Bucs Central

Coach Quotes Monday: Raheem Morris

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head coach Raheem Morris addressed the local media Monday after the team emerged victorious over the Seattle Seahawks to capture their second win of the season. Morris talked about Sammie Stroughter’s broken foot…the activation of Mario Urrutia activation from the practice squad to replace Stroughter…Josh Freeman throwing the football 26 times…the teams ability to establish a ground game against the Seahawks…whether or not he’s happy with Greg Olson calling plays.

(On Sunday’s game)

“A good win for our football team, a complete team effort – offense, defense and special teams. As far as injuries, Sammie Stroughter, broken foot. We lost one of our guys. He’ll go to I.R. and miss the final two.”

(On Tanard Jackson’s status)
“Yeah, I’ll have to check on Tanard. We’ve got to get some more information on that on Wednesday and as he comes in today and evaluate him.”

(On Sammie Stroughter’s season)
“What Sammie’s done this year has been pretty impressive. You’re talking about a seventh round draft pick, to come in here and not only make the team – which is a credit to himself – you’re talking about a guy that’s had a significant role all year as far as a third wide receiver in our Zebra package. You’re talking about a guy who can go out there in multiple packages and go out and do things for you. You’re talking about a guy that can punt return, a guy that can kick return. You’re talking about a guy that gave us max effort all year. You’re talking about one of the better football players on our football team.”

(On if the team would activate WR Mario Urrutia to take Stroughter’s place)
“We’ve got to go back and see who we want to activate. We have other receivers on the team as far as Terrence Nunn and Yamon Figurs and some of those guys on the team already. We’ve got to see what’s the best fit for our football team during the week and through our process tomorrow as we meet as a staff.”

(On what he said at halftime in Seattle)
“We struggled as a team for the most part in the third quarters of games and yesterday was completely opposite. It was completely what it should be; it’s how you want to react and how you want to come out. I just told these guys, there’s no reason for us to wait around to the end of the football game and try to win it. There’s no rule that says you can’t go out there and win the game and absolutely dominate the football game and that’s what they went out there and did. They went out there, we got a field goal to cut the game even closer, then we were able to play some good defense and get the ball back for our offense and score and really get into the mold where you control your destiny, you control the game, you control the team. The defense really responded to what I said to those guys at halftime as well. I told those guys if our offense goes out there and scores and gets us the lead, it’s on us. If they don’t score any more, we win. That’s the end of the story, the end of the day, bottom line. And that’s what our offense was able to do.”

(On why the team was able to run better yesterday)
“I’m guessing it just takes time. It didn’t happen as fast as we would like. Hopefully that’s who we are. Hopefully we can go out there and continue those types of performances with the run, with the play-action pass. Yesterday was really a team effort. You’re talking about two running backs who had 60 yards apiece. You’re talking about guys with the balls going all over the place. Most of them went to Kellen [Winslow] and the underneath [routes] and things of that nature because Seattle did a great job of taking away some of the deep shots, as Josh [Freeman] alluded to last night. That’s who we are, that’s what we are and that’s what we’ve got to be and that’s a credit to that football team right there.”

(On what’s different on defense)
“It’s just about the core beliefs and flying around and playing fast. Yesterday, Seattle came out with a great plan. They came out and had a high, up-tempo offense. They kind of had us on our heels early. Our guys were able to settle down. We’ve got a great leader in Barrett Ruud. We were able to get to spots we needed to get to and we were able to stop them in that second half, which was great. That’s where you want to go, that’s how you want to play, that’s who you want to be. We’ve done a better job on defense, and it’s all about these guys. It’s all about those guys going out there and playing fast and hustling and hitting, and absolutely responding to a challenge from the head coach and the defensive coordinator and their coaches as well. I’m just
proud of those guys and what they’ve been able to do. We’ve just got to continue these last two weeks.”

(On the changes he has made)
“I refuse to take any of that credit for what those men are doing. I think those guys are going out and playing harder, faster, better, tackling better. I don’t want to take anything away from what Geno [Hayes] has been able to do or what these guys have been able to do together. Barrett Ruud has completely picked up his game. Aqib Talib, Tanard Jackson some of those guys are going to a higher level. It’s fun to watch Quincy Black go out there and absolutely dominate a tight end and use his hands and shed people and be violent, tackle. You’re seeing all the people start to get plays, the Dre Moores of the world, the Kyle Moores, the Adam Haywards. All those guys are contributing, all those guys are having an opportunity to play. In my opinion, it’s really what they’ve been able to do and not so much about myself. If you want to give anybody credit, give my coaches credit, the Joe Barrys of the world, the Todd Washes, the Robert Nunns, the Joe Bakers, the Dwayne Stukes and the Ejiros [Evero]. Those guys have really picked up their game as well.”

