Bucs Central

Monday Coach Quotes: Raheem Morris

Morris comments on comments made by receiver Antonio Bryant

Morris comments on comments made by receiver Antonio Bryant

Head coach Raheem Morris addressed comments made by receiver Antonio Bryant…the utilization of the tight end since the Saints were playing cover 2…whether or not Josh Freeman is less accurate from under center then in the shotgun…Morris commented on the teams run defense…touched on the zone blocking scheme and power runs. He also talked about if teams are game planning to take rookie Sammie Stroughter out of the game.

(On the Saints game)

“I watched the film this morning. Like we talked about last night, really, we pretty much hit it on the head last night. Offensively, we had to come out and run the football, which you want to do against a guy like Drew Brees and that offense. We got to a bunch of manageable third downs – third-and-five, third-and-four, third-and-six – we just were off, as far as our young quarterback, our receivers and our team. We were just off as an offensive unit, and that didn’t help us at all on defense. All week we talked about our best defense really being a good offense and managing the game and holding the ball time of possession-wise. We were not able to get off and convert enough on Drew Brees to keep him off the field. Defensively, we had a good start against them. We came out, got the tough stop. He’s a guy you’ve got to contain. You’ve got to contain that guy. He’s going to get you if he gets enough opportunities. At the end of the half that is where he got his opportunity to drive down and get you. He got the big play early, the one to the tight end, which was a drive that he was able to orchestrate, but we came back out after that and got a couple stops. Then we gave him the big opportunity at the end of the half, and Drew Brees, you can’t allow him to do that. They got us there. Special teams-wise, their punter absolutely changed the field position every time he got the opportunity. Our return unit, when they got an opportunity, they actually had some good returns on kickoffs. But they had touchbacks and their punter kept us pinned back. We had a lot of situations, backed up at the five, backed up behind the eight, whatever. It just wasn’t great.”

(On if he questions not throwing the ball deep more often given the Saints’ injuries at cornerback)
“No, we knew we were going to get Cover Two, which we got. We had to run the football. We knew we were going to get some of those coverages to protect those corners. It wasn’t like they were out there playing zero and man-free with those guys. Not that they can’t; they just didn’t. They chose not to. I wanted to run the football, wanted to be able to throw it down the field, wanted to throw it when we could, get to some of our checks. We were just off. We did take some shots down the field, we were just off as a passing unit yesterday. We were off route-running, we were off with our quarterback and we were just off as far as the passing game.”

(On if the Bucs had opportunities to run the tight end down the middle of the defense)
“They were in the Cover Two and they did a good job with their Mike linebacker in it. They played traditional Tampa Two and their Mike linebacker did a good job of running down the field, protecting the middle of the field like he’s supposed to. Their safeties did a nice job of staying in their landmarks. They didn’t put a re-route outside like we do; they played a lot of ‘Cathy,’ what we would call it. We had a couple opportunities in there, weren’t able to get them involved or stick them in there. We just were off as far as the passing game and the rhythm.”

(On if Josh Freeman is less accurate from under center than in the shotgun)
“No, I don’t think he’s struggling coming out from under center. I just think he’s more comfortable in the shotgun. When you’ve got a chance to stand back there in the shotgun, see the whole defense and really get in a rhythm…a lot of this stuff that you’re talking about, the stats come from his fourth-quarter performance that he had in the last couple of weeks, being comfortable doing some of those things. I think he’s comfortable up under. He likes being up under. In his college days he was always up under. He finally got some shotgun later in his career and kind of blossomed into it and started to learn it. I don’t think there’s anything to that. He’s comfortable doing both. He’s comfortable in his rhythm game, he just was off yesterday. He didn’t have a great day.”

(On Antonio Bryant saying the team’s approach was more about developing Freeman than being aggressive in the game plan)
“No. I’m sure A.B.’s capable of his own opinions. You’ve got to develop Josh; there’s no question about that. There’s no doubt about it. But your game plan is to go out there and try to win. You’re going to try to beat people. That’s how you go into the game plan. The idea of running the ball and keeping Drew Brees off the field, that’s a part of it as well. You don’t want to go out there and throw it around with Drew Brees and try to match Josh up with, like we talked about last night, a potential Pro Bowler in a shootout. That’s not fair to the young man, it’s not fair to our team and it wouldn’t be fair to our defense. We were trying to keep him off the field, which we were able to do early to keep that thing at 7-7. We gave the ball back there late on a turnover and the defense went out there and held it up and kept it up to three, which was great. That got it to 10-7 and then disaster strikes when he got the ball back in that two-minute and was able to get hot and get into that rhythm that we talked about. That’s what you don’t want.”

