Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Training camp quotes
Tuesday's training camp quotes, courtesy of the Bucs.
HEAD COACH RAHEEM MORRIS
"We went out today, and we did a little third down passing game. We also had a little red zone seven-on-seven, nine-on-seven no physical play. We had some fired up individuals today. The guys really came out and really played. We had a couple competitive drills with linebackers and running backs. It is a pretty competitive drill. It is pretty fun. We got the chance to get involved. I thought the guys started to establish their own identity today. Usually, I have to get some sort of spark. Today, I felt other players gave us a spark. I felt other guys kind of enlightened the practice. It was a lot of fun to see. It was a lot of fun to see the personality of our team come out. That was fun. As far as the injuries, we have a few guys nicked up and banged up. Nothing was that serious. I will give you an update on each person on Thursday. Some guys were held, because they are one-a-day guys right now, and all those type of deals. So, I will get you that on Thursday. That is when we know who is playing and everything like that. This afternoon, we decided to walk it through. I ended that last period with a no-huddle. We are going to come out and run this afternoon with Kurtis [Shultz]. We are going to get those guys to run a little bit. Then after that, we are going to walk through the periods including the one period that we missed this morning, the one that I cancelled. We are actually going to go through the 12-12-12 preparation for Jacksonville. It is kind of a walk-through preparation type period. We will get them a little sweat. We will get them going. Again, I can’t speak highly enough about how they practiced today with the enthusiasm. I could see the team develop its own personality with guys like Sabby [Piscitelli], guys like Kyle Moore. Jeremy [Trueblood] kind of got up in the nine-on-seven, and he stood up, and got back up on the next play. He let him know about it. Jeremy kind of gave him a little smirk, but it was fun to watch. I just kind of stood back, and watched it from afar. It was fun to see. It was fun to see your team develop that attitude that you want to instill in all of them. I told them all last night, ‘Nobody on this 80 man roster is worried about being cut right now. If you are worried about being cut, then you probably already are. Right now you are playing your lights out. Don’t start looking around, counting numbers, because we are going to keep the 53 best people in this room. That is what we are going to do. Don’t count numbers at positions, don’t count anything. I don’t know what we are going to do. We can do anything."
(On training camp reaching his expectations)
"You know, it really has. Like I said right from the beginning, ‘High expectations, no excuses.’ I have gotten no excuses from anyone. I have no problems with anyone. I have real high expectations for them all. They came out and they played hard. They competed hard throughout practice. I haven’t had one person complain about how many padded practices that we have had. The guy that has been taking off the pads has been me. Really, they came to me a couple of times and asked to put them on. They like to be physical. They like to play that way. They like to practice that way. I saw that offensive line working on that backside cut-off, and it was special. I don’t know if you guys got the chance to get around that way and see that, but I’m going to have to send out apology letters to all the parents in the stands from my offensive line coach. He was getting after them. They were over there working on their cut blocks. They were diving on the ground, and none of them liked it. They looked angry about it. That was kind of nice to see. It is another thing I can kind of back away from, and let them develop their own personality about sliding on the ground and getting grass stains in individual. I am really pleased with training camp, to make a long story short."
(On Donte Nicholson)
"Donte Nicholson had probably seven great plays, and one bad one (laughing). It was a simple thing, it was the plaster rule. You are in a zone coverage, and the quarterback decides to run. Whether it is Vince Young or Jake Delhomme, it doesn’t matter; you don’t decide to go get him from your half field. It is just not your responsibility. He started doing his double rules and plastering. The receiver backed away from him. ‘I want to go tackle Vince Young and make a big play.’ You can’t do that. He got too excited. Donte plays fast when he knows what he is doing, and when he doesn’t, he plays a little slow. He is starting to get better. He has gotten better throughout his career. But you just can’t do that. I looked at him, and looked right at me and said, ‘Plastered.’ Then he walked up the field and kept it moving."
