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Raheem Morris is talking like a man who knows the end may be near

Raheem Morris AP

Raheem Morris’ “Youngry” defense is officially the worst in the league. No group has given up more points.

Tampa has lost nine straight games. They have lost the last four games by an average of 23 points-per-game.

Morris is clearly feeling the heat, and it’s starting to show up in his press conferences. He was asked Monday why he should be retained.

“I will never fire myself,” Morris said via Rick Stroud of the St. Petersburg Times. “We go out, man, and you don’t go from being a Coach of the Year candidate to being the worst coach in the league to get fired within a year. It’s about us. It’s a little bit of everything.”

My wife happens to be sitting next to me. She doesn’t know a lot of about football, but she read that statement from Morris:

“I’d fire him just for that quote. It’s immature,” she said.

Whether Morris stays or not, he’s going to have to look in the mirror of how he handled his team’s struggles publicly and privately. There has been a lot of excuse-making instead of taking responsibility. His team collapsed when things went wrong, rather than responding to adversity. The Bucs need to examine the underlying reasons for that collapse.

Morris wants to stay the course.

“I believe in my guys. I believe in the system. I believe in the program. I believe in what we do and everybody in this building, so it’s a buying-in factor. Either you buy any or you don’t. And we want to building this thing young and we want to develop a team that goes out and wins — and wins consistently.”

Bucs ownership has three options. They can fire Morris, bring Morris back as a “lame duck” coach, or extend Morris’ contract.

The young coach has started to publicly make the case for staying by pointing out how young this team is.

“We made a collective agreement to go young when we took over this program,” Morris said. “That’s something we wanted to do. In order to upgrade in certain positions, sometimes you got to get worse before you get better.”

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57 Responses to “Raheem Morris is talking like a man who knows the end may be near”
  1. shawnhatesthejets says: Dec 26, 2011 2:04 PM

    No one cares what your wife thinks dude.

  2. ruggyup says: Dec 26, 2011 2:05 PM

    Given the history of this franchise and its ownership it is safe to say there is also Option 4 in play. That is, the lame duck owners will make lame duck delays in decision making for the simple reason they are incompetent.

  3. mjke3041 says: Dec 26, 2011 2:06 PM

    Your wife is right! It is embarassing how he responds in public. As soon as things started going bad, he started making excuses. He is the d cord too and the bucs have the worst team in the nfl. The bucs are losing and getting blown out every week!! Rah MUST GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. benh999 says: Dec 26, 2011 2:08 PM

    “My wife happens to be sitting next to me. She doesn’t know a lot of about football…”

    I guess that is what you two have in common.

  5. bigdan7885 says: Dec 26, 2011 2:08 PM

    Whipped.

  6. seneca1ss says: Dec 26, 2011 2:11 PM

    he collects $2,000,000.00 “straight cash homie” next year regardless…….. #winning :-)

  7. paulieorkid says: Dec 26, 2011 2:14 PM

    Rumors are that Morris may land an assistant gig in Pittsburgh.

    As a lifelong western PA Steeler fan, that is not welcome news.

    It was a terrible hire by Tampa a few years ago — let’s not contaminate our staff with that pollutant.

  8. tonystrong says: Dec 26, 2011 2:14 PM

    Raheem Morris took a chance on a lot of questionable personality’s with a lot of talent. He believed he could change these guys and it seemed like he put more stock in trying to be a mentor instead of the x’s and o’s coach. While some of his projects worked out, a majority of them didn’t and now Raheem is left with a group of home questionable personality’s. He was in over his head when he got this position to begin with and he showed his immaturity right off the bat by naming himself defensive coordinator. This is a guy who got a head coaching job without ever being a coordinator. He wasn’t ready for this position and this collapse should and will cost him his job. He needs to go back to the drawing board and realize that his success will hinge more on him becoming a good x’s and o’s coach rather then a coach who will turn a guy with a questionable background into a model citizen in society!

  9. emperorzero says: Dec 26, 2011 2:17 PM

    I don’t buy the “Too young” theory. The Packers were the youngest team in the league and played some good football. The 6-10 year was more of the result of switching to the 3-4 and still finding the personnel to play that kind of defense. Even though they were 6-10 they were competitive in most games and lost a handful by 7 points or less.

