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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs coach Morris says only criticism he cares about will come from owners or GM



Beleaguered Bucs coach Raheem Morris said the only criticism he cares about will come from the Glazer family which owns the team and general manager Mark Dominik.

But regardless of his coaching future, Morris believes the adversity of a seven-game losing streak and another losing season will eventually make the Bucs better.

"No matter what the situation, whether I’m here or whether I’m not, I’m sure this team right here is going to be a better football team because of it,'' Morris said Monday.

Tampa Bay built a 14-point lead to Jacksonville before comitting seven turnovers that led to 41-unswered points Sunday in a 41-14 loss to the Jaguars. Since starting the season 3-1, the Bucs have lost games by 45, 28, 19 and 27 points in the past two months to fall to 4-9 overall.

The Bucs host the Dallas Cowboys Saturday night in a sold-out, nationally televised game on NFL Network. Morris, whose record is 17-28, was asked if he believed he was on the hot seat. The Chiefs on Monday fired coach Todd Haley, who went 19-27 in three seasons and reached the AFC playoffs in 2010.

“When you’re coaching, you are always on the hot seat,'' Morris said. "That’s the mentality of what we do. We were on the hot seat when we were 10-6 and we didn’t go to the playoffs. We could still get fired. I remember I got fired when I was 9-7 and I became the head coach that same year. So you’re always in the hot seat. I try to tell guys all the time if I was worried about being fired, I certainly would not be coaching. I would’ve taken that physical education job in Long Island I turned down 15 years ago at this point, but that’s not what I do. We’re entertainers. We’re in this thing to win football games. I got a lot of guys in this locker room that are counting on us not to show mental weakness and we won’t do that.

"It’s great for you guys to scare my family half to death and talk about that stuff throughout. But for us, man, it’s a mentally tough business. It is move on. It’s the next opponent. It’s the next man up. It’s the Dallas Cowboys coming in here hot on a Saturday night game for me a chance to ruin (Cowboys coach) Jason Garrett’s season and let you talk about him.''

In fact, Morris said the only scrutiny that he values will come from the Glazer family or general manager Mark Dominik.

"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. If you just worry about the people criticizing that really care about winning football games. Everybody else is a component that doesn’t matter. We like to refer to them around here as gray matter. That’s exactly why papers are gray because they don’t matter.''

[Last modified: Monday, December 12, 2011 12:58pm]


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