Bucs Central

Friday Raheem Morris Quotes


(On injuries)
“Injuries today: [Greg] Peterson, left knee, kind of twisted it a little bit in practice, the same one. I believe that’s going to be day-to-day. I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s back rather quickly. [Jeremy] Trueblood tweaked his back a little bit, so he kind of didn’t finish practice. We’re just going to say he’s day-to-day right now as well. Peanut got a little mild hamstring there, he came out – Clifton Smith – he came out of there. That was the only thing that was new. As you can see, Antonio Bryant was back, Kyle Moore was back, Louis Holmes was back. Actually, Louis Holmes came back yesterday; I forgot to mention that. Today we signed Mario Urrutia, a big wideout from Louisville. I had to deal with him when I was at Kansas State. He kind of got at Miami a couple years ago. We released Josh Vaughan to get Urrutia, the reason being, obviously, a couple wide receivers went down. A couple guys got tweaks so you’ve got to fill holes and you’ve got to have somebody get out because you’ve got to stay with the 80.”

(On today’s points of emphasis)
“Obviously it was two-minute, which you guys saw executed by four different quarterbacks. They had the opportunity to go down the field. The situation was, we need three to tie it, we need six to win, so we’re trying to get in position to at least tie it, being backed up on the minus-35 with 1:35 left. We had two timeouts on offense. The defense had one, because also you have the situation on their side. The offense hits a big play and you get down to your 20-yard line and they start trying to kill the clock and kick a field goal, Coach [Jim] Bates and myself have to make a decision whether we’re going to call that timeout, make them kick the field goal so we give our offense a chance to win that football game. So all situations popping up, and it’s just awesome. It’s just like Sunday. I get a chance to run on both sides of the field right now. I’m with the officials, I’m over talking to Bates, I’m over there talking with Jags…it’s a good deal. Sometimes I get caught up watching it and then realize I’ve got to make a decision real quick and then I run over there and do it. But it’s fun. We did some red zone stuff, just emphasizing that. You can’t throw out a stat like 60% to you guys and not mean it, not come out and practice it, practice it the other day one time and then you never see it again until the game. We just want to emphasize that. We had a seven-on-seven red zone [drill], one-on-ones in the red zone, ended the day with a team red zone. The more and more stuff you can get like that, the more stuff that you can get, figuring out what you want to do, how you want to do it, when you want to do it. I think it’s important for our team. And obviously the other emphasis was special teams. Canceling that special teams practice this afternoon, we don’t take any emphasis off of that. We actually had three areas of special teams that we were going to cover and we only covered two. The third one, it was getting a little long, we took it out and went with the extra two-minute.”

(On Mario Urrutia)
“Obviously in the draft study over the years it’s been real important to Coach [Jon] Gruden that we were all here, that all the staff members knew both sides of the ball for these types of reasons. When situations come up when Mario Urrutia’s on the street and you know who he is from the draft. I was lucky enough or unlucky enough to have to play against him in college football my one year there, and I got a chance to watch that Miami game and what he did to Miami when he was a freshman. He was scary, and he kind of did it to us today with the big catch running on the slant. When you’ve got a chance to get an exciting guy like that, that kind of size, that kind of talent, it was fun. It was fun to see him come in and step right in. You had Tim Berbenich, our young wide receivers coach, and Charlie Adams, our intern, kind of chasing him around a little bit telling him, ‘Hey, this is what you do, this is what you do, this is what you do.’ Whatever you’ve got to do to get through practice, whatever you’ve got to do to get him caught up. Richard Mann came to me in practice, grabbed me and said, ‘Hey man, I’m going to slide out of the movie. I’m going to stay back with this young guy and get him right. You okay with that?’ Richard Mann is my assistant head coach and you’ve got to give guys a chance to coach their guys. He’s got a good feel for it and I’m sure he’ll get in there and coach him up.’ It will be good.”

(On if Geno Hayes looked good Friday)
“Geno Hayes did. I told you, all those young backers have been impressive. They’ve been running around really competing. They know they’re in an open competition. They know they’re in a position where if they lose the starting job or they don’t win the starting job they’re going to have an opportunity to get it back, an opportunity to play. We’re going to play a lot of people. We want to play fast, we want to play physical, we want to play violent. You can’t do that stuff without playing your team. We’ve got to use all 45 men that you get on game day. I wish they’d start letting use all 53. I’m still, being a rookie head coach, confused about that rule, but it is what it is.”

(On if he was okay with Hayes’ sideline hit on Antonio Bryant)
“I was more than okay with it. I was more interested in why Bryant didn’t step out of bounds in the two-minute drill. When you get guys to go live, they get a little animated and they forget the situation. That’s the kind of stuff we’ve got to be better at. I kind of ran over there and ripped Antonio about not getting out of bounds. He shouldn’t take that hit in two-minute, he shouldn’t get tackled in two-minute when you’ve got an opportunity to get out of bounds and stop the clock. The clock kept rolling and I was mad at him for about a second, until the next play he went down and scored. I went over there and gave him a nice hip-bump.”

(On how Josh Freeman and Josh Johnson played)
“They actually got most of the team work. I believe Luke and Byron took the first four snaps of each period and then the double Joshes kind of handled the rest. They were good, they were impressive. They went out there and we didn’t look like a ragtag football team. They handled themselves well. One threw a slant for a big touchdown. The other executed a drive to get down there, manufactured a field goal. So they were efficient. They were cautious with the ball yet they were not scared, not fearful. They managed the huddle. It was good to see the guys use the walkie-talkie today, the headset to walkie- talkie. They understand how we’re going to look, with Greg Olson talking to them through the helmet and Jags [Jeff Jagodzinski] communicating with Olson. We were just talking about situational football, and those guys are growing up fast. You’re really looking forward to those guys having a demeanor. It’s a credit to the guys in front of them because they’re doing it first and giving great examples. It’s a credit to their coaches, because they’re being patient and they’re helping them out. It’s hard to do that when you don’t get many reps. Then to get in there and be that impressive, it’s fun to watch.”

