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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs owners say Morris to return as coach in 2010



Raheem Morris already was making plans for the off-season Monday, looking forward to the draft and planning to build around quarterback Josh Freeman.

"I’ve got a feeling that year two will be a lot less dramatic for me,’’ Morris said at his press conference.
For Morris, the suspense ended when he was summoned to the Glazers’ office later in the afternoon and learned he would be returning for the 2010 season.

"We are committed to the plan that we began 12 months ago with Coach Morris, and we look forward to building on the pieces that were put in place this season," vice president Joel Glazer said in a statement released Monday night.

Morris, 33, had the deck stacked against him when he was named head coach to replace Jon Gruden, who was fired last Dec. 16.

Morris had never been a head coach at any level and had just been named the Bucs' defensive coordinator on Christmas Eve to replace Monte Kiffin.

He was paired with first-year general manager Mark Dominik, who helped Morris hire a coaching staff.

That's where the first cracks developed. The Bucs fired offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski 10 days before the regular-season opener. Olson, the Bucs quarterbacks coach at the time, took over the play-calling duties and was given a contrat extension.

But 10 weeks into the season, with the defense ranked at or near the bottom of every category and allowing 29 points per game, Morris took over the defensive play-calling duties from defensive coordinator Jim Bates.

"I know it was a tough year," said Morris. "I know it wasn’t what everyone wanted it to be but they are a tough team. I know that when I turn on my tape of my team and I watch them play down the stretch, you see nothing but hard, tough play. You see those guys never quit. Not just one individual player but all of them."

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:53pm]


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