Even after it was pointed out that the Bucs rank 23rd in the league in total offense and 22nd in the league in total defense (including 31st in the league against the run), Morris refused to alter his claim. "Stats are for losers, so you keep looking at stats and we'll keep looking at wins," Morris said a day after Tampa Bay improved to 4-2 with an 18-17 win over the Rams at Raymond James Stadium. I mean, you are what your record says you are in this league, and right now we're tied for the fewest losses (in the National Football Conference), so that makes us the best team."
The Buccaneers have won four games by a total of 20 points; they are 3-0 in games decided by a touchdown or less, a year after going 1-4 in such games. They've lost two games by a combined 50 points. The teams they've beaten are a combined 8-18.
I understand that a coach basically has to say this sort of stuff because the alternative -- admitting that his team isn't as good as their record -- is unsavory. That doesn't make Morris's method of explanation any less stupid.
Thanks to reader Key19 for bringing this to my attention.
Our offseason Four Downs series continues with a division-by-division look at each team's biggest remaining holes and their most notable UDFA signings. In the NFC North, quality wide receivers and defensive backs are in short supply.