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Transcript: Raheem Morris postgame news conference


Tampa Bay head coach Raheem Morris was proud of the way his team made a 14-0 Falcons lead disappear, but said there's no such thing as an encouraging loss in the NFL

Opening Statement

"I am proud of my young football team for fighting and what we were able to do today."

On why he chose RB LeGarrette Blount on fourth down:

"If it is to get an inch, then I will pick him all day."

On considering taking a shot at the end zone:

"It was fourth-and-inches. I could get four more downs back to run the ball and try to score. QB Josh Freeman had the ball in his hands with four downs."

On QB Josh Freeman coming up short in the final drive:

"This isn't the first time that Josh has come up short in the final drive."

On onsides kick:

"I love it. I took a shot. Unfortunately, we came up short. We did a great job of trying to get the ball back. We just didn't execute it as well as we might have liked to. We touched the ball a little bit, and that's the game."

On resilience:

"This is a resilient football team. The Atlanta Falcons are a very good football team, make no mistake about it. For a young football team to fight back from a 14-0 lead is big-time resiliency. The defense started making plays in the second half, which they didn't do in the first quarter."

On challenging the spot of the ball:

"I felt like we should have been on the 5-yard line. However, you can not challenge spots. So, it is what it is."

On whether RB LeGarrette Blount had the first down:

"I think he may have had the first down, but you can't challenge spots. It was a judgment call."

On losing yards (on final drive):

"Again, you can't challenge spots. I am not going to make excuses. We should go out there and win the game, end of story."

On team building:

"It had been all about team building the entire time. I talked to the guys about lessons being learned. Today was another lesson on how you must go out there and win, especially against big opponents. I am proud of the way that they fought. However, we got a big game coming up at home against the Carolina Panthers. We have to give our best effort because we know they will be ready to come in and run that football, and we didn't do a great job of stopping the run today."

On this being an encouraging loss:

"There is no such thing as an encouraging loss. That is a mentally weak statement."

On keeping the ball in QB Josh Freeman's hands longer on the last play:

"That is a situation that I will keep second guessing on, but we will go and do film evaluations. We will see what we can do better, and the next time we get in that spot we can make the decision that is right."

On WR Michael Spurlock:

"We're a team. We are 61 men strong, practice squad included. We have guys up and down each and every week. Every man in that locker room gives us an opportunity to go out there and win that football game. I am proud of that effort."

On QB Josh Freeman's ability to make plays under pressure:

"I am not shocked by that anymore. I expect it of him, and he expects the same from himself. It is definitely exciting that our quarterback can make big plays."

On choosing to go for an onside kick:

"It was a chance to get four more downs for our young quarterback. We play this game for first downs and wins. So, it is easy to second guess decisions like onside kicks."

On the receiving corps:

"We had a few drops. Again, no excuses or pointing fingers. We have to believe in ourselves."

On this loss being a moral victory:

"There are no moral victories in the NFL. At the end of the year there are wins and losses. We lost today to a very good Atlanta Falcons football team. I am proud of my young Bucs and how they fought all the way through. However, we have to see these guys again and we will embrace the challenge."

On being "the best" football team in the NFC South:

"Well, we can't say we are the best team right now. We do not have the least amount of losses, so that would not be accurate statement by me this week."

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