Bucs head coach Raheem Morris spoke after Tampa Bay's 27-20 loss to Tennessee on Saturday night. Three players - LB Matt McCoy, WR Dexter Jackson and S Will Allen - sustained injuries. Read Morris' post-game comments in this article.
Bucs head coach Raheem Morris' opening statement:
"Matt McCoy had a ankle injury. Dexter Jackson had an ankle injury. Will Allen has a [shoulder] injury. We're still evaluating those. As far as the game, we played physical and we played tough. We accomplished those things that we wanted to do. Playing a physical team like Tennessee you want to come out and play physical, and I thought we did that throughout the first half, and even through the second. We have to get better at third down efficiency - on offense and defense. They were 50 percent on third down, and that's too good and can't happen. A lot of that came in the second half when the second and third groups were in there. Not a bad start, though."What did you learn about your quarterback situation?
"I don't know if you learn anything tonight. You learned Byron Leftwich came in and played a little better than Luke [McCown]. He came in and threw a couple of nice balls. He put a couple of strikes in there, and he threw the only touchdown tonight. For the most part, I thought they handled it well. The game didn't get too big for either of them. One of Luke's plays the receiver had a bust and he should have had a completion there. You don't want to judge them on those types of things. As far as the young guys, Josh [Freeman] came in and we wanted to get him established early. We gave him a couple of handoffs. Then he made a couple of completions and he got some confidence. Then I made the decision on third down, and it was a bad decision by me, to throw the ball towards the sticks, and the guy made a great play on the ball to intercept it and score. Then we had Josh Johnson come in and he had a nice little drive there to show what he does best when he put the ball between his legs and ran in for the score. That was a premature snap by the center, and Josh caught it and made something happen on third down. That's what you have to do when things break down like that."
Does anything change on your depth chart?
"It's way too early to make that decision. You have to go back and grade the tape. You have watch the guys and see how they played. Leftwich is going to start next week and Luke is going to be the backup. Josh and Josh will play towards the end again next week."What else stood out to you?
"I was really impressed with our first- and second-team defenses. Ronde [Barber], Chris [Hovan] and Barrett [Ruud] only played one series. They flew around. They played fast. Stylez [White] made a bunch of big plays today, and that's what he has to do. He hadn't been playing all that great in practice, but he came out under the lights tonight and showed up. He played big tonight with the interception and sack. Those guys stopping the run - Ryan Sims, Roy Miller and Chris Hovan - that was impressive. The DBs held it down in terms of making tackles. I thought they looked fast. We looked like we were swarming around and capping off. I was very pleased with that first half defense. The second half we had some breakdowns, but for the most part I was happy with those guys."More on the defense:
"That was part of the whole offseason change. We wanted to be able to play faster and be a faster team. That was what we did tonight, and it was encouraging."How did you do in your first game as a head coach?
"I was just so busy trying to evaluate, and also teaching myself on how I want to make decisions and manage the clock, things like that. That last play of the half, just going back and evaluating myself, I probably could have gotten another play off. Then I could have taken it down to three seconds and attempted a shorter field goal. I was just trying to be highly critical of myself going against a great coach in Jeff Fisher. I did okay. I'll go back and grade myself on tape as well, but I feel pretty good about it."To watch Bucs head coach Raheem Morris' post-game press conference, visit Buccaneers.com.
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