Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris' Wednesday quotes
"It's obviously a shorter week because we're leaving on Friday to go to London. It was a lively practice today, felt good about it. The only way to get better is to go out and practice and practice well."
(On why the Bucs decided to go to London on Friday when the Patriots are going on Thursday)
"We have an ownership group that goes over there pretty frequently and we talked about it, sat down and discussed it with those guys. They feel the rest and how they feel prior to those days. They've done it a couple times. We have guys that go over there - our travel team has been over there – and they're over there now getting used to it. It's the second day when you feel bad. The third day you kind of go into a lull and then you come back out of it after that. We chose this route based on previous knowledge and some information from people that do it a lot. That's the route we're going. We're excited to go. We can't wait to get over there."
(On missing a day of practice)
"Yes. We chose to move on with a regular Wednesday practice, a Thursday practice. Really the day we'll miss will be the Saturday walk-through. Your Friday practice will now be the Saturday walk-through. It won't be the full-speed tempo that you usually get on a Friday but you get over there and go through stuff, go through your adjustments and things that you want to do in a Friday practice. You'll miss that extra little bit of time just in time for Coach [Bill] Belichick. Great."
(On how much of an adjustment it is to miss a practice)
"You know, it's a clean-up day. Usually you get a clean-up day and usually that's the day you get out there…I'm not sure when they go out, the Patriots. That's the least of my worries right now. You lose that Saturday, when you get a chance to get in any adjustments that you need to get done, corrections maybe, things of that nature during your Saturday walk-through. But you'll get it in the hotel. You get a little extra time in the hotel, extra meeting time, so you make up for that time. Less walk-through and more classroom."
(On his reaction to the Patriots putting up 59 points)
"If it was anybody else other than Tom Brady I might be shocked. But when it comes to the Patriots, you don't get shocked at what they do, what he does and what they're able to do. But you've got to love those challenges. As a secondary coach, that's what you live for, what you dream about. You want to play against Randy Moss and Wes Welker…awesome. We love it. Tom Brady throwing it to them. [Benjamin] Watson, their tight end. It's a challenge that your DBs love. You get a chance to see these guys play. Like always, the more physical, the more tough team will win. That's how it always plays out."
(On if he has to focus on keeping the players believing they can win)
"I don't think I'm going to have a problem with that. These guys, they appear to be spirited. They appear to be highly motivated to win. They appeared to practice well, they appeared to want to come out and want to play. I think it's a big challenge. Everybody wants to play the Patriots. That's fun. Whether you're a bad team, whether you're a good team, it doesn't matter. It's a lot of fun to play those types of teams on a highly-decorated stage over in London. The motivation is high. Motivation in this league is high for everybody. Nobody wants to be embarrassed on Sunday. Nobody wants to be the guy that self-proclaims we lost the game, or whatever the case may be. So you go out and practice well, play well and play hard. Motivation is easy."
(On if he knows Bill Belichick and what Belichick's reputation is)
"Nobody knows Coach Belichick. His reputation is highly-respected, a winner, everything that you guys write about him and the limited stuff that you hear from him. He's won a lot of football games. He's won the Super Bowl, won as a coordinator, won as a head coach. He's also had a tough one as a head coach, too. He's learned from his mistakes, he's corrected them and now everybody's trying to beat him."(On the characteristics of a Belichick team)
"Tough, physical, violent, strong, big – you name it. Schematically, dominant. They do it all. They'll change the scheme on you from week to week. They'll do whatever they have to do to win. You really don't have any idea what Tom Brady has in store for this game. You've got to be ready and you've got to be tougher, got to be more physical, be more violent. They want to find something that you can't do and exploit it. That's what they'll try to do. Last week they found something obviously and went out and exploited it, scored 59 points."
(On how Earnest Grahan fits in the fullback position)
“He went out there last game and provided a great pop. He brought us some great leadership, he provided us somebody to be behind. He looked excited, he was hunting people out, he was physical. I’m very excited. Anytime you get a chance to let a guy like Earnest Graham get out on the football field it is what it’s about. You are talking about a guy who is an overachiever. He came from Florida, he came here, he got cut three times, fought his way through, became the starting running back, moved to fullback in the middle of a game when Byron Storer got hurt and now he is at fullback. I don’t think anybody has ever heard Earnest Graham complain. I don’t think anybody has heard anything but Earnest go out there, give his best effort and play football.”
(On Josh Johnson being fearless and not careless)
“He is getting better. He has to get a little more fearless. They preach that and it wasn’t just me. That’s Olson’s deal. He has to be fearless and not careless. We got a little careless in the Philly game. We threw a couple of those balls away. Some of that stuff was because of protection and of course he didn’t have enough time. Last week he took his chances with Antonio Bryant and hit one down the field. We have to do more things like that and he is getting better.”
(On Tanard Jackson’s return)
“Welcome back T Jack. T Jack makes everybody feel a little bit better, about everything, the coverage unit, the guys, the players, the team, everything. Anytime anything breaks down you know you always have a guy like T Jack back there to get them on the ground and give you another opportunity. He’s so instinctual he can make a play at any time of the game and change it. And he almost did, he was almost the difference and that’s the kind of guy you’ve got out there. You’ve seen him out there, don’t forget on special teams. He does it all and that’s what you miss the first four weeks of the season. And unfortunately, we all did.”
(On offensive line challenges in blocking a mobile quarterback such as Josh Johnson)
“Josh is going to move around, you know that, so Josh is going to give us a couple more and Leftwich is going to throw some of the things away, but Leftwich is not going to get the 40 yards rushing that Josh can provide us either. It’s give or take. You expect it to be a little more tough to block for Josh. He’s going to try to keep some plays alive, he’s going to try to do different things with his feet, and he should, and now he’ll get smarter and take some of those sacks away and throw some away and do some different things but that’s just a part of being out there learning it, and doing it.”