Bucs Central

Tuesday Quotes: Raheem Morris

Morris addresses the emdia after giving the players four consecutive days off

Morris addresses the media after giving the players four consecutive days off

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris addressed the media after practice, Tuesday afternoon at One Buc Place and talked about whether or not all the attention is embarrassing becuase the team is winless…what to expect from rookie Josh Freeman…the identity of the team and if he sees improvement from the coaching staff.

(On the change in kickers)
“It’s about constant evaluation of what we talked about, the bottom of our roster. You’ve got to constantly evaluate that. We weren’t getting it done in practice; we weren’t getting the kickoffs that we wanted in games. Hopefully Connor can come in here, he had a nice workout, a really good workout, and now it’s his turn. Let’s see what he can do.”

(On having to get better play around the quarterback)
“We went over that as a team. We talked about what we’ve done well this morning. I had a tape from the first seven games of the season, and I showed them everything they’ve done well. I showed them all the good stuff that they’ve done. I showed them all the calls that we got in place, all the calls that went well, all the calls that when we executed the right way they worked. For whatever reason, they weren’t executed the right way all the time, whether it’s laziness, whether it’s taking a play off, whether it’s a guy here or a guy there. You’ve got to eliminate those. You’ve got to find a way to be better on every single play, and you’ve got to challenge the guys to do that on every single play. The only way you do it is you do it on every single practice snap, every single rep. Every time you go out there and get an opportunity to play this game, it’s game day for you. It’s game day for us. It’s game day for everybody here. You’ve got to take that mentality and execute it in a game. We had some players stand out in the first half of the season. We had Kellen Winslow do well at times, we had Cadillac [Williams] do well at times, Derrick Ward do well at times, Michael Clayton in the first game of the season, A.B. [Antonio Bryant] had his ups and downs. It’s time to stop all the excuses and everybody has to go out there and play together. I also talked to my offense today, challenged those guys about their demeanor in practice and how they go and how they finish. They have to be the lifeline right now a little bit and I’m asking them to be. They’ve got the seniority, they’ve got the vets on that side of the ball. It’s their turn to stand up, it’s their turn to lead us, it’s their turn to do it. Since I came in, from ’02 to ’08, we’ve been led by the defense, we’ve been driven by the defense. We had guys over there that led us and did a great job. And now it’s their time a little bit. Let’s see if they can lead us. If the defense catches them and they pass and they become the leaders, then that’s great too. But we are going to be driven from the bottom up, we’re going to be driven around here by our guys and by our unit.”

(On if he is encouraged by how the team has played hard and not given up)
“It’s not okay to lose. There’s no excuse for it. It’s not okay. It’s not acceptable. And we’re never going to accept it. But, have we been in every game, have we had an opportunity, have we given ourselves an opportunity? Just about every one, except the one I keep going back to, which would be the Giants game. Other than that, we’ve had an opportunity in each one of those football games. Now, we’ve given some away, we’ve given some opportunities away, we haven’t taken advantage of some opportunities that we have to take advantage of. But you are encouraged. You feel like you’re able to go out there and win every weekend, and it’s no different this week. That’s what we’ve got to do, go out there and be our very best self and try to win.”

(On motivating players with playoffs being a slim chance, and players wondering if they’re going to be around next year)
“If you’re going to start looking around like that, you’re not going to be around here. If they’re the guys looking around saying, ‘I’m not going to be around here next year,’ they probably won’t be. That’s not up to me, that’s not up to you. That’s up to each individual in that locker room. You’ve got to control your own destiny. You’ve got to control what you control is what you tell them. The way you keep them up is the way you keep them going. The last time I checked, you can make it at 9-7, it’s happened before, and you can win nine in a row. There’s no rule that says you can’t do that. That’s up to us. That’s up to them. That’s up to everybody in this building, how we want to do it, how we want to handle it. But you control what you control. When you’re a professional, you’re paid to go out and perform. It doesn’t matter if you have a chance to go to the playoffs; every time you go out there it’s your obligation to win. Every time you step foot on the football field, there’s an obligation to give your very best and be your very best. That’s how you control it, that’s how you get it to go.”

