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.”