(On Byron Leftwich’s unique throwing motion being so effective)
"I have no idea [why]. I am not the quarterback guru. I just know where the ball is supposed to go, and if it gets there, nice, I like it. If it doesn’t, I am pretty mad. I don’t know. I don’t know the technical coaching points of coaching a quarterback. I know that it is different. It is elongated. He has a big long release. It is slow out of his hand, but the throw is so fast that it makes up for it. It is different. I don’t know. Phillip Rivers throws a sidearm ball, but I don’t know about that. Boomer [Esiason] did too, didn’t he back in the day? I’m not sure about all the guys who threw like that. He has an elongated motion. He threw for a lot of yards with it at Marshall. He threw for a lot of yards with it at Jacksonville. He came in last year with the Steelers, and stepped in and did a pretty good job. When he played in Atlanta, he was playing me, so you can’t judge him on that one (laughing). He does have a different motion."
(On Byron Leftwich taking that sack against Tennessee while trying to fight for more yards)
"You are talking about a competitor. It is easy for us to say to make the smart decision and get down. He knows he should have, but what he was thinking is, ‘I’m going to shake all these off, and then throw this ball away, and lose no yards.’ So, he will make a better decision. He has to make a better decision than losing 17 [yards]. You have to admit that you were on your seat saying, ‘He is about to get out of this.’ I was too. You thought he was going to get out of it, until he went down, then you said, ‘He should have went down.’ You’re like me, you’re the best second-guesser in football."
(On Kellen Winslow and Stylez White not practicing today)
"I didn’t dress some of the injured guys. Stylez has a little shoulder deal. He had a good game so he decided to sit out. Allen Iverson. Practice. Kellen is a one a day guy. He has been a one a day guy for a while. I had him doing two early, two early, two early and then let’s not go to the well to many times. The guy has some past history with getting worn out and things like that so I’m just being smart with him. So him and Jerramy [Stevens] have the same type of issue with wearing out the knees or the ankles or whatever. So we decided to let those guys off today but if you noticed in the afternoon with some red zone periods, we will have Jerramy up and running and we will let Kellen go in the afternoons or flipped around depending on situational football."
On what you’re looking for in the young receivers behind Michael Clayton and Antonio Bryant)
"Somebody to step up and become the third wideout. Somebody has to step up and join in the third down. Somebody has to come in and say ‘Hey, I’m in the game, the ball is more likely to come to me, that’s why I am in here. I going to get you to double team me or be the man where you double team those two guys and leave me open and I’m going to win.’ That guy has to be like Vinny Johnson. He has to be like Elbert Mack on defense. He has to be able to come in cold and pass the ball to him off the wing and you got to hit a three. And you have to be able to come home and say first down and keep it moving."
(On if Maurice Stovall is leading candidate for third wideout spot)
"Him, BC [Brian Clark] and Sammy Stroughter are the guys fighting for it the toughest right now. And [Cortez] Hankton is right in that battle too. I forgot about him because he was out today with a little issue but he will back too. Those four guys have really been the guys to step up in the forefront in practice. Now the other day in the game the only guy really was Sammy and BC. So it is back and forth. You need this game to evaluate this as well. And I’m going to use this game to evaluate that. In practice, you talk about Maurice Stovall showing up and meanwhile Hankton showed up last week when he caught everything. So you have two guys that show up in practice and you have two guys that show up in the game. Let’s see if they put it together this next week of practice."
(On Sabby Piscitelli showing what you want to see right now)
"Yes. 21 kind of looked like a guy sitting under the radar the other night but he could have easily been the talk of the town. You’re talking about a guy that had a pick and picked the pass off in the end zone or in the red zone. He picks the pass off and he has another great knife tackle of the sideline. He had a nice tackle on the sideline and came back later with a beautiful wrap tackle on the sideline and then he had a nice funnel hit in the whole and he just tackled awesome. I think we had less than double digit missed tackles on defense and that is a big part of it when your safeties are swift tackles then you eliminate the big play. If you can eliminate the big play then you have a good chance to win. Look at the other night, if you eliminate the big play and eliminate the big missed tackle on the touchdown then we win that football game."
