After Dismal Season, is Raheem Morris Under Pressure?
Not many coaches survive a 1-15 season. The Bucs have not quite reached that glorious threshold yet, but with just two games remaining, things don't look good.
The Bucs have a poor record on the West Coast, where they face fellow 1976 expansion team Seattle on Sunday, followed by division rival New Orleans, who may well be chasing a 16-0 undefeated year.
With a sacking of offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski and demotion of defensive coordinator Jim Bates, including changing of playbooks on both sides of the ball, plus three quarterback changes and a host of players placed on injured reserve, 2009 has been a year to forget in One Buc Place.
While a losing season is not uncommon in the Bucs' 32-year history, head coach Raheem Morris has got to wonder what his bosses, the Glazer family, make of such a dismal year.
"That is not my job to worry about my future," Morris said. "That’s for mentally weak people. My job is to coach the football team, week in and week out. I have to go and beat Seattle. That’s what I have to do. And then I have to go and beat the following team after that. Job security in this business, in case you haven’t looked around, there is a ticking clock every day.
"If I wanted to worry about that, I wouldn’t be coaching. I’d go be a reporter."
Morris seems unconcerned. Hopefully, Dominik and Morris are given a second season with the team. Should the Glazers stick with the men they hired not even a year ago, perhaps "the plan" can begin to take fruition.
"Raheem is going to be just fine...just bear with him," safety Jermaine Phillips said Monday.
Phillips has been under Morris' tutelage for several years now, when Raheem was a defensive backs coach.
"Before the season starts, we fire our offensive coordinator (Jaff Jagodzinski), so you don’t get a full training camp with the offense you want to run. Then we’re playing a new defense that’s not working. Since Raheem has taken over, you’ve seen the defense is playing better. It’s night and day."
"We’ve got a rookie quarterback (Josh Freeman), so we know we’re going to have some bumps on the road. You tell me what rookie quarterback hasn’t had growing pains. You can’t judge Raheem off one season. When he got hired, a lot of the good coordinators were already taken. What do you expect him to do? We all make mistakes. Raheem saw his mistakes and tried to correct them."
Phillips speaks plainly, and it is difficult not see why the Bucs record (1-12) is so pitiful. If Raheem intends to return in 2010, the team needs to show signs of life in their final two games. Another offensive outing like the one against the New York Jets, and perhaps the organisation will need to reconsider its direction.
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