Tampa Bay Bucs coach Raheem Morris' Monday quotes
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris' Monday quotes, courtesy of the Bucs:
(On injured players)
"First, let's start with the roster moves. Torrie Cox and Dirk Johnson had to be placed on injured reserve. We'll promote Brandon Anderson from our practice squad. We've also placed Arron Sears on the Reserve/Non-Football Illness list."
(On if decision-making in critical moments has been one of the more difficult parts of the head coaching job)
"No. It's just difficult for you guys, so you guys can sit around and second-guess. If you make them, you win. If you don't, you lose, and we haven't been making them so we've been losing. Those things are decisions made based on each game and we've got to go out there and make them."
(On if you can prepare for decision-making situations like that)
"Yeah, you set them up in practice. We have things called 'sudden changes;' you guys have seen a lot of them in the offseason. We just blow the horn out of nowhere and you come up there and have a situation you want to do, whether it's a fake punt, whether it's going for it on fourth down, fourth-and-one. All those situations pop up so you just go out there and do it."
(On how he feels he's done in those situations)
"Not good, because we haven't won a lot of them. We've lost a couple of them, a couple of them we've won, a couple of them we've got what we wanted but haven't been able to capitalize. You've just got to do better. You've got to win them all. It's easy the next day to second-guess yourself in a decision, because you can always go back and say, 'What if, what if, what if?' But at the time you've just got to make the decision and go with it."
(On if it's his style to be aggressive in such situations)
"It hasn't always been aggressive decisions. Yesterday was aggressive decisions, whether you're faking a punt or whether you're kicking a long field goal because you've got confidence in the new kicker. The other one was fourth down in Washington. We had an opportunity on fourth down and we weren't aggressive in that situation. We played the other way and that didn't work out. It just goes on a game-by-game basis and you try to go with what your gut feels and how you feel about it."
(On Michael Clayton's injury)
"Obviously, I'll have more about Michael Clayton on Wednesday but those two were the significant ones. We'll have to check; Mike Clayton will be a day-by-day guy. We'll have to see where he is. He was not able to return after the first play of the game so we'll have to see where he is and what's going on with him."
(On what Arron Sears can do on the NFI list)
"He'll remain with us for the rest of the year. Obviously, he won't be able to practice, he won't be able to appear in games, he won't be able to do stuff like that. But he'll be allowed to work at the facility with our strength coaches and trainers, and we'll get him going to get him ready for next year and the offseason."
(On the two weeks since Sears has returned)
"A lot of it's been physical conditioning. All of it's really been physical conditioning. He hasn't had much classroom or any work like that, or anything as far as football-specific drills other than the ones that would be related to strength and conditioning. It's all been strength and conditioning, it's been all getting back into shape, it's been all him getting his body right to prepare himself to be the best football player he can be."
(On Sears' long-term prospects)
"It's on the up, from what I can see. He's been in the building every day, working out with our trainers and going through all the stuff you need to go through as far as getting ready for football. So it's definitely on the rise. Like we said earlier, it would be wishful thinking to think that he was going to make it back this year. That’s just kind of rare for anybody. Anybody that has sat out that long, I don't know if they'd be able to come back. It would be wishful thinking."
(On the progress on defense)
"Stats are really for losers. I don't like to talk about stats. For me, it was more how hard the guys played. The guys went out there and played hard. They've played hard all year and they continued to do that yesterday. They went out there and gave themselves a chance to win. Any time you have the opportunity to stand up unfortunately seven times at the end of the game to try to get a win there and it goes down to fourth-and-five on your five-yard line, with the Atlanta Falcons having the football, and you just stopped them three consecutive times and you had the four before that, you're doing pretty well. If that was a period in a practice, defense wins, but unfortunately it wasn't."
(On it taking so long for Atlanta to go 59 yards)
"That's another thing you can second-guess when you talk about decisions. Those are more decisions you talk about being a head coach, talk about being a defensive coordinator, talk about being whatever. How do you want to play that situation? Should we play aggressive on defense right there? Should we kind of die slow and get them down there. If we bang that slant out on the last play of the game, you're a hero. But we missed the slant and there it goes."
(On if he considered throwing the ball on third-and-seven before Atlanta's last drive)
"That's another one of those situations. Let's talk about [Josh] Freeman first, his development, how he's done and where he's going. He took a step back the [previous] week but it's about the kid's character that we talked about, bouncing back. That is going to bring about more aggressive decisions with your quarterback. Having that type of flow and that type of feel, that's just going to build naturally. Yesterday, I kind of felt the Connor Barth love and I kicked a 50-yard field goal. I wasn't asking him to make three this game. You go make this one; we kick that ball off; they get the ball inside the 20 or the 20-yard line; we go out there on defense and play like we've been playing the whole day – fast, hard, physical and together – we get out of here with a win. It just didn't work out that way."
(On Freeman showing him more)
"Those decisions are just going to come with him. I think he's starting develop into what we all think he can be or what he's convincing us he can be. That's just going to come with him in time. Those decisions with him, those become more quarterback-oriented, when he comes to you on the sideline and tells you, 'I'm doing this,' and you kind of just back away as a head coach because you know he knows what he wants to do. That's how you make fourth-and-two decisions, when you've got Tom Brady and you're backed up."
