Buccaneers’ coach not giving up on the season
Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris is not giving up on the
season despite a five-game losing streak that has all but ended any
”We remain committed to growing as a football team,” Morris
said on Monday, one day after Tampa Bay dropped to 4-7 following a
23-17 loss at Tennessee. ”I don’t think the mentality of this team
is ever going to change.”
Morris said he has a bunch of guys playing with pride.
”They’re not done playing, and we’re not done coaching,” he
said. ”We’ll keep going out there and keep giving it our best
effort. I don’t see any quit in these guys.”
Tampa Bay cornerback Aqib Talib called the long skid ”the most
frustrating thing that can happen to a football team.”
”We’ve just got to find a way,” Talib said. ”It’s all about
finding a way. We go out there and play on Sunday, we try to win.
Stuff happened and we lost. It’s football.”
The Bucs continued a season-long trend of not finishing games.
Tampa Bay had the ball late looking for the win on Sunday, but
quarterback Josh Freeman fumbled a fourth-down snap, recovered the
ball and only managed to get back near the line of scrimmage with
40 seconds left.
Officials ruled Tampa Bay had turned the ball over on downs, and
the Titans ran out the clock to finish off the six-point
”That’s been the deal,” Morris said. ”We’ve had, I think,
three games right now with the ball in our hands with a chance to
get the lead and win. You got the Detroit game, the first game of
the season, yesterday and the Chicago Bear game. Last year we won
those games. We haven’t been able to get that this year.”
Freeman threw for 199 yards and a touchdown, but he had an
interception and lost a fumble.
”We’ve got to play better,” Morris said. ”Guys got to step
up. We don’t make excuses. We didn’t play well.”
Chris Johnson ran for 190 yards, and Matt Hasselbeck threw the
go-ahead touchdown to Damian Williams on fourth down with 3:01 left
against a struggling Tampa Bay defense.
”I don’t know, man,” Talib said. ”I don’t have the
Tampa Bay had been giving up 133.5 yards rushing per game.
Johnson shredded the Bucs at times after being booed heavily most
of this season after signing a $53.5 million extension.
The Bucs will look to stop the lengthy slide this Sunday when
they host the Carolina Panthers.
”We’re grown men,” Talib said. ”We’ve all had seasons like
this. We’ve got more games to play, so we’re going to play more
Notes: Morris said the status of DT Brian Price, who hurt an
ankle Sunday, will be evaluated during the week.