Posted in General News

Monday Quotes: Raheem Morris

by Staff Report on October 5, 2009

Miorris answers critics after team stumbles out of the gate to 0-4

Miorris answers critics after team stumbles out of the gate to 0-4

Raheem Morris’ day after press conference revealed there is no real timetable for Josh Freeman, Josh Johnson will remain the teams starter heading into week five against the Eagles. Morris also touched on the teams 0-4 start and whether or not it’s an accurate reflection of the team. He also addressed if the young players lack urgency to win and if the team is fighting the loss of confidence.

HEAD COACH RAHEEM MORRIS
(On Sunday’s game)
“We reviewed the game tape this morning – a lot of positive stuff that you can talk about right now. Aqib Talib, to go out there, to cover down as well as he did all day yesterday. Ronde Barber, very positive stuff. He covered down well yesterday in the slot, a lot against [Antwaan] Randle El, played on the outside and made a couple dynamic plays on the outside as well, made a nice play on special teams. Geno Hayes was really impressive when we turned the tape on this morning. Watching him shoot through B Gaps and A Gaps and making tackles and watching him set the edge and shed blocks and make tackles – he was really impressive. Quincy Black, remember I told you guys about the plan to play more [Adam] Hayward? But [Black] was playing at such a high level at the time that it wasn’t the time for that. It was, let him play, let him finish, let him continue to grow because he did a lot of really good things. He had some negative stuff, too, but for the most part having the sack he had and the Frisco package we talked about last week when somebody asked me about the D-Line. I said, ‘No, we kind of him used him in the Frisco where he’s spying and going and getting him.’ And it resulted in a sack this week. That was kind of his package this week that we worked on in the offseason and we got a chance to see that blossom a little bit. Later on he missed one but he started playing better so I just said, ‘Let those guys ride it out,’ the way they were playing at linebacker. Having Barrett [Ruud] in the middle there, Geno’s playing well and Quincy’s playing well with those guys, I decided to let that thing go. You talk about the D-Line. The way they started the game is how you want to play a football game. It was a snapshot of what it should look like. It was Ryan Sims creating a push; it was Gaines Adams coming off the edge; it was Jimmy Wilkerson coming back to the level; it was Tim Crowder getting in the mix a little bit, mixing it up; those guys rotating; [Chris] Hovan creating a push, Hovan stopping the run, Hovan getting to the quarterback with the push with Ryan; Stylez White coming in, getting a little edge pressure. They started that game off really good. It was a great snapshot for what it was supposed to look like. Gaines Adams began to look like that guy who we all want him to be. He started that yesterday – had a sack, had the recovered fumble, had a couple nice plays in the run game shooting inside. He was one of those players that you talk about. He had a couple of ‘Attaboys,’ where he got out of his gap but he made the play in the backfield. It’s ‘Attaboy, but stay outside next time.’ Sometimes you’ve got to do that when you’re that kind of plays. We’ve seen it from Simeon Rice over the years, we’ve seen it from some of those Dwight Freeneys and all those other great ends on other teams. He showed a glimpse of that yesterday. On offense, Antonio Bryant coming back, it looked like he’s starting to get a little bit stronger. He made a nice diving catch in the end zone, ran a couple really good routes, looked healthy, made it through the whole game. That was a positive sign. To see Cadillac [Williams] get the ball and run it like that, carry it 16 times. We’ve got to do some things with Cadillac’s endurance. It’s been two years since he’s actually played a game where he’s had the 20-carry games and all that type of stuff. I’m not sure if that’s a correct statement, but it’s been two years since he’s done it throughout a season. Caddy looked strong yesterday, had a bunch of finishing runs. If we finish off that last drive with Cadillac and get him in the end zone, shoot, you’re really high on what Cadillac did yesterday as far as a runner. Kellen Winslow responded from last week, making the two big third-down catches, the one in the seven-cut and the one on the crossing route, the shallow cross. It was a tough catch, got sticky. He got hit, held onto the football, got the contact. The other one was a dynamic catch in the seven-cut. So you’re starting to see some really positive things from that. The thing we’ve seen from Josh today is the ability to make plays with his feet, coming out of the game with 41 yards rushing. He made some dynamic runs up in there. He made something out of nothing on some plays, which were really good signs. The things we need to do better – obviously we need to finish stronger. We’ve got to come out of halftime and be able to play better. We’ve got to develop that killer instinct a little bit when you’re talking about the halftime and how you’re coming out. I’m not sure if it’s halftime. That’s just what happened yesterday. I remember from the Dallas game on the other side of the ball with defense. They came out that first half and looked really strong. We came out and gave up the one play before halftime. And when we came out of halftime, things kind of went awry there. That’s when we kind of gave up the big plays in the second half when we were talking about the defensive side of the ball. Yesterday a little bit on the opposite side of the ball we come out with an opportunity to get the ball back. You want to go down, you want to score, you want to do something, you want to change the field position and we just weren’t able to get it going. We missed the layup on the naked bootleg from Josh in the flat. Those are some of the things you’ve got to improve, developing that killer instinct, developing that feel, developing all that stuff, and that’s the sign of a young team. Special teams coverage, you talk about stuff that was good, the coverage units, the solid field position they provided all day. Clifton Smith almost got out on a couple of those kickoff returns. So all those things were positive as far as on special teams. The obvious thing, we missed the field goals and that was obviously what was negative about that. But a lot of good things, some bad things that you took out of the game, a game that we had an opportunity to win and we didn’t, so there still is no excuse. You’ve got to win those games and we should have won this…well, again, not ‘we should have.’ We’d like to win those football games. I hate when people say they should have won a football game when you lost it. No, you shouldn’t. You should’ve lost, because you lost. But you guys know what I’m saying. Those are the games you feel like you gave yourself an opportunity, gave yourself a chance…let’s just go get those.”