(On if attention for being winless can be embarrassing)
“Embarrassment would be your word. There’s never a sense of embarrassment. The only thing we do…I’m not interested in sharing misery with anybody else in the league. I’m not interested in who else doesn’t have a win, I’m interested in getting our own win. That’s our job, that’s what we have to do. We’re responsible to go out and win every day. I’m not interested in sharing anything with the Rams, with the Titans, whoever else is. That’s not my job. Our job is to go out and get our first victory. That’s the only thing you can look at. You start looking at your longest losing streak, it will continue to be a streak. It will continue to be something that haunts your football team, it will continue to be something you talk about. That hasn’t come up one time. The only thing we look for is when we’re going to get our first win, and our next opportunity comes Sunday.”

(On what to expect from Josh Freeman)
“We talk about it all the time around here. We are very excited. We are very excited about his opportunity. You’re going to get a sneak preview of our future as far as our quarterback goes or however long he wants to make it. Unless he is lucky enough to be a guy like Brett [Favre] and do it for as long as he wants to. You get an opportunity to see that. At the same time you have to be patient. You know that you have to watch him, that he is going to make mistakes. It is the hardest position to play in the National Football League, there is no doubt about it. He has to go out there and be sharp with everything he does, everything we do on offense and on defense. He has to know everything. You have to be patient. You have to let him go out there and do trial and error, go through the mistakes, go through the errors, the success. You can’t ride the emotional roller coaster as a quarterback and get ready to play. It’s more excitement for the kid, it’s more excitement for him but at the same time you have to be patient and get ready for him to go out there and make mistakes as well.”

(On how the players came off the bye)
“If the practice we just had has anything to do with how they feel then it’s great. They came out there really energetic out of the box. I don’t know if it had anything to do with the team meeting this morning, their individual meetings, their hunger to win, their drive to go get a win, whatever it is. They came out today with a new, re-energized spirit to get their first win. They have nine games. They are looking at this thing like a nine game season for them. These guys are looking to go out there for nine games and do their best.”

(On if Earnest Graham will be taking reps at fullback)
“Earnest is the starting fullback. He will be the starting fullback until further notice. Right now, the work he has put in the past two or two and a half games has been phenomenal. We are very proud of him with how he’s done. We can’t ask for more from a guy. He is going to get better at that position.”

(On improvement of the coaches)
“Constant self evaluation, you’re exactly right, you should evaluate everything. How you come out of halftime, how you come out of the tunnel, how you practice, how I set up practice, how we arrange everything. Our practice was a little bit longer today, we had a little bit different periods today, and we had a couple different things we had to do today. I have to evaluate myself, we have to evaluate the players, we have to evaluate how are, what we’re asking them to do with the players, what we’re asking them to do as a coach, and how it’s being produced on the field, and what’s been happening is your seeing some good plays and you’re seeing some positive things, but you’re starting to see some of the mistakes. So how do you correct some of those mistakes, you make sure you correct them in practice, when it happens, right there on the spot, so when you get to the game, there’s not any issue coaching. And that’s what we’re trying to do, right now we have a little bit of cooler weather, nobody’s worried about staying out there so long, it’s becoming a good thing, we’ve embraced the heat long enough.”

(On identity of the team)
“You know we’ve been the closest 0-7 team ever. So with the identity, you’ve got to be pretty excited about it. These guys come out every week, there’s something you can take away from each game and every game that’s pretty good. When Tanard [Jackson] came back it was well documented how he came back and how he played and how physical he was going to be. Aqib Talib’s play on the field has been well documented, how physical and a shut down corner and those things he thought he could be. How Ronde has played, I don’t think we’ve heard Ronde’s name in a reception in a while, let alone a pass. And some of the positive things they’ve done, and the physical play you get from the O-line. We need more, we need more, and we need to do it more consistent. That’s how you become a winner, that’s how you become one of the teams that does long term winning. But, we’re getting it, the attitude, just like what I said, not quitting and being at every game and all those types of things is what you look for. The only thing you can ask for as a coach, now I’m asking them to do more. I’m asking them to go out there and actually win them.”

Courtesy of Buccaneers Public Relations Department

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