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Buccaneers' Morris makes no apologies for schedule

While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ride the crest of a wave that has them sitting at 7-3 and in contention for the NFC South division title and a postseason berth, there's been an undercurrent of criticism over the strength of the Buccaneers' record.

All seven of the team's victories have come against opponents with losing records. In the three losses to the Atlanta Falcons, the New Orleans Saints and the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tampa Bay has been outscored, 96-40.

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Some analysts have pointed out that the Buccaneers, who finished in last place in the NFC South with a 3-13 record last season, are taking advantage of a fourth-place schedule. But coach Raheem Morris took issue with that stance."I've got the same schedule as everybody else in my division – the Atlanta Falcons, the New Orleans Saints – besides two games, and we haven't played those two games yet," Morris said during a conference call with Baltimore media Wednesday. "You play the people they put on your schedule, they line them up, and you go out there and you play. There's nobody in the NFL that's an easy game. That's all media talk. You ask anybody in the NFL if they've ever played an easy game, and I guarantee you that they will tell you no."

Similarly, Morris dismissed the notion of beating a powerhouse opponent – like the Ravens this Sunday – to make an impression with observers.

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"There's only one signature win and this year, that signature win is being played in Dallas [the site of Super Bowl XLIII]," he said. "If you don't get to that game and get a signature win like you guys got down here in 2000, there really is none. We've got one signature win in our franchise history. It was in 2002 and in San Diego. That's the only signature wins that teams have."

An earlier version of this blog misidentified Tampa Bay's division. The Baltimore Sun regrets the error.

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