Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris refused to back away from recent comments lauding Tampa Bay as an NFC power, remarks that have apparently stirred up the Atlanta Falcons.
He also downplayed any potential interest in receiver Randy Moss, who was waived Monday by the Vikings.
The Bucs improved to 5-2 with a 38-35 triumph at Arizona and share the best record in the NFC with the Giants and Falcons, who play host to Tampa Bay on Sunday at the Georgia Dome. After Tampa Bay beat the Rams to go 4-2, Morris proclaimed the Bucs as the NFC's best team and he has no inclination to retract those words.
"It's not trash talking, it's a mentality,'' Morris said Monday. "It's mentality before reality. If you don't believe you can win, you probably won't. I believe in my team and my team believes in us as an organization.''The Falcons swept the Bucs last season and some Atlanta players heard Morris' message loud and clear, according to video interviews posted on the team's official website.
"Saying you're the best, not one of the best, that's a bold statement,'' said linebacker Mike Peterson.
Safety William Moore is using the remarks as added motivation for Sunday's NFC South showdown.
"You've got to back that up when you say stuff like that,'' said Moore, who leads the Falcons with three interceptions. "We are definitely looking forward to the show.''Moss was unexpectedly waived by the Vikings on Monday and Morris was asked whether the Bucs had interest in the prolific 33-year-old wide receiver. Based on the league standings, 30 teams would have the chance to claim Moss before the Bucs.
"He's a great player in this league who is available, but we have six young, dynamic wideouts we're building for the future,'' Morris said. "We love what we've got. We probably won't require Randy Moss' services right now. I think he's one of the best wideouts that's ever played the game.''