Raheem Morris takes control of the defense

Raheem Morris (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

Read on to find out more about Raheem Morris taking on the role of defensive coordinator, the latest on Antonio Bryant's injured knee and which players returned to practice on Thanksgiving only on Bucsblitz.com

Raheem Morris was named the Bucs' defensive coordinator last Christmas but never got to assume that role before he was hired as head coach.

Morris said Thursday he's enjoyed taking a more hands-on approach in practice this week and is looking forward to making the defensive calls Sunday at Atlanta.

The only time he called plays was for one season in 2006 as the defensive coordinator for Kansas State.

On Monday, Morris relieved Jim Bates as defensive coordinator.

"That's kind of my strength, that's kind of what I missed being a head coach to be honest with you," Morris said. "Not being so much hands-on but being the director, the general and the leader and the manager and all those things.

"Now you pick up another title. I'll be the manager, the deliverer, the general and you get back on the field so you can be hands-on."

Morris' timing could be better. The Falcons are expected to get injured running backs Michael Turner (ankle) and Jerious Norwood (hip) back for Sunday's game.

"It's just another challenge for me," Morris said. "Fortunately, I'm in a position to call plays and I've got to do the best job I can do for this team."

PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES

--WR Antonio Bryant (knee) was given Thanksgiving off because the Bucs have an extra day of practice this week. He will play at Atlanta Sunday.

--LB Barrett Ruud (ribs) returned to practice and had full participation. He will play Sunday at Atlanta.

--TE Kellen Winslow (knee) returned to practice Thursday and will play Sunday.

--S Tanard Jackson missed Thursday's practice with an illness. He is expected to recover in time for Sunday's game.

--CB Torrie Cox (knee) had limited participation in practice.

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