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Buccaneers coach doesn't regret "best team in the NFC" statement

Minutes after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had edged the St. Louis Rams, 18-17, on Oct. 24 to improve to 4-2, Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris stated, "We're the best team in the NFC. Yeah, I said it. We're the best team in the NFC."

Morris said he has no regrets about making that statement.

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"I don't think it was bulletin-board material that I was looking for," he said during a conference call with Baltimore media Wednesday. "I think it was instilling a belief in my team. If mentality flows into reality and we don't believe we're the best, then we've really got no chance at anybody else believing it. So when we go out and play, it's more about us than anybody else. Somebody has to finish No. 1. Why not us?"Tampa Bay seems to have proven its coach right, winning three of its last four games. The only loss came at the hands of the NFC South-leading Atlanta Falcons on Nov. 7.

Quarterback Josh Freeman backed his coach's confidence.

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"It is what it is," he said. "You talk about bulletin-board material, and week-in and week-out, I kind of feel like everybody gives it all they've got. So I don't feel like Coach Morris going out and saying that gave any other team any added fuel. Since he said that, I think the only game we lost was the close one to Atlanta in Atlanta. I think there are five teams with the same record as us and then Atlanta's the leader at 8-2. But we feel like we're right in this thing, and hearing Raheem say that, it gives the guys a lot of confidence, being a young team and just knowing that our coach has confidence in us."

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