Posted in General News

Raheem Morris, Ronde Barber & Barrett Ruud quotes

by Roland Johnson on August 1, 2009

HEAD COACH RAHEEM MORRIS

(Opening comments)
“The first practice we came out, had a team meeting today where I wanted to stress discipline, no excuses and high expectations. We talked about guys having their assignments ready, being assignment ready and staying back to back on the line at practice. We talked about no excuses, no diving for balls, staying off the ground, it’s the same thing as dropping a third down catch. Once we realize that all that stuff ties together, we’ll become a better and better team and we’ll be able to formulate this thing how we want it. The high expectation thing we talked about the other day, we talked about competing to be the very best. Whether you’re competing for a position, it’s the same thing as competing to win on the football field. We want to go out there and win everyday. So those things were kind of our themes of today’s practice and where we want to go in training camp. And obviously we have been talking the whole time about the physical play, which was displayed very well on the nine on seven I thought, and it kind of set the tempo for the rest of practice and how it was going to be. Today nothing was live, I’m going to let them ease into it before we actually go live, but the threat of it was pretty nice.”

(On the decision to wear pads on the first day of practice)
“You know for me, for you guys, I know for our team, I just believe that pads are going to be our winning edge. There’s no other place like Tampa that you have to come play at 1:00 in the afternoon and try to win. Schedule makers, a lot of people looked at it as a negative that we didn’t have a night game, I looked at it and said we have 1:00 games, people are going to come down here and get tortured. It’s going to be hot, and we’re going to be used to it. We’re going to embrace it. We’re going to love it. We’re going out in pads and running around in it. It’s a big difference, you can do all you want to do to try to simulate it, you can put on weight pads, you can do all the stuff you want to do, but until you put that helmet on and the shoulder pads and you run around in them it’s a big difference. You go ask those wide receivers today, and those defensive backs, they won’t have that same bounce this afternoon.”

(On the set-up outside at camp)
“I love the set up, it’s awesome. For us to get a chance to go over there and sign autographs at the beginning of practice, then get a couple autographs done at the end of practice. When you’re walking in, you can hear the fans talking to you, clearly. I think I got patted on the shoulder by a guy today, but it’s great. The people coming here to see us are the people that love us. That’s the people we want to embrace, we want to give them an all-access view. There’s no other training camp site across the country that’s as close as ours, that’s going to be as close as ours.”

(On Louis Holmes limping off practice)
“He’s day to day. It didn’t look too serious, I have to go talk to Todd (Toriscelli) for you, but other than that, that’s all I have for you right now. Practice had to keep moving, if a man goes down, we have a training staff to deal with that. Once I meet with those guys, I’ll come back and fill everyone in. But like I said, I don’t think it was serious.”

(On Ronde Barber’s importance to the defense)
“Ronde’s at a point in his career right now, where he’s been called a system corner. You guys have called him a system corner before, the national media has called him it before, I mean he’s out to prove you guys wrong. He’s not a system corner. If he’s a system corner, I don’t know any other cover two corners out there that put up those kind of numbers. So keep producing those system corners and maybe you can call him that. Right now he’s in a new system, he’s out to redefine himself in this system. He’s got a great mindset, he enjoys being here, we enjoy having him and we’re looking forward to it.”

(On the emphasis of making big plays on offense)
“You have to be a power team. When you’re a power team, you run the ball and people tend to load up the box, it’s common sense. You have to put more people in the box to stop the run when you’re running downhill like that. When you open up a nine on seven and you get a nice little gash in there and you get Derrick Ward coming through there with a full head of steam on your safety, you want to get a little jump on him and then you’re going to throw to Antonio (Bryant) like we did in practice today. It was an up and down for both sides of the ball. I’m on an emotional roller coaster right now, I don’t coach either side. I’m struggling, I’m throwing high fives to both sides of the ball, I’m happy about every play. So I’m in a nice place, but you’ve seen the offense jump out ahead with a big play, then you see the defense come back with a big interception a couple plays later. That up and down flow of offense and defense is great but, when you have the ability to be an explosive offense by having explosive offensive players like Antonio Bryant, Kellen Winslow, Michael Clayton it’s great. They showed some explosiveness today.