(On if the play-calling in Washington was cautious because Josh Johnson was at quarterback)
“No, we called more shots in the second half trying to be aggressive, trying to get the ball to Antonio [Bryant], things of that nature. We’ve got to develop our confidence [with] that quarterback-receiver relationship to take those shots. Sometimes, some of those plays are made by dynamic one-on-one plays, like Santana Moss did against Aqib on that one play. Aqib got out of position with the double-move a little more than their guys did when we ran our double-move to Antonio. I’ll take my chances with Antonio sometimes. That’s a part of the development of Josh Johnson. He’ll do that, he has to do it. He’ll take those chances, make those timing decisions, take those timing chances. He will. The one interception he threw, going back and looking at it yesterday it kind of looked like nobody was there. It was a seven-cut, throwing at Antonio where the corner really made a nice turnaround, a nice wheel where Josh was trying to put into a spot where he felt the corner couldn’t get to and he knew the safety wouldn’t get to. To DeAngelo’s credit, he came from a bad body position to turn and run and make a really special play. It didn’t look as special as it did when you go back and look at it on tape. I thought it was a kind of ‘what are you doing?’ interception, and it wasn’t. Those things. That was a shot. Maybe that play there, in the back of his mind kind of took some of his confidence. ‘I’ve got this call to A.B., there’s A.B., he’s got a one-on-one…let me check this thing down to Caddy.’ That’s a part of his development, that’s a part of what he’ll be, that’s a part of what we’re going to get to. We’ll see it on tape and we’ll go back and evaluate it and he’ll get better.”

(On if he can tell Johnson to be more aggressive)
“I don’t know if you tell him. We’re always going to play fearless, not cautious. Those are the coaching points you give him. The better he gets and the more experience and the more time he has to develop those things as a quarterback, you won’t have to tell him when to do it. He’ll know. Nobody tells Peyton Manning when to throw it down the field. He just knows. And when he checks it down, he checks it down and that’s the result of the play.”

(On what inspired Gaines Adams to play at a higher level)
“I was kind of joking in my head on the sideline when he was making those plays, thinking maybe Shannon Sharpe should talk about him bad every day on CBS. It’s who he can be. It’s a glimpse of what he wants to be and who he wants to become. He just went out and played well yesterday. It was a combination of his coaches, it was a combination of himself, it was a combination of his teammates, it was a combination of all those things coming together and it came together for him yesterday. So hopefully he can go and look at it, look at that glimpse and say, ‘Hey, this is who I want to be all the time,’ and then try to go do it.”

(On where the team stands after one quarter of the season)
“We came out at the opening of the season and you started to see some glimpses on defense. You saw a little spark in that first half, you saw the offense get moving, starting to run. Yesterday we got our run back a little back, were able to rush for 120-some-odd yards, got Cadillac rolling. It wasn’t full strength obviously because Derrick Ward wasn’t there but you had Earnest [Graham] you had Cadillac going, you had Peanut [Clifton Smith] going and you’ve got that ability to run that you count on when you get Josh Johnson in the game. As far as being a running team, we want to be that. As far as being a defense that flies around and gets interceptions and make plays, that’s starting to come. Last week and the week prior to that we were able to get our hands on some balls. We were able to play fast, develop in our philosophy and develop in our beliefs and our core beliefs on defense. All those things are starting to come. On offense, we’re getting better and better. We’re starting to get stronger and stronger with the health coming back, with some of the guys coming back from health issues. You get Antonio Bryant here playing a little bit healthier. You get Jeff Faine back eventually and all those kinds of people and we’ll see what we can be.”

