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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Wednesday's Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp quotes

12

August

Wednesday's Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp quotes, courtesy of the Bucs:

HEAD COACH RAHEEM MORRIS
(Opening statement)

“Starting right off with the injuries, we have Josh Bidwell, who won’t play this week, we’re still under evaluation for everything going on there. I’m going to tell you more information about Josh once I get a chance to talk with Todd [Toriscelli] and the rest of our medical staff and actually get a chance to sit down with those guys for a second. He won’t go this week. Today, what we tried to do was more Tennessee preparation. We have a nickel blitz on defense, we have some short yardage on goal line on the defensive side of the ball and the offensive side of the ball. We have some nickel blitz, we have some base blitz, we also had some two minute there at the end. Our two minute was a situation for the end of the half and possibly the end of the game, so I tried to get some realistic people who might be in that situation this week to go out there and execute some of their plays. But for the most part today’s practice was a Tennessee preparation deal, getting the guys ready for all of the situations that they might be involved in against Tennessee, just like yesterday afternoon.”

(On only having one punter on the roster)
“Again, I pride myself on it, not worrying about it and being mentally tough about it. We have one punter, we have to bring in some guys to compete, let some guys punt and deal with it that way. The same thing with the kicker, those things we can’t control, those things I can’t control. There was no sled that those guys had to hit, there were no tackling drills that they were involved in. You control what you can. Right now, I’m controlling the environment. I’m not going to let you guys go, ‘It was me because we have two guys hurt.’”

(On how the offense held up against the blitz packages that were thrown in)

“Not bad. I put a lot of pressure on them. I don’t know if you guys noticed or not but that 40-second clock, I started it at 15 when they broke the huddle. That will put a little more urgency, a little more pressure on coordinators to call it, put some more pressure on our quarterbacks trying to make an adjustment. They don’t always get it, but if you can get it in 15 [seconds], you certainly can do it in 40 [seconds]. It’s kind of like my guy from the movie Dodgeball, ‘If you can catch a wrench, you can catch a ball.’ If they can get it in 15 seconds, we should be pretty good with 40 [seconds]. We won’t have delay of game penalties. So we’re trying to get that tempo, that’s dealing with two minutes, that’s dealing with real live game situations. And you guys know as well as I do, in the game, you get caught up in emotions, the calls aren’t coming in time, people start looking at the sideline with signs of panic and get bad body language. I’m trying to eliminate that right now. Here is 15 seconds, here’s what we have to do, let’s go to the line of scrimmage, let’s get it up the field, let’s get our checks. Let’s give them whatever you’re going to give them. If we have to check the blitz, slot it this way or pick this guy up, great. If you’re going to throw hot off of him, then you better throw hot off of him because I have to hit you in the back on Saturday. We didn’t miss a hot today but we didn’t throw it quick enough so you’re not going to get hit in the back with that one. But for the most part with the protection, the pickups and the understanding of the assignments, I’m very pleased.”

(On the concern of the strength of the units)

“We’re so young. I wouldn’t call it a concern. It is more anxious to see them play. I want to see that young linebacker crew go. They have been exciting to me. To see Jermaine Phillips run around some of those goal line plays and make tackles and be just a blur at times. With the emergence of Quincy Black, [Adam] Hayward, Geno [Hayes] and Barrett [Ruud] leading this crew. Niko [Koutouvides] and Rod [Wilson], that’s a pretty exciting crew. They’re going to make it tough, they’re going to make it tough on all the Tampa fans. Who do you keep? Who are you going to keep? How does it fit best? Who plays special teams? Who doesn’t? All those things come into play, so I’m more anxious to see those guys play. I’m really excited to see our quarterbacks and this battle. Those guys picking it up and understanding the system, being locked in and detailed and actually getting a chance to take those yellow jerseys off and letting them get hit a little. Who’s going to stand in the pocket and let them get hit a little? Who’s going to stand in the pocket and deliver the football? Who’s going to stand in there and make the check and get us into the right play and have a positive play? Who’s going to do all of those things? I’m pretty anxious to see all of those things. I wouldn’t call it a concern with anything because I’ve been seeing stuff I like, a lot of stuff I like. I’m just interested and anxious to see it.”

(On the number of quarterbacks that will make the roster)
“I see ourselves keeping three. I never want to rule anything out because you never know what happens. Like I told you guys before, you’re only allowed to keep 53 and if four quarterbacks are the best guys in that unit then I may have to do that. I may have to break those rules. You got to keep what’s best for your team however it works out. We have to keep the guys on our team that we believe are going to help us win. We have to do that.”

(On QB Josh Johnson making the team)
“It’s not about Josh Johnson. It’s about whoever that fourth quarterback is. I don’t know who that is yet. Josh is going to have a big opportunity to go out there and play, a big opportunity. He can go out there and splash and shoot right up the depth chart. He is going to go play. Right now he is getting a lot of mental reps but he had a pretty good two minute today. He looks poised. I’m anxious to see him play.”

(On the nerves of the team for Saturday night)
“If I have to address that then I have the wrong guys. It’s not about nerves when you get out there. They will have their own little angst like anybody does. Ronde [Barber] will have angst, but it’s just the fact that they are going to go out there and play and they are going to execute what they know they’ve been taught and we’re just going to go do it. That’s what we have to do.”

