Posted in General News

Wednesday Raheem Morris Quotes

by Roland Johnson on September 17, 2009

Head coach Raheem Morris addressed keeping Jeremy Zuttah at guard. He also thinks the hits Byron Leftwich takes are over-exaggerated. Talks about the rotation of defensive tackles Chris Hovan, Ryan Sims, and Roy Miller with regards to stopping the inside run game. He also addressed the move to bring back veteran offensive lineman Sean Mahan.

HEAD COACH RAHEEM MORRIS
(Opening statement)
“Today we started on some Buffalo preparation. They are a good team, a lot of good players. They are kind of like us a little bit. They have some talent on their team; everyone kind of underrates them a little bit. They went out Monday, put up a really good performance. I know you don’t get any moral victories in this league, I know they felt the same way we do. Whenever you lose a game, whatever the score was, it doesn’t matter how close you were, you lose a game. None of that stuff matters, but they are a really good team, a really well coached team, I have a lot of respect for Dick Jauron. Roster moves, you guys already know about Sean Mahan back. We are still looking for the best 53. We have a bunch of guys in here that are working out for us. Injuries, E.J. Biggers is still out, he did not participate today. Antonio Bryant was limited today. Jeff Faine today is out. He obviously did not participate. Kyle Moore did not participate and John Gilmore was limited with his back today. We are getting a little healthy, we lost a couple. Not bad for your first week.”

(On whom the starting center would be this week)
“Well, of course we didn’t rep Faine. Obviously it won’t be Faine so we repped Mahan today and we repped Compas. Those two will be working at those positions, I don’t want to help Buffalo out too much but we’ll get one of those guys more than likely.”

(On keeping LG Jeremy Zuttah at guard)
“I want to keep Zuttah at home. That thing is working out too well. It is kind of like the old deal with the move of Michael Jordan to point guard because the point guard got hurt. I’m not saying that Zuttah is Michael Jordan but it’s one of those deals, moving a guy that is doing pretty well. To get another guy in there and plug him in, you go from two C players and let him remain at his B plus, A [grade] that he is playing and plug in the other guys.”

(On if he is concerned about the hits that Bryon Leftwich took)
“I overexaggerated that deal, just like you are right now. When I went back and looked at the tape, you are right, he took seven hits. Four of them came in the last drive, that last touchdown drive. He had three up until that point. It’s just when Byron gets hit, it’s so obvious because he is so big and tall, he lumbers down and falls slowly. You kind of put more into it. He’ll be sore. He is always going to stand in there. He’ll be the guy that stands in there and delivers the football. He is going to hold it a little longer than he should. He is going to do a whole bunch of stuff like that but he is also going to make the play when he holds onto it. He’ll make a dynamic throw down the field for a big time completion like he did with Clayton on the one right there before the half. I would like to get out of a game and my quarterback’s jersey is clean. The reality of that and the reality of that with Leftwich, that’s not what it is. He only got hit seven times, but that is seven too many. Four of them came in that last drive. That is kudos to the offensive line, kudos to those backs. When you go back to look at the tape, there were big time chips from the backs and big time chips from the tight ends.”

(On what surprised him the most about watching the game tapes)
“I can’t say I was surprised about really anything. I’ve seen Cadillac coming along the whole time; I’ve seen him be dynamic in practice. It’s just a matter of time when he got the opportunity to get out there. I’ve seen Derrick Ward being dynamic in practice and it was just a matter of time until he got out there and people had to tackle him for a whole game. I guess the surprise, it wasn’t a surprise but to see Leftwich go out there and handle it as well as he did, us protect as well as we did, us communicating, moving down the field as well as we did, as often as we did. I guess it was a little surprising because we haven’t done it during the preseason. They put it all together that day and we played pretty well on offense. I wouldn’t say I was surprised but it was nice to see.”

(On the amount of time Leftwich holds the ball)
“He is not watching the guys coming to hit him. He is watching down the field, looking down the field, waiting for somebody to get open. He stands in there, you have to give him a lot of credit. It takes a grown man to stand in that pocket. I’ll stand back there in practice some days and I’m a coach, I have to go back to my normal side with the DB’s. It’s an uncomfortable feeling with guys rushing around you. You have to trust your people around you. You have to play the game when you fall off the ledge and you fall backwards into your friend’s arms. It’s kind of one of those deals. He does it consistently and all those guys do. Josh Johnson, he keeps his eyes down the field and doesn’t scramble, even though he can. Freeman is the same type of person, same body type. Those guys can do that stuff, they make big time throws on the field. Romo did it to us a couple of times, sat in that pocket, held on and threw a dagger.”

(On the play of the defensive line)
“They played pretty well in the run game. [Chris] Hovan, [Ryan] Sims and Roy Miller, that was a nice combination in there to stop the inside run. They did a really nice job at that. Any time you hold Marion [Barber] to…I guess his average was pretty good but he had a couple breakout runs. He had one on a blitz and kind of got that [average] out of whack. But for the most part, they pretty much contained Marion. He’s a hard guy to tackle with one guy. I saw Roy get him on the ground a couple times and Chris Hovan get him on the ground a couple times. We just didn’t have the pass-rush yet. We need a guy to have a two-sack game, whether it’s going to be Gaines [Adams] or whether it’s going to be Jimmy [Wilkerson]. I can’t ask Ryan Sims to do that; I can’t ask Chris Hovan to do that; I can’t ask Roy to do that. The inside pass-rush right now is either going to be Greg White or it’s going to be Jimmy Wilkerson. We need one of those guys to step up in pass-rush situations. They played pretty well in the run, including Gaines and including Jimmy and including Greg White. When it comes to that passing downs, when it comes to those situations and I’ve got to step up and beat somebody and make a play, those are the guys you’re looking for to do it first. Not to say that the other guys can’t, it’s just that’s the guys that you want to do it first. They understand that. They know the severity of it. They’ve got to get better. And we will. We will.”

