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August 19, 2011 @ 8:41 am
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Morris Admits Buccaneers and Patriots Game Plans Were Different

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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A day after suffering a 31-14 defeat to the New England Patriots, Raheem Morris addressed the media at One Buccaneer Place discussing what went right, wrong and who stood out.
If you listened to sports radio or viewed social media sites Friday, you would have thought the Buccaneers had just lost the Super Bowl. Disappointment, criticism and even outright panic was the norm across the board today following Tampa Bay’s 31-14 loss to the New England Patriots Thursday night at Raymond James Stadium. Raheem Morris took to the podium at One Buccaneer Place this afternoon to discuss his staff’s philosophy for New England, what went wrong, and even a few bright spots in the Buccaneers’ second preseason game of 2011.

“Last night we got outplayed physically,” Morris said. “It was good to play a team like that and to play when they are in that type of rhythm so you can evaluate some guys. And they won some of their one-on-one matchups that you want us to win. We lost those battles. But it was good to evaluate to see without a scheme and things of that nature. It’s always good to see who could win, who could not win and I got a pretty good idea of that from last night.”

Morris told the media the two teams came into the game with a different set of ideas on how they wanted the game plan to unfold.

“Everybody handles things a little bit differently,” Morris said. “In that second game [we] got a little more situational football, how they wanted to play against that team. That’s the reason they brought back in Tom [Brady] to execute their two-minute offense. Where as last night, we were rules ball. Just let guys go out there and play. We wanted to get about 20 snaps with our first group. Got a little more to try and get something going. It’s a different approach to how you attack the preseason.

“A lot of people would ask the question, ‘Why didn’t you game plan for guys like the Patriots?’ It’s because I want to see what you can do without me giving it to you. And then what I want to see this week [is] what you can do with me giving it to you and you adjusting. There is a level of stage on how we prepare and we have kept that same level for a long time."

“We have our way of doing things, and they have their way of doing things,” Morris continued. “And I don’t want to knock anything that anyone else does. I just know they prepared a little differently just based on some evaluation. For us it's more about our guys picking it up in the heat of the moment and letting that player come out in order to find the ones that are going to make our football team."

"If I give them all the answers to the test you can get a bad player that can show up and play just enough to make our football team. But if I don’t give those guys all the answers to the test, then they are on equal ground, and have a chance to compete and find out who knows what we do, and how we want to do it the best. And that puts us in a position to go out there and play football.”

The Buccaneers’ head coach wasn’t pleased with his team’s overall play but knows it was just a preseason game and he didn’t appear to lose any sleep over the final score. The plan was to see how the young Buccaneers would react to certain looks.

“Not as much as had we prepared for every Patriot blitz,” Morris said. “Not all of it was on the offensive line. Some of it was on the quarterback not making the correct call you want to see at that point and that stage. So I’m not as disappointed as you might be had [we] come out in Week One and that happen. By then you would expect to have all the adjustments right. It’s a big difference on how you would [have] judged those guys. The physical play, the one-on-one battles, the technique stuff. The penalties last night were what I was most concerned with.

“So I would say I was obviously disappointed in not being able to pick up a certain look or scheme because we didn’t give it to them that way. We just wanted to go play baseball, follow our rules and see who could pick up the rules; see who could communicate and see who could play on their feet.”

With nearly complete domination by the Patriots first-team units, the Buccaneers’ third-year coach was still able to find some positives, even in defeat.

“McCoy was actually the bright spot for the defensive line,” Morris said. “He got off the ball great. He was very active with his hands. He missed one big play that he could have made to prevent the big breakout run. He wasn’t the reason. He actually missed the play but the play should have still been stopped. We had a breakdown in our shooter awareness. For the most part, the play of him up front was really the bright spot for the defensive line.

“Obviously Elbert Mack had a big-time game last night. He had about five tackles, he had the interception for a touchdown and he had a knocked-down pass. He played really tough. Corey Lynch played really well for us. Hustling, hitting, doing all the things you do as a safety. That second core of defensive backs came in and played really well. Larry Asante had a couple more busts than he did the week before. He played physical; aggressive. He did some of the things we want to see. As far as that standpoint, Dekoda Watson again was another factor, a factor in the Tim Crowder sack forcing the quarterback to step up. [Also] the two-minute defense, with that first-team offense coming back in. Those guys getting a stop right before the half, that was a real game-time simulated situation so that whole crew of two-minute defensive guys that were out there [was encouraging].”

