After a discouraging 37-9 loss to the Texans in which the effort of several Bucs players was brought into question by coach Raheem Morris, one players Morris singled out for solid effort was DT Albert Haynesworth.
Haynesworth's desire came into question repeatedly during his recent stops in Washington and New England, but there were no complaints after his initial outing in a Tampa Bay uniform.
"He played a good game (Sunday),'' Morris said of the 30-year-old former All-Pro, who was claimed off waivers from the Patriots on Wednesday. "He was excited to be at a new place, excited to get out there and play 47 snaps.''
It showed. Haynesworth led the Bucs with seven tackles, including a 1-yard stop of Texans RB Arian Foster during an early second-quarter series in which Houston was forced to settle for a field goal after three plays.
"He had some mistakes as well,'' Morris said of Haynesworth, "but to go out there and play as well as he did and be effective like he was is promising. It's something to build on.''
As seen on TV
A day after Foster slipped past Bucs CB Aqib Talib during a 78-yard touchdown reception, Talib had to admit that everything he's heard of Foster's abilities as an open-field runner are true.
"Man, I got a chance to see Arian Foster in the open field and he's just that – Arian Foster in the open field,'' Talib said. "It happens.''
It's not supposed to happen. The Bucs strongly emphasize 11 players rallying to the ball and gang tackling. Talib was one of many who said that ingredient is currently missing from the Bucs defensive makeup.
"We've got to get back to that,'' Talib said of gang tackling. "Buc D, we're supposed to pride ourselves on that. But we ain't doing that right now.''
Bucs CB Ronde Barber did not speak with reporters on Monday after indicating on Sunday he would. …The Bucs signed DT John McCargo on Monday for the third time this season. A former first-round pick of the Buffalo Bills (2006) who was with the Bucs during training camp, McCargo was signed this time after DE George Johnson was put on injured reserve with a knee injury. …QB Josh Freeman moved into third place on the Bucs' all-time list of rushing yards by a quarterback on Sunday when he ran three times for 25 yards. Freeman, who has run for 667 yards as a Buccaneer, passed Steve Young (658) and needs 213 yards to pass Doug Williams. Vinny Testaverde is the leader with 905.