(On the quarterback situation)
“They came out today and they competed. Obviously they’re going to be evaluated just like everyone else on our team. I can’t wait to get upstairs and watch the tape of those guys, individually get a chance to throw. You got a chance to see Byron (Leftwich), you got a chance to see Luke (McCown), you got a chance to see the other guys sprinkled in with some of the team drills. It helps them, it’s great. Everyone’s going to throw speculation ‘Raheem you can’t rep four quarterbacks.’ Maybe not, let me figure that out.”

(On Jim Bates defensive schemes)
“If you put Monte (Kiffin) and Jim Bates in the same room they probably could have a discussion from here until we all leave the earth, because they aren’t going anywhere. That’s the kind of people they are. When you get a chance to sit around Monte (Kiffin) for that long, you know it. One of Monte’s favorite sayings is ‘I got it,’ but he never let a player say ‘I got it.’ So Ronde (Barber) had the ability to suck in as much knowledge as he could in those years. But now he’s got the ability to get some stuff from Jim Bates, it’s more knowledge, it’s different to him. So he’s loving it. For me, it’s a learning curve, but it’s still Jim. Like all great people do, they steal great ideas. So I stole it all from (Monte) Kiffin, now he’s stealing it from me. And I’m doing the same thing to him. So we’re just up there being big thieves and working together. I’m loving it. We talk about direction, we talk about planning, we talk about what we want to see, how aggressive we want to play. I can control a lot of that stuff, I can dictate that tempo, but he’ll call it. He’s done a great job, and I’m loving the relationship we have.”

(On the significance of the QB competition)
“Like I said all along, if you don’t have a quarterback you’re not going to win many games in this league. It’s tough to win without a true number one quarterback that everyone wants to rally behind. We’ve had quarterbacks in spurts, Jeff Garcia had his years, Brad Johnson had his years but other than that we kind of hit a lull. Shaun King had a year, some of those guys come in, but you’re looking for that guy who can be a franchise guy, the guy’s going to stand behind the quarterback for 10 years and you go out there and say there is no quarterback competition whatsoever. That’s the most important position we have, the most important position on the field. It’s always going to be the most important position and you have to put double emphasis on it and that’s what we’re doing.”

(On his first day as head coach at training camp)
“I took some advice from Rod Marinelli. He’s told me ‘you see a little, you see a lot.’ So I might have been watching everything, but not at the same time. I focus on something each play, I wanted to see what I wanted to get done that play, and the rest I’ll catch on tape. I guess you just develop when you become a head coach, especially when you’re walking around. I see plays, I know the script, I have the script, I want to see what I want to get done on this play, I can look at those players and find out whether I’m getting it or not. So I’m trying to see a little to make myself see a lot of the big picture and it’s really helping me out. Now I move around, I can’t get locked in like I did as a defensive back coach, but right now I get a chance to see all the positions. And when you really get to watch it is when you go to individual drills, and hear these guys coach and hear these guys teach and you really try to emphasize those points.”

(On the cool-down tent)
“There is none. We fired it (laughing). We want to embrace this thing. There is no cool-down tent on Sundays. When we go inside that locker room it is not that cool. It is pretty tight in there, and we are all together. We want to create that type of environment. We had some water breaks, four minute breaks. I want to flush their fluids. I want to make sure they are hydrated. We want to be safe. At the same time, I don’t want to go into a place where it is 50-degrees cool and the linemen are in there for 20 minutes and come out and everything is great. We want to stay out there in this heat and embrace it, so when teams come down here they are looking for the cool-down tent.”

(On what he was pleased with today)
“Just the effort. I have been talking about the pad level. I have talked about the ball, and playing physical. So, that was the thing that pleased me the most, the excitement of guys coming off the ball, being physical and staying on their feet. We had a couple guys go down; there is no doubt about it. For the most part, there was real athletic play. I saw a great double-team by (Jeff) Faine and Davin Joseph today on Ryan Sims where they blew him out of the gap and they all stayed up on their feet. Ryan Sims was a little ticked off. He came in the next play and he held his gap, and it was the same double-team. That is the type of stuff that I am seeing. They are competing, coming back and the feeling out how you are going to practice. There is no slow through this thing, just a fast through and go. That is the thing I was most pleased about.”

