Dominik: "We have the Coach of the Year in the NFL"
Raheem Morris, who took the Bucs from a 3-13 season in his first year to 10-6 in 2010, is the NFL Coach of the Year, according to general manager Mark Dominik.
Morris, the youngest coach in the league, directed the biggest single season turnaround of seven wins in club history. He did it by starting 11 different rookies, the most by a team with a winning record since the merger in 1970.
The Bucs and Giants became the first NFC teams since 1991 not to reach the playoffs with at least double-digit wins.
"When I talk to anybody publicly or privately, I think we have the Coach of the Year in the National Football League right here in this building,'' Dominik said. "He's right in front of you guys. I think he's deserving of the award and I think he's earned it. We put a lot on his plate this year and he has absolutely handled it all.
"Certainly, we're disappointed we're not playing and preparing for the Philadelphia Eagles right now. At the same point, we all see where this ship is headed and that's why we're so excited about the plan we started with two years ago and where it's gotten us today.''
The Bucs have a club option on Morris' contract for 2011, but Dominik indicated discussions will begin soon on an extension.
"That will all take care of itself,'' Dominik said. "Coach Morris has done a phenominal job with this team. That's obvious. No one is worried about that. We'll handle that in house when it gets taken care of. But no one is concerned about that. We're more hopeful on a good CBA negotiation and looking forward to what started here in 2009, where we're at in 2010 and where this team is going."