Bucs Central

Coach Quotes Tuesday: Raheem Morris

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head coach Raheem Morris addressed the media, after word broke he was relieving defensive coordinator Jim Bates of his play calling duties. Morris talked about the though process that went into the change…on if the decision was based on scheme or the players…on whether or not it was a play calling issue…on if he considered linebackers coach Joe Barry as an interim defensive coordinator?

(Opening statement)

“A little preparation for the Atlanta Falcons today. We got a little rain on the field, cut off two of our periods at the end of practice there that we are going to pick up tomorrow or at some point, whether it is walk-thru fashion or through some of our meeting time so we can go through everything that we need to. We did pick up an extra day this week. Obviously practicing today, on a Tuesday, we made it a Monday off day; we’ll get a half a day on Thursday and a half a day on Friday. It will give us some more time to catch up on some of those issues and actually to catch up on some of the stuff that we lost today.”

(On the thought process on the change of coordinators)
“Everything that we do around here is going to be based on progress. Right now, we feel like we are in the position to make progress and move on. That’s the thought process and that’s where we want to go.”

(On if the decision was because of the scheme or the players)
“There is never a decision on scheme. There is nothing wrong with the scheme; there is nothing wrong with the players. Obviously, everyday you try to improve your 53-man roster. That’s what you talk about when you are talking about improving the players and improving the coaching and improving the scheme. The whole bottom line is to move on and progress. There isn’t a better time than to do it right now.”

(On the scheme change)
“I’m not going to get into scheme and schematics. I don’t want to give Atlanta our game plan either. It won’t be much of a change. There will be a little more of a Raheem Morris influence and that’s what I’m planning on doing.”

(On if it was a play calling issue)
“Just as a play calling feel, we have some coverage options that we can use, we have some other things that we can do. That’s what we will try to go out there and do.”

(On Jim Bates new role)
“We are going to make sure, first of all, that it’s both of us. We were able to talk this morning. We were able to sit down; he is definitely helping me right now. Like I said about Jim Bates, you are talking about one of the most well respected guys in this league. He is one of the most well respected minds in this league and my friend. We have done a great job; we are sitting down trying to hash it out. It is still in pending mode. He is helping me, I am helping him and we will get through it.”

(On if it was Bates wanting to step back)
“No, it’s my call. It’s my job to make sure we progress. That’s what I have to go out there to do and that’s what I have to do every day.”

(On progress)
“We are judged everyday in this business. We have to be judged everyday in this business. We all will be, we all are. It’s in the results. We have to go out and we have to progress and try to get better the next couple of weeks. That’s my focus.”

(On if he thinks he can get better results)
“It always has to be an accountability issue. The head coach is always directly responsible for whatever side of the ball is not living up to par, for whatever is not going on around the building and for whatever is not going on period. That’s my job. It’s definitely an accountability issue. It’s definitely something that I have to do, something that I have to step forward to do. It is something where I have to step up and get it done. There is no time to complain, there is no time for excuses. Here we go. Live by what you speak about.”

(On playing to the strengths of the team)
“I always want to do that. I always want to go out there and play to the strengths of what I have. You always want to play to the strengths of what you can do versus any team that you play. You want to go out and put together the best game plan that you can possibly put together. It’s all in the process. We will go out and try to present our best self.”

(On when he started thinking about the move)
“We are always in constant evaluation of everything around here. We are in constant evaluation of every player; we are in constant evaluation of every coach. I am in constant evaluation of myself. We are in constant evaluation of everything. It is just another decision that has to be made by a head coach that’s a tough one. You have to do it. You have to stand up and speak to people like me. You have to deal with people like men and that’s what we did today.”

(On if the personnel fits better in the Tampa-2 and Chris Hovan’s comments that he believes that team likes this scheme better)
“I don’t know if it’s a lot of guys. I know Chris Hovan, it’s fair for him to say because he has played in this league for awhile. Right now we are talking about the youth movement. We are talking about young guys; we are talking about a bunch of guys that aren’t capable of knowing what they are doing because they didn’t play ever before. Now they are getting an opportunity to play, try to win and do the best they can do. For Chris Hovan to say that, I think that would be fair. I don’t know if that’s fair for Quincy Black, I don’t know if that’s fair for [Adam] Hayward and for some of the other guys that haven’t gotten a chance to play and this is their first opportunity. The Kyle Moore’s of the world, the Roy Miller’s. There are a bunch of guys that haven’t played in any system let alone a system. Now we are going out to try to get some things done and it’s my turn.”

(On player input on the decision)
“No, the player’s never quit on Jim Bates. You can see that by their play on the field. This has nothing to do with core beliefs. The core beliefs that Jim Bates holds and that Monte Kiffin hold and that I held in high regard are all the same and are all very similar. You can tell every week how hard this team played for Jim Bates, how hard they play for us and how hard they play for themselves. There is no question and no doubt about that. There is no turncoat in this building. There is no one coming to me and complaining about what Jim Bates has to do or wants to do. This is an issue where you have to develop progress and it’s my job to develop progress in the next six weeks.”

(On the direction of the team and how it changed from day one)
“The direction is always the same. The direction is riding on the youth of the team. You are talking about having three picks in the first two rounds, you are talking about #5 [Josh Freeman] being a young quarterback for the next 10-15 years and building around him. Getting people to play faster and better around him. That’s the direction of this program, that’s the direction that we are going in. We have to get there. We are on our way.”

(On progress)
“We just have to get better week to week. We played hard, we played fast, and we played physical. We talked about those things. We just didn’t get better every week. The big plays are still in. We are still not able to stop the run. We have to get better at doing something and that’s what we have to set our focus on. We have to do something that we have to get better at. That’s what we are trying to do right now.”

(On his feelings about Jim Bates)
“We wanted to go with the youth movement. When you are put in a job, it’s your responsibility to do what you have to do and do it to the best of your ability. That’s all you can be asked to do. It’s my job; I wanted to get [Albert] Haynesworth. We didn’t get him, that didn’t happen. You have to win with the people you have and right now that hasn’t happened. It’s my time to go out there and do it my way.”

(On the team)
“It is my job to do what I think is best for this organization while I’m running it. That’s my decision and I have to go out there and do it. Being proactive in your decisions in your job, I believe is the best thing that you can do. You can sit down and complain, sit in the corner and talk about it. When you actually go out and do something about it, then it is being proactive in my opinion.”

(On the possibility of Joe Barry being defensive coordinator)
“It’s funny. I was hired to be defensive coordinator two weeks before being hired to be the head coach. You have some ideas and have some plans out there. Why throw Joe Barry out there and let him fix it for the next six weeks when you feel like you can? I feel like it’s my responsibility. I feel like I have to do it. I feel like it’s what I’m supposed to do as a head coach and a man. It’s what I owe to this organization, this town, the ownership, Mark Dominik, everyone that is involved with us. It’s my job to fix it. That’s what I have to go out there and do.”

(On input during the season)
“We do. You never put a man in position to do a job and second guess him on everything he does. You have to have a strong and core belief on what he is doing and let him go do his job a little bit. Now it’s my job to do it and I have to go do it.”

Courtesy of the Buccaneers Public Relations Department

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