    Tampa clearly has a problem with some young guys regressing this year (see Freeman, Josh). Tampa is in a tough spot – I think these guys deserve another year, but that makes Morris a lame duck and no one is going to buy into a lame duck coach.

  10. pigskin28 says: Dec 26, 2011 2:19 PM

    You may be right…he needs to grow some. A firing may be what he needs so he can reflect and make himself over. Je has certainly showed promise, just handled a few things poorly during adversity.

  11. pigskinflix says: Dec 26, 2011 2:20 PM

    Standing by earlier assessment that low budget owners will go with lame-duck coach, along with specific changes like a real Def C. Won’t be willing to pay Gruden, Morris, and new head coach next year. May change if Gruden gets new job (woe to that fan base) but doubt it. The wildest option would be keeping Morris and bringing in Dungy as a “consultant” – that would really light up Tampa.

  12. bunjy96 says: Dec 26, 2011 2:22 PM

    Morris isn’t the only one that needs to go. About 10 lazy players need to with him.

    How some of those players can collect a check is a mystery. How do they look themselves in the mirror?

    Watched some of that game Saturday. Tackling is taught before you get to college. Do they all have dementia? What a sorry looking bunch they were.
    They couldn’t tackle my grandmother. 250+ yards on the ground is disgusting, for any team.
    3 of their high priced players were just awful-Jackson, Black and Winslow’s vault.

    Keep Barber and the DL and get rid of the rest of the defense.

    Do they have a LB coach? You could of fooled me.

  13. plum13sec says: Dec 26, 2011 2:22 PM

    I actually think they have a very promising D-line. other than that, it looks bad. bye bye raheem

  14. macker1283 says: Dec 26, 2011 2:23 PM

    Belichick comments all the time how idiotic the rapid turnover rate of NFL coaches is. This is a prime example to me. I’m not Bucs fan or Morris fan for that matter, the guy brought a terrible team to a 10-6 record, and the bring of the playoffs last year. And now because they had a down year, hes going to get fired? Its almost that he is being punished for raising expectations too high from his performance last year. Same thing for Romeo Crennel and the Browns a few years back. Todd Haley this year. His QB, RB, and TE all go down with injuries yet he gets the blame for a down year. Makes no sense. People wonder why certain organizations like the Browns can never get over the hump. Its because there is no continuation and every other year teams have to learn about a new coach and a new system. Look at the Texans. That organization was actually smart and said, nah, we aren’t going to fire Kubiak just because he has barely missed the playoffs a few years in a row. Now thats paying off. They should give head coaches the same leeway in terms of time they give General Managers. Five or six years unless they are complete disasters

  15. pikindaguy says: Dec 26, 2011 2:23 PM

    benh999 says:
    Dec 26, 2011 2:08 PM

    I guess that is what you two have in common.
    —-

    You owe me for a new laptop after mine got destroyed by soda.

  16. earthtopft says: Dec 26, 2011 2:25 PM

    I think I ran into Raheem the other day. He was dressed in filthy rags, unshaven and wild eyed. “The end is nigh! The end is nigh!” is what he kept croaking out, over and over.

  17. kelvinmchale says: Dec 26, 2011 2:28 PM

    I thought it was the Patriots who had the worst defense in the league? If you listen to the morons in the Boston sports media the team that gives up the most YARDS rather than the most POINTS is the worst defense. Makes a whole lot of sense, right?

  18. shallowfan says: Dec 26, 2011 2:29 PM

    Morris could be a good head coach. One of the problems is he found success early and began to think this head coaching thing is easy. He just got undisiplined and that has trickled down to coaches and players. This is not the only issue, but I think a lot of the other issues stem from this.

    He says the players are not doing what they are being coached to do. Well, I know exactly how to remedy that…discipline.

    Ever been around someone who’s kids just don’t listen to them because you know they never actually discipline them? They only yell, but there are never any consequences? That seems to be the case in Tampa. Not a lot of accountability…I don’t know if this is a good analogy or not, but my wife says it is Rosenthal…

  19. facebook.com/joesimmonscomic AKA Slow Joe (Bucs fan) says: Dec 26, 2011 2:30 PM

    I knew the Bucs may take a step back this year since they have a brutal schedule and all, but this team is absolutely laying down. They don’t show up. No matter what flaws Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden had as coaches, neither of them ever had a squad that simply tanked a season like this.

