Bucs head coach Raheem Morris had success in special teams the last time he faced the Falcons, but he knows that a different phase of the game can be just as dangerous this time around
On replacing S Cody Grimm after suffering an injury in Week 11:
"It's going to be tough. One of our players that came in and stepped in did a really good job for us and that was our goal. We want to try to get some of these young guys going. We have a couple of different guys that can go back there. We have our veteran Ronde Barber who knows it back there, as well. Some of the young guys are going to get a chance to play with him. We're just excited that some of these young guys will get out there and play against a great team like the Atlanta Falcons."
On the skill set of S Corey Lynch:
"Corey has been here for a little bit and he's done a great job for us on special teams. We've seen the ball skills he's been able to display for us in the preseason. He got a couple of interceptions in a couple of our games in the preseason and what he's able to bring to the table. We picked him up a couple of years ago from Cincinnati, and he's been productive for us, and had a lot of fun for us. I can't wait to see him out there and have an opportunity."
On the rivalry between Atlanta and Tampa Bay:
"We can't call it a rivalry yet. We have to get a win in there somewhere for you to call it a rivalry. I think these guys have done a great job keeping us at bay. We've been able to go in there and stay fighting. They give you all you can handle. They do a great job on offense with (Mike) Mularkey, they do a great job on defense with Coach (Mike) Smith, they do a great job on special teams with how hard they play, and their players, and the type of guys they build and they bring around. We look at those guys as a little bit of a model to what you want to become. Our division is becoming a standard for people to look at, young teams developing quarterbacks, guys playing really well around the quarterbacks. We have all those things going on in our division and Atlanta is certainly in the forefront of that."
On Josh Freeman overcoming the proverbial sophomore hump:
"Well, you can't really call him a sophomore yet. He played the last eight games and it was a great chance for us to get him in there and play against division opponents. He's seen the Atlanta Falcons a little bit here. He hasn't had the success he's wanted to have against them. He's played decent, played well, but we haven't gotten wins and that's the most important thing for a quarterback. What he's doing this year has been pretty impressive, being able to lead his team to seven wins and being able to do some of those things that we kind of covered. He's doing a nice job of growing and developing. We're far away from where we want to be. We're far away from having all the pieces, but we're certainly making ourselves competitive and we're certainly putting ourselves to play meaningful games in December."
On the success of special teams:
"You never know. We like to build our team on playing smart, playing hard, playing fast and playing together and playing with consistency. One phase or another has got to step up every time you play each individual game. Last time we played the Falcons, our special teams did a nice job of keeping us in and stepping up and allowing our defense to catch up with the offense and somehow slow you guys down with that high-powered offense you do have, and allowed our offense to get going and get a couple of points there late. That thing could've got ugly. You guys just jumped out. You were all over us. We were able to maintain and get some nice special teams play form our guys to put us back into the game. That's just how we play our games. We play each phase together, consistent and we have an opportunity to win each game. There was no difference in that game but like I say, Atlanta is a heavyweight. There are people that we know we have to bring our 'A' game on all phases of our game and we look forward to the challenge."
On the importance of getting off the field on third down with the Falcons' ability to sustain long drives:
"There is no doubt about it. They are either No. 1 or No. 2 on third-down offense. They certainly look like the best and that's the whole key to the game. The third-down situation with Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White getting the ball, and also (Jason) Snelling having the ability to affect third down, as well. Obviously, their quarterback is the main cause of that, as well. He's tough to get to, they're putting themselves in manageable third downs and they continue to change the move to sustain long drives. I believe the last time we played them they had a 99-yard drive for a touchdown. Those things absolutely ruin your day; keep your offense off the field, and wears down your defense. They do all the things that they need to do to maintain dominance. We have to find a way to win on third down, and certainly that will be a challenge for us this week."
On the emphasis of the Falcons-Bucs matchup during the playoff push:
"It's always business as usual for us. Obviously, when you're playing a division opponent there is always some more meaning to it because of the playoff picture and because of trying to win your division and do some of those things. You have to go into it one game at a time. Knowing that these guys are the most important game because they're the next game. That always has to be the emphasis for us and our team."