Tampa Bay Buccaneers Coach Raheem Morris watched the videotape of the New Orleans Saints’ 31-21 loss last Sunday to the St. Louis Rams and said Tuesday he expects to see an opponent this week ready to redeem itself.
“The Saints have a great offense, are a well-coached team, present a lot of problems on defense with their blitzing package and their special teams play really hard,” Morris said in a conference call. “It’s never a great time to face the Saints. But (New Orleans) coming off a loss, just provides some more juice for those guys to get back into the building, kind of like it does us.
“They’re a mentally tough team and I’m sure they’ll bounce back very quickly, knowing the guys I’m dealing with, guys like Sean Payton and that whole organization.”
Just three weeks ago, on Oct. 16 in Tampa Bay, the Bucs hung a 26-20 defeat on the Saints, forcing three Drew Brees interceptions.
“The whole key to any success the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have is just us playing fast, us playing smart, us playing consistent and hard,” Morris said. “That’s the only thing to really rely on when you’re talking about a young team like us. We want to go out there and try to play as fast and as hard as we can. If we can get some of those things done, we have a chance versus anybody. It’s no different when we play the New Orleans Saints.”
The Bucs will be without running back Earnest Graham, who gained 109 yards on 17 carries in the win against the Saints. Graham tore his Achilles tendon in the Bucs’ last game against the Chicago Bears in London.
But Tampa Bay’s bye week enabled running back LaGarrette Blount to further rehab a left knee injury and Morris said he’ll be ready to play against the Saints on Sunday.
“We lost Graham, but hopefully we can pick some of that up with Blount,” Morris said. “He’s been a major factor for us in the past. We need him to come up big for us.”