Raheem Morris spoke to the media Tuesday afternoon about the 2011 training camp and gave his thoughts about his "youngry" football team.
Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris held his last press conference of the 2011 training camp on Tuesday afternoon and discussed his thoughts on how the last two and a half weeks have gone. Morris also talked about how the team's practice plans will proceed through the rest of preseason.
“Officially camp is over today,” Morris said. “From this point on we will go into some things with padded practices and get some good work [in]. Then after that when you get to your season practices once that starts you get your 14 days in pads, and we will deal with that and how we want to use them, and how we want to be effective with that plan. We will put more thought into that as we get further and further along.”
Morris was asked to assess how things have gone at training camp this summer and pointed out that the true way to measure the success of camp is through preseason games.
“I think the assessment was the other night [against Kansas City],” Morris said. “With those guys coming out playing fast, playing smart, and playing hard, and playing consistent. We can still get better. [There are] lots of places we can improve. Timing and precision, situational football things we can demonstrate in practice. First and second team didn’t get a two-minute [drive]. We didn’t get a chance for a must-stop situation for the defense. Those things we can simulate in practice. Those are some of things I will continue to try and simulate in practice in order to be a better football team. But we will continue to grow.”
Coming off a 10-6 season, the Buccaneers coaches and front office weren’t happy about the NFL’s 132-day lockout. But even with the loss of minicamps and organized team activities, there were no surprises when the doors opened for business again at One Buccaneer Place in late July.
“I had a lot of high expectations for our guys,” Morris said. “I didn’t expect us to have a big drop off. I have some high-character, quality young men, so I wasn’t expecting them to come back all out of shape. I’m really fired up at where we are. We still have a lot of room to get better. I look forward to getting better.”
Morris wouldn’t single any player out as having a poor camp. But he did say it was inevitable that not everyone will perform up to expectations.
“It’s hard to say disappointment when you create competition,” Morris said. “Did some guys not win the battles you thought they could win? Sure. But that’s going to happen all the time when you talk about competition. And it would be my fault for creating that competition. But I like it that way. You like it hot. You like everyone to come in and really step up and accept challenges and fill roles. But it doesn’t always happen. So when it doesn’t happen there is usually someone there to step up and I’m usually just as excited for that person as I am disappointed for the other.”
When asked what he has seen from his players over the last few weeks, Morris mentioned many bright spots and things he could hang his hat on.
“I have seen good, hard, physical play,” Morris said. “I think you have seen guys getting used to a routine. I think you have seen guys coming back knowing exactly what we are going to do in some of the situations we talk about. One thing I have seen different is watching Josh [Freeman] teaching quarterbacks and the other receivers. Watching Quincy Black and Geno Hayes really form that role for teaching Mason Foster. Watching [Gerald] McCoy come back and really grab [Adrian] Clayborn and show him what we want to do so he doesn’t have to go through some of the rookie woes he went through. You see some of your players coming back, getting better and being productive to help those younger guys be better.”
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