it just doesn't work that way. I realize that comparing what we did 10 years ago to what the Bucs are doing today might be a little unfair, but by the same token I don't think the need to practice hard is a principle of football that has changed over the last decade. And maybe it's impolite to point this out but the guy didn't exactly tear it up last year once he finally got some playing time. I realize he had gained too much weight to fit into Jim Bates' scheme but the fact remains that nobody has seen him be dominant in a game thus far which for me would make his inconsistency of effort even more inexcusable.
I hope that Moore really has seen the light and that his now going full speed all the time in practice. But if he hasn't the decision to not have an open competition between he and Tim Crowder for that starting left end spot makes even less sense.
How I Got Over