(On if he’s confident that they’ve figured out what went wrong in the secondary)
“It wasn’t a ‘what-went-wrong.’ It was four plays. One was a bad technique. One was another bad decision by Sab [Piscitelli], one was a bad technique by E-Mack [Elbert Mack] and one was a miscommunication deal with Sabby and Ronde [Barber], and that was just a dynamic play by a receiver. It’s not a ‘what-went-wrong.’ We can do things to help them and we will. We can do things to play better on defense, with fundamentals and technique.”

(On bringing Sean Mahan back)
“We’ve got two guys in the building that have worked with us. We’ve got four guys in the building who have worked at center. Not to say you’re not going to miss Jeff Faine, because you are. He is your team leader, your captain. He’s a stud, but it’s good to have Sean Mahan, especially since [he was here] in the preseason. I’m not in here saying, ‘Oh, woe is me. The offense is done. Faine is out.’ It happened in the preseason and Sean Mahan went in and played the whole half for us, three weeks in a row. Unfortunately he wasn’t one of the best 53 at the time; now he is.”

(On why Byron Leftwich has missed some throws high)
“He’s 6-5. One play he missed really high, and I guess it was to a wide-open [Derrick] Ward in the flat, it was a great progression of reads. We had a deep threat on and it wasn’t there. He went to the intermediate level and then he came down and tried to get to that flat. The rush was coming and he tried to get it out and threw it right over D. Ward’s head. It could have been a big play. Everybody sees that stuff but they forget the progression part you’ve got to go through to get there. He had a couple of what we call awkward throws, the one he kind of threw underhanded to Kellen [Winslow]. Another one he kind of shuffled out there to Derrick Ward. That’s kind of the development of Byron Leftwich with Greg Olson because I’ve never seen him do that before in Jacksonville or in Atlanta and didn’t know he could do it. He’s trying to show you guys that he’s got nimble feet. He’s got his basketball background coming back out. So I was happy with what he did and how he moved the offense and how he came out with his first showing. We’ve just got to build on that. He’s still got things he has to work on. Obviously, he’s still got things he can get better at, and he will.”

(On if he’s seeing Winslow wouldn’t come out of the game after he was told to)
“No, no, no. He just wanted to stay in there. He was tired and he just wanted to stay in there, so he just did it. He’s trying to fight through the heat, trying to embrace Tampa. He maybe listened to his coach too much, but we’re getting better. That’s my guy.”

(On no huddle Buffalo ran against the Patriots)
“A lot of stuff with that is to keep you from switching personnel groups. When the guy doesn’t huddle, they’re at the line of scrimmage you’re scared to run in a different personnel group, so you have to have all your calls ready to go, whatever they put out there. These guys they came out, they do a lot of the same stuff and they do it over and over and they do it well. That’s what they want to do and that’s a good strategy, so we have to be prepared to deal with that. We have to be prepared to go out there and look at that. We have to be prepared to deal with what we want to deal with. We have to be able to handle them, stand on the field, trying to wear us down, which we shouldn’t be able to get worn down dealing with what we deal with everyday that’s just the challenge that it presents.”

(On how he would have the lineup in that case)
“Well usually we match with people, most of the time. A lot of people match and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we kind of go on our own base but they try to stop you from matching. That’s the purpose of it. Nobody wants to see Ronde Barber in the slot, so you can stop us from doing that if you want to, maybe.”

(On if CB Aqib Talib covers WR Terrell Owens)
“T.O. is a really good football player and I don’t know. T.O.’s special, but they have Lee Evans too. You forget about the guy on the other side of the ball. He’s fast, he’s dynamic, he can run. He’s from Wisconsin, he’s young. He’s hungry. They have a new offense, have a new quarterback, new offensive coordinator and they’re fired up. Pick your poison. They have Roscoe Parrish, their return man, fast, quick, dynamic. Talib’s only one guy, only can cover one of them. The rest of the guys have to step up.”

(On cornerback play)
“They did. I was proud of them. Ronde and Talib came out and played really well.”

(On Buffalo’s loss to the Patriots)
“That’s unfortunate. You hate to see stuff like that happen. I don’t know if they feel any worse then we do. A loss is a loss. There are no moral victories. There is no way to go into a stadium and come out of there saying ‘we lost that game but we feel really good.’ You don’t. You go home, you sit on your couch and you go ‘woe is me’ for 12 hours. You get up and you come back to work. I’m sure they’re worried about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers like we are worried about the Buffalo Bills. That’s what you have to do. You can’t go in there and think about how you just lost or what could have happened, what should have happened or you lose the next week. I don’t think they are. I don’t think they have that in them. They have a mentally tough coach and they’ll bounce back. I’m sure they’ll be ready to go for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.”

(On how it takes a toll on a quarterback)
“Yes, obviously any quarterback that gets hit a cumulative amount of times week to week depending on how the hits are, it’s going to take its toll, take its effect. It just wears you down. It’s happened around here that last couple of years. It got Jeff Garcia at one point. It’s gotten Bruce [Gradkowski]. It’s gotten Brad Johnson. All those guys, it’s the hardest position in football. Perhaps the hardest position in maybe professional sports and it takes a toll on all of them. They all go through it. They all deal with it. I guess the answer to your question is yes, it takes an effect. You have to do the best you can do to protect them.”

Courtesy of the Buccaneers Public Relations Department

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