Bucs Central

Monday Coach Quotes: Raheem Morris

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris addressed the media following the teams come from behind win, as it some pundits saying, in some instances it shocked the football world when the Bucs clawed there way back from a  17-point deficit to take the Saints to overtime and come out victories with a 20-17 win in a hostile environment. Morris answered questions about rumors floating around of his coaching staff jumping ship…Josh Freeman’s accuracy…and if he has been given any assurances from the Glazer’s about his job security heading into this off-season.

(On the Saints game)
“Extremely proud of the football team from yesterday in that victory. What they were able to do as a team was really good. I’m proud of those guys. Injury update: Jimmy Wilkerson, torn ACL; Earnest Graham, a torn ligament in his toe. Both of those men will be placed on I.R. and we’ll be able to update you with their replacements here soon.”

(On sticking with the hot hand with Cadillac Williams)
“Cadillac got hot and he was able to run through those holes. He was able to find it really well. Earnest Graham and [Chris] Pressley were able to read the zone schemes and they were able to do some of our gap runs as well. We did a nice job of mixing it up, mixing up the runs and mixing up our ability to do all those things, and it worked well yesterday. They were able to pound the rock, so to speak, and how they finished in overtime was impressive, to have that type of drive that we’ve given up around here in the past and felt bad about. When you’re able to run the ball nine straight times and really pick up steam and really roll into that and get a field goal out of it was really good to see.”

(On how much Chris Pressley has improved)
“I think [somebody] asked the second week he was here, could he get more reps and could he go in there and play more fullback to free stuff up for Earnest Graham? He’s really just gradually picked up the offense. First he started with a small package, then he started getting additional packages which you saw in Seattle last week, the three-back deal. Then he picked up his package in ‘deuce,’ picked up his package [in another set] and now he’s in a regular package, and now he’s about to pick up the whole offense. He’s a smart kid who works hard and has really given us a lot of punch, really given us a lot of effort, really given us two-headed monster there at fullback, with Earnest catching balls out of the backfield and just doing everything. Special teams, tailback, one-back, third-down protector – all those types of things he’s able to do for us, with [Pressley] giving Earnest a blow so he can be so effective on special teams, and to be able to go in there and give us a little punch and a little power at the point. With the exception of one third-and-inches yesterday he was pretty effective in all those situations. That was just a missed assignment, but he’s been really good.”

(On the team doing better later in the season after falling behind in a game)
“I think it’s a different team now. I think it’s a different bunch of guys. I think it’s guys that have grown up a little bit. This season will mature you pretty fast, both coaches and players. In the past, we might have avoided the run, we might have gotten away from it a little too early. Yesterday we stuck with the run, we pounded the rock, we gave the ball to Cadillac, we gave it to Derrick, we gave it to all those guys and they were able to keep us in the game. We were able to stay with our normal passing situations, stay with our normal play-action pass with a young man, didn’t put too much on his shoulders. We talked about it. Everybody around him playing better and him being number 5, and that’s what happened yesterday. You got a chance to see Kellen Winslow play better, you got a chance to see A.B. [Antonio Bryant] play better, you got a chance to see those running backs, Maurice Stovall coming up with some big catches, Clayton coming back and getting a big-time block. All of those guys around him played better and he played better as a result of it, along with the mentality, being able to stay in the fight.”

(On if Connor Barth has made a statement that he should get a look beyond 2009)
“I’ve got to say yes to that question. All he’s done is come in here and make a couple field goals for us and really be consistent. He missed a couple, but for the most part he’s been banging them. He had the big three-50-yard-field-goal day; yesterday he kicked the game-winner against the New Orleans Saints. He’s pretty much been pretty consistent all year. We had a couple blunders there, a couple blunders on the kickoffs, but he’s a young man. Don’t forget, those kickers are young, too, and they make mistakes at the same time. It’s nice to see him grow up and him mature and him do certain things as well. You’ve definitely got to take him into consideration for the future. He’s a young kicker with a strong leg.”

(On Barth handling a tough situation)
“That’s mental toughness, man. It wasn’t noisy for long. He nailed that thing and it got quiet really quickly. It was a beautiful silence. It was awesome, to have that kind of toughness to stand in there and deliver. They froze him on one of his kicks earlier and went out and made two in a row. It looked like practice. It was nice.”

(On decisions about other coaches on the staff and Rich Bisaccia )
“Again, all rumors. Rich Bisaccia is under contract upstairs last time I checked. All my guys are. We make evaluations of everybody at the end of the season but we are just coaching. We have one more game to play and we are going to go ahead and play that game. I know it’s fun for you guys to do the coaches carousel but for us it’s reality, it’s life. This is what we do.”

(On if he was given any assurances by them)
“The assurances that they gave to me is that I have to do my job tomorrow. That’s what you have to do. When you are put in a position to coach a football team, you coach it. That’s what you do until they tell you to stop. That’s what I’m going to do now.”

