Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

It has been a fascinating year for Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris

New Receiver: Mark Bradley, claimed off waivers from the Chiefs, can’t quite reach a pass against the Bills on Dec. 13.

Associated Press

New Receiver: Mark Bradley, claimed off waivers from the Chiefs, can’t quite reach a pass against the Bills on Dec. 13.

TAMPA — 'Twas the night before Christmas.

Raheem Morris was summoned to Jon Gruden's office one year ago today and informed he was going to be the Bucs' defensive coordinator in 2009, succeeding Monte Kiffin, who had decided to join son Lane at the University of Tennessee.

But before Morris, who had been the Bucs' defensive backs coach, could fulfill that role, Gruden was fired Jan. 16. Morris was introduced as the Bucs' new coach the next day.

"I was fired up (about being defensive coordinator)," Morris said Wednesday. "We were kind of getting ready to let (Gruden) do offense and me do defense, and you start thinking about that stuff and processing it in your mind.

"Then the Denver interview came (he was interviewed for its head job) and messed everything up. You're thinking about becoming a head coach. Next thing you know, the whole franchise turned around and you're in charge of everything. So here we are after a learning curve."

Morris, 33, said he tries not to dwell on how his life has changed since becoming the NFL's youngest coach.

"But you have to," Morris said. "I can't hang out anymore. It's changed a lot. You've got a lot of responsibilities. You've got a lot of people counting on you."

New Wideout: The Bucs added a potential weapon when they claimed WR Mark Bradley off waivers from the Chiefs.

Bradley started six games for Kansas City this season before being released Tuesday. Bradley and other Chiefs receivers have been plagued by dropped passes. He dropped two Sunday against Cleveland.

But Bradley has more production this season than some of his new teammates. His 320 receiving yards on 24 catches trail only TE Kellen Winslow and WRs Antonio Bryant and Sammie Stroughter.

It has not been determined how much Bradley will play.

More on receivers: Among the Bucs' issues is finding a replacement for Stroughter, who is out for the season with a foot injury. He was a key contributor on third down, with 19 of his 31 catches resulting in first downs.

Because he lined up in the slot, he was on the field almost exclusively in three-receiver formations, which tend to be on passing downs.

Offensive coordinator Greg Olson said he is considering several options, including Winslow, Maurice Stovall and Michael Clayton, who should return Sunday against the Saints after missing three games with a knee injury.

Clayton seems the most realistic option. It's expected Stovall will remain a starter even as Clayton returns. That would mean Clayton is likely to enter in three-receiver sets.

INJURY UPDATES: WR Antonio Bryant was limited in practice with a groin injury, as were S Tanard Jackson (knee) and Winslow (knee). Morris said each should be "willing and able" to participate to some extent today.

It has been a fascinating year for Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris 12/23/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 9:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  2. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  3. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108
  5. What they're saying about Dave Andreychuk making Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    "Dave helped me so much when I was just starting my career, a young kid that was looking to find his way as a hockey player, a person and a member of the Tampa Bay community. In addition to watching him compile such awe-inspiring statistics, I remember him as a big brother to me and many others, making sure all the …