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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Raheem Morris' Wednesday practice quotes



Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Moris' Wednesday practice quotes, courtesy of the Bucs:

(On practice and injuries)
"Carolina preparation today. We had some roster moves – Yamon Figurs and Michael Bennett both signed. Obviously we put down [Marc] Dile on the practice squad. Injuries – B.J. Askew did not practice today; Jerramy Stevens did not practice today; Antonio Bryant was limited today; Jeff Faine was full participation today; Earnest Graham, full participation today; Kyle Moore, full participation; Donald Penn, limited practice today; Clifton Smith, full participation; Jimmy Wilkerson, limited participation today as well."

(On Fox analyst Tim Ryan saying he was told Josh Freeman wasn't ready from the neck up)

"Tim Ryan didn't get that from me, so I'll just comment on how I feel about Josh Freeman. Josh Freeman's development is really going well. Josh Johnson, however, has been here for a year. He's been through the six o'clock meetings in the morning, class for a year, he's known Greg Olson for a year, he's been through these protections for a year, calling the protections, being on the same page with the center, which we had some issues with this week in the game, but not the fault of a young quarterback, the fault of all of them. And Freeman's going through that process. So I wouldn't necessarily say he's having a problem from the neck up, because everything that Josh Johnson's doing, Freeman's doing. He's going through the process of being the wingman, so to speak. He's sitting there and learning from Josh and he's also learning from Byron [Leftwich]. Byron's still very heavily involved in that room. He jumps in and says his two cents when he has to, when he's asked before the game, during preparation for the game. He talks to me for those guys before the game. Everybody thought Byron Leftwich and I had an argument on the sideline. It was kind of funny to me when they said that, when Byron and I were actually being constructive, doing something constructive for Josh Johnson. That's where we are. That's where he is. His opportunity may come if Josh Johnson fails but again, I don't like to talk about Josh Johnson failing because right now he is our quarterback."

(On how he has to improve as a coach)
"You've got to find a way to motivate these guys. I've got to find a way to make [Michael] Clayton catch the ball. I've got to find a way to make our D-Line get a pass rush. We've got to find different ways. We've got to go back to the lab, evaluate what we're doing and see if we can get better, see if we can get better effort out of these guys in practice. See if I can get a smoother running day for these guys in practice so they can be more prepared for the game. I've got to evaluate how the weather plays into my football team during the week. All those things. So when I go back I look at everything in the lab. I'm very critical of myself and I have no problem being critical of myself. In the game this week, as I look back, probably five seconds after I kicked the extra point I realized I should have gone for two to make it a 16-point game rather than a 17-point game. And I've got no problem saying that. It didn't come up to bite me right now. I'm trying to self-evaluate so that when it does come up, when we're good enough to make that comeback and we're down by two and go for two two-point plays at the end of the game to win it or tie it…hey, man, that situation will be evaluated, it will be done and handled. That's what I'm preparing myself for. That's why I think I've got to be critical of myself. If you go through every day and you're not trying to get better, then usually you get worse. Those are words I learned from Coach Jon Gruden."

(On what he would think if the Glazers thought about bringing in Tony Dungy as a consultant)
"I have no idea where that came from, to be honest with you, and the Glazers haven't approached me. I kind of feel bad for Coach Dungy because he's just at home trying to enjoy his family and kids and everybody wants to put him back to work. He's sponsoring everybody, he's mentoring Raheem, he's mentoring Mark Dominik (laughing). He's just hanging out in Tampa and enjoying his family. And if the Glazers have a conversation with Tony Dungy, then that's their prerogative. I'm excited for Tony Dungy. But I just kind of feel bad for Tony. That's just all speculation. If it has any truth to it, then so be it. My job is to try to win this week. That's my job."

(On not having music at practice on Wednesday)

"We canned the music today. We've got to get back into it. We can't use music to motivate us. We can't go out and stretch and need music to help us, and I told them that today, made an emphasis of it today. What's going to motivate you? How are you going to be motivated? We motivated ourselves today by reliving that sick feeling on Sunday that we've been having. That's what we did a little bit today. We relived that feeling. That's how we practiced today, and you could tell. You could see they were angry in practice, you could see the difference in demeanor. It was good, it was a good thing. You can't wait until Sunday to feel bad about it. You've got to feel bad about it Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and that's when you get ready to deal with it. So when you deal with it all those days of the week, you're ready to deal with it on Sunday and we can come into this thing feeling pretty good."

(On if the players haven't been taking the losses hard enough)
"No, I think they take the losses hard. That's not what I'm saying. But you can't get to Sunday and then get ready to take the loss hard. The feel of taking a loss hard has to begin on Monday when you evaluate the tape from the week before. It has to carry over to Tuesday on your day off. It's got to go into Wednesday when you're preparing for practice and then you go out and you practice. It's got to happen on Thursday for you. It's like a coach – we go through it all week, and we prepare for these guys and we get ready. By the time we take a deep breath on Sundays as coaches, now it's their time to work. Let's go out and work and feel good about this thing after the game."