(On if Sabby is a different player right now)
"I started to see it come out last year. That was part of the confidence and the swagger I had in the ability to move a guy like Jermaine Phillips and with that being said we also see what could happen here. Will Allen goes out and he runs through a guy full speed because he is a tough, physical and violent football player and sometime fighters get shot. And he got shot and lost that battle and he had to come out with a shoulder injury. You have to put the next guy in. So in your mind as a coach, you have to be proactive or reactive. I’m choosing to be proactive. I don’t know if you guys saw Flip [Jermaine Phillips] taking some safety reps today. Snuck it in on me. But when we are in a game and I have a 53 man roster and I have 45 guys with helmets on and I have Flip up there playing linebacker then am I going to put my fourth safety in or am I going to put Flip in who has been starting the last couple years as my second backer. Those are decisions I have to make. Those are decisions we have to make and those are the type of decisions we have to start thinking about now. There are no excuses and that counts for me too."
(On if Jermaine Phillips is up to speed on this new defense)
"You have to get him up to snuff on the terminology and the coverages. Quarters are quarters. Thirds are thirds. Man free is man free. Usually terminology refreshers. Flip is a tough guy. Flip has to go out there and do it. He has to see it. You have to come back and evaluate it. He has to go make a mistake at it and then he has to come back to you and read your tip sheet to you as you made it up. That is how he works. That is how he has worked the last seven years I have been with him. That is how he has always been. And if he doesn’t get that then he doesn’t play well."
(On confidence in defensive line)
"I have a lot of confidence in Gaines [Adams] getting better. I have a lot of confidence in him playing a lot better than he played last year. I have confidence in Jimmy Wilkerson giving us a boost. Kevin Carter we loved to death but it was not an urgency with Kevin on the pass rush. Kevin was a run stopping big left end and he didn’t have the juice as far as the pass rush. He has the intelligence, he has the stoutness and the stuff you like but Jimmy should give us a little extra heat off the left edge. We have the ability to move Jimmy inside and bring in Greg White. Also you are seeing a lot more of Quincy Black coming off the edge and giving you some heat from over there to give you that kind of [Robert] Mathis/ [Dwight] Freeney type of feel is what you want at least. You want Gaines to have that right end presence. You want him to have a Mathis presence. You want to build that base and have Gaines on the right and have Jimmy on the left. You just find those matchups at tackle that best suit you and sometimes you move Jimmy inside and you get him on a guard and you feel like you can match up well and also Greg White can go inside and he can match up and do well. I just think it is a matter of playing our packages, a matter of being smart coaches, a matter of using these guys to the best of their ability and getting them out there and letting them play a little faster and play a little smarter."
(On his expectations for the offense)
"I have really high expectations for this group. I have high expectations of our football team. I don’t know if I am going to set in my mind, to say a week. After all is said and done, I can look back and say it took us three weeks to get that done. Right now, for me, I want it to be done by Dallas. I want to be in stride by Dallas. Hopefully, we will take another step this week. Hopefully, we will take another step next week. My timetable is Dallas. I hope they are on the same page as me."
(On Sammie Stroughter)
"I told you guys, I have been messing up, bragging about the guy all offseason. I was probably premature in it, just because we are talking about receivers running around in shorts. Again, Coach Mann doesn’t trust them until it gets sticky. Well, it was sticky for him, and he showed us what we have been talking about, at least what I thought. I am going to let the young man play. I am going to let him go out there and prove himself. You are talking about a guy who hurt goes out there and catches balls every day. He just drops it and runs back to the huddle and catches the next one, or he catches them all, or whatever the case may be. He fits into the mold of Raheem Morris. He is in the mold of being aggressive. He fits the mold of being mentally tough. He is in the mold of no excuses. That is what you look for."