(On if the 0-4 record reflects the team)
“Of course it reflects this team. That’s what this team is. We’re 0-4. There’s nothing to make an excuse about. But that’s got to be over with. You are what you’re going to do each week. Right now, we are what we are on tape. That’s what we are on tape. We’ve got to go make our tape right now in this next quarter. The next quarter, let’s go develop some new tape, let’s go develop the tape that we want to put out there for people.”

(On Josh Johnson’s play)
“The stuff that I really liked, I almost said everything about it. The stuff I really like was that there were some plays that we called that weren’t there. They were covered well. There was maybe a quick gain or two there. They played the sticks and they did a nice job on defense. He was able to get out there and instead of it being second and 10 because he threw it away, he just stepped right up in the pocket, got three or four yards and now you are working with a manageable second down. Unfortunately, that second down play usually ended up in a holding, a jump offsides, something went awry, we got the delay of game on one, which was my fault. Something would happen like that and it would get you back in second and 16. Now, you have a young quarterback, if you have an old quarterback it really doesn’t matter. You call your next play, you can run a screen, see what you can get, maybe get a manageable third down. Every once in a while you get a manageable third down and you have to play it. The things that we have to get better at are getting third downs, we have to convert better on third down, which is tough to do when you don’t get that manageable second down or that manageable third down, so you can go out there and play football. Those are the things that need to get better. We have to work on moving the chains, being more consistent, eliminating the mistakes from everybody around them and themselves and be better.”

(On if the young players lack urgency to win)
“I really don’t think it gives them an excuse and I think innately that’s where society is, you might be right about some of those things. When you get them into your building, you have to develop them into who you want them to be these days. You don’t get a whole bunch of Derrick Brooks walking into your building. You don’t get a bunch of Barrett Ruud’s walking into your building right now. You do get lucky every once in awhile and you do get some of those guys, they will shock you, they are ready to go and ready to play. They are conscientious in everything they do. You have to develop that a lot of times. A lot of times when you talk about development and being a young team you talk about studying the game, knowing the history of the game, you talk about knowing some of those things. A lot of our guys aren’t interested in some of those things but when you force it on them, you force feed them so to speak. They will get it and they will. They aren’t looking for excuses right now, they are more looking for answers and that’s my job, to give these guys answers. If I start letting them make up their own answers then we have issues.”

(On what went wrong on the two field goal misses)
“Kickers aren’t really my expertise, but we missed them. The only thing that really matters about a kicker is the result. When you go out there, you either make it or you miss it. The operation looked good, the snap looked good, it was down in time and we missed the two field goals. It was a windy day, and again I’m not going to sit here and make any excuses. Their kicker made kicks in the wind and ours has to make kicks in the wind. Mike [Nugent] is aware of that and he needs to go out and make kicks.”

(On the evaluation of the kicking game)
“We evaluate everyday. We have kickers coming in today to work out. You have to evaluate your team everyday, you have to evaluate where you are going everyday. If you have an opportunity to get better, then you try to. That’s just where we are right now. We have to evaluate every single day.”

(On if Matt Bryant was an option)
“We don’t want to put names out there. We don’t want to help anybody else or hurt ourselves for that matter. We will never put names out there as to who we contact or the guys that we work out.”

(On Tanard Jackson’s comeback)
“You don’t want to put too much on a guy that hasn’t been here for four weeks as a part of your team. You guys know Tanard, you guys know what he is about. I’m sure he is eager to get back here. I’m eager to see him and his teammates are eager to see him. We will be excited about seeing Tanard. That will definitely generate another fragment of our football team. Like I said last night, there is no comfort in losing. You don’t feel any better in losing any football games. You walk in today and you see Tanard Jackson, which will help you out with your teammates. That will help you out with your guys. That will help you out with everybody. Tanard is that type of guy that you love. He made a mistake and he is paying for it. Hopefully he can come back and help this football team win some football games.”

(On if he will be starting on Sunday)
“I haven’t seen Tanard in four weeks. We have to get him back in the building, let him practice. To be fair to Will Allen, to be fair to Sabby [Piscitelli], to be fair to Tanard. You have to find out what Tanard is, what he can do and what he can’t do.”

