Raheem Morris' Wednesday practice quotes
Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris' Wednesday practice quotes, courtesy of the Bucs:
(On practice and injured players)
"A little Philadelphia preparation today – a very good football team, very talented, bunch of different looks on offense, bunch of different looks on defense. It's just a plethora of different things that concern you. A very good football team, another great test for us. Tanard [Jackson] is back today; we're excited about that. We signed Maurice Evans earlier this year and he's back."
(On if he expects Tanard Jackson to play against Philadelphia)
"We’ll go through this week. We don't have to make a decision until the end of the week whether he's going to be up this week or not. We've got the one-game exemption. But we'll go to the end of the week and see whether he's ready to play or not and how good a shape he's in. But he was out practicing today and looks lively, so we'll just have to wait and see."
(On picking Jackson up at the airport and his conversation with him)
"It was great. It's good to see him back. He was out, served his sentence from the league, what he had to do for the league, sit out and be away from his team. I'm sure it was hard enough on him watching this team lose football games without being here to have participation or to help. His family is happy to have him back. He apologized before he left and told us he was going to come back and clean up his life and do everything that needed to be done."
(On Shane Andrus)
"You bring in guys and you want to work them out. We brought in Shane; we brought in a whole group of kickers about a month ago. I'm not sure really about the exact dates. It was a group of guys, probably six or seven of them in at that time. They kicked early in the season and then we brought back the best two the other day and we picked from the best of those two. Those guys had to compete before, they made it to the next round, the next round appeared to be ready to go and we made our move on it. We decided to go with Shane. Shane has his opportunity to go out there and kick. You can't really worry about a guy never kicking in a game before. I'd never coached an NFL game before until I had my first opportunity. I had never coached DBs until I got my opportunity. Tanard Jackson had never played in an NFL football game; he started the first game of his rookie season. There's another round of rookies starting right now with [Mark] Sanchez and all those types of guys. You've got to let him go out there and play. He'll get an opportunity to go out there and kick. Their results are the easiest [to determine] of them all. It's not like quarterback where you've got to wait, sit back and learn. He's in a position where if they go in, he's a good kicker, and if it doesn't, he's a bad kicker. His decision is easy, so we'll go out there and look at him and let him play."
"We're just moving on. You get an opportunity to make kicks and Mike didn't fare as well as you would have liked him to, or as good as you wanted it to work out for Mike. Great guy – he's moved on and we've moved on.”
(On what he wants the new guys to know about the Philadelphia rivalry)
"We really didn't get into it much today. It was about us today. It was more about us. It was about us being 0-4, us fighting through our own demons, us getting ready to play the Philadelphia Eagles. The history of this series wasn't as important today. I usually would talk about that. I would have made that a bigger deal. We'll talk about going back and losing to those guys three straight times in playoff games; to beating them in a divisional championship and moving on and playing Oakland and winning a Super Bowl; come back the following year and open up in their stadium, winning that game, wearing our Super Bowl rings up in the box, all the coaches. Great memories. It went to 2006 and I wasn't here. It was a big game down here, big rivalry, 62-yard field goal by Matt Bryant to win it. Now we're back here and we're playing a whole new Philly team. They're rolling; we're fighting our way through. It's different here, different time. The history of the series didn't really match. It didn't really match up at the time. So nothing about that rivalry. It was more about finding about us, finding out who we are."
(On if this is a game that could turn around the season with a win)
“Every game right now could turn around your season. Any game you play right now could turn around your season. We’re 0-4. People lose more games than four games in a season and they continue to go out and play. That’s just our job right now. Every game we play is our most important. Right now the Philadelphia game is the most important that we have and the most important we have on the schedule.”
(On what Josh Johnson could learn from watching Donavan McNabb)
“I’m sure he has. The things he can learn from McNabb are how to deal with criticism, first of all. You’re talking about one of the most successful quarterbacks in the league that’s dealt with the most criticism of them all. It’s been unbelievable. First he could start right there and learn that part. Look at how a guy manages a football game, how a guy like that has that much success in the league and transitions himself from a runner to a passer to a down the field player to a pocket quarterback to now whatever he wants to be to just mixing and matching and going out there and having fun. You can see McNabb has fun with the game and loves to play the game. And those are all the great things you can learn from great veterans in this league and it’s been positive. And that’s definitely a positive example for a guy like Josh Johnson, [Josh] Freeman and Byron Leftwich and everyone else in our building to look at.”
