When Raheem Morris declared last week that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the best team in the NFC, a lot of NFL fans and media members around the country raised their eyebrows and wondered what Morris could possibly be thinking. Then last weekend, the Buccaneers engineered another scintillating come-from-behind win over the the Arizona Cardinals to improve their record to 5-2. Next up? A huge divisional showdown with the Atlanta Falcons who are also 5-2.
Morris joined The Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday to talk about his bold declaration, feeding off being doubted, the development of his young quarterback Josh Freeman, and other interesting subjects. It’s not every day – at least not in recent years – that a member of the Buccaneers gets asked to join a national show like this. Let’s hope it’s not the last time this year, either.
Excerpts of the interview follow. (Read full transcript via: SRI here)
Whether he feeds off the media doubting them as the best team in the NFC with their weak schedule:
“I don’t know about feed off of it but what I have done all my life is strive to be the best. That is something that was instilled in me on my parents and something that has instilled in us throughout all of my coaching but it helped me throughout my career. You have got to believe that you are the best. No different than I would expect you to instill in your kids or your children or anyone you were giving advice to or you wouldn’t have any chance. That is the only way I can attack it and the only way I can be, and it’s just who we are. It is not a false confidence, it’s not to try to trick anyone or even talk trash. It’s just for me it is about a mentality and I believe it is a mentality before it is ever a reality.”
Whether he is more surprised by Josh Freeman’s development or LaGarrette Bolunt:
“I would have to say LaGarrette Blount. With Josh Freeman, I was fortunate enough to be around him as a young man in college and I have seen him go through this process, at a smaller level, but on the same intensity. I’ve watched him come in and I have watched him grind and I watched him go through the process of who he was going to become and be ready to be before he became a first round draft pick and I knew it would be no different when he got to the pros because I know he is one of those kids that wants to be the very best at what he does. With LaGarrette Blount, it was a process. It was a process of going back, studying the background, finding out who he was, being able to talk to the people who knew him, your common friends, your common relationships, getting him involved with your program, getting him here, teaching him in the program within a 7-week process and now finally having him being able to rise to the occasion and outing him as a part of our team. It has been fun to watch and it’s been a good thing.”