(On if the clock management can be better in the first-half two-minute period)
“That’s on me, definitely. That’s something that you want to do. That’s the confidence you have in the young man, just giving him opportunities to go out there and win. If you have a big-time stud like we think we’re going to have here sooner or later, you want to go down there and attack them and get three, steal three. The clock management as far as running the clock out, we could have gone into halftime probably and chopped some of that time off and knocked some of that stuff out of there. But we’ve just got so much confidence in the young man and you just never know when it’s going to come. You see what happened the last couple of weeks and it could have happened to him yesterday. That’s on me completely. That’s my decision. Those are things that I can say, that I can call off the dogs. But when you play a team like the Saints and you have an opportunity, you felt like you could go down and get three…I was trying to steal it. Probably shouldn’t have. Probably shouldn’t have played so aggressively. That’s a question mark completely for me right there.”

(On if it’s better to let Freeman face the adversity or to pull him in a bad game)
“Oh yeah, he’s going to fight through these things. It’s Josh. This is what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to go out there and fight through it and find a way to get better. We’ve got to find a way not to throw that interception at the end of the game. We’ve got to find a way to move the ball when we have to. We’ve got to find a way to pick up the tempo. We’ve got to find a way to deal with all the adversity that you’re talking about, that he went through yesterday. I think he did a nice job of handling the adversity. I think he did a nice job of handling the situation, as tough as it was. And he’ll learn from it and he’ll get better. Like you said last night, he’ll have another opportunity to do it again.”

(On if teams are doing something to take WR Sammie Stroughter out of the offense)
“No. Sammie comes in there in Zebra situations when we go in a three-wideout look. So when he gets his opportunity to go out there he’s out there and he’s making plays. But the Zebra situation didn’t come up as much yesterday with the plan to run the football. You wanted to go with the two-running back system. You wanted to get the guys running the football, try to run the football on those guys. Yesterday he didn’t get as many opportunities as he probably could have. The ones he did get we were not able to connect, the quick outs, the quick Z outs that we missed by just a hair. The under route that he ran, we missed him. Some of those situations came where we just missed him. He’s definitely a part of our offense, he’s definitely a big part of it. We love trying to get him the football. We just have some other guys that we also have to get the ball too as well. We like to spread it around. We’d like to get the ball to K2 [Kellen Winslow] more. We’d like to get the ball to A.B. more. We’d like to get the ball to Sammie, but unfortunately there’s only one ball. Those guys are big-time weapons, they have been around here in the past and we’ve got to get them to grow together.”

(On if FB Chris Pressley will play more)
“We would like to. He provides us with a different type of running game, he provides a different element, which we talked about last night. We’ve just got to get him more acclimated with all of the packages and doing everything for us, as far as protection, as far as having him out there being comfortable with him on all the regular runs, all the U runs, all the different types of formations we may have. We talked about last night getting Earnest Graham a little more acclimated to it. The three-headed monster was out a little bit because you got a one-back run from him, we got [Derrick] Ward on the run there, we got Cadillac [Williams] run here. All of those things are going. The positive thing about last night is like you said – we were able to run the ball at the beginning of the game. We went on a 95-yard drive to score a touchdown. That was great. You just can’t make a living doing that against the Saints, and that’s what we were trying to do yesterday. That’s tough.”

(On if Earnest Graham is running better than Derrick Ward right now)
“You’ve got to say yesterday he ran better than Derrick Ward. He ran pretty well yesterday. He got the ball a couple times and made some dynamic runs, some dynamic cuts and was out there being pretty explosive. The problem is, he’s our starting fullback. He’s been out there playing fullback for Cadillac and Derrick Ward, and he’s the most unselfish player on our football team. He’s got to be one of them, at least top five. We’d like to get him the ball more, give him more balls in the flat. We threw him a couple balls in the flat yesterday. We’ve got to get the ball to him; he’s a weapon as well, and he’s a valuable weapon.”

(On self-evaluation)
“No question. There is no doubt about it. You have to sit around, walk around everybody and evaluate. I talk about it every week. You have to go in there, look at yourself, look at what you’re doing, how well you are doing it, come back and evaluate it. You have to come back and get better. That’s what we do every single week. That’s what we will do this week.”

