Bucs Central

Coach Quotes Monday: Raheem Morris

Morris talked about the culture of lossing with the media on Mnday

Morris talked about the culture of lossing with the media on Mnday

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris addressed the media at One Buc Place following the teams 11 loss of the season. Morris talked about Josh Freeman’s redzone woes…why the run defense struggled early against the Panthers…whether or not Maurice Stovall will continue to start if Michael Clayton is healthy…the development of Josh Freeman…the culture of losing developing in the organization.

(Opening statement)

“Reviewed the tape this morning. We’re obviously very disappointed in the outcome of the game. No injury updates as far as all those guys; I can give you more of that on Wednesday.”

(On if he’s starting to see progress in his team competing and staying in games for the full 60 minutes)
“Yeah, there’s progress in how we’re playing. We’ve just got to make better decisions at the end. We’ve got to make better plays at the end. We’re still looking for that guy to stand up and be the closer. We got one at quarterback; he just didn’t have a good day in the red zone. On defense yesterday we finished better than we had finished in a game. The four-minute drive, for example, was a great sign of progress to get out there and get the ball back for your offense, especially against that team and the way they closed the last two games against us especially.”

(On why the team struggled in run defense early and then got better)
“Really it was the first drive. They came out and did a good job of getting into what we call ‘Dixie,’ a two-back, two-set, motion the guy in the backfield. It caused a little confusion as to which guy was going to be in the box. It was good. It was good early. We fixed it. We’re happy to have the ability to fix that. We did and knocked out the mis-fit that we had on the one play at the beginning of the drive; actually, it was two in the first drive. The other big runs were just the result of missed tackles. The guys played well up front. I think he had 80 yards in the first two drives I believe, and to end the game at 120 – when I say him, I’m talking about [Jonathan] Stewart. They settled in, they got better and they fixed their problems. To me, that’s the real show of progress, when your team comes to the sideline and lets you know what’s going on – not all of them but some of them. We’ve got to get Geno [Hayes] better at explaining himself a little bit. But Barrett [Ruud] was out there with him and Barrett was able to say, ‘No, Geno, you just didn’t run.’ That was good. That was good from Barrett, that was good for Geno and those guys will get better and better every week at doing it. Tanard [Jackson], he missed the one play on the buzz play on the ball to the flat on the first drive. He said, ‘I’ve got to buzz right there, that’s my fault.’ And he came back later and picked it off, or caused an interception by Geno. It’s good to see stuff like that, and the progression of the guys is good.”

(On the emotion of the team at not being able to pull out games at the end)
“I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s an emotion, I don’t know if it’s anything like that for these guys. I try not to ride that emotional roller coaster. I talk about that all the time. Usually when you do is when you get in trouble. For me, it’s just about figuring out how to do it and how to close games. Right now, it’s being very closely detailed with the defense, the way you do it, find a way to stop people in four-minute, find a way to get better in two-minute defense. That’s how you win those games, situational football. We’ve got to get better in those situations and the situational football aspects of our game. Other than yesterday, we’ve been very good in the red zone. We were number two in the National Football League in the red zone. Then yesterday we had a setback in the red zone and it was the cause of the loss and the detriment to your team. Those are the things you’ve got to get better at, situational football, and that’s where we are.”

(On if it was just a bad day in the red zone for Josh Freeman)
“That’s what it boiled down to yesterday. He had 400 yards of offense. The fifth-best total of offense around here in team history, and you have six points to show for it. You get to the red zone and get there pretty consistently, you’re not doing it one-dimensional, you’re running the football, you’re throwing the football, you’re getting the ball to your big-time players, and you’re getting the ball to the guys in the run game. He’s going through his progression – there’s a check-down here, there’s a shot here, there’s a throw there, there’s a scramble here – and everything’s working well. You get in the red zone and you just make two critical mistakes. Actually, three critical mistakes down there. You just can’t do that. That’s the NFL. It’s the 8-8 league and you’ve got to find a way to get four of those games that you lose, and we’re not able to do that right now.”

(On if Maurice Stovall will continue to start when Michael Clayton is healthy)
“You’ve got to give Stovall a lot of credit for what he has done. Stovall will continue to play, no matter if he’s a starter or not. Those guys started splitting reps [recently] just because I think Michael Clayton is a better player when he plays less snaps because he plays so hard. He’s kind of got that Mushin Muhammad kind of mentality that he’s going to block you every snap and go so hard that sometimes you go to him in the clutch and he’s tired or he doesn’t have all his juice, and that’s a problem. So I told him, ‘You don’t need to play more than 30 snaps or 40 snaps anyway.’ And that’s where he is and that’s where they are. We’ll get better at that with Mo. You’ve got to give credit to Mo on how he’s developed and how he’s responded and how he’s played. Yesterday I think he had 50 or so snaps and that was good. It was also maybe a little too much for Mo, too. Some of those plays at the end kind of showed up when you cut off routes when you’re pressing a little bit. That’s all of them, that’s not just Mo, but that’s where we are.”