    I hate the idea of starting over with another coach with possibly another scheme, but I don’t know how you keep Rah Morris if you’re the Bucs.

  20. stevemo says: Dec 26, 2011 2:34 PM

    “As soon as things started going bad, he started making excuses.”

    It’s funny how when people respond to reporters questions about a team’s struggles their answers are considered “excuses” and when a guy like Sparano says nothing (and provides no excuses) he’s blasted for “being clueless”.

  21. sikkcaden says: Dec 26, 2011 2:36 PM

    It’s funny how the media last year always talked about how impressive Raheem Morris was, now they talk about him like he’s completely clueless. It reminds me of when people were talking about John Fox as the “Belichick” of the NFC.

  22. backindasaddle says: Dec 26, 2011 2:39 PM

    “you don’t go from being a Coach of the Year candidate to being the worst coach in the league to get fired within a year.”

    ***********************************************************************

    Ummm…..apparently yes you can. And ummm….maybe you should not have a Coach of the Year candidate last year after all.

  23. sportsinhd says: Dec 26, 2011 2:40 PM

    I know Rex Ryan doesn’t get a lot of love around here, but at least he always owns up to his team’s faults and puts the blame on himself. Morris threw everyone under the bus there instead of standing up and taking responsibility.

  24. Kya_Tropic_Fan says: Dec 26, 2011 2:45 PM

    Raheem Morris’ “Youngry” defense is officially the worst in the league. No group has given up more points.
    __________________________

    WHAT?!?!?!?!?! When the hell did this happen???? For the last 12+ weeks everyone has been saying New England has the worst defense in the league…

  25. nowillrepeat says: Dec 26, 2011 2:48 PM

    But I thought they were the best team in the NFC South?

  26. mancave001 says: Dec 26, 2011 2:51 PM

    He’s in his second full season. In his first full season, they went 10-6. You’re going to fire the guy at this point? That’s nuts. Bring him back and don’t extend him until you see how things go next year.

  27. trbowman says: Dec 26, 2011 2:59 PM

    “No one cares what your wife thinks dude.”

    “My wife happens to be sitting next to me. She doesn’t know a lot of about football…”

    I guess that is what you two have in common.”

    Haters.

    I’d trust Rosenthal’s knowledge over you two schlubs.

  28. trbowman says: Dec 26, 2011 3:00 PM

    Hey, remember when Tampa’s defense had Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks and John Lynch?

    Me too.

  29. brutus9448 says: Dec 26, 2011 3:01 PM

    if I were tampa I’d cut my losses and fire him.

  30. trbowman says: Dec 26, 2011 3:03 PM

    So, I gotta own up to the fact that I picked the Bucs to win the NFC South…..

  31. socaldave2011 says: Dec 26, 2011 3:05 PM

    You can call me ” Radio” just don’t fire me…….

  32. steelerdynasty2010 says: Dec 26, 2011 3:12 PM

    i feel really bad for this guy. they spent 20 bucks on groceries at Save-A-Lot and told him to cook a gourmet meal fit for a 4 star restaurant… of course they’re getting their butts kicked, they’re overmatched. I agree, getting blown out and losing 9 straight is never acceptable, but judging by the roster and the schedule they have this year, it’s the course they were destined to follow. i predicted 5-11 preseason and people around the area here laughed at me.The team overachieved last year due to their schedule. It wasnt necessarily a flukey 10-6 because i believe they earned their 10 wins, regardless of the competition.
    that said, i think they should give him another year and honor the contract they gave him. give him a real offseason with this young team and see where it takes them. (he had a real offseason before the 10-6 season, so i’m just sayin….) by midseason, they should have an idea of whether or not they want to keep him so i think they either need to fire him or extend him at that point. i dont really see next year as the year of the “lame duck revolt” by the players though. i think they all knew he was on a trial run, and short-ish leash from the start. i think everyone knows next year is put up or shut up. again, i see nothing but benefits and improvement from a real offseason program, OTAs, etc.

  33. fittytuckin says: Dec 26, 2011 3:12 PM

    He’s yotta there now.

  34. grpatriot says: Dec 26, 2011 3:14 PM

    Gruden the sequel?

