TAMPA — Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris avoided becoming the third head coach this season to be fired, but according to sources, such as ESPN’s John Clayton, Morris barely avoided it.
The joke has been that Morris can’t be fired because the Buccaneers currently have no one better on the staff to do the job. But the joke became a harsh reality when reports surfaced that is the very reason Morris wasn’t fired on Monday, a day after a 41-14 loss to the Jaguars.
In Morris’ Monday pres conference he blasted the media for questioning his leadership and stated he only cares what the Glazers and Mark Dominik think of him. Apparently, it’s not too highly.
On top of that, Yahoo! reports than an unnamed Buccaneers said that Morris has lost the team, but this isn’t a recent thing. According to the unnamed player, Morris talked GM Mark Dominik out of cutting Aqib Talib, something Dominik was apparently almost about to phone in, which sent a message to this young team that talent is more important then character.
“Wrong message,” the Bucs player said this week. “Raheem believes he can get through to anybody and he can, to an extent. Guys do listen to him. But sometimes they have to see that you’re going to back it up … [Talib] is a huge talent, but you have to know there are certain guys who are impossible to get through to.”
This would also explain why the team has been so undisciplined.
If this player actually exists, then it is hard to see Raheem Morris coaching this team next season. Here is a player, one of the guysRaheem is so desperately trying to impress, slacking him off to the media, albeit anonymously.
Morris hasn’t completely lost the locker room to chaos. Kellen Winslow, a veteran voice, has gone on record (attaching his name to his quote), endorsing Morris as a god coach and the right guy for Tampa.
“We can’t have anything happen to him,” Winslow said. “We just can’t. It will just ruin the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If something were to happen to him, we would be devastated, and hearts would be broken. We play for him.”
Nevertheless the fact of the matter is Morris is losing his locker room and it’s all his fault. It has been discussed that Morris is too close in age to these players and the frat house element of youth is infecting the team because it’s head coach is trying to be one of the guys.
It’s admirable that Morris is trying to save the character of one of his players, someone he must see as a brother (not a son, Morris and Talib are not that far apart in age). And that may be the problem.
If your head coach is no more then 15 years older then you (or in Ronde Barber’s case younger then you), it’s very easy to commit a tu quoque and it’s not hard to defend. Basically the fallacy (for those unfamiliar) consists of you backing up your reasoning with evidence that literally consist of “you did it to”. It translates to “You Too” and young players can easily dismiss what discipline Morris is trying to hand out by saying “Well you’re not that mature yourself either”.
When that happens, and apparently it’s not too far away from happening, then you have a serious problem. Morris is quickly losing this team and once that happens, you lose something else too.