(On the veteran quarterbacks)
“Pretty good. You didn’t see much of them, besides the Tennessee preparation stuff, so they were just in and out a little bit. Talking about what we’re going to do, what our schemes were and all that type of stuff. So they looked pretty good, and actually with two minutes you saw Byron [Leftwich] and Josh Johnson because potentially you could see Byron at the end of the half and potentially you could see Josh Johnson at the end of the game. So tomorrow we’ll give Josh Freeman potentially as the end of the half guy and we’ll give Josh Johnson potentially the end of the game guy. So I’m trying to mix that up to give guys the best chance to look good. I don’t want those guys to go out there and I just practiced Luke [McCown] and Byron the whole time in two minutes and I give those guys an opportunity. Just like yesterday we had to move the ball, I had the two Josh’s running because they have gotten the least amount to move the ball this offseason. So I wanted to give them opportunities to catch up, give them opportunities to run the team, call the huddles, and they’ve looked good. But those older guys, they’ve stepped up, they’ve done everything I’ve asked of them and I’m proud of them and can’t wait to see them go play.”

(On the rotation of quarterbacks for Saturday night)
“Well we’re going to discuss it. I don’t want to tell you the rotation yet just because I didn’t tell my staff yet. I have it in my mind right now, and I could tell you what everybody’s going to play but I didn’t tell my staff yet. Somebody might actually fight for their player to play longer or less that night. But I do have a pretty good idea in my mind. We just want to give enough plays to evaluate them. I just want to make sure everybody’s comfortable on our staff before I actually get that stuff to you guys.”

(On Cortez Hankton)
“He’s been impressive, he’s been explosive. His problem in the past has always been he was kind of an injury bug, and when you put the pads on, he’s kind of disappeared. But I haven’t seen that now, I’ve seen him step to the forefront. I’ve seen him catch balls, I’ve seen him be physical at the line of scrimmage, I’ve seen him play hard. He’s benefited with [Michael] Clayton and Antonio Bryant not being there. He’s been able to play with that first group or that first rotation. Whether it’s been as a Zebra guy, or as an X, whatever. He’s smart, he knows everything about the offense, he’s been quiet, kind of just on that train track, just going. Let’s see what he can do when it gets sticky as Richard Mann would say.”

(On Jeremy Zuttah being a smart player)
“To [Jeremy] Zuttah’s credit, this camp he has really stepped his game up, he has really picked up his demeanor. Every once in awhile he’ll give you that smirk, but he’s buying in and that’s all you can ask from the kid and that’s all you can ask for anyone on this football team. So I’m loving what Zuttah has been doing. There’s no such thing as being too smart.”

(On if he has any special play for Tennessee on Saturday like they did against Buffalo)
“(Laughing). If I did, I’m not going to tell you so that you can go tell Jeff Fisher. I’m sure they do. We will go through our offense. We will try and exec ute. We just want to go out there and execute our game plan. We really can’t worry about what they did to them. We can’t get into that stuff. We just have to get out there and play. We are a young team. We are developing our core beliefs. We just have to go out and do some of those things to make us a better football team.”

(On if you should try and hide things in preseason)
“I don’t believe that we should hide anything. Nobody knows anything about us, so we are okay. Everything that we show is brand new. If that was the case then I would just call timeout and cancel all the games. We have to go out and play football. We have to go over all the things that you guys have seen, and execute those plays and try and be our very best.”

(On the physical play of the preseason opponents)
“We have a great preseason, don’t we? When we talk about physical play, we will have a nice measure on all that stuff. We play Tennessee and then Jacksonville, back-to-back. Then Miami comes here with that Bill Parcells mentality. That is pretty physical. We are talking about a physical preseason. That is what you want. That is how you would like to see it. Let’s judge these guys, because we have been talking about physical play, against a physical team. Let’s see what we have.”

(On who will not play on Saturday besides guys like Jeff Faine and Antonio Bryant and Clifton Smith)
“Antonio Bryant and [Michael] Clayton obviously won’t be. We believe [Jeff] Faine is going to be a next week guy. So he won’t be. We are hoping to get Clifton [Smith] back. You won’t see him returning a punt. I want him to play a little running back. For a little bit. But for the most part, we will get just about everybody back. Kelly Campbell is iffy. We will have to figure out a little more on that. I am trying to think of all the guys right now. They kind of get a little lost in the team on me a little bit. [Angelo] Crowell won’t be. He will be a next week guy hopefully. [Joel] Filani will be a iffy guy kind of like Campbell. We are just going to have to see with some of those guys. But for the most part the guys you know are not going to play- Faine, AB and Clayton. And the other guys could be up in the air. Matt Bryant will not kick and neither will [Josh] Bidwell.”

(On simulating the game situation tomorrow night for you and the other coaches)
“The whole training camp, I have been trying to figure out what head coaches do. So I have been simulating the whole time. I have been walking around evaluating and putting my little jabs in there. Throwing my little snide remarks or my little comments of love, whatever they are. And tomorrow night will be no different. We will come out, have coaches in the box, coaches on the field and we will go through our pre-game ceremony. I wouldn’t say go as far as go inside the locker room and run back out but we have to get a feel for that. I have to get a feel for when I have to step in and maybe say something to a Jag [Jeff Jagodzinski] or say something to a [Jim] Bates and know about that or whatever the case may be. It is hard to switch back and forth and I will try to simulate the best I can or maybe I will move over every series or every third play or whatever the case may be so I can simulate listening to the calls and putting in my situational input and things of that nature. I have to get a feel for it as well. I might throw a few red flags just to throw it.”

(On if it would be strange to see Derrick Brooks in a Saints uniform)
“Every time you talk about stuff like that, you’re talking about Joe Montana playing for the Kansas City Chiefs. You’re talking about Jerry Rice playing for Oakland and Seattle and Tony Dorsett going to Denver. You talk about stuff that nobody likes to see but as you know players like to play. And I wish Derrick the best. But he will be back here soon. He will always be a Buccaneer. I love Derrick as a Buc. It’s my guy. Of course I don’t want to see it.”

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:37pm]

    

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