(On Michael Clayton saying the offense has lost its identity)
"It's a result of being stopped in the run, or getting behind in the ballgame. That's what he's referring to. He's referring to what's been happening. We haven't been forcing our will on our opponent. Our opponent's been coming in and forcing their will on us. The second week in Buffalo I believe they went up 14-0 with two turnovers. We were down last week, we were down in a couple of the games. The one Washington game we had the ability to really take control of the football game and we didn't. That’s what he means by losing your identity, I'm thinking. I don't want to speak for Mike Clayton, but I would refer back to that. It's not about the change in coordinators, it's not about the change of what we're doing. We're doing a lot of the same things, it's just when you get in situations when you're down in points everything changes. You become more of a passing team, you become a more vertical team, you become a more get-the-ball-out-of-your hand team. Then last week, Philadelphia forced their will on us with their blitzing. We had to get the ball out quick and we weren't able to pick up some of the protections. When we did it right, we scored, and we didn't do it right they got a positive play. We've got to always force our will on our opponent and that's what I think he was referring to."

(On Josh Johnson motivating his players)

“Josh better rally his receivers this week. Last week, his receivers didn’t rally around him. They let him down so to speak. We were all disappointed and they know that. It’s dead and it’s gone. This week I held up a white piece of paper and I let those guys know, that’s how this week begins, now you write the story, you tell them how the story begins. They are writing the story right now in practice. We are writing the story right now of what we are going to be this week. Right now, it is Josh to bring those guys back. That’s the part about being a quarterback. There is no such thing as a young quarterback. When you are a quarterback, you are the leader of the organization. Period.”

(On the physical nature of the Carolina rivalry)

“Yeah, I did that in the offseason. I talked about how violent and physical Carolina was and how violent that rivalry was. This week is about us. It is about us fighting our own demons, I told the football team that today. Whatever demons you are fighting, whether it’s Tony Dungy coming back to take over the football team, whether it’s Michael Clayton with a dropped ball, whether it’s Zuttah blocking that three technique, whether it is Antonio Bryant fighting through his injury, whether it is Jeff Faine fighting back. Whatever your demons are, you have to fight them within yourself. That’s how we are going to come out, that’s how we are going to try and beat the Carolina Panthers this week. It can’t be about what happened in the past, it’s not about the psyche or the rivalry, and it’s none of those things. There is no secret, Carolina doesn’t like us we don’t like them, we are in the same division. It is what it is. I have a lot of respect for Carolina and their coaching staff and all those guys there. It is a division rivalry.”

(On Antonio Bryant being able to practice on a regular basis)

“He got better last week. He was less limited then he had been in practice. He got more practice reps, he was able to go out there a little bit more so I was hoping to get a little bit more this week. If that happens you will see AB improve drastically because we know if AB can do one thing it’s catching the football. That’s what he does well.”

(On if Winslow’s teammates might not understand his competitive edge)
“He’s a different guy. There’s no doubt about it. He has that edge about him that the special ones have. Warren Sapp has that edge. Everybody didn’t always understand Warren, still don’t, but somehow they get it done. I think Warren Sapp could have played quarterback if he wanted to. He could have played three technique, could have played end. He knew what the running back was supposed to do, the tight end and everybody else on the team on the offense and the defense, didn’t matter. That’s just the kind of people they are. A lot of times Kellen does a lot of those same type of deals and he can draw a play up in the dirt that we’ve never ran before and want to run it, but you go ‘whoa, Kellen, we can’t do that.’ You can’t just start drawing up stuff. He might be right, sometimes. I have to tell myself that, ‘you’re right, but we’re not doing that today.’ He’s been great. He’s responded well and that’s why he’s paying off and that’s why he’s starting to make a lot of plays for us out there.”

(On Geno Hayes)
“I’m really impressed with Geno. You’re talking about a young guy, who really wasn’t given a whole lot of chances before, but now he’s getting his chance and he’s making the most out of it. He had a couple missed opportunities, but he’s going to have a couple of missed opportunities. He’s a young football player, so his demons are being disciplined every single snap. I talked to him today about not practicing, but playing. In practice he does everything right, trying to be locked in, he’s trying not to mess up. When he gets in the game, he just plays, but he’s got to practice like that. He’s got to go out there and practice and just play and then correct it on tape and it becomes muscle memory. You get better and better as you go. You get better and better. He’s got to learn to study the game more. He’s got to get off the field, come inside, be able to look at his practice tape, evaluate himself that day, get with Joe Barry, find out what he did wrong, come out the next day and correct it.”

(On if Yamon Figurs can come in and make an immediate impact)
“He can. He has elite speed which we know from Kansas State. Josh Freeman is very familiar with him. He came out yesterday, did a great job in the workout. We wanted to get a fast receiver in here that brought a different element than what we had. He came out here. He has a great job this week. He’s going to simulate Steve Smith for a little bit, some of that speed you can’t necessarily simulate. He gives your starting defensive backs a look at real big time speed like a DeSean Jackson, which we played, and a [Jeremy] Maclin that we played. You can’t simulate in practice with just anybody. He may be able to help us and may be a contributor and he definitely can play special teams and all those things as well.”

(On concerns about the chemistry between Jeff Faine and Josh Johnson)
“You usually refer to the quarterback on everything but when Jeff Faine is involved in the conversation, I think they’ll be able to work it out. Jeff Faine is a big time leader on this team. He’ll snap him the ball. He’ll control a lot of things for Josh and Josh is happy to have him back. They’ll help each other and they’ll be great together. I’m not really concerned. I’m excited about it.”

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:45pm]


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