  35. nunpuncher says: Dec 26, 2011 3:14 PM

    Not all Raheem’s fault but he’s definetly earned enough blame to be fired. The Glazers need to do what’s right and hire a NFL consultant then promtly fire the HC, Greg Olsen, the scouting department, and cut about half of the bums on the roster. Then they need to back up the Brinks truck and bust out the checkbook for a quality coach over the age of 40 and get some veteran leaders to bring this team back to respectability.

  36. steelerdynasty2010 says: Dec 26, 2011 3:21 PM

    and for all of you claiming they need “accountability” and they need to get guys out who arent doing what they’re coached to do, who do you suppose they put in instead? look at that roster very carefully and you’ll realize that their best shot is on the field every week. they blew it big time in free agency and didnt pick up any vets, either for leadership or performance/talent upgrades. and it’s showing up with some uninspired play on the field and general confusion at times. some of that is coaching, and some of it is playing. Raheem doesnt get to make any plays on gameday, just call them. coaches, like qbs, usually get far more blame and credit than they deserve.

  37. bigchimmyg27 says: Dec 26, 2011 3:22 PM

    Raheem Is A College Coach Not NFL Material.

  38. richm2256 says: Dec 26, 2011 3:27 PM

    The guy is 17-28 for a .378 percentage……

    you want to keep THAT record????

    How has he managed to hang onto the job as long as he has?

  39. tatatoothy says: Dec 26, 2011 3:30 PM

    Jon Gruden and Tony Dungy are both available

  40. vstyle23 says: Dec 26, 2011 3:30 PM

    The team quit on him. The question is why. I think because he built his team based on emotions rather than straight football. Emotions are great story’s for movies but in real life, you have to know the chess match of the game via Phil Jackson, via Bill Belicheck!! You’ll get there Morris. This was a lesson learned

  41. mightyleemoon says: Dec 26, 2011 3:31 PM

    “There has been a lot of excuse-making instead of taking responsibility.”

    I’m all for the Bucs moving on. But, this statement is flat out false. Every since press conference, and every time you hear him speak publicly, he is constantly saying how he needs to coach better and how he needs to improve. Yes, there have been some statements that are taken as excuses. But, he’s taking plenty of blame as well.

  42. richm2256 says: Dec 26, 2011 3:33 PM

    On the other hand, the Bucs have Albert “I’m where I belong” Haynesworth, and that alone is worth 10 wins in a full season!

  43. bigghappyguy says: Dec 26, 2011 3:41 PM

    Since Raheem Morris was the BEST choice available for reaching the unpublished goals of the owners, he should get the BEST support from all available assets until those same goals are achieved. Consistent success comes with and thru our people. How often have the STEELERS (yes, one name without qualification for the entire organization and all components) allowed Noll, Cowher, Tomlin to twist as Dungy, Gruden, Morris as individuals on a limb??

  44. chuckxx says: Dec 26, 2011 3:56 PM

    Here’s the funny thing about when I see a good coach under pressure and may be getting fired. What we as fans forget is there are always 31 other teams out there trying to beat you down. I guess if we lived in a perfect world every team would finish 8-8 and we would have perfect “paridy”. But thats not how life works. There will always be winners and losers. I don’t think he is a bad coach. Every one of us goes thru ups and downs. Give the guy a break.

  45. gatherspeed says: Dec 26, 2011 3:56 PM

    What do you expect him to say? There are no answers.

    I’m a Bucs fan since 79 and a season ticket holder.

    The way I see it , it is a total and complete organizational failure. From the owners to the ballboy.

    Owners not spending money->bad picks (too many young players) a rookie MLB who played OLB in college was a stretch -> poor practices (rumor I’ve heard) -> players actually on the field.

    This guy is the ONLY guy in One Buc who goes out and faces the media like a man. He is a human dartboard. There is equal blame throughout.

    They all suck. I’m OK with Raheem staying or going as long as this team looks in the mirror and changes their beliefs. From the Top down.

  46. legacybroken says: Dec 26, 2011 4:25 PM

    Up to the first Carolina game, I was for giving Raheem another year withthe provision that he hired a defensive coordinator and sent Olson packing but after the last 4 games, I believe its time to move on because Rah has clearly lost the locker room and there is no coming back from that.

  47. cgarsmoker says: Dec 26, 2011 4:34 PM

    I hope Morris sticks around in Tampa…..Getting a couple of easy division wins every year is awesome.

