Raheem Morris was never afraid to speak his mind as the Buccaneers head coach.
Now that he’s a Redskins assistant, that hasn’t changed.
While Morris was generally pleasant on the topic of tonight’s preseason reunion, it’s obvious he feels scapegoated for the Bucs struggles last year. After winning 10 games in 2010, they lost 10 straight to close 2011, and he was fired. Then when they brought in his replacement, Greg Schiano, they talked about his organization and discipline.
That message wasn’t lost on Morris.
“We were getting fitted for coach of the year rings [in 2010],” Morris told Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “A year later, we weren’t disciplined enough.”
There’s reason for Morris to feel bitter if he wanted to, as the moment he walked out the door the Bucs started spending serious cash on veteran free agents. On the day they dropped $140 million worth of contracts on Vincent Jackson, Carl Nicks and Eric Wright, Morris sent a text to Bucs GM Mark Dominik.
“I gave him some nice choice words,” Morris said. “But he was great about it. He laughed. He said he knew he was going to get this phone message. …
“They gave them to those coaches and let those guys have an opportunity to go out there and do it. I’ve got no ill will toward anybody for not signing a free agent or signing one. It’s a timing thing. I wasn’t my time. We didn’t go out and get the free agents. We wanted to build through the draft.”
His ouster after nearly a decade with the Bucs organization was jarring, because they thought his relatable style would be perfect for a youth movement. Instead, the Bucs have swung the other direction, with clocks on the wall to emphasize accountability.
But Morris is taking the high road, mostly, for now.
“Those guys know what I did for them,” he said. “I don’t have to brag about it or beat on my chest.”
That’s not to say he won’t, he just doesn’t have to.