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September 8, 2011 @ 3:44 pm
Current rating: 4.67 Stars/3 Votes

Raheem Morris: "Climb on Board"

Written by Victoria
Victoria Horchak 


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Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris held an off-site press conference Thursday afternoon at the downtown Tampa Hyatt Regency Hotel after attending a Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

On Thursday afternoon, Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris held his regularly scheduled press conference in the hallway of the Hyatt Regency Hotel at downtown Tampa after attending a Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Morris opened up by speaking on the support from the community that Tampa Bay is receiving from area fans. The coach likes where his football team is at right now.

“Oh, it is awesome,” Morris said. “It has always been there. It's hard to believe in the beginning when you start over -- you've got to expect that. We kind of knew that. You've got to have huge shoulders when that kind of stuff happens and myself and Mark Dominik and our ownership did. Right now we are in [a] position where we want to be. We want to go play and compete. We got a really good Lions football team coming in here. They've got young talent, as well, and we look forward to going out and playing a great, fast game against those guys.”

Morris knows that the community has certain expectations from this young football team. However, he is more concerned with the team's goals and meeting them during the season. Morris believes that once the season starts the community will be right there supporting their football team.

“Not to be negative from me, but it's about our expectations and what we are going to do,” Morris said. “Those guys are there to support us and those guys are there to jump on board with us. Like the signs say all around town, ‘Climb on Board,’ and I think they will after we get rolling here.”

When asked if people in the community are expecting the team to compete for a playoff spot, Morris’s answer was simple.

“I hope so,” Morris said. “And I will tell them everything else is gray matter if we don’t go out and compete to win a championship. That is what we want to do.”

The Buccaneers have chosen their team captains for this year and Morris praised them. He is pleased with the maturation of the 6-foot-1, 240-pound linebacker out of Portland State, Adam Hayward.

“Adam Hayward, proud of that young man,” Morris said. “You talk about coming from the bottom [and] working to be a linebacker for us to make the team, to becoming a linebacker, to playing part time duties on defense, [and] to really thriving into our special teams captain. It's been awesome. He's earned himself a new nickname today. He's got so many hammers at home - we give out hammers for special teams player of the week - that we call him Thor. Right now we got Captain Thor on our team and we are fired up about it.”

Morris also mentioned how linebacker Quincy Black quickly took advantage of the leadership role as soon as he had the opportunity. 

“Quincy Black, he came on the scene and he was always a serious demeanor guy, so we tried him at Mike first,” Morris said. “We ended up moving him to Sam to get him on the field [and] getting him to play faster. Now he's got the ability to play nickel Mike and play base Sam for us. He's a serious demeanor guy, takes care of himself and loves the game. I'm looking forward to letting those guys go play and he certainly assumed the leadership role immediately when he had the opportunity to.”

Even though Josh Freeman is just 23-years old, Morris believes that his maturity level and ability to be a leader on this football team has always been there.

“He's been the captain since he walked into the building,” he said. “He's our guy and he's been our leader for a while.”

Morris intends to let his defensive line determine how long each plays as an individual based on their play during the game. He wants to keep the unit fresh, but at same time wants to keep the players on a roll in the game.

“You know D-linemen [are] always easy,” Morris said. “Those guys go every couple series. I never really put a number on it. If a guy gets hot you leave him out there. For the most part, those guys play equal snaps. It would not be shocking to me if they played a very similar number of snaps. There's no real number count like there would be in a preseason game. You got to let those guys go out there and determine how much they play based on their play. You got to get a feel for it during the game. Bowers is the young guy on our football team right now earning his right to be out there. I'm sure he's going to go out there ready to go - hungry and willing. That's the part I love. That's the part that excites me.”

The Buccaneers plan to use their big-body players such as Bowers on plays that are must-win situations for the defense.

“It's always series-to-series with stuff like that,” Morris said. “You have situational football plays they will be a part of and I am sure Bowers and those big bodies will be part of a goal line package or something like that, or on a short yardage type of a deal. You want to get those guys series of equal amount of reps. Not to say that they will be equal, but just to say that you want to get the guy out there and let him get hot.”

The Buccaneers plan on paying tribute to the late legend Lee Roy Selmon throughout their season by wearing patches on their helmets. Morris hopes that some type of memorial will be used for the coaches, as well, since he would like to be part of the tribute.

“That's special,” Morris said. “I'm sure everybody in our community has been touched in some way. He [was] a special guy; certainly a credit to what his family has meant and what he has meant to the game [and] what he has meant to the Buccaneers community. You cannot beat that. That's the ultimate honor in our game when that happens - to wear his patch on our helmet. Hopefully we get something for the coach’s uniforms, as well, because I certainly would love to be a part of that.”

Morris knows that Selmon was a major influence on his young players by leading with a quiet influence, but also by being a huge leader at the same time.

“You hit it right on the head,” Morris said. “You really cannot explain the kind of influence he had on some of the young players or the people that really got a chance to know him. He [was] such a leader and such a pillar of our community. He was the ultimate pro on what you're supposed to do and how you do after you are done playing. He was just a great man all around. He helped as many people as he could. He was a part of all kinds of charities. He just did a great job in our community affecting as many people and everybody that he got a chance to touch or speak to or see. I am just proud to be able to say I knew him.”