(On if the season is about the development of Josh Freeman and not winning games)
“These guys want to win. These guys want to win, in particular that number five that you just talked about. He’s not going to give you an excuse for why he lost the football game for his football team, and the guys around him are not going to give an excuse. This defense and this offense, these guys on special teams, they go out to win every week. We haven’t had the success you would like but there’s no passive, ‘It’s okay’ type of mentality. Those guys are hurting in there. Those guys, they want to win those games. Just like yesterday – you played better, you feel like you should have won the game? No. We didn’t win the game. We had an opportunity to win it and we didn’t take it. That’s where we are.”

(On the possibility of more heat being on Freeman from his teammates)
“No. He just threw for 321 yards and they were a benefactor of it. He made three mistakes in the red zone. He could have put more pressure on himself. He puts pressure on those guys to run correct routes. He puts pressure on those guys to be in the right spot. He provides the pressure, number 5. That’s the part about being a quarterback. I think his days of calling him a young quarterback are over in that room. He went out there and didn’t make the plays he was supposed to make in the red zone. He has no qualms about coming to the podium and letting you guys know that. I didn’t watch the press conference yesterday but I’m sure he went up there and put it on himself because that’s the kind of guy he is. That’s the kind of man he is. I’m sure his teammates know that. These guys want him to play better; they want him to do better, of course. But he expects himself to do better as well.”

(On if he was riding the emotional roller coaster with the play calling in the red zone)
“No. Yesterday two of those situations were first down picks. You want him to make great decisions and if it’s not there, just throw it away. One play in particular was a great play by Beason, popping out of there and making a big time catch. The other one, you just have to make a better decision at the end. The fourth and two one, everyone was kind of covered. He could have worked his way back across the progression but he would have had to come back to it. He tried to stick one in there. You have to make better decisions there. But, I don’t think so. It is one of those situations there at the end of the game where you needed two scores and until he made that big time throw to get us to the four, I look at the field goal, onside kick it, get the ball back and have an opportunity to win it. He got to the four. It was like, let’s change that thinking and try to score. He threw a pick. That’s where you have to go. You don’t want to ride the emotional roller coaster with the quarterback. You want to give him a good sense of where he is and what he can do. Like I said last week, he will let us know what he can do. He will make the smart decisions based on getting older and growing. That’s what he is doing right now.”

(On the culture of losing developing around the organization)
“No. That’s because of the guys that are here. You are talking about the young guys that are going to bring you through this thing. How well Quincy Black is playing these last two weeks and his production speaks volume. You are talking about young guys who are going to get better and better together and grow together. If we were around here, and we were a veteran team and we had this type of culture and this type of development of losing then it would be a problem. But right now, we are a bunch of babies that are going to get better together and grow together. Every time we come off the field and every hand shake with an opposing coach they are getting a little bit easier because I know they understand that too. That’s a good feel when you’re team walks across that field and they know. They have a feeling.”

(On Clifton Smith’s second concussion)
“I’m sure there will be [a more cautious approach]. That’s a no brainer. I will be able to give you more updates on Clifton and what’s going on with Clifton on Wednesday. I don’t want to speak out of turn but I’m sure there will be with what’s going on with concussions and our society as far as the NFL.”

(On having Sammie Stroughter stepping in at returner)
“Sammie is big. Sammie is huge. I don’t know what he can’t do. It’s great to have Sammie back there. We are fortunate enough here to have some guys that have that ability, Yamon Figurs and all those types of guys that give us some help as far as the return game. Sammie is huge. Last time we played Carolina; Sammie got the ball and ran back the kick for us. Yesterday he went in there and he did a pretty good job returning kicks and doing some decent things. We had some penalties that hurt us, no fault of his. He is definitely a big time luxury and a big time asset for our football team. The guy is just young and a baby growing up into his role. He is becoming a really good football player for us.”

(On December football)
“That was kind of my cry yesterday to these guys, December football. Good teams play great football in December. Yesterday, we went out there and played okay football in December. You have to find a way to play great football in December, not only this year but for the future. At one point you are going to be 7-2. You are going to be 8-3; you are going to be 9-3, like we were last year. You have to go out and you have to win in December. You have to put your stamp on what you are going to be going into the playoffs, making that run and doing what you have to do. No time better to start than now to work on December football when you are in December with a team that pretty much doesn’t have a shot at the playoffs. You better establish your identity right now of what you are going to be in December.”

Courtesy of the Buccaneers Public Relations Department

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