Bucs Central

Monday Quotes: Raheem Morris


(On practice)
“Today we came back and ran Tennessee corrections. We wanted to get some things cleaned up from the game. We’re also still installing, trying to get as much of the offense as we can get in so during the season when we get to game-planning you can pull from that pile and be ready to deal with that. You’re still in training camp mode and you’re still preparing a little bit for Jacksonville, getting the corrections done but you still want to keep implementing plays, implementing defenses, getting them all in your system and getting them right. We also had two-minute offense at the end. We had two groups, got a little Josh Freeman, got a little Luke [McCown] today. Luke’s going to come in in the second quarter and he might get one in at the end of the half. Not sure what we’re going to do with the second half. It could be Josh [Johnson] or young Josh [Freeman] – young Josh or old Josh.”

(On Josh Bidwell)
“Mark Dominik already talked about putting Josh Bidwell on I.R. [It’s] nothing career-ending so we’re just looking forward to him coming back next year. We signed Marcus Maxwell, a receiver drafted by the 49ers in ’05, so he’ll be here with us working out a little bit. We’ll get him running around, see what he can do. Also, Aqib Talib has been excused today for a family matter. He’s fine; he’ll be back tomorrow and up-and-running.”

(On if Josh Freeman got more reps Monday because he hasn’t been getting enough reps)
“No, we just wanted to today give him a two-minute [drill] because we always do that when we’re working into next week, have the young-guy move-the-ball period or have a two-minute period and I try to get the young guys in there because they don’t get the all reps in practice. The majority of the time, we give that to Luke and Byron [Leftwich]. Today we had some correction periods, so if it was your mistake in the game you came in and got some. And then also we ended the two-minute with Josh Johnson today.”

(On if he meant that Luke McCown was going to play in the second quarter against Jacksonville)
“Yes. Just like we did last week, flipped. Byron will go first, Luke will go second.”

(On if this is the week he’s expecting one of the quarterbacks to take control of the starting job)
“It better be the week. We’re going to make our decision next week, so here’s your week, here’s your show. It’s been the whole process, it’s been the whole thing, so they’ll be graded on what they’ve done, what they’re going to do this week and next week sometime I’ll let you know who the starting quarterback is.”

(On if he knows who he’s leaning towards starting at QB)
“For the most part, I’ve got the characteristics of the leader, and you can say, ‘I’ve seen characteristics come out of Luke, I’ve seen characteristics come out of Byron.’ Man that’s a good play or man that’s a good throw. I’ve seen different things from both of them, or even Freeman – man, that was a great job of checking that call at the line of scrimmage. Things of that nature. I’ve seen the characteristics that you want in a leader. I’ve definitely seen some great qualities and I’m looking forward to seeing more this week and making a decision.”

(On if he might wait another week to make the decision at QB)
“No way. Got to make it right now. That third preseason game is when you get out there, you go through a game plan, you install for the Miami Dolphins. You do all the situations of an in-season schedule, the players follow an in-season schedule. I just think you’ve got to make a decision about the leader of your football team at that point and go into the game and let them go out there and play with the guy that they know is going to be their guy. Come back the following week and find out who’s going to make up the bottom half of your roster and then go to work with your starters.”

(On if he would stay with the QB decision well into the season)
“It’s hard for me to think like that because that would be talking about failure and I’m not interested in talking about failure right now. When you pick a guy, you’re picking him for a reason. You’re not winning by default around here. Hopefully I don’t have to deal with failure here.”

(On if the team is done with padded practices in camp)
“I would say no. Today would have been rough to go pads after that Tennessee game. Tomorrow will probably come out with the pads in the morning. We might go helmets in the afternoon. The guys actually like the pads, to be honest with you. They come and ask for it sometimes now. ‘Are we going to have team run today, Coach?’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘Can we were pads?’ ‘Yeah, sure.’ It’s just a different feel. It’s funny. They’re embracing it.”

(On Ryan Sims playing on the second team during practice)
“There is nothing to read into that. He’s been playing great. Like I told you, that’s going to be a three man rotation all year with those guys. They all play really well. The other night, when you give up 12 yards at halftime against Smash and Dash, you’re pretty ecstatic about that when you’re talking about stopping the run. Although the stat sheet doesn’t say Ryan Sims, Chris Hovan, Roy Miller doing much, they did. If you watched the tape, you can see the run getting bounced outside. Not allowing runs to go downhill, like they did on us in the past and the last four games of last season. Those guys were stout, they were tough and they were physical. Their backups came in and they did a pretty good job as well. You had a chance to see Dre Moore go out there and do pretty good things. [Rashaad] Duncan, they were stout in there. It was exciting to see.”