Last modified on Friday, 09 September 2011 18:18

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  • avatar

    Pucker fans own stock in the team. They have to show up for the games. Seattle has a major seaport, a major aircraft manufacturer, and the owner of the Seahawks also employs a few people in the area. They can afford season tickets. Tampa's industry is tourism and it doesn't pay that well. The Bucs will fill the stadium when they're back in contention on a regular basis. So far, we are one in a row. Stop taking potshots at them for what YOU think they should have done and support your team any way you can. They're not done surprising everyone. Support them and you won't have to make excuses as to why you didn't. We've got a franchise QB. We've never had a franchise QB. The Freeman years are going to be the best ever. Enjoy them.
  • avatar

    So I am going to see more Buccaneer football than you folks in Tampa? What is going on? I know the economy is bad, but it is bad everywhere. The Cardinals have sold out again this year. The Cardinals!!!! Well, I guess I will let y'all know how the Buccaneers are doing this year. It is too bad. Good thing they still don't play in the Big Sombrero, you might only fill that stadium up 50%. I have not been this excited about watching the Bucs, for many years. By the way, I understand sort of. The Diamondbacks are in first place and for some reason the fanbase still has not returned. However, the D-Backs were horrible last year. Sometimes it takes a year or so for the fans to start showing up again. Also, why does the NFL still have the blackout rule? Seems old-fashioned. Like 1971 old-fashioned.
  • avatar

    Best thursday night NFL game ever last night. We should've signed D. Sproules. He's the 2nd fastest RB in the league and he wasn't signed until the 2nd wave of FA. That signing still would have aligned with the team's philosophy of not signing big name, high-priced FA's. The Saints didn't pay that much for him. To me that signing would have been on par with the signing of our punter; 2nd wave signing of a player at a position of need that we whiffed on earlier (Huggins).
  • avatar

    I love the idea of a rotating D-line especially in the FL heat. After watching GB run it's "Sugar Huddle" last night, and knowing that NO, ATL, Colts, all run quick tempo offense--can the Bucs' actually get their big men on & off the field in time. Will the substitution defense work against an aggressive offense with a veteran QB? Can't wait for Sunday. Start to answer some of these questions. Lower Horse's blood pressure. I hear you macabee, GB's stadium looked great. It's tough to condemn the community for not buying tickets when there are so many empty houses. But, when is the last time anybody saw a Bucs' Jersey at the Publix, or a "Property of the Buccaneers" t-shirt on the treadmill runner at the gym? Little things that show support, that I see in other Football Towns.
  • avatar

    Fan support here is fleeting like no other area in the country because so many people here want only to jump on the nearest winning team's bandwagon regardless of the logo on its' side. Who's your favorite team? Whoever is winning. Posters right here on this "fan" website continue to shout out the same nonsense about the "cheap" Glazers, incompetent coach, inexperienced GM, failed draft picks (after only their rookie season), no free-agents, downplaying the 10-6 record for only beating one team with a winning record and on and on. Detroit won only six games last year including the robbery here at Ray Jay and their town is filled with excitement. But here, the rising stars and 10-6 record are met with ho-hum. It's the "yeah but" mentality. Hey, the Bucs beat the Saints. "Yeah but" they wouldn't have if Reggie Bush didn't fumble." How about buying some tickets and showing some support for the "home" team.
  • avatar

    It's okay to have hope.
  • avatar

    I watched the Packers/Saints game last night and while the teams were fun to watch, what I was most impressed with was the crowd - their enthusiam, their flag waving, their coordinated participation in the opening ceremony. And of course, the stadium was packed to the gills. We are missing our 12th man in Tampa bay!!
  • avatar

    Don't pay attention to Pre Season. We got lots of talent at the skill positions. We have a Franchise QB with a winning season . We got a 1000 yrd back and we have a bevy of talent at WR. If the Defense shows improvement we got a shot of winning the Division. 12 - 4 is the Score. Expect nothing less.
  • avatar

    Negative! Thats all you whiners ever say! heard all that last year then after 10-6 and unquestionable coaching and GM skills getting the rights players in here now you all jumping ship because of what?????? Wew dont seel out because we have sell out fans!
  • avatar

  • avatar

    Horse.... Snore.. Snore!! Really Man? Sit back and enjoy football. What players were out there that were going to take us to a Super Bowl this year... Please! We are still a Year or 2 away from the window fully opening.
  • avatar

    So agree with you so lets hope. Go bucs!
  • avatar

    Okay Coach? Here's my question? How's your Balance? You're talking a lot of the talk and in the past you were lucky and got away with some surprises within the NFL. Now, everyone gets it that we can beat your butt if we don't take you seriouly. Detroit takes us seriously so now what do we do? I so want you to succeed. I so want you to win the NFC South. I have very large doubts though? Why? Now in the third year of the rebuild, it appears that we are so good that we do not need that extra reach for RB, OL, Safety, CB, LB. I am very puzzled here. I do not want to be disappointed and "God we have to back up a year" or two" and here we go again.. Right now, that's what I am feeling. I have zero, zero clue where we are right now. All I have is hope and for a guy like me that SUCKS!. That's all I got right now is hope. Hope is good; I think. Go Bucs! Be the team!
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