Bucs Central

Monday Quotes: Raheem Morris

Morris lashes out at dropped oppotunities

Morris lashes out at dropped opportunities

Head coach Raheem Morris addressed the media Monday and blasted receiver Michael Clayton for asking for more opportunities in the passing game, then subsequently drop  the extra opportunities. Morris spoke about Maurice Stovall being elevated to starter in place of Clayton. He touched on Josh Johnson’s performance from his first start to his second start. He also answered questions on if the defense is blitzing enough.

(Opening statement)
“We went back, watched the tape, and obviously extremely disappointed in yesterday’s result and how it played out. The bottom line is we had too many missed opportunities by too many of our good players and we’re just not getting it done right now. We can’t have missed opportunities. They took advantage of their two opportunities they had, the two really big plays. The ones you could take back and you’ve seen their good players take advantage of those opportunities and we have to have ours do the same thing on the other side of the ball, so that’s the bottom line.”

(On Michael Clayton)
“I can’t let him say he betrayed my trust, because I brought him into my office and let him know and we’ll talk one on one and we’ll talk to the team about all of those things. He has to stand up and do that every week. He has to go out there and play like he did versus Dallas. He’s counted on. He’s one of the guys we’re depending on and he knows that. He’s got to play like that and he hasn’t been. I’m not going to say he betrayed my trust or anything like that. But I did stand on the table for him and I did that for a reason because I want him to know that. I want his family to know that, so when he goes out there and plays I want him to play hard for me. I want him to play the same way for me and he will. I believe he will.”

(On Maurice Stovall getting a shot at a starting position)
“We’re always considering the best 53 and that’s got to include the best 45 and that’s obviously got to include the best 11 guys to be out on the field, so that’s always a consideration. There’s always an opportunity for Stovall to get out there and make some plays and maybe it’s time for him to get his couple of opportunities. So you won’t be wrong by saying that Stovall deserves a shot to be out there. What he’s done on special teams so far has been good. What’s he done in some of the different areas of the building here has been good, so that’s not far fetched. It’s not a far cry.”

(On Clayton previously asking for more catches)
“That’s right. That’s exactly right. You have to be accountable for what you ask for, be careful what you ask for, be careful what you wish for. I’m sure he’s feeling that emotion right now and today. When we get in our team meeting, I’m sure we’ll address it. I’m sure I will, definitely without a question and we’ll do that as a team first. We’ll get the feeling, we’ll get the thoughts and we’ll get what you want.”

(On if he has a list of items that need to be addressed with the team)
“Every day after a loss, every day after whatever happens after a game, whether it’s practice or whatever it is, you have to formulate in your mind what your team needs at that time and what they need today is what I talked about in my opening statement. It’s the missed opportunities, the reality of the situation. Because right now what tends to happen is you’ll go back and everybody will look for their own answers and when you start looking for your own answers, you start to mess up other things. Ronde Barber played excellent, but when Ronde Barber goes back today and tries to look for his own answers he’ll maybe find himself making mistakes next week because he looked for somebody else’s answers instead of looking for his own answers. It’s the coach’s job to find out what went wrong. It’s the coach’s job to find out what we need to do. It’s the player’s job to go out there and execute and that’s what we need to do. We have to go out and everyday brings a different challenge, every game brings different challenges. I have to give them reality. I have to give them what it is because if they all start looking for answers then we’ll have too many Indians and not enough Chiefs and so it’s time to go get that done.”

(On what the team needs to do)
“We have to go back and the players that are supposed to make plays have to make them. Talk about the missed opportunity, because those opportunities are seven points. They’re big plays.They’re huge plays and those are the plays that have to be done on offense and on defense we have to stop giving up the big play. We have to stop giving up the big play and it can’t be about the same guy giving up the big play every time. We have to go back and figure out how not to give up those big plays and that one individual has to stand up, so it’s about missed opportunity on both sides of the ball. Realistically when you’re a corner or you’re a safety and they throw deep balls at you, that’s your opportunity to make a play for your team and you have to stand up and make those plays. Aqib [Talib] stood up last week and made three out of his four and next week he has to stand up and this week he made all of them. DeSean Jackson had one catch for three yards. Those guys have to stand up and take advantage of their opportunities. They have to make their plays and at the same time if they can’t make their plays then we have to find a way to get better. We have to find a way to get a better 53, a better 45, a better 11 and so on and so on.”

