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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Morris not distracted by 'cloud' over his future



Bucs coach Raheem Morris remained undeterred by continued speculation about his future Thursday.

ESPN NFL insider John Clayton indicated during a televised roundtable discussion Wednesday night that Morris might have been fired Monday if the Bucs had a candidate to become the interim head coach. The Bucs blew a 14-point lead and lost 41-14 Sunday to the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars. 

"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?''

Morris was asked about the speculation again Thursday.  

"I know there's a cloud outside the organization,'' Morris said. "But when you come into this building, there's a bunch of rays of sunshine. You see these guys and how they react to each other and how they play. You guys make it gloomy and doomy for us, but we do our best to keep rain away."

The Bucs have lost seven straight to fall to 4-9 overall heading into Saturday's game against the Dallas Cowboys at Raymond James Stadium, which will be televised nationally on the NFL Network. Prior to the current losing streak, Morris and the Bucs had won 14 of 22 games, including a 10-6 season in 2010.

Morris also defended his coaching staff, which also has come under fire.

"It's pretty much the same staff,'' Morris said. "We went out there and won 10 games. Everybody loved us. This year, we came out and we're not having the same success, we're not as good. so obviously, it starts with the coaches, it goes to players and then it goes to management. That's how it works in this business. It's something we grew up doing, we trained that way. For those who are given a lot, a lot is expected. It's just the nature of the beast we live in.''

[Last modified: Thursday, December 15, 2011 2:19pm]


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