Chris Fedor over at SportsRadioInterviews.com transcribed the radio appearance from Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris with Steve Duemig of 620 WDAE The Sports Animal. The most interesting theme being floated around the Tampa area of late, has been the number of potential starters the Buccaneers seem to think that they have found from the 2010 draft class.
On how many starters he thinks he has from the 2010 draft class:
“I made the bold prediction earlier that we can get four potential starters out of this draft, but we potentially got more. We got nine picks and we’re excited about all nine guys. Then we went out and did some free agent work and we’re able to get excited about those guys. Realistically those top three, four picks, five picks, six pixks, they can all be out there playing substantial roles. If you’re a third down rusher, or a nickel corner, or a punter, you’re a starter. You can say what you want to say. Whether you come out of the tunnel or not and get to run through the cheerleaders, that’s one thing, but when you get those roles defined and what you do, those guy are starters in your eyes and that’s all you care about. When we say starter, we’re talking about having a substantial role on this football team. I’m not gonna limit a guy coming in here like a (Cody) Grimm that he’s not gonna be a starter for us. If he’s a four-phase player on special teams and he’s our third or fourth safety on game day, he’s a starter as well. These roles are important to us and I know they’re important to our community.”
It would seem, that the company line is being towed by both Morris and general manager Mark Dominik, as both men seem to think the team potentially has 4-6 starters if you include punter Brent Bowden whom the team selected in the sixth round.
But two of the more alarming statements from the interview are the two below as the first statement by Morris will be viewed entirely as a negative by many, but in reality it might be one of the smartest things I have read about Morris since he has taken over as head coach.
On how much say he has in the decision making process:
“I’m a controversial guy. I try to bring controversy amongst coaches and the scouts. I want disagreement. I’ve said this a million times. I’m not the smartest guy in the world and I don’t want to be. If I was making every decision by myself, we would be in trouble. I want to have people around me who have ideas, who have opinions, and can state them. At the end of the day, myself and Mark Domenik, we’re going to make the final call. I want to at least hear your opinion, I want to at least go through the thought process, I want to at least know what you’re thinking, I want it to be heated, whether we got that player or we didn’t and we’ll find out in four years whether you were right or we were right. So that’s how we work it.”
The above is borderline brilliant, as it shows Morris wants his coaching staff to feel apart of the process and have a stake in what is being done from a personnel standpoint as well as whats being done on the football field.
On what he learned from last year’s season:
“One of the things you learn is that you gotta do it your way. You gotta go out there, you gotta learn from every mistake, you gotta do things, and you can’t look back. You figure it out. Everything you do, every decision you make isn’t going to be the right one. But at the end of the day, you’ve got to feel good and you gotta feel confident with how you did it. That’s how we got better throughout the season. I wanted to start out with the two strong coordinators that had coached in this league before and had success in this league before and that didn’t work. You gotta make decisions and you gotta make the change. It’s hard to make those changes. It’s easy to wait year to year and month to month and just try to figure out what you should do again, but you know what? I decided to do those things. Same thing with players. You gotta figure out that you’re gonna make this team young and build for the future. You gotta be strong willed to go through the young players and we did. Now we got younger players and I’m sitting here like I’m in a college town with a bunch of 20-year olds running around the field and a chance to grow together and be successful. If the thing works out, man we’ll all be here for 12-15 years partying some Super Bowl Championships and everything that we want to do here in Tampa. We’ll all feel good about it. We have a nice core group of guys and now we’re just building to those guys and we’re ready to unite and conquer.”
Now the last quote is a stark contrast to what has been reported by local media outlets. It was floated around and bantered about that Morris was not on board with the Jeff Jagodzinski hiring, but after reading that, it would clearly seem he was totally on board with bringing Jagodzinski in as the team’s offensive coordinator and even admits it was a mistake.
So for those that are of the mind set, that the Glazer’s are the ones that forced the hires of Bill Bates and Jagodzinski. I guess we finally have the full disclousre and thinking of why they were intially hired. Now lets see if the truth somehow gets floated out as to what caused the firings.