(On their run defense)
“We have to provide them some help [in the front seven]. Yesterday, early in the game they did a nice job at stopping the run. We had some solid plays that got us some third down and we got off the field. You saw Ronde [Barber] make a couple of plays there in some one lurk defenses and some plug defenses, things of that nature. We had some two man plays that we made on the sideline when [Stylez G.] White had a nice rush. That was because of stopping the run. I think it was the third quarter and early in the fourth, they were able to run the football. They came downhill at us. They took advantage of some open gaps, a guy got cut off, one guy misses a tackle here, and really they won the game by attrition in their running game. We really had them stopped pretty well. I believe at halftime they didn’t have a really good rushing total. When they came out of the second half and decided to run the ball, they got into some of the run fronts that you knew were coming. That’s how they got us. We can’t wear down. That’s what I’m talking about with the players; we have to get more people playing and more people being productive when somebody’s out. I believe young Kyle Moore got cut off in the one run. That was a big time run. He has to go in there and do the same thing Stylez did when Stylez is in there. Stylez came in the next play and knocked down the same run. They tried to come back again. We just have to be more consistent and we have to play better. That’s the bottom line. We have to have better things too. We have to have better answers.”

(On if Derrick Ward or Cadillac Williams asked to divert their carries to Earnest Graham because he was hot)
“No. The only problem with yesterday is Earnest is the starting fullback. He got some one-back runs. That’s why he was in there for those things. When we go to your two back sets, your fullback is Earnest unless it was the small package that you have for Chris Pressley yesterday. That wasn’t much. It wasn’t like they could differ to him. I guarantee you that Cadillac or Ward would have if they had the opportunity to. That room is a really good room.”

(On the zone blocking scheme)
“We probably ran our first power yesterday. Maybe you are talking about the one-back counter rolls and stuff like that. We had some of those in for a while. We ran that since we’ve been here. We did run; we called our first power yesterday. I think that run got checked to a zone play away on the first play of the game.”

(On if the team is as much zone blocking as they intended it to be)
“We are still the same amount of zone. We just actually added some things that we did in the past as far as some of the gap runs. We added a couple of them and we don’t have very many of them. That’s part of Pressley’s package when you get a fullback that can pack a punch like he can. He helps you out with some of those things.”

(On Stylez G. White being more of a run specialist and using Tim Crowder more)
“No, they always split time. Crowder got the start yesterday. Stylez was out there. They probably end up playing the same amount of snaps. Crowder practiced the most last week, he had the defense, and he had everything going for him. He started the game but we had Stylez in there as much as we could. You definitely want to get him in there when they are passing the football. That’s just his specialty. I wouldn’t read too much into any of those. Stylez is probably starting at right end this week coming back off the injury, getting him acclimated back into the system. Now he is up rolling and he felt good coming out of this game.”

(On DE Kyle Moore)
“Kyle Moore is playing okay. It’s just the growing pains that are going through a young guy. He just got a helmet probably four weeks ago. He missed the fit yesterday and it was a 22-yard run. It was the run that we were talking about in the third quarter, one of them. He is going to go through those growing pains. The next run fit we missed was I think Geno on an over the top on a cover-2. Those two 22-yard runs were the ones that got you yesterday. He is doing okay. He still has to learn how to play fast, the tempo of this game, the tempo of the NFL. He is showing some flash and ability that he should be out there and should just go out there and do it.”

(On how he is dealing with being 1-9 as a first year coach)
“Good. You know me. I am not worried about me at all. I’m worried about my players. I have to keep those guys going, keep those guys motivated. We have to be around here, we have to be better every single day. For me, I’m comfortable. I’m fine. I have to get these guys better. Don’t worry about me. I can’t worry about any of that stuff. I have to go out there and just play and perform, practice and get ready for this very good Atlanta football team this week.”

(On if he is hard on himself)
“I’m definitely hard on myself. I’m always hard on myself. I’m hard on myself when we are winning so I’m definitely hard on myself when we are losing. There is no doubt about that.”

(On the most valuable lesson for Josh Freeman with a loss like this)
“He went out there and made his first real rookie blunder yesterday. He knew it right away. He came off to the sideline, knew it right away. It wasn’t a rookie mistake where he tried to blame people. The best thing out of a game like that is what he did with you guys. He got up [on the podium] and accepted responsibility for what he did. He looks to go correct it. That’s what you ask out of a young quarterback. He knows exactly what to do, how to do it and when he wants to do it. He’ll come out of that game and be a better football player because of it today and a better leader.”

Courtesy of the Buccaneers Public Relations Department

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