Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I Would Be Worried Too, Except That's Not What He Said

Now, what's next?

What is Raheem going to do about it?

If Monday morning was any indication, I'm worried.

At his final day-after news conference, he was asked about where his team needs to get better. He said he'll have to look at the tape and evaluate - 32nd in rush defense and he has to evaluate?

He can't just take a stab at it, off the cuff?

He really needs to look at film.

"Hey, back that last part up a second ... I think the Giants just beat us.">

-Martin Fennelly

Oh my goodness! I know that Coach Morris hasn't exactly done a great job in the media this year but do you mean to tell me that all he had to say about evaluating his team was that he had to "look at the tape and evaluate"?!

Actually no, that's not at all what he said, although Fennelly would have you believe that.

See there is now this notion out there that Coach Morris is "in over his head" and because he isn't the world's greatest interview people have latched on to it as some sort of sign tht its true. I fully admit that Morris con come off bad in an interview at times but what in the hell does that really have to do with his coaching ability?

Absolutely nothing.

And in this case its even worse because the answers Morris gave yesterday in his interview were a helluva lot more substantive than Fennelly would have his readers to believe. Using the good old google I came up with his quotes from the press conference yesterday. Let's see what Coach Morris actually said.

(On if he had meetings with the coaching staff)
“This is the time of year that you do that. Within this next month you will go back, get a little time away, come back and evaluate everything you do. Everyone will be evaluated, myself, all my coaches, all of our players, everybody. We will evaluate the tape this next month. This is the process that we are at now, we will just go back and evaluate.”

(On his biggest priority this offseason)
“As far as priorities for me, number five (Josh Freeman). He is the number one priority. It starts with him. Then after that the draft and building around him, our team and what we are going to be. You have to say that number five is the biggest priority, making sure everything works around him because when it works around him, we were able to be successful at the end of the season there. The next biggest priority has to be the draft. We have 10 big time draft picks coming up. I have to get the exact number but I know we have three really high ones. You never know what you can do in the draft. Maybe we’ll find another Sammie Stroughter. That has to be a priority there.”

(On if the draft is going to define the team)
“I think that’s with everybody, not just speaking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I think with everybody you have to build from the draft. There is no secret that’s what we are trying to do, that’s what we have been trying to do, build from the draft. Last year it was started and here you have to continue on that path of building through the draft. The draft has to be a high priority. It always has been. We drafted Mike Alstott. We drafted Warren Sapp. We drafted Warrick Dunn. We drafted Ronde Barber, all those big time impact players were all drafted here. They were all drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They were all drafted to play in this system, to play with us and to play for us. That’s what we have to do, build through the draft. That’s the way you build teams.”

(On draft needs)
“That’s a part of this next month as well. You go back and you evaluate. You have to fill in the holes where you need. You plug them in, then you go evaluate the other tape. You see what’s the best fit and see where you fall, see how they come to you. All of those things have to be taken in account for. That’s what I have this next month for. I don’t have to make that decision now. I can look at the tape and study it.”

Hmmm so lets see. Not only was Coach Morris NOT responding to a question of "where his team needs to get better" when he talked about evalutating the tape, he is answers yesterday were a helluva lot more substantive than just "I have to go back and watch the tape". Now I already knew this to be the case because I happened to have listened to Coach Morris' press conference yesterday live, but I bet Fennelly is banking on the fact that most of his readers didn't. And of course they would just assume that Morris saying "I have to evaluate the tape" was the beginning and end of what he had to say about improving the team.

Mind you, this press conference was held at a time when Morris didn't even know if he would be back next year.

But who needs details when Fennelly is "worried"?

What is truly ironic is that if anybody's performance yesterday warranted concern it would have been the media assembled at the press conference. Their questions were as general as you could possibly imagine and most of them were very uninspired. I put up a list of 10 questions I came up with in less than 5 minutes in a comment over in joebucsfan that would have been better than every single question asked at that press conference yesterday. And while we will never know whether Morris would have answered them specifically or vaguely, at least they would have been put out there. Instead we have Fennelly's bretheren asking about whether Coach Morris reached his goals.

Great question genius!

See the problem that I have with the media, especially the local sports media here in Tampa Bay, is they try to paint their own picture whether the facts back them up or not. Its obvious that Fennelly isnt' exactly a Morris fan and so he built his column around that. Hell I don't begrudge him that, to each their own. But when you try to use slight of hand to try to make Morris look bad even though what you say he said and what he actually said don't even remotely resemble each other, then I am going to stand up and call bullshit. If you can't make your case without making shit up, then its probably a weak case to begin with.

I am not some kind of hall monitor for the media but you had better believe that this won't be the last time I call them out. When I see bullshit trumped up by journalist I am going to call it what it is. Hopefully their won't be many more occasions for me to have to do something like this, but considering the stories I have seen this year I am not optomistic.

It is what it is, truly.


  1. Steve, I love the Absolut image! So appropriate. I stopped reading that clown long ago for two reasons: 1) I can't stand his not so subtle hidden agendas (looks like he hates Morris like he did Gruden), and 2) I can't stand the way he writes, with his one sentence paragraphs. -Louie

  2. Steve, I give you credit because I don't read the crap Fennelly writes. I see him as an incompetent wind bag that all too much loves the sound of his own voice.