Rookie middle linebacker Mason Foster had some ups and downs but overall Morris liked Foster’s effort for the most part.

“Mason playing as physical as he has. You know he is still getting better. He’s fun [to watch]. Right now you see him not quite sure on certain things. But you love the physical tools. The hand usage, the speed, the power, the pop. He got another big hit last night, with the penalty [unnecessary roughness]. But that's something we have got to coach. You don’t want to deter that away from Mason, either. So you aren’t going to let that be a deterrent for how physical you want him to play. You have to abide by the rules, obviously, but you have to keep that type of mindset in your Mike linebacker's mentality.”

Morris went on to discuss the individual efforts of several other players, particularly the offensive lineman.

“Trueblood play probably his most solid game I’ve seen him play in a while. He looked very productive. Davin [Joseph] looked okay. He made one mistake that is very correctable and [Donald] Penn didn’t play great. He didn’t play terrible, but he didn’t play awesome. Faine was very solid. Zuttah came in and did a nice job. James Lee didn’t play particularly well. As well as he did towards the end of last season when he was really competing. We want to get him better.”

The lessons learned from the New England game will benefit the Buccaneers down the road, Morris feels.

“I don’t know if it was all about the fight,” Morris said. “I just think they executed a lot better than we did last night. It’s all about execution when you play a team like that. Whenever you play a really good team like that - [like] the New Orleans Saints, the Patriots, a quick-moving, fast-huddle team - scheme-wise they are going to look a little faster. You can probably attribute some of the physical losses to that. Those are some of the things you want to individually win. But next week we will get some scheme differences to try and help some of our guys.”
Last modified on Tuesday, 23 August 2011 21:34

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  • avatar

    Can I say it again..... it is pre-season people..... IT MEANS HARDLY ANYTHING. The score, the loss, how you lose, noone of that matters. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - On the positive side, Belicheck gave Raheem and team alot of film to study
  • avatar

    I honestly cannot believe that these comments were echoed by a head coach? I just think as coaches, you should always set up ANYONE to succeed. If a player works hard, learns their assignments, and looks good week in and week out, is there a possibility of him not being good? All players at this level can play there is no question about that. 90% of success is preparation. Prior Proper Procedure Prevents Piss Poor Performance.
  • avatar

    Hanks has got it right. You practice like you play. I learned that the hard way in college sports and when I got it, then I was successful. To me Rah's comments are spin city. He got beat more than the team did. I call Bullsh@t!!!!
  • avatar

    OK, So let me get this straight? WE went up against a SB contending team with a very YOUNGRY team and didn't prepare them for success? BS!!!!!! Coming from the military, trust me..... It is stressed that you fight how you practice, or in this case play how you practice. If we honestly went to play this team with no game plan or execution plan than, that doesn't tell me much about Rah or his coaching staff. Don't get me wrong but, its only a pre-season game but, I am a firm believer that you must practice how you play. Pre-season isn't ju7st for the players, its for the coaching staff too. They need practice planning for teams, preparing for their weaknesses, and exploiting those weaknesses. Make no mistake, teams like the patriots who are in the running year afte ryear get this mentality. Practice to win....EXPECT TO WIN.....ACCEPT NOTHING BUT WINNING. Winning is a way of life... You either win or you lose.... Losing like they did to the Patriots is fine in the Pre-Season.....if you EXPECT to lose during the regular season. Just my 2 cents.
  • avatar

    Wow, a pre-season defeat and some fans are already in panic mode. I wonder if Eagles fans are the same way since they also got manhandled by the Steelers... :)
  • avatar

    May very well be the truth, but rings a little hollow. KC made it well known before the game they were simply going through a glorified practice when they played the Bucs. For Raheem to come out and say "Oh, we weren't really trying" after the fact is a little questionable. Read a quote from Foster earlier in the week where he was saying the team wasn't sure if the Patriots were going to game-plan like the Bucs were doing, or simply going to show up and and practice like KC did, so obviously there was some plan in place.
  • avatar

    I wonder if barret rudd was still here if the defense would have been able to audible better. But Morris is right, it's a good learning experience for whoever is going to be doing the adjustments, but i hope they learn before the start of the season.
  • avatar