(On what he is hoping to see from Gaines Adams)
“Double-digit sacks. That is what he is going to be graded on. There is no secret about it. I have no problem telling Gaines, ‘Hey Gaines, if you don’t do it this year, then you are going to be considered a bust.’ I told him that in the team meeting. I tell him that every once in a while when we walk out together. He can’t wait. He is embracing it, and he is going to come out ready to play. There is no other thing that is going to define Gaines Adams more than his sacks and production. Production speaks volumes. That is how we have always lived.”

(On Barrett Ruud, his leadership and playing with Derrick Brooks)
“No disrespect to Derrick, I just talked to him this morning, but Barrett has been the leader ever since he took over the snaps. He has been calling it. He has been checking us out of defenses. He does it all. He is amazing. He is really the quarterback on defense. He has been that way for the last couple of years. That is why you miss him so much in OTA days. He is a great player. He is going to be a great player. I hate to throw around ‘Great player’ too much, but he has the ability to be that type of guy. He knows it. He leads that way. If he has a bad game, then the whole defense has a bad game. That is how he works. His defense and his leadership role have come out already. We just didn’t know it. You guys just didn’t know. I have seen it from the defensive backs. I used to tell my safeties all the time, ‘When you don’t know, just listen to Barrett. He will get you right.’ If Barrett is wrong, then we are all going to be wrong together. At the end of the day we are going to be right.”

(On Barrett Ruud in Jim Bates’ defense)
“I don’t know. It is hard to say that for him to make more plays. He has led our team in tackles. He has caused fumbles and has interceptions. He does a lot of things. He is kind of one of those guys that drop 30 on you, and you don’t know until the end of the game. That is how he has been since he has been starting. If he does anything else, then let’s walk him to Canton.”

(On his message for the team for training camp)
“You guys think I am joking, but I treat them just like a big DB (defensive backs) room. It is the same thing as what I have been doing. When I go out there, the message is discipline, no excuses and high expectations. We went over a couple guidelines and a couple procedural things that we had to get done today. That is what we wanted to stress today. That is what we wanted to do. To be a great football team, you have to be disciplined. That means assignments are perfect. That means doing everything the right way, on the field and off the field, whatever. That is all tied in together. We talked about no excuses. Who was talking to the referee? What are we talking to him for? He is not on our team. Deal with it. Move on. Next play. Here we go, we have to hold it. How can we get 2nd and 20 back? High expectations, they compete to win. We are competing right now. That is what we are here for, in training camp. That was my message. I knew that in OTA days. I couldn’t wait.”

(On his expectations)
“Championships. That is the same thing that I have been saying the whole time. Our goal is to come here and win championships. Our goal is to come here and win championships. There is no doubt about it. We want to win our division. We want to go into the playoffs and win the conference championship. Every year that I am coaching, we want to win the conference championship and go to the Big Dance and have a shot to win that one. The whole goal is to win. I can’t coach any other way. I don’t know how to coach to come in second.”

(On how Carnell “Cadillac” Williams looked today)
“He is good. He looked good. I was fired up about him, for him to get off and running like that. He has no choice but to get better. I can’t wait to see him tomorrow and this evening.”

CB RONDE BARBER

(On lining up at wide receiver at the start of practice)
“I needed to warm up. I’ve got creaky knees and all of that other old stuff that you guys are going to characterize me as (smiling). I was just out there warming up. No intentions of playing wide-out, we have too many good ones.”

(On the talk about him in the offseason)
“I kind of just ignored it, tried to anyway. I’m a guy that lives in reality and at the end of the day it just wasn’t something that I needed to deal with. It was something completely out of my control, what people say about me or want to write about me. I just go out and do my job. Hopefully that speaks for me.”

(On the many offseason changes)
“It’s part of this game. That’s a cliché and I hate using clichés, but it really is. This team moves on without those guys, just because it has to. One day it will move on without me, it probably won’t be 13 years from now, it’s going to happen. I think they are alright with it, they’ve made peace with it. I’ve talked to all them, I actually got a text from Derrick [Brooks] last night wishing me luck and giving me the words I need to give them from him. Just because they aren’t here doesn’t mean they don’t love us anymore or we don’t love them, that’s just the way it works.”

