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January 2, 2012 @ 10:55 am
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Breaking News: Morris Fired As Bucs Head Coach

Written by Mark
Cook
Mark Cook

Mark
Cook

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A day after losing to Atlanta 45-24 for Tampa Bay's 10th straight defeat, the Buccaneers have fired head coach Raheem Morris after three seasons and a 17-31 record.

What has been widely speculated for the last month took place on Monday following Tampa Bay's 45-24 loss at Atlanta. After compiling a 17-31 record over three seasons, the Buccaneers announced that head coach Raheem Morris will not be back as head coach. Morris had one year left on his contract and was scheduled to earn just under $2 million next season.

"We want to thank Coach Morris for all his hard work and dedication as head coach of the Buccaneers," said Tampa Bay co-chairman Joel Glazer.

"I have a lot of respect and appreciation for the passion Coach Morris gave to our football team, but this change is one we felt was necessary," Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said.

The fact that Dominik was quoted in a press release sent out by the team is an indication that he will likely be retained by the organization. Dominik signed a four-year contract extension this past offseason.

Despite a 10-6 season in 2010 and a 4-2 start to the 2011 campaign, the Buccaneers fell apart just before the midway point of the season and dropped their last 10 games. To make matters worse for the 35-year old Morris was how the Bucs looked in doing so, as each loss seemed to get worse than the previous one, and by the end of the season many were questioning if the players had quit on their coach.

Another negative case against Morris was that in addition to being the head coach, Morris was also the defensive coordinator of the worst scoring defense in the history of the franchise. The Buccaneers gave up a franchise-worst 494 points in 2011, despite the organization spending several high draft picks to solidify the defense. Players like defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Brian Price, and defensive ends Da’Quan Bowers and Adrian Clayborn and middle linebacker Mason Foster all were drafted in the first three rounds over the past two seasons, yet failed to make an immediate impact.

The Buccaneers will have a 3:00 p.m. press conference at One Buccaneer Place to discuss the head coaching vacancy and the team's future.

Last modified on Monday, 02 January 2012 11:58
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COMMENTS

  • avatar

    The Glaziers suck as usual... don't pay the man or let him "pick any grocheries" but expect him to cook up gormet dishes... When Morris was one of the lowest paid coaches in the league for one of the team's with the lowest payroll in the league... A stupid one prong approach to aquiring talent - the draft - oh and yeah don't forget, undrafted free agents, and waiver wire rejects... It's just sad... No free agents to give the team a boost heading into our 10-6 season and none to keep it solid after - yet we're keeping our GM? I guess he's being rewarded because he paid a P $20 million...
  • avatar


    Good luck to Coach Morris...I guess we need to move onto who is coming next....for all those Jeff Fisher believers (and I for one would be happy with him), it took him 5 years to win 10 games in a season, and only had six 10 win seasons in 16 years.....I just hope whoever our next coach is he is given 5 years to do the job. Congratulations, our coach is fired. My guess is will get some coordinator from some other team because that is pretty much our MO (other than with Gruden). I will support him, I just hope our "fans", ownership, and "press" will do the same.....
  • avatar

    Best of luck to Raheem. It should be an interesting offseason.
  • avatar

    The Glazers made a huge mistake hiring Raheem as HC. He should have been the DC after Gruden was let go and a HC with some experience should have been brought in. Morris was in over his head after hiring then firing the wrong DC and OC in 09'. He was a good guy but a bad HC/DC.. Moving forward I'd love to see Jeff Fisher here with Steve Spagnulo(sp?) as DC. As for the OC, I'd leave that up to fisher to hire. He ran a pretty good offense with McNair and George in Tenn.
  • avatar

    thank god but why do they keep a guy like dumbanick the guy that hangs his coach out to dry who cant stand up and say we need to pick up some free agents he is a pansy no heart or guts never win with this stiff
  • avatar


    Sad day. Right move and as many others have posted, Dom should have gone as well. Glazers are really a low class bunch now that the boys are running the team. Raheem lost the locker room after London and the guys just quit on him. But the lack of veteran leadership and depth on the roster left him no where to turn when second tier starters didn't perform - Quincy Black, Sean Jones, Gino Hayes, Tanard Jackson, EJ Biggers, Elbert Mack, Roy Miller - will all be gone next year. Throw in a year Freeman needs to forget and its hard to find bright spots other than kickers. How does a guy work through that. So the move had to be made and was preordained by the Glazers high risk young and cheap strategy. Regardless, ticket sales won't go up unless they are serious about building a team. We don't need Fisher or Cowher, but credible up and coming offensive coaches like Mularkey from Atlanta, Chudzinski from Carolina wold be great HC options. Adding a guy like Jack Del Rio to be DC to bring a physical, intimidating defense to the run and gun NFC South would be a good start. One good sign - they did it quickly. Go Bucs!!!
  • avatar