(On the outside linebacker position)
“Well, [Angelo] Crowell is back this week so we get some more competition there. But Quincy [Black] played really well last week. I’m really excited about the role he is starting to develop as that strong side linebacker right now. I don’t know if you guys have seen him play that defensive end spot for us in those passing situations or two-minute situations. I think he’s really excited about it. He knows what he’s doing. He knows what he has to do. He is taking it all and really running with it. When you get a chance next time, if you have an interview with Quincy you can just tell in his demeanor and eyes it’s a different deal. It’s hard to get a smile these days. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing yet but the way he’s playing it looks like a good thing. I’m really excited about that.”

(On Crowell’s comeback)
“It’s going to be tough. He obviously missed a good portion of OTAs, a good portion of training camp here; he’s trying to overcome a hamstring. To his credit, he has been mentally tough. About a couple of weeks ago I kind of thought I was losing him by the look in his face. He gave me that call on the weekend saying he was back and not to give up yet. I haven’t and here we go, let me go see what he can do. He’ll get an opportunity this week. I’m fired up, I’m sure you guys are and I wish him the best.”

(On if Matt Bryant will be kicking this week)
“No, like I said yesterday, Thursday I will re-evaluate Matt Bryant. We will have some more information on that.”

(On Kareem Huggins)
“He is from Hofstra. He is making it. We saw him in OTA days. I don’t want to call him this year’s ‘Peanut,’ because you don’t get another one of those. The guy comes in on a freebee tryout. You beg to sign him because of his effort. You guys have seen him finishing every play. He runs to the end zone. I tell him to go 25 [yards], and he totally, completely disregards my coaching. I’m okay with that. He runs to the end zone every snap. Then he gets out there in a game, and I say, ‘Do you want me to get you out of there?’ He goes, ‘No, I’m okay coach.’ He’s just running the football. You’re talking about a man playing for the shield on his chest. He loves football. You can’t get him out of the building. He loves it, and those are the kind of guys that you want on your team when you talk about those bottom-half roster guys. I told him when he got here, ‘Don’t look at the numbers. Don’t worry about that. That is a gray matter. Just go out there and be your very best self’. That is what he is doing.”

(On Mike Nugent kicking a 51-yard field goal)
“That was great. I was more encouraged about my decision. I probably should have run one more play and gotten some more yards. It wasn’t a bad decision that he made a 51-yarder. That was good.”

(On Stylez G. White being out of the “dog house”)
“He probably told you that because when we walked off the field I said ‘Hey Stylez, I like you again.’ I just have to teach him how to practice. He does not understand that you have to practice. He is Allen Iverson. You have to get him to the game and you have to prepare him and you have to practice like you are going to play in a game. I need to see some of that stuff on the practice field so I can talk good about you to our local media. So they can talk good about you in the paper so the people can love you. Obviously, he is a gamer. But you can’t let him be a gamer when you are a coach. You got to make him go do it in practice. I’m going to keep my foot on him and I’m going to keep him in the dog house for now.”

(On Xavier Fulton playing left tackle)
“That was fun to get him out there. He’s green and that is that kid I saw. He was out there, and he was playing tackle. In the National Football League you have to protect your quarterback. You have to battle on because if he messes up then he can mess up somebody else’s job. But he is out there working hard. He is in great shape. He is really athletic. I need to develop a little nastier swagger to him. Kind of what we talked about with [Jeremy] Zuttah earlier and I think Zuttah is starting to get it. But he is starting to develop some of that stuff and hopefully he can get it as far as the nasty swagger we are looking for. I was proud of him to go out there for that many snaps and hold it down.”

(On the punting situation)

“He [Josh Bidwell] went on Injured Reserve because the hip thing flared up. It is not career [ending]. It is nothing to worry about Josh. Dirk [Johnson] is our punter right now. We continue to try and improve everyday, at every position, not just punter. If Dirk is going out there punting; if Dirk is out there hitting 50-yarders, then I won’t be looking for another guy. I still have to look for guys. I still have to look through the pool. We just met Dirk two or three days ago. We just have to figure out what Dirk has, and if Dirk has it, then we will like Dirk.”

Courtesy of the Buccaneers Public Relations Department

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