Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris addresses the New England media during his conference call on Wednesday, October 21, 2009.
Q: With the unique nature of going to London, how has the organization prepared for this trip?
RM: We're really excited about going over, really excited about making our game international. [We're] really excited because our owners have some experience going over there and our organization has some history, some roots over there. We have people that travel back and forth, so we made the decision to go down there Friday with all the wealth of knowledge we have from our ownership and some of our guys that go over there in our organization. And we're just excited about going over there and play the Patriots, as tough as this game is going to be.
Q: What time will you leave Friday?
RM: We will leave here around 8:00 [a.m.] and we'll get to the facilities around six, so after that, after we get to the facilities, it's all downhill from there for me. Your day starts at six and you do as you do, you get on the plane, you board, you take an eight-hour flight, you get off and you go to sleep. You kind of force yourself to go to sleep.
Q: What went into your decision to leave Friday, whereas the Patriots are leaving late afternoon Thursday?
RM: We talked to the ownership and they go over there a lot for the soccer team. They do a bunch of different travels over that way for business, and we just feel like that's the best time for us to go. We can be the most rested. We can catch up with the time zone as fast and as quickly as possible, and that's the time that we chose. I'm not knocking what the Patriots are doing. I'm sure they have their reasons and I'm sure that's what they have to do, and I'm sure they've also got people that did that same research. So we'll just have to go out and see which one works better. We'll figure it out when we get to the game day.
Q: What's the most unique part of the logistics of this particular trip?
RM: For me, it's a business trip. It's very easily recognized as a business trip when you're going to play a team that just won 59-0. For us it's a business trip. There's nothing really unique about it for us. The only thing unique about it is making a game international, but we've got to go over there and try to get our first win against a very good football team, a very well-coached football team, and we're excited for the opportunity.
Q: Just in terms of the start to the season, I'm sure it's disappointing. What would you pinpoint as the main reasons for the start?
RM: Well, we're getting better. We've got to grow around here fast. We've been outplayed. Teams have been more physical, more violent. We've got to pick up some of those things. We've got to start doing some of those things if we want to win some football games. We've got to learn how to finish. We've got to learn how to keep our consistency throughout the game, and until we do those things, we won't get a win. Hopefully we can start doing them this week and we can start trying to win some football games here.
Q: When you see the Patriots, what stands out to you, specifically on offense?
RM: Obviously, the guy behind the center. Tom Brady is special, arguably one of the best quarterbacks in the league, if not the best. The guys he's throwing to are special. The O-Line are tough to deal with and the running backs run the ball, and they execute a lot of different things in various and different game plans. They're a special offensive unit. They've always been and will continue to be as long as Tom Brady is behind the helm.
Q: What do you see from the Patriots defensively?
RM: You see them get younger actually; that's the scary part. When you see those guys pick up guys like Brandon Meriweather and some of those people that you know about for a while, and they add the veterans in the team with Adalius [Thomas] and Shawn Springs. You get those guys to have some veteran leadership. [Vince] Wilfork is playing very well and Jerod Mayo, being one of those young guys that you talk about playing great football. They're just a tough team to deal with. We're talking about a physical football team with square shoulder pads that will hit you right in the mouth if you let them. You better bring some fight to them or it's going to be a long day for you.
Q: One of your assistant coaches, Pete Mangurian, was here in New England as a tight ends coach. How much have you leaned on him this week in terms of getting familiar with the Patriots and some of the things they do offensively?
RM: As well as you know, New England's game plan changes from week to week, with the mastermind in Coach Belichick. He's going to do what he does well. He's going to do what you can't defend. He's going to do all those types of things, and we all know that. He knows that. You could see a completely different ballgame than what you had last week [when] they scored 59 points. They're going to come out and try to do what they can do well and what they feel they need to do to win. That will change each week, so you better not spend too much time leaning on what other people think, and just prepare your fundamentals and be ready to deal with adjustments and make adjustment and be ready to deal with whatever you get in front of this type of offense or defense, to be exact.
Q: Jeremy Trueblood was a local guy up here - played at Boston College and now is in his fourth year. How do you see his progression in terms of where he is at this point?
RM: Well, you're talking about a guy who has been here and been a starter since he got on stage. He's been really going well, doing well, doing some good things, playing tough, playing physical ball, getting smarter and smarter each day. Now he's working with Pete Mangurian. [He] has the luxury of doing that. [Mangurian's] making him a better football player, making him more athletic, making him more conscientious of football and everything that has to do with football. We're just really excited about Jeremy and where he can go with his game.
Q: On the cornerbacks, will those guys be generally playing more of a side, or have you been more inclined to match them up? Let's say you see a top receiver, would you be inclined to switch them based on the matchups?
RM: We have in the past. We've flipped them. We've kept them right and left before. It varies in each different game and playing against Coach Belichick - you better not give him too much information. So we'll have to go to the game and figure it out and let those guys see when we get there.