The Buccaneers had just beaten the Rams — improbably — Sunday when head coach Raheem Morris proclaimed “We’re the best team in the NFC. Yeah, I said it.” The Bucs are a great story with a 4-2 record, and Morris — who just turned 34 in September — probably was caught up in the heat of the moment (especially since Tampa has had two blowout losses at home and remains a half-game back in its own division). Certainly, the Cardinals wish they were 4-2 and not 3-3.
Then again, it didn’t seem to matter much to the Cardinals. I don’t expect this to be stuck on the bulletin board all week (although it might end up in a pre-game speech somewhere).
“That’s his opinion,” defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said. “He’s the coach of their team and maybe that can boost his team up. We are coming off a loss and I don’t feel we are the best team in the NFC. We are trying to work. We are trying to be the best team in our division so I know I’m not going to say we are the best team in the NFC. Right now we are in second place in our division.”
Running back Jason Wright chuckled when asked if he could ever see coach Ken Whisenhunt making such a pronouncement.
“There is a difference in personality,” Wright said. “Whiz is always trying to make us better, and I think he knows if you give too much credit too early, you aren’t as likely to improve. So he’d probably wouldn’t say that, even if he felt that way.”
Wright added that players “don’t usually hear” such chatter, spending more time concerning themselves with video of the other team rather than their quotes.
Besides, at this point, there may not be a great team in the NFC. I’m sure the Falcons — the aforementioned 5-2 team ahead of the Bucs in the NFC South — would disagree, but the conference certainly has a wide-open feel.
“You really can’t tell who the best team is until February when the Super Bowl comes,” Dockett said. “That’s the best team, who represents the NFC. You just hope your words don’t come back to bite you when you say stuff like that. We’re going to stay humble and that’s our main focus.”
Tags: Buccaneers, Darnell Dockett, Falcons, Jason Wright, Raheem Morris
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