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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Embattled Bucs coach Morris says owners would 'tell me like men,' if they talked to Cowher



Raheem Morris heard the reports that the Bucs had contacted former Steelers Super Bowl coach Bill Cowher to 'gauge' his interest about returning to the sideline in 2010.

But after pulling off the upset of the NFL this season, defeating the Saints in New Orleans 20-17 in overtime, Morris said he believed the Glazer family would confront him if they didn't want him to return next season.

"Hey man, I've got a great relationship with my owners,'' Morris said. "The thing I know about those guys is they didn't hire me last year to meet me. The thing I know about these guys is I had a seven-year relationship with them. They interviewed me for seven years. I'm pretty sure if I was getting popped or fired or whatever you want to call it, my owners would come and tell me like men because that's who they are. That's what they're going to be. I'm sure Bill Cowher -- everybody wants the Bucs job. It's the best job in football. I want it too.''

Asked if he made the best argument for returning in 2010 by beating the Saints, who were playing to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs, Morris said, "That's not my job. My job is to take advantage of my opportunities and that's what we did today.''

The Bucs fell behind 17-0 to the Saints in the second quarter Sunday. But they rallied for 20 unanswered points as Morris' defense held the NFL's No. 1 offense to no points for the final 43 minutes and 33 seconds.

Tampa Bay (3-12) rallied to tie the game at 17-17 when Micheal Spurlock, who was re-signed this week, returned a punt 77 yards for a touchdown with 2:25 remaining in the game.

If Spurlock's name sounds familiar, it's because he was the first player in franchise history to return a kickoff for a touchdown in 2007. He was signed this week to replace receiver/returner Sammie Stroughter who was placed on injured reserve with a broken foot.

The Saints had a chance to win the game in regulation, but Saints place-kicker Garrett Hartley missed a 37-yard field goal wide left with nine seconds remaining.

The  Bucs won the toss in overtime and drove 48 yards in 11 plays, The winning march included 10 rushes for 40 yards by running back Cadillac Williams, who finished the game with 24 rushes for 129 yards and a touchdown.

Place-kicker Conner Barth won the game with a 47-yard field goal with 8:06 left in overtime.

"They're starting to get there,'' Morris said. "They like winning. They found that out last week. They found that out against Green Bay. This team has the talent and the ability. I am just really proud of them. They went out there and fought. I am completely exhausted right now.''


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:52pm]


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