(On if he might throw the next time the team is in that situation)
"I mean, yeah. He's shown me nothing but good things. He had the one week where he kind of backed off and had some blunders and had the one big rookie mistake that we all kind of chuckled about. But he's getting better and better every week. He had a couple mistakes yesterday, he had a couple missed throws, he had a couple routes run the wrong way where he's able to correct, which you love. When your quarterback's correcting routes and it's not your coaches, you're going in the right direction. You're making the progress you're talking about. He's starting to get in those shoes and fill them. For him to connect with Antonio Bryant yesterday, two big plays, boom boom score; the defense, don't go down right now, we got seven; and then the defense gets fired up, they go out there and get a three-and-out and he goes and gets us three more right before the half and we went into halftime feeling good. You don't know how to handle that question yet because…patience. Patience. But he's going in the right direction, yes."
(On getting the ball to Antonio Bryant)
"You do want to feed your playmakers. I'm sure K2 [Kellen Winslow] feels like he's a playmaker and Cadillac [Williams] feels like he's a playmaker and Antonio feels like he is. And they all are, they all are. You've got to try to get them the ball as much as you can. Sometimes you call plays for those guys down the field and you don't get to them for whatever reason. We had another shot, I think three shots for A.B. One was kind of a panic deal with the quarterback. He threw it to the wrong guy – not threw it to the wrong guy, he didn't hold for him, wait for him a little bit. The other one he didn't push down the field, the other one the protection broke down. You have all those things thrown in, you've got the play-call sheet, Olie [Greg Olson] has the play-call sheet, he has it there. 'Should I get the ball to 89?' For whatever reason, the play may not have went to him. The target wasn't there. That's a part of us getting better as a football team. That's about us getting better all around, and those things will happen. You've got to target him. Everybody wants the ball. A.B. feels like he can make a difference and I'm glad he wants the ball. Those are the guys you want on your football team. I wanted the ball when I was calling defensive calls. I want the ball, too. We all feel like we can be one of these playmakers and be contributors."
(On if the receivers ran the wrong routes)
“No. It wasn’t that they ran wrong routes. It just may have been a route that he didn’t like. It may have been a step that he took too many steps on. It’s just a precision thing for a quarterback, it’s the detail stuff from a quarterback. I’m not saying that nobody ran a wrong route yesterday because you are going to have a bust here and there as far as a route. I’m just saying when he comes up the field, he may miss the throw to Sammie [Stroughter] on a quick Z and say ‘I couldn’t see you Sammie because you took too long at the top.’ Things like that. When you see stuff like that, the communication from your receivers and your quarterback, it’s just great. Third down and two, z-route going to Sammie, here it comes. You have to wait, wait, wait. The play is taking too long at the top. I have to rush my progression and throw it off of my back foot. Whatever the case may be. For him to be able to communicate that with his guys are steps in the right direction.”
(On giving Derrick Ward more carries)
“I don’t think actually carries are divvied up (with a formula). It was 13 and 10 by the way. It was about 30 snaps that they got. The play calls are just calls. If it is their turn to be in the game, then we go. Cadillac started the game and was able to get some runs there early and was able to have some success there early. We just had some negative runs that kind of lag you down and take you back. It really messes up your average because Cadillac really had a good day running the football and receiving the football. The couple of negative plays and the few breakdowns we had just totally throws that out of whack. We only had 73 yards rushing but there was some yardage left on the field that we have to go get. That’s a part of us as an offensive line group, running backs, figuring out how the carries are going to be divvied up and all of that stuff. We just have to go out there and play harder and play better.”
(On how the carries are divvied up)
“Usually right now they are going two and two. That’s what the case has been. If someone gets a long run, you might see Derrick running there. It’s not really a specific formula like I had early, the two-two-one. It’s just let them play right now.”
(On if it the loss yesterday was harder)
“No, it’s hard to lose period. They all hurt. I just have to admire the fight from my guys, from the team and from everybody. We just have to figure out how to close out games better. That’s what we have to do.”
(On the decision of the fake punt)
“We talked about that stuff long before the football game. We know we had two fakes up for a couple of different situations. It was a situation in the game that I felt that they might try to come after us here. I figured if they come after the punter it may leave somebody open. They didn’t, they were in a punt return formation. There is no pass interference on a punt return, so everyone was screaming about that. There is none. They were able to hold those guys up and really get on them. Dirk probably should have just thrown the ball away and not cut back across the green. He made it a little more exciting than it had to be.”
(On if he second guessed himself)
“You always second guess yourself the next morning. During the game, no. Right now it didn’t work, so yes. I am second guessing myself. If it worked I wouldn’t be. If it worked, we would run the clock out, game over. Bucs win.”
(On if he came away from watching film thinking they should have won)
“No. I hate when people say that. That’s not true. The Atlanta Falcons should have won that game. You have to give credit to their coaching staff and their players. They fought back and played hard. I’m never going to say we should have won any game that we didn’t win. You get what you deserve. Coach Gruden taught me that a long time ago.”
(On if there was anything more they could have done to defend the last touchdown)
“We had a double on him. Tanard [Jackson] and [Derrick] Roberson were right there. It was a bang-bang play and again, Roddy White made a play. That’s what you have to do. We had a double team on him and Tony Gonzalez. Don’t tell Atlanta.”
(On if Atlanta saw the double team)
“Yes. They saw it anyway and still threw it to Roddy. I thought that they thought that I was thinking they were going to throw the ball to Roddy White. That’s what happened.”