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August 22, 2009 @ 5:29 pm
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Bucs-Jags Post-Game Quotes

Written by Jim
Flynn
Jim Flynn

Jim
Flynn

Former Editor-in-Chief E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
The Bucs defeated their in-state rivals, the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday night, 24-23. What did Raheem Morris say about his first win as Tampa Bay’s head coach and the starting quarterback competition? Read his comments in this article.
Bucs head coach Raheem Morris' opening statement following his team's 24-23 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"We talked about stuff we needed to improve upon heading into this game. Turnovers was one of them. That was big-time tonight - no offensive turnovers. The Jags didn't give up anything, they had great ball security. We talked about improving on third down and getting better there. Defensively, we played great on third down. Offensively, we improved on third down. I think we had 44 percent tonight. I was pleased with that, the progress and the win. These guys needed a good win to have a good feeling. We had a bunch of different situations tonight. Jacksonville came out wanting to win this thing. Our guys had to hold up there and they did - we stopped them on the two-point play attempt. I was excited about that."

How tough is the quarterback decision to make in terms of a starter given how Luke McCown and Byron Leftwich played?
"It was going to be tough regardless. They both went out there tonight and had pretty good drives. Two of the drives Byron had put us in position to get a good punt off. The other one ended with a field goal. Luke came out and got a nice special teams play by Sammie Stroughter. He capitalized on it by getting us in the end zone, and then he came back and got us in the end zone again. They both played well. We have to evaluate it, talk as a coaching staff and organization and make our decision. We'll make it this week and we'll go into the Miami game with our starter."

You passed on Sammie Stroughter for six rounds in the NFL Draft. Talk about the success Stroughter has had this preseason.

"I was a bad head coach for six rounds. This young man has come in here and done nothing but good things for us. We're excited about him. I'm glad he's here and I'm glad I got him when I did.

"This man almost returned a kickoff for a touchdown. He's caught some passes, some third downs. He's making his case."

Did you recognize Josh Freeman's poise on his 28-yard touchdown run in the third quarter?
"I didn't know you'd call that poise. The rumbling, stumbling giant going down the sideline was nice to see. It was nice to see him have success. It was a bad celebration (laughing). We have to work on that and focus on that in the fundamental period (laughing)."

Have you considered delaying your announcement of your starting quarterback until after the third preseason game?
"No, we have to make it now. This is when we decided we wanted to make it. It's only fair to those guys that we make the decision now, and we can make the decision and move on as an organization and get ready to play."

More from Morris on the starting quarterback decision.
"When I make that decision that's my starting quarterback. That's who I'm going with. I can't look into the future and project failure. If you're asking me about a change I might make down the road, that would obviously mean the person I picked failed, and I refuse to project failure, so I'm going to go with the notion that I'm picking my quarterback."

Morris on his first career victory as Tampa Bay's head coach.
"It's always good to get victories. The first career victory hopefully comes in the opening week, and then we can go from there. We have high expectations. I'm not going to sit here and celebrate a preseason win. That's not my makeup. We're trying to be the very best. We'll enjoy the win, but I'm looking forward to more."

Click here to watch Morris post-game press conference.



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