(On if he is happy for Greg Olson)
“I’m just happy for Greg Olson because anytime you come off a game like last week and you feel bad about it, you take too much of it on yourself. I’m not the start the finger type of guy. I told Greg all week that I have complete belief in our plan and what we wanted to do. We just weren’t able to execute the week before. To see him come out, execute a game plan and work the way he wanted it to work, for them to have success, the young quarterback and the running game it was a good feel for all of us. Also to control the game at the end of the game. I think in that fourth quarter, I’m not sure the exact time right now, one of those drives there was about eight minutes left. We went on a five minute drive. Olson came to me about taking a knee at some
point and them potentially getting the ball back with 18 seconds saying, ‘Is that okay Coach?’ I said, ‘Get away from me (laughing). You’ve done your job.’ I was just excited to have those types of conversations at the end of the game for a change.”

(On if New Orleans losing changes the dynamics for this weekend’s game)
“I don’t think it will at all. I don’t think Sean Payton is the kind of guy that rests people. I think he is all about streaks and staying hot. I think Drew Brees is the same type of guy. I think those guys want to stay in a rhythm in the playoffs to get those guys going. I think they are going to want to absolutely take it out on us. I think the only dynamic is that they might be a little more angry. We are going to have to deal with an angry Saints team. We’ll go down there and we’ll be ready to go. We look forward to that challenge. You want to define yourself and know how you are playing on defense, you go play the Saints. They will let you know pretty quickly where you are and what you are. There is no doubt in my mind that they are going to have more yardage on us than we expect. We just have to keep them out of the end zone.”

(On Josh Freeman throwing the ball 26 times)
“You never know what you want him to throw. You want him to go out there and be his best self every day. Yesterday that was the range that you wanted him to throw. I felt like he had the ability to run the football. He ran the football well. You are able to do timely passing and throw some really nice passes down the field. You go against Carolina a couple of weeks ago and minus the red zone plays, he threw it 40-some-odd times and had 335 yards passing. You never want to say you want to stop that young man from doing that either. You just have to make a better decision in the red zone. Like I said last night, it’s just the progression of the young quarterback. It’s the progression of all those guys. I hate to compare him to the guys but the great ones always pop in your head when you sit up here at the podium. Troy Aikman was the same type of way when he was a rookie. I love when those guys come here and actually talk about it. Half of those guys are announcers now so it’s a lot of fun to talk to those guys, Rich Gannon and some of those people. They understand. That’s what he is going through. Hopefully he can learn from these lessons and go out there and make better decisions and be a better quarterback.”

(On the offensive line)
“I have to thank you guys for that. You guys kind of hit them pretty hard and they responded. They are looking forward to your articles this morning. That’s the topic of discussion from Jeff Faine and the men he leads. Those guys go out there and they don’t like to be embarrassed and they were. They responded well. I’m proud of them.”

(On making strides with job security around the organization with the win)
“Again, job security is not an issue for coaches. We don’t have any. You just go out there and present your best self every day and that’s all I can do. We make decisions based on how we beat the Saints or our next opponent based on who they are. There will be no decisions made based on saving Raheem Morris, saving Mark Dominik or saving any player. The decisions are made on making your best opportunity and your best decision that you can make to go out and beat the New Orleans Saints.”

(On bubble players)
“There are always guys that are on the bubble. There are always coaches that are on the bubble. How you respond to being on the bubble is how it describes you as a man, what describes you as a coach and what describes you as a player. Those defining roles come out in these last two weeks. You always hear the theme on television right now. The teams that are not playing for anything, what are they playing for? This is what we are doing. We are playing for us. It’s about us. Everything else is gray matter.”

(On if this win compares to the Buccaneers going to San Diego in 1996 and getting a win)
“I will let you know next year at this time. I hope so. It would be nice.”

(On if the team will be identified by the Tampa-2 on defense)
“I don’t know. We called a bunch of different coverages yesterday. The Tampa-2 was one of them. We called some quarters and a bunch of different things. I think we had a 3-4 scheme out there a little bit. We want to be known as a team that goes out there and plays fast and hard. If we can do that, establish whatever you want to call it, you guys know my roots and background. I will be wherever I am if I can get wins like that, whatever you want to define me as. I’m good.”

Courtesy of the Buccaneers Public Relations Department.

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