(On the extra pressure of being a veteran leader)
“I don’t feel any. I’ve talked to Raheem a lot this offseason; I spent a lot of time with him. One of the things that we got out of it was that new leaders need to emerge. In 1996, 1997 and in 1995, I really wasn’t here, but when those guys really started to emerge as leaders there were veteran guys here; however, they took over by their play and the way they carry themselves. That has to happen now too. I would love to lead this ship by myself, but that’s not going to happen. Barrett (Ruud) has to step up, Gaines Adams has to step up and be a leader, Earnest (Graham), whoever our quarterback is needs to step up and be a leader. It’s not just me.”

LB BARRETT RUUD

(On talks about contract extension)
“I basically have had no talks about it. I’ve kind of come to terms with myself where I’m just thinking about football right now. I know I have one year left and I’m excited. I think the best thing for the team and for me is to have a great year. If you play well individually and your defense plays great and your team wins games then only good things will happen.”

(On getting a text from Derrick Brooks)
“I did. The Don actually texted me. What was funny was that our trainer, Todd Toriscelli, was saying how there are heat warnings and how Derrick used to wear rubber suits under his pads and Todd said he didn’t recommend anyone wearing long sleeves. But the Don taught me well so I have to suffer in this heat. But I still think of Derrick quite a bit.”

(On if there is any extra pressure on him)
“Not really honestly. You really don’t think about it. I am going to do the same thing that I have always done but I’m just going to try to do them a little better and try to lead by example. As soon as the huddle starts it is my defense and I know I have to make all the calls and organize everything. What I say goes. I’m still not a big talker in the locker room in front of the team in team meetings. But when we step on the field it is my defense.”
(On the fact that you are a leader on the team and if it makes you put the talk about the contract extension on hold to help you focus on what is best for the team)
“It is part of it. Maybe not so much the leader part of it but the fact of making the defense successful helps me and helps everybody. When you win and you are a successful team then everybody involved will benefit. Right now it is not the biggest thing for me. I know that I am helpful to the team. As long as we win games then it helps everybody out.”

(On talking to anybody in the organization about a contract extension)
“Not really. Like I said, it was kind of frustrating at times in the off-season but I honestly feel pretty good now. We are just worrying about trying to get better right now. One thing about training camp is you get into that Zombie land and you don’t think about anything else besides improving. In that case it is somewhat refreshing because we are in training camp so it is good to have a clear mind.”

(On being caught up since the OTA camp)
“What is nice is when you start training camp it is like a review session again where you can freshen up and you have two weeks before that first preseason game. These two a day practices are kind of a grind but I need training camp right now. I have to learn Jim’s system inside and out and I am going to need every practice to make sure I am ready for that first preseason game and then take it into the season.”

(On the changes in the defense and being a leader to make sure people are in the right position)
“It is a little bit tough in the sense to make sure because sometimes I am a little unsure but I have to make it sound like I know what I am doing. That is the toughest part right now. One thing I learned early on is that if everybody is wrong then you are all right. I try to take a real decisive approach where I am a little unsure of the call but I make it loud and hopefully everybody rolls with me. That is another reason why I need this training camp. I need to learn Jim’s system and his terminology. We do a lot of the same stuff as last year but we call them something different so I have been saying the wrong thing at times but it will all come together.”

(On whether terminology or responsibility is the biggest thing right now)
“Terminology I would say. I can definitely do everything that they ask me to do but it is just a matter of saying everything right with the right call so that is why practice is pretty important right now.”

(On wearing pads on the first day and if there were any complaints)
“I think everybody was pretty excited. Usually you have a day or two that are kind buffer days to get your legs underneath you but we get right into it and I think everybody is pretty excited. It is always fun to see the younger guy’s faces in about five or six days but today was definitely fun and we were all excited to be out there.”

(On the difference between this camp and previous camps)
“I think, kind of what we just said, is the pads. The padded practices. I think everyday we will be wearing shoulder pads. Jon (Gruden) was big on reps and running a lot of plays. He wanted to experiment with a lot of plays on offense. This one is less reps but more physical play and slowing down the tempo but each play is real hard. It is not so much about getting as many looks as we can.”

(On the later start time for practice and how the heat was out there today)
“It is always hot. It is hot at 8 in the morning and it is hot at 8 at night so I didn’t really notice a change in the heat but I like that though. I like being able to meet before the practices and with Raheem’s schedule, we get done about 8:30 at night so we can have a few hours to get our sanity together. Instead of just going home and falling asleep right after meals, we can actually go home and watch TV for a couple hours before we have to go to bed.”

Courtesy of the Buccaneers Public Relations Department

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