(On opponents’ passer rating)
“The number you’re talking about; Aqib Talib, you’re talking about Ronde Barber both playing extremely well. You’re talking about Tanard [Jackson] coming back, giving us a bunch of help, playing pretty well. We need some of the other players to step up, to step their game up. We need Sabby Piscitelli to come along; the Elbert Mack’s all those type of guys need to step up now. It’s their turn. When the two guys are playing well that are supposed to be playing well for you they need the other guys, the role players, the other guys to come on and become what they are right now. It can’t switch around from week to week. You can’t come back next week and let Ronde Barber and Aqib Talib play bad and the other guys play well. It has to come together at some point and that’s what we are looking for. Along with the pass rush, the opportunity, the calls, you could put everything involved in that. It’s all of us. If you get a couple sacks, the passer rating goes down as well, so it’s accompanied with everything. But obviously, I look at it from a defensive back perspective in the first place because that’s where I want to look at. I’m always talking about self evaluating and I’m a defensive back coach at heart so I can see it as self evaluating as far as that. I can look at that and can be sick about that stuff. That’s easy for me being a defensive backs coach, but it comes along with everything. The defensive line, the rush, it’s all included.”

(On if he was frustrated by his team missing chances the Eagles gave them)
“I don’t know if they were given, we actually took a couple of chances. And we had a bunch of opportunities there. That’s why you go for it on fourth-and-two and fourth-and-inches down in the red zone because you have an opportunity to score. When you’re moving the ball down like that, you go for it, you have an opportunity to score, you’re on the road, you’re playing a really good football team, you make those plays and you win those football games you’re not supposed to win according to this paper, the stats, according to the numbers. You go take your shots. You go get them.”

(On if the team is blitzing enough on defense)
“Again, that’s when you start looking for your own answers. That’s a good observation but I told those guys the same thing. The big touchdown play was a double-team with Ronde Barber and Will Allen. That should be the result of at least a knocked-down pass. The other one was the result of quarters, and when a quarterback looks at quarters – you can go look across the league – he looks at quarters and he’s supposed to throw the check-down to the back because he’s got a one-on-one with the Mike ‘backer. They threw it up top, took a chance, and that guy made a better play than us. So it’s hard to look back and say, ‘Hey, we should have been blitzing right there.’ One of the times we did blitz, we got a pass interference on Sabby [Piscitelli], gave them a first down. He got it on the tight end. The guys that should have gotten the pass interference were the guys that were covering those little fast guys. So you can’t really say what you should be doing, what you could be doing. We had a couple blitzes and we’ve got to execute better. Some of the blitzes resulted in some sacks; we had a sack by Jimmy Wilkerson on one of the blitzes. So we had some good, some bad out of it. We mixed up our coverages a bunch, played some off, played some man, played some zone coverage. It was good. And from an offensive standpoint, what Philly did was a good job. But what we did was a good job with some of them, too. Two Kellen Winslow touchdowns were the result of execution, being done exactly right, getting the ball to Kellen Winslow when you needed to, touchdown. We need some other guys to make their opportunities. A couple times maybe with Josh it was a bad throw, a couple times it was a dropped pass, a couple times it was whatever it was. Those have all got to come together. The protection’s got to get it right every single time. You can’t do it sometimes. It’s about doing it every time.”

(On if the lineup needs to be changed, such as with Elbert Mack, if the scheme isn’t going to change)
“When you talk about the player, he’s got to step up. You’ve seen him make some plays and he’s obviously missed his fair share of plays. He’s got to step up and make them more consistently. He’s got to get better because right now he’s the best option. We’ve got to get better as a football team. We’ve got to get better as a football team. We know that. And Elbert Mack’s got to get better. He doesn’t want to lose his spot. He wants to step up and be a better player, because he will be. We’ll have to go see.”

(On Josh Johnson’s performance and when Josh Freeman might get a chance)
“This is Josh’s football team right now – Johnson. You’ll see Josh Johnson. Freeman’s got to take advantage of the opportunity whenever it comes and when it comes. Right now we’re giving the ball to Josh Johnson and letting him go out there and play football. He did make strides yesterday. He had a couple errors and he had some errors that are going to seem like his fault, some of the interceptions, but maybe the protection was wrong, forcing it out early, or whatever. He did some really good things. He did four or five things that are correctable, that could lead to a win or could lead to that game having us in position to win. That’s what we’ve got to clean up with him. That’s what we’ve got to get better with him. I did like where he went. He gave us a couple opportunities to make some plays that we didn’t make for him. He gave us a chance on a bunch of other plays. He threw some of those throws we didn’t see last week that we wanted him to throw. He got a better comfort level with some of the wideouts throwing some of those balls. He definitely got a better comfort level with Kellen Winslow and the stuff they were able to do together. He made strides and he’s continuing to get better and we’ve got to get everybody to play. He played hard, he played fast and he played fearless, sometimes a little too fearless.”

(More on when Freeman would get an opportunity)
“Right now Josh Johnson’s the starting quarterback. I’m not going to think about putting Freeman in there when I’ve got Josh Johnson as my starter. We’ve got to get Josh Johnson better right now. Freeman’s got to be in the lab in his mind saying he’s the starter, preparing like a starter. When he has an opportunity, that’s when he’ll be in there. Right now, you’ve got to say Josh Johnson’s your starting quarterback and coach that guy.”

