Posted in General News

Bucs Quotes: Half Time & Game

by Roland Johnson on August 28, 2009

HEAD COACH RAHEEM MORRIS
(On the Bucs defense)

“To see that happen, to see those guys kick in gear, to see that start to formulate around our team was positive. That was great. Another positive was that first team defense. They really got out there. They flew around. We had the lightning delay. We had planned on playing those guys three quarters. You run into issues when you just don’t think it’s working coming out of the tunnel, coming out cold. Those guys went out there and forced a couple three and outs. They got about 13 or so snaps in there and it’s just smart to take them out. End on a high note with those guys, but your second team defense have a chance to come in. They got to respond as well. They gave up the one big play, but they got to respond, hold them down just like our first team defense was doing when they gave up six points in that first half and that was impressive from the defensive standpoint.”

(On what he learned about his quarterbacks)
“It’s always too early to be talking about quarterbacks right now. You have to go back, you have to evaluate the film, you have to grade the guys, you have to look at them. Obviously we didn’t get a whole bunch going on offense when you talk about the penalties, when you talk about those things, but we have to forget about that. We’ll give you an update when we’re ready to make an update on the quarterback. We’ll get back at you. Right now you have to go look at the tape, you have to grade those guys, you have to look at it close, you have to make that thing happen.”

(On what the eye test tells him about the quarterback)
“You see the mistakes from both of the guys. Anytime you come out of a game, you don’t get a chance to get six, you don’t get a chance to get your six points in there you have to go back. You have to look at the tape. You have to see what the reasons were, what were the causes of everything. We missed some wideouts. That was easy to see. That was obviously rookies so it wasn’t that hard to find. We missed some receivers out there so we have to go back and look at the tape, see what’s going on.”

(On if he can make a decision on the quarterbacks at this point)
“You have to go back, you have to evaluate and you have to look.”

(On if he is getting frustrated with the quarterback selection)
“No, this is our football team. You don’t get frustrated with your football team. You coach them. You play through it. You be mentally tough. Frustration is for mentally weak people and I refuse to be mentally week. I’m going to go through the process. I’m going to let these guys go through the process. I’m going to let these guys get what they deserve and that’s what they’re getting. We’ll go out and we’ll do it and we’ll find out.”

QB JOSH FREEMAN
(On first home game)

“It didn’t go as well as I would have liked it to. I was trying towards the end to get something going but we just weren’t able to. At the end of the game, that’s when you want to step in and make some plays to win it, and we were unable to do that.”

(On what he can take from this game)
“There’s a lot I can take from it as far as going into a situation – when you haven’t really been getting any action all game – and stepping in, staying focused and being able to get your body in the position where you can make those throws at the beginning. I learned a lot about coming back from adversity. There were a lot of plays that didn’t go our way, and we were battling back and converting first downs.”

(On if he viewed tonight as an opportunity to jump into the starting spot)
“No, I’m looking at it like I want to go in and play my best football. I mean that’s not really my decision and that’s not anything that I’m thinking about right now. All I’m thinking about is playing the best football I can and trying to grow as a player every week.”

DT CHRIS HOVAN
(On the young guys fitting in with the defense)

“Like I’ve said before, it doesn’t matter what defense you put in there, the code is hustle and hit. So, if you play a three-four, two whatever, or a one whatever, the motto is going to stay the same. We’re going to hustle and hit. No matter what happens. Good play, bad play, or indifferent, you have to get to the ball.”

(On the defense)
“We’re doing some good things right now. We’re eliminating the big plays and we’re shutting down the big plays, which is of utmost importance and we’re hustling to the ball.”

G DAVIN JOSEPH
(On how it was seeing RB Carnell Williams back)

“Of course it’s great to see him. It’s going to be exciting to see all of him, really. It’s going to be exciting to see all of us, and once we take that step and become where we are able to get into a groove, we can be really explosive and it’s really going to open up a lot for us. The guy is a fighter. He’s a big time fighter and that is why he’s able to still play football. That’s the kind of commitment you need to be able to stay in the league.”

(On the importance of the third preseason game)
“We declined as the game went on. I thought we started pretty well, didn’t finish a couple of drives and as the heat from Miami picked up, we got the rain delay and excuses, excuses. You can go through all of them, but we declined. We need to pick it up, we need to be able to stay consistent throughout a game, instead of declining, incline. Really make
the adjustments that are necessary. Avoid penalties and avoid sacks and really be able to drive the field and not have negative plays.”

QB LUKE McCOWN
(On playing after the lightning delay and halftime)

“Coming out after that delay was a test of our mental toughness. We came out, put a drive together, got down to the 35-yard line, had a couple sacks, a penalty that moved us out of field goal range and we can’t have that.”

