Raheem Morris Survives Black Monday…But For How Long?


TAMPA — Raheem Morris is seeing his slack in Tampa run out quicker then the Bucs blow games wide open from the wrong end. But as the Bucs sink deeper and deeper into their 4-9 hole, the question of how safe Raheem Morris’ job is becomes more and more relevant.

Morris balked at the question during his press conference today stating that the focus is on Dallas not anyone’s job security. ‘

“Obviously, the only criticism I care about comes from people with [last] names that end with G,” Morris said. “Next, the criticism, his name would have to end with a D and that would be Dominik. Then it has to do with my coaching staff and then it has to do with my players. So really, once we get together and we figure out what we need to do and do better, that’s what we have to do. That’s the only way you win football games.’’

To take the sole belief that Morris should be out of his job is not a healthy stance to take at the moment. Losing causes irrationality and irrationality brings out the worst in people. Morris has failed the Bucs as a leader this season but this isn’t entirely his fault.

Morris currently serves as the defensive coordinator in Tampa as well as head coach. The fact of the matter is he is over extended in all aspects of his job. The lack of a staff and personnel has reared its ugly head this season in awful ways. I’m not fully blaming Morris for this losing streak, in fact I actually have been standing up for him.

But when he starts slinging mud at the media — a group of people who have not lost seven straight games and who haven’t avoided a win like the plague since October — you lose my faith.

Things are bad in Tampa and the Glazers know it. They do actually care for this team and care what the fans think. And right now those fans are not happy campers in any stretch of the imagination.

Do I think Morris is a bad coach? No. Do I think he’ll have success later in his career? Yes. But the last thing you need for a growing team is a growing coach. It’s a cute concept but it’s clearly hitting a major snag this season.

Morris will not lose his job during the season (simply because the staff is so bad no one else is a better option) but he is losing approval and support and he’s doing in in record time. It’s not his fault that they expectations for this season were insanely high after a season which resulted in a non-playoff berth. But it is his fault that he wasn’t able to come even halfway close to the expectations.

Morris lost this team in the discipline department and once the team is insane in the membrane in the wrong way, you’ve got major issues on your hands.

The evidence is stacked against Morris and his future with the Bucs is looking grim. But the question is this: is firing Morris really the best  option or is it a knee jerk reaction.

The issue I take with fans calling for the heads of losing coaches mid-season is this: never has it turned out to be a good thing. Go ahead and cite Jason Garrett last year and his winning streak with the Cowboys. Then fast forward to the blank expression on his face as he

brain farts his way out of wins.

Leslie Frazier came in last season in Minnesota and now has 2 wins wonder his belt this year. Both guys worked under their previous systems and both guys have failed miserably.

The next solution would be to bring in an outside coach and completely dismantle the current system and build from the ground up. This actually isn’t the worst idea in the world and is the meat of the debate. On the one hand you have Morris who already has a system (if you want to call it that) in place. Freeman knows it, the defense knows it.

We;ve seen what happens when fans get outraged with losing and call for a coaching carrousel of personnel. Alex Smith suffered from this in San Francisco, every Bronco quarterback until Tebow suffered this with last year’s exception and so on. Is it the healthiest thing for Josh Freeman to have to learn a new system, only to have it under perform, have fans call for the head of the coach and then have to learn a brand new system with the next victim at head coach?

But the flip side of that crazy coin is this: Josh Freeman is not stupid. He’s bright, and he’s young. Also, with the Buccaneers horrid record this year, their schedule next year will be soft and a new head coach could benefit from the lack of competitiveness. If Freeman starts winning and the head coach isn’t someone the fan base has scorned, ticket sales might go up.

But the flip side to that is we were all disillusioned by the soft schedule the Bucs had last year and it made Raheem Morris look like a genius. Could the next head coach (if there is one) fall under this same spell? If that’s the case then we are right back where we are now.

The bottom line is changing coaches isn’t the healthiest thing to do. When you have a young team where this current system is the only system they’ve known professionally, it takes a while to flush that out. Morris may just need an actual staff rather then being a glory hog. He also may need to go. Having a soft schedule next year would help the process of flushing Morris’ system out of these players and could lead to great things. But what happens if come week 14 2013 the Buccaneers are 4-9?

Then what happens?