    August 20, 2011 9:37 pm Players better recognize there weak points and correct fast. 9/11/11 against a hungry lions team is coming up and we can't afford any losses at HOME!! I was yelling at the game to stop the bleeding, but realized Raheem was correct in allowing the youngry team to learn fast. The Players are to blame for the game against the Patriots and need to correct all penaltys against the Dolphins 8/27/11. I have my season tickets now even living in Charlotte, so traveling to Tampa days early and taking Mondays off after a Home game to travel back will be much easier with Bucs Wins and no Losses at Home!! GO Bucs and make me proud to have spent my money on season tickets and living 11 hours away.
  • avatar

    By Blackfoot's logic our rising stars should have remained on the bench in a bubble to protect them. Players get hurt in all sorts of ways including shooting themselves in the leg, getting stabbed by their wife, playing basketball, riding a motorcycle, riding a bull or my favorite, hanging out with Ray Lewis.
  • avatar

    Buccaneer are a bunch of whiners. It is a preseason game and Bucs fans still can not handle the Bucs loosing due to the coaches going to an extreme to evaulate players. This was a very good idea. TheBucs coaching staff coming up with a game plan is not what needs the work. This has been proven by the simple fact that the youngest team in football made great strides. What needs to be done during preseaon the most is for the coaches to make the best decision on the players that they choose to keep. A players instinced is very important, and is one of the most miportant aspect of a players overall ability. Rhonde Barber Derrick Brooks and John Lynch for example, are all guys who physical ability would have never been enough had they not had the mental awareness and instinct to react without being told in adbaced what to do or or what to expect. This game was a great excersise and great weak to preform this exercise. When players practice, they don't always practice the same thing everyday. This last game was a different exercise. It is not like the players will never have coaches making calls and just expecting the players to execute. It is just a test and I can see this as being helpfull for the coaches and the players. Most of you will disagree with me and will continue to complain becasue you can't handle the Bucs loosiung even for a preseason game.
  • avatar

    How much wine would you need to overcome playing without Free and Blount because the RM wanted to see how the O-line played without a plan. How do you think Free and Blount feel about be served up to Pats so RM could see how the O-line plays when they are clueless?
  • avatar

    It's football, you have to take some risk.
  • avatar

    No plan, with Free on his backside! Come on Man.
  • avatar

    Some people just don't get it no matter how many ways it gets explained and it is dummied down. "Base Ball" meaning nothing fancy, basic; not swinging a bat.
  • avatar

    scubog, I so agree with you. I do thank the Patriots for showing us and the rest of the league how to beat them. The Patriots lost an opportunity to evaluate younger players. What's your feeling about moving McCoy to LDE? His quick first move would benefit an outside rusher. I don't think that is that important as an DT. I believe power overcomes everything in the interior line.
  • avatar

    some people don't get sarcasm
  • avatar

    I wasn't aware this was the plan (and as Morris also states, it doesn't entirely "excuse" or explain the degree of awful play) before the game, however.... I said/thought throughout the game that the PLAY CALLS were bad on offense (there were pass plays to be made given adjustments that I clearly saw, not sure if anything would have improve the run game) and the DEFENSE failed to make some fairly basic adjustments that would have helped (though the Patriots offensive schemes/formations were quite impressive and deceptive).
  • avatar

    This really makes no sence. As a coach you need to work with these kids to prepare them for different teams. That is part of getting ready for the season. You need to evaluate them as to weather they can follow that plan. Anyone can just run around and play football without assignments and hope their instincts will allow them to make plays. Besides, the coaches need work on preparing for a team as much as the palyers and preparing for the Pat's would be a great exercise for the coaching staff. If you can get a good game plan for the Pat's and execute it then you are now in the big time as a team. RaRa and staff really dropped it on this one.
  • avatar

    go play baseball? that explains a lot
  • avatar

    Let me simplify what Morris is saying and what I have tried to explain about pre-season games. "We were evaluating players with no game plan to attack or defend the Patriots with schemes." The Patriots did have a game plan with a purpose to rehearse it with little player evaluation on the agenda." To simplify further; seeing which youngsters can steer the car on their own to Grandma's before next week giving them a map.
  • avatar

    It's going to be ok Bucs just get better and trust one another, stay humble, and man up to your mistakes.
  • avatar

    There is another lesson to be had from this game. Camp broke on Wednesday, and I am sure there was a celebration. The next day, the team came out flat and slow. When the young players (immortal all) think they can go out and party on Saturday night and expect to do well on Sunday, Coach Morris can point out reality by reminding them of this humiliation.
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