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January 4, 2010 @ 3:19 pm
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Ownership Confirms Morris Will Remain Head Coach In Tampa Bay

Written by Jim
Jim Flynn


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Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris will remain the team's head coach in 2010. Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer confirmed the news in a statement released late Monday night. Morris went 3-13 in his first season as Tampa Bay's head coach.
Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris will remain Tampa Bay's head coach in 2010.

That news was confirmed in a statement released by Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer late Monday night.

"We are committed to the plan that we began 12 months ago with Coach Morris, and we look forward to building on the pieces that were put in place this season," said Glazer.

The Bucs went 3-13 during the 2009 regular season, which was Morris' first on the job. He fired offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski 10 days before the regular season started and demoted defensive coordinator Jim Bates midway through the season. Tampa Bay's offense and defense finished the season ranked 28th and 27th, respectively.

Morris remains the NFL's youngest head coach and avoids the fate suffered by the last head coach to go 3-13 in Tampa Bay (Richard Williamson - 1991).

One part of the original report stated the Bucs coaching staff would coach a team in the Senior Bowl later this month. However, Bucs officials denied that report, which came from 620 WDAE host Steve Duemig, on Monday night.

The report regarding ownership's decision to retain Morris comes just hours after ESPN reported that former Pittsburgh head coach Bill Cowher likely would remain retired. It was reported a few weeks ago by NFL.com that the Bucs had contacted Cowher in December regarding possibly coaching the team in 2010.

Morris, 33, became the youngest head coach in the National Football League when he was promoted one year ago to replace Jon Gruden, the franchise's all-time winningest head coach.

The Bucs promoted Morris several times during his seven-year tenure with the organization. Morris spent seven of the past eight seasons with the Bucs.

Morris originally joined the Bucs in 2002 as a defensive quality control coach, working under then-defensive backs coach Mike Tomlin, who currently is the head coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers. After helping the Bucs win Super Bowl XXXVII, Morris was promoted to defensive assistant in 2003 and to assistant defensive backs coach in 2005.

In 2006, Morris left Tampa Bay to become the defensive coordinator at Kansas State. During his absence, the Bucs' secondary fell apart, which prompted the team to fire Greg Burns and lure Morris back to Tampa Bay to serve as the defensive backs coach. The Bucs' play against the pass dramatically improved with Morris' return, going from 19th in 2006 to 1st in the NFL in '07.

Shortly after former Bucs defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin announced he was leaving the franchise for the Tennessee Volunteers near the end of the 2008 season, Morris was named Kiffin's successor. He was promoted to head coach a few weeks later after Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen were fired on Jan 16, 2009.

Morris signed a four-year contract that included a team option after two years following the dismissal of Gruden. Unless he takes a job elsewhere in the NFL, Morris will be on Tampa Bay's books for about $900,000 in 2010. Gruden still is owed approximately $5 million per year in 2010 and 2011 unless he takes a coaching job in the NFL. He currently serves as an analyst for ESPN.

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