(On Jeff Faine coming back)
“He definitely helps you with all the protection issues that you may have. He makes the calls, he’s the leader, he’s all that stuff. So he’ll be out there helping with all that stuff. Not that Mahan didn’t do a good job, it’s just Faine. We look at him as a leader; he is one of our captains. The running game becomes a lot better, talking about maintaining, holding blocks. The demeanor of that unit, of that room – when he’s in there, he’s on them and he’s telling them what to do and how he wants it done. All that stuff changes with Jeff Faine out there. Faine is just one of our very good players. He’s been a very good player for the last couple years.”

(On wanting to run the ball more)
“You definitely don’t want to go in the game throwing 50 times. That’s a result of, again, the big plays you give up on defense, the big play that you missed out on ffense. Because you can get that right back and you’re right back into your running game. When the game goes up by 14 points you’re forced to throw the ball a little bit more. Yesterday, Philly did a good job stopping our run early but we didn’t do a good job maintaining our blocks on those things. Cadillac made some plays by himself. It would have been the same result if nobody was out there on some of those plays. And I’m going to tell them that and they need to hear that as a unit, not to anybody individually up front. All of them. They need to know that stuff. We’ve got to open some holes for him. We’ve got to get him to the second level because we know what he can do once he gets there. That’s important. Derrick Ward, too. Derrick Ward got out there a couple times. A couple times he got to the second level and made plays happen, broke some tackles. We’ve got to help them.”

(On why the preparation isn’t leading to a win)
“Because it isn’t all together. We have to have positive, consistently. I’m not the negative guy. I’ll go in there and be negative with those guys. You guys all see the negative; the negative is pretty obvious to me. That is easy to find, it is easy to see, it is easy to point at. It is easy for me to come up here and point fingers at one guy. It’s easy for me to sit up here and point ingers at everybody but I want to accentuate the positives because I want the team to see that so they can repeat what they’ve done before. It’s muscle memory. If we keep talking about the positive things they’ve done, they’ll do it. Come this week, I might become a little bit more negative with those guys with some of the stuff that we need to get done because some of the better players that we have in our building made their plays yesterday. I’m talking about the missed opportunities. So, that’s what it was yesterday. It was missed opportunities. Those big plays, the play that was hit on Elbert Mack the second play of the game, boom, 7-0. We come right back out, second play of our drive, throw a big play up and get a dropped pass. Same situation; it could have been a negative for the Philadelphia Eagles this morning but it’s not because we missed our opportunities.”

(On how the team can avoid a long losing streak)
“The only thing I can worry about right now is becoming 0-6 or being 1-5. If I start thinking about 0-10 or 0-15, that’s exactly what I will be when the time comes. Right now we have to go get a win and the only way you will get a win is knowing you are not alone. I know I have 53 soldiers, and there better be 53 soldiers in there right now for me to come in there and meet with those guys, be ready to go and get their next win. I have 10, 11 or 12 coaches upstairs who better be soldiers and get ready to get their next win. We had our coaches meeting this morning. Everything we need to do, we have to talk about. We have to move onto the Carolina Panthers, find out what the game plan is going to be and last week’s game plan was on defense. We dealt with the funky formations. We did a great job dealing with all that wildcat stuff. Michael Vick coming in for all of that trickery stuff. We shut that stuff down pretty well. The other thing was play coverage, we didn’t, do well enough. We did with Aqib, we did with Ronde. We didn’t on Brent Celek, we didn’t on Jeremy Maclin. We have a problem there. The other thing was on offense, dealing with the blitz. We did sometimes, about 30 percent of the time. We don’t want to get carried away. About 30 percent of the time we made plays and did deal with the blitz. The protection issue was out; there were the phases of blitzes because they showed every single one of them yesterday. We dealt with all of that stuff. On special teams, the plan was to deal with Mr. Anthrax (DeSean Jackson), and we did. He had one return for about four yards. Those are the keys to winning the game. We got some of them done but didn’t get the other ones done. If we can somehow find how to put those keys of the game together, we will probably win. That’s what we have to do against Carolina, that’s what we have to do this week. That’s how you keep everybody together and everyone not thinking about being 0 and whatever. The only thing you can think about is being 1-5 at this point.”

(On if he finds himself being sterner)
“I’m the same dude. I’m going to smile in the face of adversity because I know where we are going. I have all the confidence in the world we know what we are doing. I have confidence in our ownership, I have confidence in our management, I have confidence in our coaches and I have confidence in our players. The ones that I have to get better, we will.”

(On how much yesterday’s game against the Eagles could benefit Josh Johnson)
“That is a great learning experience. That is a great opportunity for him. That is playing against an elite system, where they come from. You know how they play, you know what they want to do, they know what they want to do. For him to go out there and recognize a bunch of the things that he did, he just needs to clean up a few other things and it should make some other games a lot easier now. I’m not saying that any other week would be but it could make some games a lot easier.”

Courtesy of Buccaneers Public Relations Department

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