(On completing five passes in a row)
“We were trying to focus on getting the ball out a little quicker. After the rain delay and the second half, they really tried to heat us up with some double edge pressure and a lot of things like that. We were trying to get the ball out quick. We got some things going and we were able to get down in field goal range. We have to go ahead and convert points there.”

(On finishing drives off)
“We need to get better in that area. When we get in the red zone we need to come away with points. Something we did last week, but we didn’t do that well this week. It is something that we’ll go back and get better at.”

(On the QB decision)
“You know me; I leave it up to the Lord. He is a big old guy that can handle everything that is ever thrown his way. I leave it in his hands. I just keep preparing, keep having fun and keep playing.”

S JERMAINE PHILLIPS
(On the new defensive scheme)

“It’s nice to play against somebody else and see where we are, but at the same time, we have to play 60 minutes. We haven’t had a chance to do that yet. Conditioning and all that stuff is going to be a big thing. We need to focus on getting ready for Dallas and also getting on the details and making sure we come together.”

(On how it felt playing safety again)
“It was good. Just getting back there and getting some looks. I didn’t get a lot of action but I’m anxious to see the tape and see how I did.”

LB BARRETT RUUD
(On the defense that Jim Bates runs compared to the Tampa Two from last year)

“Basically, coverage wise it’s more of a match philosophy as opposed to Monte [Kiffin] who was more of a zone principle. The rest is actually pretty similar.”

(On having the chance to play with his brother Bo)
“It’s always fun. It’s cool more than anything for him to get the chance. But also, to get to play with him on a professional level is pretty fun.”
HALFTIME QUOTES
HEAD COACH RAHEEM MORRIS
(On the team’s performance in the first half)

“We came out, got a little running game established. We still had too many penalties there that backed us up and put us in some bad situations on offense. We have to clean that up a little bit. The defense held there at the end.”

(On the quarterback situation for the rest of the game)
“We’re going to have Luke [McCown] go another half of this quarter here and let him kind of finish this thing out and have an even feel with him and Byron [Leftwich].”

(On the young players’ performance)
“They’re playing pretty fast, that’s the reason why we wanted to go young with some of these guys and have them get a chance to play. They are getting up there and stepping up to the challenge and I’m liking it.”

C JEFF FAINE
(On coming back from the injury)

“It felt great to get back out there and compete and get after it. I had a lot of fun getting out there with my guys. It felt great.”

(On the running game)
“Runners were running hard. It’s good to give all those guys looks and for them to be healthy again. They are all hungry to show what they are all about and to show what they can do. Up front, we’re hungry to get them some holes.”

(On the team’s performance)
“It’s the little things that we really have to tighten up. We are shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties and not hitting the plays that we should have. There are some plays that we would really like to get back. We are there; we just have to execute them.”

(On the zone blocking scheme)
“It’s getting better. It’s still going to be something that we probably won’t hit the sweet spot until midseason where we will be a well-oiled machine.”
QB BYRON LEFTWICH
(On the team’s performance)

“We moved the ball pretty well. We have to work on some timing with the guys we have, we had a lot of injuries at wide receiver. I missed a few, but other than that, I like what we did today.”

(On his play)
“I felt good. I missed a few but I hit a few also. Luckily for me on the ones I missed, I made plays on the following play to get those first downs. That is something that I can’t do, miss guys, but that is something that I can correct and be ready to roll.”

(On the running game)
“It was good to see Cadillac out there doing his thing, making good plays and doing what he does. That’s what Cadillac does. Like I said, we have a three headed monster that can run this ball. It’s good to see all of them doing well.”

DE/DT JIMMY WILKERSON
(On the team’s performance)

“It was a pretty good night. We’re starting to come together. You are starting to see what we can do when we play Dallas. All of the guys are flying around, everybody is fast and everybody is fresh. Even though we had two really hard practices dealing with the heat, the guys came out here ready to go. First of all, it was the first home game so we wanted to prove to the crowd we are a good team.”

(On his performance)
“I felt pretty good. I did a lot of studying and watching film. These guys are a talented team but we are too. I just went out there and showed my skills as the starting defensive end.”

RB CARNELL WILLIAMS
(On his comeback)

“It just feels great. It’s a blessing. From the strides that I made, I just give praise to the Lord. I’m just so excited to be out here with these guys. I feel so good to be out here this season.”

(On how his knee feels)
“The knee is not an issue to me. It’s not a problem, I feel great. I’m just loving what I do.”

(On the three running back tandem of Graham, Ward and Williams)
“I love them. Those guys are a big key in what we do. They are establishing their game. It’s going to be tough on defenses.”

Courtesy of the Buccaneers Public Relations Department

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