(On the play calling at the end of the game)
“We had two runs down there where we had Cadillac really hit it up in there. He actually got us down to about the 10-yard line somewhere and then had another one where the safety made a nice play and shot his gun in the backfield. We had another run down there with Earnest Graham. He got about two yards in a cloud of dust. We went to our pass and our quarterback draw-option type of deal. It’s possibly there. We just have to make those decisions, pull those triggers and do those positive things. You are excited whenever you have something open in the end zone and you just don’t find it. That’s just execution. That’s on me. That’s something that I have to stress and we have to do in practice. When I’m saying it’s on me, I’m saying it’s my job to make sure we practice it enough, make sure we do it enough. That’s me self evaluating myself. Again, we practiced it and we didn’t throw it. I have to practice it some more. That’s my job.”

(On if it that was an example of Josh Johnson being hesitant to make the throw)
“Again, I don’t know if it is hesitancy. It’s more of just having the confidence and just stepping up and throwing. And you guys know, he’s a very confident kid, so it’s not a character flaw. It’s more of a going out and doing it. His last game on a field in a starting role was at a Division I-AA school out in California and yesterday he was under the big lights in Washington D.C. A big time media market, not that you guys aren’t, but up there in that northeast and the lights were on and they were showing. That was his first game.”

(On fighting the loss of confidence)
“If you think about last year, you might as well just chalk up the rest of the games too, because you’re probably going to lose those ones as well. I have a coach that has lost 20 in a row and he isn’t worried about that. He’s worried about winning the next game and that’s your confidence and that’s your level when you’re talking about that stuff. You don’t worry about that at all. You go out and you play football games. Eight in a row, who cares, your next game when you win, you still lost eight in a row. It doesn’t matter. The most important thing is your next one.”

(On looking at Josh Freeman now as an option)
“Right now, Josh Johnson has earned a right to be named the starter. He’s done a good job of managing the game yesterday and he’s going through his growing pains. But I have to give him his opportunity; I can’t base everything on what we want to see from Josh Freeman. We can’t talk in those kinds of terms because he’s not in there yet. He’s number two and he has to prepare like number two. And hopefully he can learn some of Josh Johnson’s mistakes that he’ll make right now when he gets an opportunity, whatever the case may be. You never want to make the other person’s mistake.”

(On the timetable for Josh Freeman getting some live action)
“There is no timetable. I don’t set myself up for failure. ‘I want Freeman in by the sixth week of the season.’ No, Josh Johnson might go 2-1. I’m going to prepare Josh Johnson to win the next football game and that’s our job.”

(On how much injuries have compromised the running game)
“Injuries compromise you for the obvious reasons. You don’t have the guys you planned on being there. Of course they compromise you, but the guy behind the guy who’s out has to step up and play better than the starter. There really are not any excuses. We have not run the ball as well as we like and we have to go out and we have to do it every week. Yesterday we improved on it. We got better. It wasn’t the 174 yard performance versus Dallas, but it certainly was not the whatever we did versus the Giants. It was a lot better. You just have to teach the team to improve on those types of behaviors and those types of things and go out there and play. Getting [John] Gilmore back was big. That’s a huge step.”

(On T Donald Penn)
“He played against DeMarcus Ware, he played against [Aaron] Schobel. He had Brian Orakpo and then Osi Umenyiora and I don’t know of anybody really beating him. Maybe yesterday or something they got him on a late scramble type of deal, but he’s really played well. He’s really been a big time force over there on the left side. That’s the first Donald Penn question that I have gotten all year and that’s what offensive lineman are supposed to be, invisible and that’s what he’s been, invisible.”

(On what Josh Freeman has to do to earn the right to be the starter)
“Pretty much just go through the process, which he is doing. When you’re talking about a guy that can run our offense right now, you’re talking about a guy who can stand up and do everything you ask him to do, you’re talking about a guy that goes out there and practices and practices like he supposed to. He’s a professional in the classroom. He’s been great. Josh Johnson needs to go first and for the reasons being. He was here at 6:00 a.m. every morning last year. He developed the process. He probably knows the protections better than anyone in that room. He probably knows the checks better than anyone in that room. He probably knows everything that he needs to get done within the classroom and on the field better than anyone in that room except for Greg Olson and that’s a credit to Josh Johnson, what he’s done. And [Josh] Freeman’s getting an opportunity to learn from that and see how this young man is developing. See where he’s come in a year and see what Byron Leftwich is and how they develop and to see a guy go in and have success and being young and see a guy have failure and it will be a lot fun to skip all of it.”

Courtesy Of Buccaneers Public Relations Department

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