(On if it would be preferable if he got that assurance)
“No. This game is not for everybody. It is not for the mentally weak. It is not for the mentally soft. It’s not for everybody. For me, it’s about production and going on this field and progressing. All the other stuff is grey matter. All that stuff messes you up for next week. I will be thinking about that all week. Are you guys trying to mess me up for Atlanta? Are you guys working for Atlanta? You can start thinking about that stuff and get all caught up in it and lose sight that Matt Ryan is coming to town. You have to tackle [Michael] Turner this weekend. That’s how you get messed up. I prefer to think about Atlanta coming in here. I prefer to watch that tape from yesterday upstairs and enjoy myself. I prefer to watch that type of stuff and look at my guys progress and develop and to see that locker room yesterday. I prefer to do that. That’s how I’m made up.”

(On if yesterday’s win was a big confidence boost)
“I don’t know if it was a confidence boost. I know it felt really good. I know it was a feel good thing. It was the ability you can go in there and you can win two in a row and win one in a big place, a nasty environment in a playoff like atmosphere. That’s a great feel for this young football team. The guys on this team worked so hard to get it and it was awesome. I wish you guys could have been in the locker room.”

(On the halftime adjustment at safety)
“In the coverage we had with Sabby [Piscitelli] in the A gap, it is a little tougher on Sabby. It’s a little bit of Sabby because maybe he missed a tackle or two but at the same time you have to recognize when a weakness is there too. When you are getting penetration in the A gap and you ask a guy from 12 yards deep to make that tackle for minus two yards it is a little tough. You have to make an adjustment. You put another safety down in that box on the edge so you have Barrett [Ruud] in that same A gap. That helped us on the run and the dynamics of the second half changed. That’s why you do that. The deep pass was a miscommunication by the whole secondary. I believe that they all got minuses on that play. I believe we messed that up together. That was on us, that was on me, I have to give more practice at it. I will take a hit for that, the secondary will take a hit for that, we all will. You can blame Sabby, Aqib, Ronde, Tanard, Elbert Mack. They all got minuses and myself.”

(On if he was pleased with Sabby’s play this year)
“You would love to see Sabby have more playmaking opportunities. You would love to see the whole team produce better and we haven’t. We forget sometimes that he is a young player as well and really this is his first year as a full-time starter. I’m sure he went out there with higher expectations for himself as well. I would like to see more plays. We would like to see him have more production and do some more splash play type of things. That hasn’t happened for him yet this year and he just has to go back to the lab and get more production.”

(On Freeman’s accuracy)
“I don’t know if he has a problem with accuracy. He’s pretty accurate. He’s not as accurate as Drew Brees. You’re right, so you have to be careful who you compare him to. What he is is a strong arm kid that can deliver any football that you ask him to deliver. He missed the deep ball to Kellen [Winslow] yesterday across the middle and he missed the throw. He could have been a little longer on the fade ball to A.B. [Antonio Bryant], but sometimes you’re just trying to make a play for your player and give your player a chance to make a play. All that stuff he’s accountable for. It was a pretty accurate laser he threw to Kellen on the rattle pass over in the corner. There’s always something you can work on so I never want to say ‘no, he can’t work on it.’ Yeah, he can work on it. That’s obvious. That’s everybody. That’s timing. That’s working with the receivers. That’s on getting on the same page. Him and A.B. had a little deal yesterday. A.B. wanted to sit the route down and Freeman decided to keep moving and they just talked about it. They’ll get better at that and they’ll work on it this offseason. That will be key for his development. That will be key for our development and that will be key for everything we do.”

(On being the defensive coordinator next year)
“I kind of like having the keys right now. It’s a lot of fun. It’s fun to be able to make those adjustments at halftime. It wasn’t fun the first two drives of that game. Looking at Sean [Payton] over there holding that sheet up, going ‘oh man, what’s he going to go to now?’ Trying to stay one step ahead, being able to get to halftime. Halftime couldn’t have come quick enough. Being able to get into halftime, make some of those adjustments and come back out with your team. Just the feel of those guys when you stand in front of them and talk to them, there was no panic. There was no panic in Barrett [Ruud]. There was no panic in T. Jack [Tanard Jackson]. There was no panic in Ronde [Barber]. They all knew what they had to do. We all knew what we had to do. We went out and we did it. We executed the game plan and we were able to hold them scoreless in the second half, which was awesome. And having that kind of control and those kind of keys in your hand is a lot of fun. I’ll evaluate myself after the season.”

(On if momentum from last two games can carry into 2010)
“I have to ask my team tomorrow. ‘Are they hot or is it their game?’ And it’s kind of what it is. ‘Are you guys just hot right now or is this your game? Is this who you are or are you just hot?’ That’s what you have to ask your team tomorrow and that’s kind of what I have to find out too. Is Cadillac [Williams] just hot or is this his game? I’m hoping this is our game. We have to go find out.”

(On if he has turned it around)
“I’m liking the way we’re going. I’m liking the direction we’re headed. I am. This is the formula that’s worked since the beginning. Run the football, play action pass, easy completions, play good defense, play solid, keep them out of the end zone, that’s what we’ve done the last two weeks.”

Courtesy of the Buccaneers Public Relations Department.

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