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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Did Glazers say Morris was coach? A conspiracy Oliver Stone would love



Who doesn't love a good conspiracy? I never believed Oswald acted alone.

It began with a report on Tuesday night saying the Bucs are still interested in hiring former Steelers Super Bowl-winning coach Bill Cowher.

That came nearly 24 hours after the Glazers issued a statement which appeared to indicate Raheem Morris would return as head coach in 2010.

"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 the statement.

Now, we can pick that statement apart and play semantics with it. The Glazers said they were committed to the 'plan' they began 12 months ago with Morris. So it's the 'plan,' they must be committed to and not Morris? The Glazers look forward to building on the pieces that were put in place this season. So is one of the missing 'pieces' a new head coach?

Where does it say in the statement Morris will return?

Enough already. Look, nothing would surprise me when it comes to head coaches and the Glazer family. We all remember how they denied ever talking to Bill Parcells until after firing Tony Dungy. (Even though they had a contract signed by the guy and tried to enforce it a year later when he joined the Dallas Cowboys. The Bucs asked for draft picks as compensation, remember?).

But c'mon. For weeks, the media asked Morris why the Bucs owners wouldn't make a statement ending speculation about whether he would coach the team in 2010?

Morris is already under contract, so unless his status changed, the Glazers had no reason to comment on anything. Futhermore, it's not their style to do so.

But one day after the 3-13 season ended, after Morris faced another barrage of questions about his future, after a meeting with Morris that afternoon, Joel Glazer issued a statement at around 11:15 p.m. on the team's website.

But that wasn't good enough for some people.

Again, I'm skeptical by nature. Nothing surprises me about professional sports. But there's really been no reason to doubt the Glazers on this one.

Why put out a statement if there was a fraction of a percent that Morris would not be the Bucs coach in 2010? What purpose would it serve? (The Glazers also have steadfastly denied a report that they ever contacted Cowher or his representatives to 'gauge' his interest in coaching).

There's bound to be some changes at One Buc Place. That's what happens when you lose 13 games. And it's been very quiet over there this week. Maybe that's fueled speculation. Maybe fans and some in the media can't believe Morris is returning next season.

The statement by Joel Glazer was an attempt to end the speculation, to end the public debate over whether Morris would or should return so fans and the organization could move forward.

On this one, give the Glazers and the Bucs the benefit of the doubt.

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


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