Need To Make Plays For Josh Freeman

October 28th, 2011

Earlier this week battling jet lag, Bucs coach Raheem Morris made his weekly appearance on “The Blitz,” co-hosted by popular radio personality Adam Schein and former Super Bowl quarterback Rich Gannon, heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio. Joe caught the interview in progress.

Adam Schein: How important is it to get LaGarrette Blount back after the bye?

Raheem Morris: Very important without Earnest [Graham]. Not sure we can find anyone who can replace Earnest. Blount is a good runner. At least we will have him back.

Rich Gannon: Coach, you threw the ball 51 times with Josh. I know those are not the numbers you want. Tell us about his decision-making. Are you concerned?

Morris: Yeah, throwing 50 times for us is not conducive. We want to spread it around. [Freeman] is going through some growing pains with his progressions and his reads and not throwing balls [in traffic]. But we need people to make plays. Those things cannot happen. We’ve had dropped balls, balls being batted down. Those are plays we have to avoid.

Schein: Without question, you know what I think of Josh. I think he played better last year than he has this year. When you look at it, why is that the case?

Morris: I think it’s safe to say that his MVP award is premature. We have to get him back on the playing better format. Not all of it is on Josh. But some of the playmakers around him, they have to protect him better, make plays, get some turnovers to give him a short field.

Gannon: What happened on the run defense?

Morris: We had three plays where they hurt us on the run. Otherwise, we played well. But getting getting 93 back in the middle, he’s the plugger that will help us. Outside of those three runs — that put the stats out of whack. That’s why I say stats are for losers.

Schein: I know you are a company guy and I am being serious, I appreciate that. A game in London means a lot to the owners in the NFL. But you didn’t have a home field advantage. You are in a dogfight for the wild card. You only have seven home games this year. Are you concerned with how that affected your team to get into the playoffs?

Morris: That’s all gray matter, that’s excuses. Right now we are a half-game out. We need to be ready to go. The Saints racked up 60 points the other night. Maybe we will look back in a couple of years and cry but as the leader of this organization, I will not let excuses come into play.

Gannon: What will the focus be? The team is coming off a bye week at 4-3. What will you do as a staff?

Morris: The first thing is, you have to look at the penalties. Way too many. We are 4-3 and we have to play hard in the second half. All hands on deck. We will finish and see what we can do to be our best self. On defense, we need to make plays.

Schein: Do you trust Aqib Talib as a ballplayer?

Morris: No doubt about it. It was the way that young man stood up and took care of the last three plays [after his personal foul late in the Bears loss]. To watch him crawl after a defender in those last three plays, that’s the kind of defender we want. But that penalty falls on the head coach.

Gannon: Has Josh taken on too much responsibility? You feel like he is trying to do more?

Morris: No doubt. That is a mistake by all young quarterbacks. That’s the sophomore jinx. He is trying to put the world on his shoulders and he doesn’t need to do that. If we don’t turn the ball over, we win, no doubt in our minds. We’ll keep working to be a finished product. Just have to get better in small aspects of the team and grow.

Schein: Coach, thanks for calling in after such a tough loss and the long travel, we appreciate it.

Morris: I’ll tell you what: Just talking to Schein and Gannon, I feel better already.

13 Responses to “Need To Make Plays For Josh Freeman”

  1. Mauha Deeb Says:

    McCoy, if back healthy, will make his presence known.

  2. Buc from the Lou Says:

    You know, Rah brings up a good point, with the defense needing to convert the opportunities to give Freeman a shorter field.

    The Bucs are really built to be an opportunistic defense, and the offense has the capability to score a TD in 2 plays off of a turnover. For anyone who follows cfb, and knows how Bill Snyder’s K-state teams turn out from year to year, then u might recall that has always been their recipe for success.

    Raheem coached there for a year, and Freeman played ball there, so I guarantee you this mentality is ingrained in them. Def have the talent to pull it off and Morris is right. Gotta get “all hands on deck” if theyre gunna right the ship. Great interview!

  3. Eric Says:



  4. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Good interview, and comforting comments made by Coach Morris.

    Some of us tried to caution people in the off season about Freeman. He had such a good year last year that it was just too much to expect the same this year. And as I’ve said elsewhere…better he learn through mistakes now than later…when everyone else is doing better.

    The sophomore jinx isn’t limited to QB though. It is affecting the WRs as well. It happens. That’s how they get better.

    I have no doubt that we will have one of the best defenses by the end of the year, barring injuries.

    But Tampa has always struggled on offense, so if that’s going to change, it won’t happen over night. It’ll take time because its something new to the Bucs.

    Truthfully, I think the defense will get good before the offense is refined. I expect the defense to be fit as a fiddle by week 10 or so.

  5. gotbbucs Says:

    he’s not holding the players accountable. that personal foul on talib was raheems fault? c’mon, and the defense has given the ball to our offense on a short field plenty and we come away with field goals every time.

  6. Dan Says:

    your misunderstanding Gotbucs what he’s saying is its my responsibility to whip them into check, basically saying i have not been hard enough or whatever change he thinks he needs to make in regards to aquib.

  7. Mauha Deeb Says:

    I wonder if Raheem says these things to the public but says differently to the team and individual players. It is a good way of taking the focus of the media off the player and putting it on the coach so the coach can focus on the player.

  8. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Freeman is having the classic sophomore slump where DC’s have had an entire season’s worth of film to game plan him and take away some of his favorite tendencies. The complete lack of an offseason definitely didn’t help matters, either.

    He will have to press through this by elevating his game. He can’t coast based on past success and previous habits. It’s either evolve or suffer the consequences. The sooner the better.

  9. 941-Bucs Says:

    I was watching something on the Eagles and it got me thinking. You know how cool it wold be to Pick up Asante Samuel and DeSean Jackson in the off season. I think it would help out a hurting secondary adding Samuel. Ad some much needed play making ability for Freeman to throw too. That would also allow us to solely pay attention to the O-Line, LB, RB, and a couple more DB’s

  10. 941-Bucs Says:

    Evolve or Dissolve

  11. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    Just think: if we could drop Rah, Talib, Geno Taze and the worlds biggest waste of money ever (I told you) Quincy “Jane” Black; and add anyone other than Rah (I would accept Capt Tim or Mauh Deeb even) and a few free agents – that would generate some excitement.

    If they lose to the Saints, it might be time to start prepping for 2012.

  12. Buzzsaw Says:

    Excuse me for bringing this up but Freeman is not a Sophomore … that would have been last year. Freeman is having a Junior (3rd year) slump. Unless they turn this (pirate) ship around there is no way they win the Division or even sniff a Wild Card spot. The NFC Central is a triple threat this year. It could produce 3 playoff teams. Unfortunately, I think the Bucs will be very lucky to go 8-8 this year. They will split all games with their Division rivals (including Carolina).

  13. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Raheem “No Doubt” Morris