Raheem Morris, Josh Freeman react to Falcons loss
Coach Raheem Morris and his players made no excuse for falling short today in a game they could have won in the closing minutes.
Morris, in particular, took no delight in the fact that his team showed it could play with the Falcons, a team that is considered a contender in the NFC.
"There’s no such thing as an encouraging loss," Morris said when asked. "That’s a mentally weak statement that did not come out of my mic. Nobody write that. Please."
When asked about the playcall on the Bucs' final offensive play, a fourth-and-inches from the Falcons 2, Morris didn't necessarily regret the decision to run LeGarrette Blount on a counter run that came up short. But he did suggest there will be a lot of discussion about the play in Monday's coaches' meetings.
"That’s a situation you’ll keep second-guessing yourself on," he said. "You’ll go back and do film evaluation and see what you can do better so next time you get in that spot you can make the decision that’s right."
As for Freeman, who threw two touchdowns but offset that with two interceptions, he wasn't satisfied with his performance.
"Obviously, the game wasn’t perfect," he said. "I feel like it was my worst game of the season. I have to come back, study, get ready for Carolina and once again find a way to win."
Freeman was mindful of the fact that the Bucs have lost two close games in this building in their past two visits to the Georgia Dome.
"Last year at this time they converted on fourth down and were able to win the game," he said. "This year, we weren’t able to do that. But it gives me a lot of hope. A lot of guys made a lot of big plays. We were right in that thing. I felt like it could have had a different outcome. But at the same time, a loss is a loss. We’re on to the next one. We’re on to Carolina."
Freeman couldn't pull off his fourth-quarter magic for a second time in as many weeks. But he admitted the Bucs had their chances.
"Our defense came out in the second half and played a great game," he said. ". . . But honestly, what it comes down to is, on the final play, on the 1-yard line. . . when we needed a yard to be able to get in the end zone, we were unable to do it. That’s really what it comes down to."