Coming off of a 10-win season and a seven-game improvement, Bucs head coach Raheem Morris believes that Tampa Bay is a legitimate Super Bowl contender heading into the 2011 season.
Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris has never been short of confidence since becoming the eighth head coach in franchise history. After going 10-6 in his second year as the team’s head coach with the youngest team in football, Morris believes that Tampa Bay is a contender for the Super Bowl this year.
“All those things about Super Bowl contenders really is a belief. Every year you go into the year believing you are a Super Bowl contender,” said Morris. “We play in the best league in professional sports. Any time you go out there all the teams are ready to go and be Super Bowl contenders, and we are no different. Right now we are focused on the draft. We are focused on improving from last year and making ourselves better.”
Two phases of the game that Morris is looking to see improvement in 2011 is the Buccaneers run defense and pass rush. Since taking over the team, the Bucs have ranked 32nd and 28th in run defense over the past two seasons. Last year, Tampa Bay was last in the NFC in sacks with 26. The Bucs have not had a defender reach double digits in sacks since Simeon Rice did so in the 2005 season. No player has reached nine sacks in a season in that time. Due to those weaknesses, the Buccaneers are projected to draft a defensive end in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
“You know how I am with that stuff. It is all about wins, so whatever can help you get wins is what we are going to try and do,” said Morris. “We are going to try and improve our team to the best of our ability, and try and make us a contender for a long time. That’s all the stuff we talk about, so whatever falls to us, whatever we can go collect and get, whatever moves we can make, is what myself and Mark Dominik, and our owners are going to do.”
While the players could be forced to deal with being locked out of the team facility, Morris is confident that the team will stay united. The Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers were one of the youngest teams in the NFL last season, and that fact isn’t lost on the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay is eager to get back to work on improving for next season.
“We got are a very excited team. Our young men, they can’t get enough,” said Morris. “Like I’ve told you guys, we've got a college football team. Those guys are all bonded together. They want to be around each other. They hang out together. I’d like to sit back and enjoy it.”
If Morris and the Bucs are able to follow in Green Bay’s footsteps there will be plenty for Morris to sit back and enjoy.
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