Bucs coach Raheem Morris' Thursday quotes
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris' Thursday quotes, courtesy of the Bucs:
(On the injury report)
"B.J. Askew didn't practice. Jerramy Stevens didn't practice. Antonio Bryant was limited. Donald Penn was full practice today. Jimmy Wilkerson, full practice; Jeff Faine, full practice; Earnest [Graham], full practice; Kyle Moore, full practice; Clifton Smith, full practice. B.J. Askew the other morning had a fender-bender. He got into an accident and we're going to monitor his status day by day to see what's going on with B.J."
(On the Bucs having a big following in London)
"We do. We've got to go over and get a win for them so we can have a lot of fun."
(On Panthers WR Steve Smith)
"Steve Smith has always been an issue, and I'm sure he'll be talking to me on Sunday. I hope they line him up on the other side of the field most of the day. You're talking about one of the premier receivers in this league, arguably the best. I've always said he's the best because he's been in our division for the longest time. He's an issue. He's tough to deal with. He can do it all. He's tough, he's physical and when he gets the ball in his hands he's tough to get on the ground. He can catch it deep, he can catch it short. He does it all. He has been a premier blocker in his day. His toughness and what he brings to that team ? he brings that Warren Sapp-type flair, that Kellen Winslow-type engine, motor. How he leads, that's the kind of guys they are and that's what he is."
(On if Aqib Talib will be covering Smith)
"You'll see 25 cover him, but he finds ways to get matched up on other people as well. They'll put him inside, they'll put him outside, and they?ll put him on both sides of the football field. He'll do a bunch of different things. You can only follow him around so much with 25. Twenty-five plays left corner and he could end up on the right side a couple times, but they know ways to get [Smith] away from him if they want to. You'll see 25 have a nice matchup with him every once in awhile."
(On if Talib has to have a certain mentality to take on tasks like this one)
"A lot of that makeup is the stuff that he gets criticized for, and it's fair, a lot of it. You've got to be somewhat angry to go out there and play this game. I get yelled at for saying 'violent' but you've got to be somewhat violent, somewhat angry, to go out there and have that type of mentality and cover their best guy every week. These guys in this league are talented, and if you're not able to stand in front of bullets and take them then you're not going to be able to play in this league very long and not be an elite corner, one of the elite guys, for a long time. Ronde Barber has a different type of elite ability. His elite ability is that he can touch the ball and score with it. His elite ability is that he finds a way to make a splash play ? a sack, a caused fumble or something that ends up with a ball in his hands. Aqib's mentality is that he can check anybody, he can cover anybody, he can do whatever he wants to do on the football field. Sometimes you lose some of those battles and that's when you put yourself in a highly criticized position. That's where he's been all his life. That's how he lives his life on the outside and that's why we're trying to maintain some of that stuff. And he's doing a better job of it. He's trying. He's working at it and I'm proud of him. I?m trying to get him the right way."
(On if Jimmy Wilkerson has played better than he expected)
"It's tough to say better than you expected because of what he did in the offseason. It's awesome. I don't want to take any credit away from him, and how excited we are to see him get the five sacks he has. But when you get a chance to go out and see the young man work in the offseason, you see him go inside and you see him go outside, you see him be versatile at those positions, you wonder how much he can be, how far he can go. He's very honest, he's very hard-working, he leads by example. He's a very quiet man, conscientious, he cares. He probably talks to every person in this building to see what he can do to get better every single day. I mean that. He'll walk around and try to find a way. He's the type of person that you want in the building, who leads by example."
(On Jake Delhomme being 8-2 against the Buccaneers)
"I just usually look at the Carolina Panthers. I don't usually look at Jake Delhomme's record, but now you've put me in the tank. Jake's a good quarterback. He's a savvy quarterback, he is what he is. He's won a lot of games against us in the two-minute. He's done it over the years since I've been here. He's had the ability to make some plays in the past. Now, he's had some help. That 89 [Steve Smith] had a lot to do with a lot of that stuff. I think they had the Buc killer Ricky Proehl, the original one, and he was out there for awhile with him. They've done some good things. They've had some good running backs and all that stuff. I don't want to give Jake too much credit but I don't want to take away from his credit, either. Any time you're 8-2 against any football team and you're the leader of that team, you should get a lot of credit for that. I'm not going to tell you the key to his success because it's probably been different every time. One time it's Ricky, one time it's Steve and it is what it is. We've had some nice battles. I know he throws us some picks and then he gets his shots back and at the end of the game he's won a couple of them. He's won more than he's lost."
(On having all three tailbacks active)
"We haven't had it in awhile. We've had it maybe two other games, at the most. We'll get them out there, we'll let them play and see what they can do. That's got to be one of our leading units and it's always got to be like that around here for us to have a winning formula. You guys will know if we have a chance to win right from the beginning of the game a lot of times. Sometimes we'll come back, do something special and shock some people."
(On if Derrick Ward?s performance last year against Carolina will help this week)
?It certainly helped him in free agency. Derrick is looking for that breakout game. He has had a couple breakout runs with us so far. Maybe it is his time, maybe it?s his turn. He is certainly a player that practices hard every day, he is a player that you can give the ball to in a game. You kind of get that wow factor every once in a while. Now it?s something in there that he can do, something that he can carry on. You know as well as I know, it doesn?t matter how well you did against anybody in this league. That doesn?t mean you are guaranteed to repeat that performance unless you are Steve Smith. He is going to go out there and give us his best effort.?
(On who is handling B.J. Askew?s roll when he is out)
?You have Earnest Graham who is the lead guy when B.J. won?t be in attendance. Earnest Graham, we pick on him a lot and say his head is so big he can?t get into a three-point stance; he revolutionized the position (laughing). Earnest is Mr. Versatile. He is what we always talked about. He can catch the ball out of the backfield, he can be a third down back, he can be a fullback and he can be a tailback. The versatility of Earnest Graham and what he does for special teams, he is a special young player that we enjoy being around.?
(On Kyle Moore)
?Kyle Moore is working. I certainly have seen a lot more of him in practice this week. He has been impressing. He had an impressive practice. He went out there and we will get to the game and see who is going to be the top guys in the 45 and see if he can get out there and work. I don?t know yet. I make those decisions on game day.?
(On big plays in the running game)
?We have to get some big pops and we talked about it this week. We talked about getting back into the second level. I told our offensive line, if we are only getting four yards a pop we probably don?t need you guys. We can go out there, line up against a defender and have Josh Johnson hand the ball to Cadillac. He will probably get that, by himself. If you can get to the second level, you know what he can do when he gets to the second level. He can be dangerous. He can be tough on safeties, corners and backers. He can finish off some runs. If we go out there this week and have the ability to get him to the second level, and let Cadillac, Derrick Ward and all of them be explosive, we can get to the 100 yard games and all of those types of deals.?