    Always believed Rah was over his head, but it was hard to argue with last season's 10-6 record. Reality set in this year. Poor coaching decisions (on-sides kicks against Packers, poor time mgt., terrible offensive plays, etc.) show they all needed to go. Many posters now crucifying Dominick were lovin' him during the past two drafts. Always believed Glaziers were too stingy & still do (cbrady comments notwithstanding). Yes, the Bucs offered big money to a few players but have been under the cap big-time for years now. We can't simply build a team exclusively through the draft...about a third of the players need to come from free agency. None of us know what the internal discussions were regarding paying players, but the end result is reminiscent of the 1976 Bucs (for which I was a season ticket holder)...except even that team had a better defense and more guts than this team. So many holes to fill now...only one pro-bowler on the team, no speed at all, no tackling skills, only Rhonde showed heart. It's gonna be a long hard climb unless things change from THE TOP.
  • avatar

    Being the head coach you take the blame for failure so i cant blame them but greg olsen is garbage and should have been the first to go, you score like 5 touchdown in the first quarter in two years but hey blame the head coach because his OC runs high school plays. he gets full blame for his crazy defensive play calling but he was doomed to fail from the begining because it would take a veteran coach to do anything with this team, but you give a 3 year head coach absolutely nothing to work with, not the coaches he wanted or free agents and tell a first time coach to go win with rookies. the offense was full of veterans so what was the use of having greg olsen if they can only move the ball when josh goes into no huddle...get cheap on this guy then fire him because the owners made themselves look bad by hiding their wallets, if morris goes the entire coaching staff better get a pink slip
  • avatar

    I can't believe Dominick is keeping his job -- he had one good draft and signed a good punter, otherwise he hasn't done much. I don't buy the spending angle with the Glazers. They offered Haynesworth a 100+ million dollar contract, they made Donald Penn, Davin Joseph and Kellen Winslow some of the highest paid players at their position. The Bucs overachieved last year with some excellent rookie play and that made Dominick think he was Andrew Friedman, so he just figured he could draft a whole bunch of a new starters and not worry about signing anyone -- that way he could show how brilliant he is. To be fair it was one of the worst FA classes ever, outside of Nnamdi Asomugha. To close I hate to lose Morris but it's really hard to make a case to keep him -- but if it means Greg Olsen is kicked out the door as well it might be worth it. He might be the worst offensive coordinator we've ever had, that's a big statement to say due to the long line of horrible coordinators we've had but no one in Buc history has had this offensive talent and done so little with it, not even Gruden could screw it up this bad.
  • avatar


    cbrady2k, don't forget that Raheem Morris was the worse Defensive Coordinator we ever had. We have had worse offensive Coordinators, but Olsen was bad; therefore the Head coach who had no clue how to be a head Coach had to go too.
  • avatar


    Well this was clearly coming. I just hope this isn't the first of many disappointments. By that I mean those who thought we were getting Cowher or Fisher being disappointed, those who think we're going big in FA being disappointed, those who think the Glazers will lower ticket prices being disappointed and those who think we'll start winning now that we have a new coach being disappointed.
  • avatar


    Although I can't argue with the move, this is a very sad day. PR it would be helpful to hear some of the reasoning behind keeping Dom, any info from your sources?
  • avatar

    I wish Raheem and his family the best. I truly believe he did his best, and was just set up to fail from the beginning. But he had to go, if for no other reason than he lost the locker room. Unfortunatley, the one that is just as responsible if not more, is still here. Mark Dominik. What established coach is going to really want to come here with his personal descisions, and no real money to spend? Can someone please explain the rational for the following descisions? 1. Sign Michael Clayton to a long term deal( no one else wanted him) 2. Sign Derrick Ward to a big contract 3. Sign Quincy Black to a $29 million contract ( while letting Barret Rudd leave for $4 million) 4. Make Kellen Winslow the highest paid tight end in the NFL ( he is one of the only real weapons on this team, but the highest paid in the NFL?) Talk about setting a coach/franchise up to fail. It is no secret that the Glazers are going to spend little, if no money on free agents. But you have this guy throwing our lunch money on the roulette wheel with no apparent sense of what he is doing. Why does he get a pass?
  • avatar

