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October 19, 2011 @ 3:00 pm
Current rating: 5.00 Stars/1 Votes

Morris: We Are Road Warriors

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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Addressing the media, including a large contingent of U.K. press, Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris talked about being back in London for the second time in three years and how it is all about promoting the NFL internationally.

Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris had the opportunity to address members of  the media Wednesday afternoon, including a contingent of local reporters from around the U.K. Morris talked about his young football team and the challenges it faces in playing an NFL game overseas. The third-year Bucs’ boss commented on the possible advantages of arriving in London four days earlier than the last time the team traveled to England.

“Hopefully it has the results we are looking for,” Morris said. “It is great to get here (early). The people at Penny Hill have been awesome. They have taken complete care of us. The food, the beverages, the rooms, the hospitality, the courtesy service, everything has been phenomenal.

“Getting our players here and getting them acclimated to the city – we let them have their day off here – kind of takes some of the angst away from going toward the end of the week. Now we start our workweek and start to practice.

“It’s like a college setting. We have a bunch of young guys who love being around each other. I just wanted to have that bonding moment. It's kind of like training camp a little bit.”

Tampa Bay didn’t fare well in their last trip across the pond, getting soundly beaten by the New England Patriots 35-7 in 2009. Josh Johnson was the starter but then rookie quarterback Josh Freeman entered the game late, making his NFL debut. Morris said this team is much different than the one he brought two years ago.

“This is the birthplace of Josh Freeman,” Morris said. “He went out there and got a couple snaps. I have a different quarterback. I have a different Bucs team and I have a “youngry” football team that is coming out there ready to play. Hopeful these guys come out and play fast, hard, smart and consistent like they have been all season."

Morris was later asked about the significance of losing a home game and making the difficult long trip.

“We are road warriors,” Morris said. “You go on the road and you have to go play. Right now we are out in London and we are enjoying the people, the town and everything that's going to happen. We will have an opportunity to go out there and play in London. Nobody cares if we are crying anyway.”

Morris continued to tow the company, or league, line when asked what he thought about playing overseas two of the last three seasons.

“This thing is a little bit bigger than the Bucs,” Morris said. “It's more about the NFL and promoting our game. Anything that is going to help promote our game, I am all for it. Especially in a positive light. A young Bucs team coming out to London, setting the example, is awesome. Unfortunately for our fans back at home it was a home game, but somebody has got to do it and suck it up and it was us this time.”

The British media asked Morris about the speculation that the NFL may want to have the Buccaneers travel to London for a home game every season.

“I don’t know if it will be an annual trip,” Morris said. “That's obviously for the league to decide and all our ownership. But for us we are about promoting the game. You guys will probably get tired of us and want to see some other guys, so we'll see. And we'll get a chance to get out there and grow as it grows.

“I don’t want to overstep my boundaries (and say) give a game up for London every year. I don’t want to overstep my boundaries and (say) we are moving to London next. But this would be a nice One Buc. So it is nice,” Morris said laughing.

Morris acknowledged the Glazers did come to him and get his thoughts before making the decision to accept the NFL’s offer to give up a home game for a trip to London.

“Our ownership does a great job of making things wonderful, as you can see,” Morris said. “If you look around, it's set up luxuriously. It's been set up great. You always have a say. They always come talk to me about it.

“We came over here and we love coming. We are young. We are a young football team and we want to get out there and do some things. It gives us a great opportunity to put ourselves in the bright lights and let our players get into a Super Bowl-like atmosphere. Traveling away for a week, there's only one game you do that for. So I'm all in.”

England is known for it’s several fan clubs and groups that meet at local pubs and establishments every Sunday night, and even into Monday morning, to watch the live broadcasts of Tampa Bay’s games. Morris commented on whether he felt like the Buccaneers lose their home-field advantage by giving up a home game in Tampa.

“I don’t know if you ever lose home-field advantage coming to London,” Morris said. “Last time we were out here you guy were cheering your butts off and we were getting our butts kicks. I really appreciate that. And when we left it was a great learning experience for a young football team. Anytime you can go into a stadium and walk into a gladiator-like atmosphere it's always going to be fun for you.”

