Lots of hot topics in Bucs coach Raheem Morris' press conference
Raheem Morris, in today’s post-game press conference, was as demonstrative as he’s ever been, the toll of the Bucs’ current 6-game losing streak, perhaps, beginning to show. Here’s a few important points from some of the topics he covered.
Asked whether the team’s defensive personnel needs upgrading, Morris concurred.
“There’s no doubt about that,” he said. “When you give up 160 yards rushing and Cam Newton scrambles for a 22-yard big one, then you get another big one popped out of there by Jonathan Stewart, you have to constantly try to improve our football team – which we will do. But I see some positive pieces. We just have to make sure they become more consistent and smarter.”
Morris seemed to strongly suggest that the rest of the season will be about preparing for the future:
“The thing I need to do is go back and make sure we continue to build this team for the future. We have a lot of young players. I don’t want things to get away from us. We have a lot of young, talented football players. Josh Freeman will be back and he’ll play better. LeGarrette Blount will be back and he’ll play better. Mike Williams will be back and he’ll play better.
“And we’re getting better on defense as far as personnel. I don’t want to make everything woe is me. To see (Da’Quan) Bowers go out and play with the effort he had today was certainly something special. To see (Adrian) Clayborn go out and play with the effort he played with today was something special. Knowing you’re going to get some of those guys back and continue to build for the future, and to watch a guy like (Mossis) Madu go out there and make a couple of plays, to be a part of the rotation, is what we’re looking for.”
Asked about the performance of his coaching staff, specifically offensive coordinator Greg Olson, Morris backed his coaches.
“It’s hard to blame your coaching staff when you know the stuff that they go through, what their preparation is like,” Morris said. “When we don’t execute, it’s hard to blame anybody. But you have to. You have to blame us all. We’ll hold ourselves accountable. Don’t just throw Greg Olson under the bus. I’m the defensive coordinator and we haven’t been playing well.
“We’re in this thing together. I’m not going to point fingers at anybody on my staff or anybody in my organization. I’m going to hold myself accountable and hold my guys accountable. I am not in the business of distributing blame.”
Morris was asked whether he should continue coaching the defense as he has since late 2009. It’s clear that is his hope.
“I enjoy what I do,” he said. “I know I’m not doing a great job of it. We have to get better. And we will get better. I promise you that because it’s what I do. For me, I’m not going to sit here and act like having a defensive coordinator would have made it any easier to tackle Cam Newton in the redzone today. That is not the case. We have to get better all around.”