ESPN’s John Clayton made a bold statement Wednesday evening saying that Raheem Morris would have been fired Monday after Sunday’s blowout loss to the Jaguars had management felt there was a suitable interim coach. Morris commented on the report during his Thursday afternoon press conference.
"I'm probably the most mentally tough person you could ever be around,'' Morris said. "I don't usually comment on speculation. If you don't feel like you're working for your job every day, you're probably not doing your job.''
Several players including TE Kellen Winslow told PewterReport.com this week they fully support Morris and hope he survives the turmoil of a losing season. The Bucs head ball coach appreciates the support.
"My guys support me through wins, losses [or] whatever,'' Morris said. "These guys are awesome. I know there's a cloud outside the organization, but when you come into this building, there's a bunch of rays of sunshine. We do our best to keep the rain away.''
Beginning with the last three game of 2009 (2-1) until the 4-2 start of this year, the 16-9 record Morris and the Buccaneers compiled was fourth best in the NFL during that time. However since that fourth win of the season in 2011 Tampa Bay has now dropped seven straight, with each loss more ugly than the one before.
Despite the rumors, speculation and general doom and gloom, Morris remains upbeat and knows criticism comes with the territory.
"It's pretty much the same staff that went out there and won 10 games and everybody loved us,'' he said. "This year, we're not having the same success. Obviously, it starts with the coaches and then goes to players and management. That's how it works in this business. For those who are given a lot, a lot is expected. It's just the nature of the beast we live in.''