Last modified on Wednesday, 19 October 2011 15:56

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  • avatar

    buctebow: I presume you live in the area since you only get to watch the away games. Why don't you just go to the games? I sometimes have extra tickets.
  • avatar

    I might be able to arrange it maybe once a year. My wife is disabled so I can't get out easily.
  • avatar

    The heat being an advantage is a joke,( see first game of season results) we've lost plenty of hot home openers including Gruden's first and only superbowl season. The fact is Tampa no longer supports this team to the point of selling out every game. They could play in London full time if I get to see all their games on T.V.
  • avatar

    No - it was the BUCS one and only Superbowl. It will be a long time before you see them in another.
  • avatar

    If they are Road Warriors then who will play the role of Mad Max?
  • avatar

    jongruden, thanks for the response. Just a bit of levity, sorry you didn't care for it, I didn't mean for you to edit the screw you out of your message, I liked it's flavor!
  • avatar

    You know I've always been confused when a guy says to another guy "screw you". What does that really mean? I doubt it means that they a g@y and have a tube of lube in their pocket (although it is possible), or that they want to twist you with a phillips head into some wallboard. Does it mean that they intend to take advantage, or defraud you, or are they identifying you as a prison guard, or want one to come visit you (maybe with the lube)?
  • avatar

    the hell with you guys better buctebow?
  • avatar

    I for one am a season ticket holder for the experience of going to the games and cheering on my team. It doesn't matter if it's hot, cold, rainy you name it I'm still there. Not to mention the heat early in the season is part of our home field advantage. Some "fans" don't go in the heat so we don't sell out and make the stadium noisy, so we have to have something to our advantage.
  • avatar

    The hell with you guys who say the Bucs should play a game in London every yr as our late Jon Gruden would say " Are you outta your fricken skull" You want to give up a home game to play over seas what a joke you should be outraged that we are doing this. That mentality of fans we don't need they don't go to the home games anyway unless we are primed for the super bowl like in the early 2,000's with your bead wearing boat hats stay away we don't need you.
  • avatar

    Did you see this article? "British government wants full-time NFL team". It would seem pretty hard to do unless you put a full conference of 4 teams over there and you maybe gave them two to four extra home games a year, then they would only have to make 4 trips to the US and they could likely combine them into say two, 2 week road trips, or one 4 week road trip, where they just stayed and practiced in the US between games. I wonder if the NFL might start out making the Bucs a hybrid Tampa/London team with 4 "home" games at each place and maybe adding some other teams the same way that have attendance problems like the Jags. The London Bay Buccaneers....
  • avatar

    I know it is selfish of me, but the home game in London is televised, so I get to see a game I would not otherwise have seen. One game every year over there? I don't know, but this year I'm happy about it.
  • avatar

    P B all I'm saying is what Mulm said. Sad but true, not enough people care about the Bucs to go to early Sept games, it's to hot. The NFL wants more games in London, give them the first two Buc games, then send them another game during the season. I'm willing to share the Bucs with England. Geez we'll see more of the Bucs if they play over there. Tampa can't support an NFL team on there own anymore, this seems like a perfect solution.
  • avatar

    Bullshit. The economy here sucks - people can't afford to do everything they once could. Hopefully after next year's election, things will get better economically and more people will come. Having a decent team to watch helps.
  • avatar

    I would have no problem with the Bucs having a game in London every year. The team doesn't sellout the games, so why not give the season ticket holders here one less game to pay for to hopefully spike a few more sales, and give the dedicated fans there a chance to get behind one team every year. It would become a great "home" game for the Bucs because London would be cheering for the team they see every year, not the random team they match up against. Overall, I think it would be a great business decision by the Glazers, and great for the NFL as a whole.
  • avatar

    I don't believe I am reading what some of you people are saying. One saying a fan club of 300 people should get one of our home games every year and another saying our first TWO home games should be in London???? No wonder we can't sell out our stadium. Why in the world would you want to give up home games every year? It's great that our European brothers are supporting our team and it's great that they get to see our team this year. However, not every year. I as a season ticket holder wouldn't mind it maybe once every 5 years, but no more than that.
  • avatar

    I wish I was there to meet other buc fans, They are die hearted fans like I am, But this time I home that this young team will grow up and win this game. GO BUCS
  • avatar

    I love the fact the leader of the Buc Fan Club in England has been a dedicated BucFan for 24 years and has built that club up to 300 strong to cheer for our Bucs. They deserve a chance to see them in person once a year. You should look up their internet site--it is great! I sent them an e'mail to tell them how great Pewter Report is and what great blogs we have here and the best info you can get from a knowledgeable staff. I also love our fans here will be able to watch the Bucs go 5-2 this Sunday!
  • avatar

    The Bucs should play their first 2 games in London every year. Let's face it, it's to hot to play games the first 2 weeks in Fla. Hard for the players and fans, who don't show up for the games anyway. Maybe we'd have more sellouts with fewer home games.
  • avatar

    Morris, Morris, Morris, you gotta lov'im. And I do, but I wish he would sometimes take a pass on the hyperbole. Dude! you were on the road when you went to San Fran! Geez!
  • avatar

    And macabee sometimes warriors get their asses kicked royally by an even mightier warrior its just how they get up afterwards.
  • avatar

    That's one loss out of how many road trips????? We do very well on the road.
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