As news of the firing of head coach Raheem Morris trickled down to the players the reaction was obviously somber. According to some players they meet with Morris earlier in the morning before the team's decision to fire him was announced and actually found out through word of mouth.
Several of the players PewterReport.com spoke to talked about the personal relationship they had with Morris as opposed to him as a coach.
Bucs rookie safety Ahmad Black commented on his relationship with his now former coach.
“He is a great coach and I know I have a friend for life.”
Rookie running back Mossis Madu was shocked by the announcement that came to them by word of mouth but grateful for Morris.
“I love Rah,” Madu said. “I fully expected him to be our coach next season. It sucks that he is gone because he gave me a shot. I’ll forever be thankful for him for that.”
Left tackle Donald Penn defended Morris and shifted the blame more towards the players.
“The head coach always gets the criticism,” Penn said. “But the head coach isn’t leading the league in turnovers, that’s us. That’s the players. The coach isn’t the guy out there missing tackles or not making plays.”
Fellow offensive lineman Davin Joseph echoed Penn’s sentiment.
“Of course, that’s the position of the head coach he is going to get a lot of the blame, but just looking at us yesterday you can tell the execution wasn’t there,” Joseph said. “So [there] is only so much a coach can do before it falls on the players. If you ask me I think as players we need to perform better. So that’s where this offseason is really going to show the dedication of the players in this locker room. This offseason will help us become a better team. That will be something to come and we will get to that in April.”
Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy addressed the Morris firing via Twitter.
“Prayers and love go out to Raheem Morris, the coach who believed enough in me to draft me. Wish him all the best.”