A few weeks ago when Lane Kiffin was hired on as the head coach at the University of Tennessee and most presumed Buccaneers Defensive Coordinator Monte Kiffin would soon follow, The Pewter Plank speculated on the possible replacement choices for Kiffin. Number one on our list was Defensive Backs Coach Raheem Morris. On Christmas Day the Bucs announced that they would hire Morris to replace Kiffin as the Buccaneers Defensive Coordinator.
Pewter Report is reporting that the deal is a two year deal that will put him in the “upper echelon” of first year coordinators.
I personally feel that no better replacement candidate existed. Raheem is a rising star in the NFL ranks, and probably would have been on the same kind of track that Pittsburgh Head Coach Mike Tomlin was on, namely one or two years as a coordinator, and then becoming the head coach of a football team.
While this might sound blasphemous to some of our diehard Kiffin lovers in the Bay Area, I think this change will be for the better. Monte is very conservative with his pass rush play calling, and in todays NFL, getting to the QB is paramout to defensive success. I think Morris and his staff will tweak the Tampa 2 system we have seen for years in Tampa to involve a little more of a hybrid style defense. In one year at Kansas State, coincidentally the only year in the past 12 the Bucs haven’t finished in the top 10 defensively in the NFL, KState led the Big 12 in sacks. The pass defense while Morris was part of the Bucs staff, never ranked lower than 6th.
“I’ll be honest with you. It was Christmas last night and I wanted to give him a Christmas present. I thought that was great gift to him honestly. I’ve had my coordinators with me seven years: Bill Muir, Rich Bisaccia, and Monte Kiffin. We are going to lose a very key component to our unit. I just thought for Raheem, being that it was Christmas Eve, I wanted to give him something to be excited about and reward him for his hard work and efforts. I wanted our team to know that there is no more speculation okay. We are going to keep our playbook somewhat the same.”