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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

ESPN's Clayton says Bucs considered firing Morris Monday



The Bucs considered firing Raheem Morris but decided the coaching staff did not have a interim candidate to replace him, ESPN's John Clayton said during a televised roundtable discussion Wednesday night.

The Bucs blew a 14-0 lead and committed seven turnovers to lose 41-14 to the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday.

Complicating matters for the Bucs is the fact that Morris also serves as the team's defensive coordinator. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson has been considered an emerging head coaching candidate in the NFL, but the Bucs have taken a step backwards on offense along with quarterback Josh Freeman this season.

"I said there was a lot of rumbling that he was going to get fired,'' Clayton said Thursday from Seattle. "But there is probably no way he can, because as a defensive play caller, who is going to call the plays?''

The Bucs host the Dallas Cowboys Saturday night in a nationally televised game on NFL Network. Morris has remained confident in the wake of speculation about his coaching future and numerous players have been outspoken in support of their head coach.

If Clayton's report is true, it doesn't bode well for Morris' chances of returning next season. The Bucs host the Dallas Cowboys Saturday night in a nationally televised game on NFL Network before finishing the season at Carolina Dec. 24 and at Atlanta Jan. 1.

It doesn't sound like the Glazers style to fire a head coach before the conclusion of the season. They've only dismissed two head coaches: Tony Dungy at the end of the 2001 season and Jon Gruden, several weeks at the conclusion of the 2008 season. 

In fact, the Bucs have only had one interim head coach in the club's history. Richard Williamson coached the final three games of the 1990 season after Ray Perkins was dismissed, going 1-2. He was hired as head coach the next season and went 3-13 in '91 before being fired.

By allowing Morris to finish the season, the Glazers have provided him with a chance to win more games, finish strong and prove the team is headed in the right direction. But if the ONLY reason Morris is still coaching is because there's not a suitable interim replacement, well, that's a different story.    


[Last modified: Thursday, December 15, 2011 2:23pm]


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