  48. photoshootfresh says: Dec 26, 2011 4:39 PM

    @ gregg rosenthal…2 things. First, your wifes point of view nobody cares about. Second, if your name was greg how would you pronounce it? Exactly the same way you would pronounce gregg! Why the second G? Please fix your name and then i will read your posts. thanks and merry christmas.

  49. bunjy96 says: Dec 26, 2011 5:12 PM

    From items I’ve read, Olson is not the problem, although many will put it on his doorstep.

    Olson is a coordinator, not a position coach. Take a serious look at the position coaches, especially the LB coach, if they have one.

  50. bleed4philly says: Dec 26, 2011 5:37 PM

    It’s no secret the team quit on him.

  51. jimmysimpson55 says: Dec 26, 2011 5:47 PM

    The highest position Raheem Morris EVER held before head coach was an ASSISTANT COORDINATOR’S job. He trash talked and backbit Gruden to get him fired and he conned ownership into giving him the job because he was black. It is not a secret in Tampa.

  52. gatherspeed says: Dec 26, 2011 6:29 PM

    The highest position Raheem Morris EVER held before head coach was an ASSISTANT COORDINATOR’S job. He trash talked and backbit Gruden to get him fired and he conned ownership into giving him the job because he was black. It is not a secret in Tampa.

    —————————————————-

    There are so many things wrong with this statement. Black? Seriously?

    A coach is a coach. Andy Reid never held a coordinators job either. Sean Payton had his playing calling duties taken away from him in Dallas.

    The fact is the players turned to Gruden after Monte Kiffen announced he was leaving and he failed to respond and lost the players respect. Morris was an up-and-comer who almost go the Denver job. After losing Tomlin, Marinelli, Lovie Smith, Herm Edwards, etc to other organizations the Glazers made a move.

    (the fact that Gruden told the Glazers he didn’t need to take a QB with their first round pick the night before he was fired was the icing on the cake-The Glazers wanted a franchise QB).

  53. gatherspeed says: Dec 26, 2011 6:31 PM

    he highest position Raheem Morris EVER held before head coach was an ASSISTANT COORDINATOR’S job.

    —————————————————-

    AND I should add he was a D Coordinator in 2006. In college, but it counts.

  54. buccaboo says: Dec 26, 2011 8:43 PM

    He has lost this team. He needs to go

  55. ufgator8 says: Dec 26, 2011 10:28 PM

    macker1283 says: Dec 26, 2011 2:23 PM

    Belichick comments all the time how idiotic the rapid turnover rate of NFL coaches is. This is a prime example to me. I’m not Bucs fan or Morris fan for that matter, the guy brought a terrible team to a 10-6 record, and the bring of the playoffs last year. And now because they had a down year, hes going to get fired? Its almost that he is being punished for raising expectations too high from his performance last year. Same thing for Romeo Crennel and the Browns a few years back. Todd Haley this year. His QB, RB, and TE all go down with injuries yet he gets the blame for a down year. Makes no sense. People wonder why certain organizations like the Browns can never get over the hump. Its because there is no continuation and every other year teams have to learn about a new coach and a new system. Look at the Texans. That organization was actually smart and said, nah, we aren’t going to fire Kubiak just because he has barely missed the playoffs a few years in a row. Now thats paying off. They should give head coaches the same leeway in terms of time they give General Managers. Five or six years unless they are complete disasters

    Ummm . . .you forgot his 1st season . . . 3-13

  56. Richard Dickson says: Dec 27, 2011 10:21 AM

    The problem is too many of these players were given their jobs. There was no competition in camp. Nobody had to fight for their starting job. Nothing was earned. It was handed to them. So there’s no accountability, no threat of some other guy behind them on the depth chart taking their job. There’s maybe a handful of guys (Claybourne, Bowers, and Blount among them) who have been putting their heads down and working. Everyone else seems to want Raheem to stick around because it’ll be Easy Street again next year.

  57. bucsd says: Dec 27, 2011 7:26 PM

    How can any coach rebuild a dismantled team through the draft in 3 years. If they do fire Rah then who would you suggest they replace him with….Do ya really think anyone else would do a better job. Problems with this team….Cheap owners, Injury issues from day one, Only one good offensive lineman, and one decent offensive lineman in the whole group….and the fact that Greg olsen makes me say at least 7 times a game what the hell was that why would you call that play…seriously lets stop throwing raheem under the bus here….You win as a team and you lose as a team….

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