    I agree. It was time for "RAH" as they call him to go. Dominik is just as much at fault, if not more the bucs demise. If only one had to go it should of been Dominik. He is the worst of the two even though both of them needed to go. I hope we can find a good coach that is willing to work with him.
  • avatar


    I'm really sad today. Firing Raheem was the right call but I'm not happy. The team quit on him / 10 loss straight / a last ridiculous blow out at atlanta was too big for raheem to stay in Tampa. However, all the blame shouldn't fall on him. The talent level on the team is low, and the MASTERplan of the glazers (and Dom ?) was not bright ... I hope nothing but the best for him now and I'm sure he has what it takes to become a great coach elsewhere ... He will learn from this experience. What's next ? Move on and get an experienced and / or offensive guru. Quick, quick, time is already running out ! GO BUCS !!!
  • avatar


    The start of a new day. If I were some of these players I would immediately start my training if I want to get a chance to make this team. I hope the Glazers never try this scenario again. Reduce the prices significantly and this will bring back the fans to the stadium Glazer's. Right now your product is awful thus your prices should be much lower versus owners who have spent their money at the top of the salary cap and have a quality product. I am not talking about the nose bleed areas and a minor attempt for price reductions in other seating areas. Reduce your club seating based on today's team quality and raise them next year based on an improving team record and I'll buy some. Fans like scubog deserve to have serious ticket reductions based on seniority as ticket holders. You owe the loyal ticket fans something for all the money you collected especially these pass couple years for the crap that was out on the field. Start advertising some stiff reduced ticket prices and many of us will be in the stadium. The objective is to fill the stadium back up and then deal with the value of future ticketing prices. If your expensive consultants and marketing team can't figure it out, contact me and I'll do it for free and I bet others will too. Many of us love the Bucs and want to see this team to become once again a class act for our community.
  • avatar

    the lockout really hurt the development of this young team... i thought ppl would have been more patient BUT with the product that was on the field the last 10 games I can really argue about it
  • avatar


    Hmmm, once again I couldn't log onto PR for several hours. Seems to be happening more and more. On other sites where I had to get this info they are also calling for Mark Dominik's head, or at least for him to have a more reduced role. I'm glad to see this action now. Let the new direction start today, not late into January. Morris is a bright young coach that I'm sure will find a place on another coaching staff that will allow him to develop over time.
  • avatar


    Well that unfortunate chapter is over...Hopefully with the clean sweep of the coaching staff,the G-unit has a solid plan~hope they started working on it when we had lost 5 in a row..I wish the Bucs the best for the future,hopefully the Glazers will give us beaten down fans something to cheer about..
  • avatar

    Fine he is gone. But what does that say about these players who GAVE UP?
  • avatar

    I really like Morris but the fact that he had the talent to go 10-6 and then 4-2 and then drop 10 straight just shows the lack of coaching. This is not Dominick's fault, we have a lot of young talent on this team. If he continues to pick quality players n the draft and the Glazers let him spend a little more in FA to fill some key holes with experience then we will be able to turn this around no problem. The final piece will be to find a head coach that will come in and put his foot down and that the players will respect. The lack of an offseason hurt us the most being the youngest team in the league. Another offseason with the ability to actually bring in some quality competition will do us a lot of good. Let's hope they do it right...
  • avatar


    Hope we get a good HC, Fisher would be great. Chudzinski from Carolina would be good too. Mike Sherman got fired from a college team, does not work well with young team.
  • avatar


    I hate to say this but as it turns out BF47 was right. Now what?
  • avatar

    Well lets see what the Glazer's do. It's not going to matter who they bring in here if they don't spend any money. They want Fisher it will cost them. They also better bring in a couple of free agents (other then a punter but I will admit he was a good one) to go with this young team. WE NEED LEADERSHIP IN THE LOOKER ROOM. GO BUCS 2012
  • avatar


    It was reported on Fox yesterday that Jeff Fisher was staying at the same hotel in Atlanta that the Bucs were in. Fisher said he was there with his son to watch a bowl game not interview for the Buc H.C. job. Can P.R. confirm, or deny this report?
  • avatar


    Amen! What a wasted three years with a coach that was not qualified in any fashion for either of the titles he held. Noww the other culprit in this mess (Dominick) must also go. His inability to find the talent contributed to Morris's failures.
  • avatar


    Best of luck wherever your next stop is Coach...sorry your first boss was the Glazer family. Maybe the next owners you work for will go out and buy you an actual team.
  • avatar

    Well, the writing was on the "field". With each performance worse than the last even the staunchest of morris supporters had to begin doubting his ability to motivate the team.
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