(On preparing for McNabb and Michael Vick)
“There’s just a plethora of them. If you have noticed in Philly right now, they have a bunch of quarterbacks. They have a guy named DeSean Jackson that lines up back there, they have a guy named [Brian] Westbrook that lines up back there, they have a guy named LeSean McCoy that lines up back there, they have a guy, my guy from Missouri first round draft pick, Jeremy Maclin that lines up back there, Donovan’s back there, Kevin Kolb’s back there and seven’s [Michael Vick] back there, you guys are ready to go. We’ve talked about all the funky formations and getting lined into all of the stuff they do, a lot of window dressing, a lot of I guess the code word for it is wildcat across the league. They’re all out there and they’re using it and they’re doing it. You just have to settle down, line up and get ready to play.”
(On the importance of getting Tanard Jackson back in the lineup)
“You definitely want to get Tanard back as soon as you can. We’ll see how he goes. It’s really up to Tanard and how it looks and how he feels and whether we make the decision to go with him this week.”
(On why we haven’t been able to utilize our offensive weapons)
“Antonio Bryant’s been up and down with the injury, so that’s kind of a no brainer there. Kellen Winslow’s been productive as far as the amount of receptions he’s getting. Jerramy Stevens has been slightly productive in there as far as the amount of receptions he’s getting. The changes to the quarterback could be some of the reason of not getting the continuity with your receivers. Michael Clayton’s been dinged up and been in and out of that lineup as far as the offseason and to come into the season, started off hot, a little dinged this week. Cadillac has been up and rolling. Derrick Ward’s been down a little bit. Earnest Graham’s been down a little bit, but again we don’t use that as excuses. It’s just been those guys have been up and down with their injuries and we’ve been moving on to the next guy. So you’ve seen more Brian Clark, you’ve seen more [Maurice] Stovall, some of the names you didn’t think you would hear from, more Peanut [Clifton Smith] and all of these guys. You just have to use them. Whoever’s up and ready to go is going to play the football game and try to get the most production out of each one of them.”
(On Johnson not getting first team reps early this year)
“Every time I talk about Josh, I talk about his ability to get reps without actually getting reps. His ability to stand back there and be ready to go right at the heat of the fire. You’re right. He is still getting acclimated to all that stuff. You are talking about a young guy going out there having to pick it up and learn fast. Learn on the run and be ready to go. You also have to worry about giving the guy too many reps right now. Limited amount of reps, scout team work, your third team reps that you get, and now you go to being a starter. You have to be careful of that too with his arm during the week and stuff like that. He will be ready, he’s young. He’s fired up. He’s eager. He’s waiting for his next opportunity.”
(On Cadillac Williams progression as a receiver)
“Hard work. The guy is working as hard as you can work. I see him out there with Steve Logan every day. You see him out there every day by the media tent. He is running through those barrels, running through those bags. He worked on his route running, he has worked on everything. He kind of took the knock that he couldn’t do it and kind of made it a strength of his. It’s how you come back from two knee surgeries. He’s already got that in him. He has that makeup in him. Now, I don’t know if he couldn’t catch before. Maybe he didn’t work on it as much as we wanted him to or liked him to. He is a great asset out of the backfield and a great outlet to go to.”
(On if he is pleased with his defense)
“I am very pleased where the defense is going. We went from the first game with four big plays to really four big plays at the end of the second half. We had the one at the end of the half. If we play every half like we played that first half in Dallas, I would be pretty pleased throughout the season. I think we came back versus Buffalo and really got put in bad situations with the turnovers. They almost scored on defense. That was almost a bad situation for those guys. They bounced back and had that thing pretty stagnant throughout the game. They kept us in the Giants game to make that thing respectable. Then last week, they kind of showed some signs of life. They gave up the one big play on Aqib. That happens. They got the really, nicely schemed play, the play that went to Cooley. That was a 30-yard hit. That’s a nice play. You need a dynamic player on your team to make that play and we didn’t get that. We dropped two interceptions, had four turnovers. That could have been a six turnover day for a defense.”