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From the Mouth of Morris- 8/10


Welcome to another edition! Starting out the questions.... our left......

Coach Morris, I see you've released a depth chart...comments?


" The depth chart was released today for the Tennessee game.  I wouldn't read too much into it.  I would just say you've got to put somebody in the front and we've got a long way to go until we figure out who's going to be there permanently.  We've still got a month to go.  September 13th is when that real depth chart will come out and you guys will have a better feel." 


What do you have planned for the second week?


"Last week was about our team, about us, what we want to be, the tough physical football team. 

 This week was more about preparation.  Today, as you could see, I got them more involved with situational football.  

You could see it in the backed-up period with the noise, us being backed up down there, 

getting six plays down there, coming out, trying to see if we could get to the eight so we can get off a good punt at least.  If not, get a first down and create good field position for the punt, or two first downs.  We also had a two- minute today, and I kind of mixed it up on them a little bit.  We were down by 10.  It wasn't a normal two-minute [drill] so the quarterbacks had to make a decision whether they were going to get three first or try to get the six, or if they get the six and come back and try to get the three.  That's a tough situation you're in, kind of like we were in Chicago last year.  You've got to try to come out and you've got to try to fight back and get it twice.  We got an onside kick – we simulated the whole thing.  Kick the field on the 

first drive, we got an onside kick, ran off four seconds, come back and you've got 40 seconds to try to make it happen.  We threw a pick so we didn't work it out.  The second time we didn't get the three or the six; we threw a pick.  So those were tough situations I put them in but those situations can happen during the season and we've got to simulate that as close as we can.  Then we came out and we also had a move-the-ball [drill] today.  That was a situation to try to get into the rhythm of the game.  We started off with the ball, we've got the ball at the 35, here we go, we just got a kickoff and Clifton Smith ran 

it to the 35.  We've got to get these guys ready to get into a game-like situation with Jags [Jeff Jagodzinski] and Olie [Greg Olson] on the sideline calling the plays in through the huddle, calling it through the headsets.  The quarterbacks have to get the call, whether our system is broken or not.  It happens in the game.  Sometimes you see the quarterback waiting for the call, can't get it, can't hear.  It happened to Josh Freeman today.  We've got to get that stuff, those kinks out of the way.  We've got to get it all out of the way.  We don't want the first time that happens to be on Saturday."


How is the Injury situation?


"There's really only one guy that's really an issue, and not as big an issue as you would think.  A.B., Antonio Bryant, we're going to go ahead and work on that knee.  We're going to go ahead and scope it, clean that thing out, get him ready for the season.  He ran the other day, was ready to go, and then it swelled up a little bit on him again.  It's just not worth it.  Let's get him ready for Dallas.  Let's sit him down for three weeks.  He probably can come back the last preseason game but I'm probably going to be mentally weak and not play him and just wait for Dallas, and we'll figure it out as we go.  I'm not sure yet, but let’s get that thing fixed so he can be ready for Dallas.  [Julius] Wilson had a little stinger; you might have seen him walk off today. It's just a little football Pop Warner injury.  Other than that, everybody else remains status quo.  They're all day-to- day. We should be getting some of these guys back here in the next couple days.  They want to play football, so we should be toughing it out a little bit.  We'll see." 


Coach,Is this the same knee from last year?


"Yeah.  Was it preseason?  I'm not sure if it was the preseason; I can get back to you on that.  I know when he banged it, I believe it was the Carolina game, when he had his big 200-yard game and he kind of walked it off and it's just kind of been lingering.  It goes away and it swells up, it goes away and it swells up, so now we thought it's just not worth it.  Let's go ahead and fix it up and get him ready for Dallas.  He's had a pretty good training camp so far." "It's his meniscus, if you want to get technical with it.  They're going to go clean up a little chunk of meniscus or whatever.  Ronde Barber had it a couple years ago and was back after the bye week.  I told A.B. that: 'I'm not questioning your toughness or anything, but when I coached DBs, Ronde came back the following week." 


What does Antonio Bryant lose by not being able to practice?


"I'm not sure if he loses it, I'm sure our quarterbacks do.  There's nothing like going out there and throwing to Antonio Bryant.  He's a big strong guy that's going to make plays for you.  Sometimes you throw a bad ball and he'll make you look good.  He'll miss his part, obviously, his timing and rhythm, but he was here in the offseason a lot.  He did have a lot of work at that, he did have a lot of work at that in camp, so I'm feeling good about his timing and precision.  He got a little bit of the physical game.  In a two-minute drill he got a little helmet-to-helmet action, little hits on him.  But I think it's better, I think it's smart, to clean him up and let him get ready." 


So who gets to move into the top spot of the depth chart at his position?


"Let me see who I've got listed here.  I've actually got Brian Clark listed behind him. I  don't know if that's going to be true or not on Saturday, but I had to write somebody down in that slot.  So right now on the paper it says Brian Clark, so that's who's there." 


Coach, are you more concerned with minimizing injuries or winning games during the preseason?


"I think you want to win any game you play in because it just creates a different feel around your team and your organization.  But obviously you want to go in these games and you want to get ready to play Dallas.  You're preparing to play Dallas.  And then also you're trying to find out who's going to be the bottom half of your roster, which we've been talking about, the guys that drive the bus.  I'd rather see those guys and prepare to 

play Dallas, but obviously I want to win.  You guys want to win, we all want to win the game.  I think our guys will go out there and they'll try to win, and that's what we're going to do.  It's going to be the 53rd strongest man that probably pulls us through these preseason games, so I'm fired up about seeing that.  Last year it was [Elbert] Mack.  Last year, E-Mack went up there and got a pick, hit the quarterback, got the crowd fired up.  The next thing you know, he's on our team and we didn't know his name.  We just called him 'Nook.'  We're going to look for those types of players to step up and go out there and play this year and do the same things." 


Any comments about making Luke McCown the starter in Preseason game one?


"I kind of knew that when I took the job. Let’s give Luke an opportunity. Let’s give him the best opportunity. There is nobody on this football team that will tell you they didn’t get an opportunity to make it or an opportunity to be their very best. I promised Luke from day one. That is the only promise I gave all of them. ‘Hey, I am going to give you 

the best opportunity to compete for the No. 1 starting job. It is the same thing that I told him. It is the same thing I told Byron Leftwich. It is the same thing that I told Josh Johnson. I am going to give them the opportunity to compete and to be their very best. Now, have the two veterans kind of stepped up to the forefront and are really fighting for it and have two young guys trying to push them, chasing them, trying to steal reps when they get their opportunities? Yes. I have to give these two guys an opportunity to try and win this job. If the cream rises to the crop from the other two, then good for us."  


This has been another edition of FROM THE MOUTH OF MORRIS!  The Quotes are real, but the names have been changed to protect the innocent! ...or something like that!! Only on Buc'!