(On QB Josh Johnson’s role)
“Play well in the games, play well in the games. As we all know in this league, the backups doesn’t get any reps, there is no doubt about that. If you’re going to be the backup quarterback in this league, one, two or three, when you are thrown in the game it is the mental reps you’ve taken. Whatever you decide to do on the side is an opportunity you can take advantage of. There have been a couple of situations where guys have been able to take advantage of those opportunities. Matt Cassel, being the most clear of them all, you have the Steve Beuerlein’s, all those type of guys throughout this league. When they got their opportunity and became the starter, they took it and ran with it or they failed and they’re out miserably. That’s what you have to do when you are in a backup role or fighting for a backup role. If you let everyone tell you that you’re not getting the reps and that’s why you’re not going to be able to make this team or not do it, then that’s your own fault.”

(On the kicking competition)
“The job is very competitive. Everyone has to compete every single year, so you have to bring in people to push Matt [Bryant], you have to bring people in to push Ronde [Barber], everybody on this team is being pushed by somebody. Ronde jokes about it all the time, ‘You keep drafting them, number one, number two, three, I don’t care. I’m going to survive.’ That’s what it’s always about. That’s what you want your whole team to feel. That has to be their vibe, they all have to feel that way. You have to embrace the challenges every year and once you stop embracing it then it’s probably time for you to let it go.”

(On DE Gaines Adams)
“Like I said yesterday, to his credit, going out and getting a nutritionist, gaining the extra pounds, coming in the offseason and being here every day, working with Wash, working with everybody. Actually seeing him develop different moves, the long arm, the swim, making him work on his hips. You have to believe he’s put forth the effort and you just hope it comes out on gamedays on Sunday and right now, of course Saturday. His time will come and his measurements will be there right on Saturday and that’s what we look forward to seeing how he did.”

(On QB Byron Leftwich helping QB Josh Freeman)
“All these quarterbacks have been helping him. Josh Freeman was brought here to be our franchise guy, and at some point, this organization, myself, are going to have to make a decision. They want Josh Freeman to succeed, they like Josh Freeman a lot. You can’t help but like him when you are around him. Right now we’re just looking for leaders to lead this team, by him grabbing Josh Freeman, and Luke grabbing Josh Freeman, that just shows great leadership. Because if Byron Leftwich wins the job and in week seven, Byron twists his ankle or Luke twists his ankle and they can’t play that week, that number two has to go in and lead this team. So that’s just a part of it, and it’s the hardest room to do it in because it’s only one position to play.”

(On game planning against Kellen Winslow as a defensive-minded coach)
“I just want to say that I am the best defensive coordinator that we have ever had here. No points. No touchdowns. Not even a yard allowed. Check the stats. Tell [Monte] Kiff[in]. Kellen is a problem. He’s a problem. That has kind of been a fad in the league the last couple of years. That tight end position defines what you do and how you do it. You have to find a guy that can cover him, but you have to find a guy that is going to be lined up over him too. He is coming off of the ball at you too. He is big. You can’t put a small corner on him because he is too big for him. If you put a safety on him then he is too athletic. If you put a linebacker on him then he is too athletic. Let him move around a bit. Then you have a guy on the other side like Jerramy [Stevens] and you have two studs out there. You get to move around a little bit. You don’t know where they are going to line up. You can’t just go out there and call a regular defense. You have to think up a defense for that week to stop him, defend him. That is tough living. I’ve been on that defensive side of the ball. When you go to games, you have to have game plans. You have to come up with a mastermind plan. Monte Kiffin, he did a great job on Steve Smith. They didn’t throw it to him all day, but the two running backs broke loose. That is just stuff that happens in this game. It is hard.”

(On the expectations for the running backs this season)
“Production. Mass production. Group production. We like to be like the New York Giants were. They always have that thing moving. That is the best example that I can give you. Carolina has the two-running back situation going. A lot of people have it, like Atlanta. If you want that kind of production out of your running back position, you have to be powerful. You have to be strong at the beginning of the game as well as at the end. I really don’t care who starts. As far as I’m concerned, that is just the guy who gets to run out of the tunnel.”

(On Josh Freeman’s growth)
“The last time that you really got a big dose of Josh Freeman he didn’t have a very good day. He had a three pick day. He was distraught with himself. That happens. Instead of going through your progressions and doing what is natural, and doing what is good for you and what is good for your team, you don’t. You make bad decisions. Today, he came out and made his progressions. It was his huddle, his progressions, his team. It was nice to see. He threw a couple of nice balls in there.”

(On the tight end defining what defenses do)
“I just used the tight end as an example, you are talking about everything. When you are talking about a dynamic player who creates bad matchups it is usually at that tight end position because it is so hard to match up with that guy. Usually, when you have a top grade A receiver, he is outside or out on one of the two sides. You call man, you get whoever you want matched up on him. You can have that guy follow him if you’d like. When you are talking about a tight end, you are talking about messing with the core of the defense. Are you going to dedicate and take one of your best players to mirror him and risk the potential that somebody else might get you or take away from what he does best? There are just so many things that go on inside the core when you try and match up with a player like that.”

Courtesy of Buccaneers Public Relation Department

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