Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers retain Raheem Morris as coach

The Glazers, who own the Bucs, said in a statement they’re “committed to the plan” with first-year coach Raheem Morris.


The Glazers, who own the Bucs, said in a statement they’re “committed to the plan” with first-year coach Raheem Morris.

TAMPA — Raheem Morris was already making plans for the offseason Monday, looking forward to the draft and planning to build around quarterback Josh Freeman.

"I've got a feeling that Year 2 will be a lot less dramatic for me," Morris said at his news conference.

For Morris, the suspense ended when he was summoned to the Glazers' office later in the afternoon and learned he would return for the 2010 season.

"We are committed to the plan that we began 12 months ago with Coach Morris, and we look forward to building on the pieces that were put in place this season," vice president Joel Glazer said in a statement released Monday night.

Morris, 33, had the deck stacked against him when he was named head coach to replace Jon Gruden, who was fired Jan. 16.

Morris had never been a head coach at any level and had just been named defensive coordinator on Christmas Eve to replace Monte Kiffin.

He was paired with first-year general manager Mark Dominik, who helped Morris hire a coaching staff.

That was where the first cracks developed. The Bucs fired offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski 10 days before the regular-season opener. Greg Olson, the quarterbacks coach at the time, took over play-calling duties and got a contract extension.

And 10 weeks into the season, with the defense ranked at or near the bottom of every category and allowing 29 points a game, Morris took over defensive play-calling duties from coordinator Jim Bates.

"I know it was a tough year," Morris said. "I know it wasn't what everyone wanted it to be, but they are a tough team. I know that when I turn on my tape of my team and I watch them play down the stretch, you see nothing but hard, tough play. You see those guys never quit. Not just one individual player but all of them."

Any other suspense that might have existed was reduced when a report surfaced that former Steelers coach Bill Cowher, who was rumored to have been a candidate had the Bucs fired Morris, won't return to coaching in 2010.

Even before being told for sure that he was staying, Morris was already looking forward to 2010.

And Morris listed the development of Freeman as the team's top priority.

"It starts with him," Morris said. "Then after that the draft and building around him, our team and what we are going to be. You have to say that No. 5 is the biggest priority, making sure everything works around him, because when it works around him, we were able to be successful at the end of the season there."

Freeman, 3-6 as a starter, set a club rookie record with 10 touchdown passes but had 18 interceptions and a 59.9 passer rating. He said he embraced the responsibility of being the Bucs' franchise quarterback.

"Obviously, it is a responsibility, but I try to look at it as a blessing," Freeman said. "I have a head coach who has confidence in me, and he's willing to invest in me to become a better player and be better next year and win more games."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers retain Raheem Morris as coach 01/04/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 12:28am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. New Bucs player murals go up at Raymond James Stadium


    Each summer, it's a sign that training camp is soon to arrive at One Buc Place: the changing of the huge player murals on each corner of Raymond James Stadium.

    Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has a corner mural at Raymond James Stadium for a third year in a row.
  2. Jordan Spieth wins British Open (w/ video)


    SOUTHPORT, England — Someday, perhaps soon, there will be a plaque at Royal Birkdale for Jordan Spieth, much like the one off the 16th hole that celebrates Arnold Palmer and the 6-iron he slashed out of the rough in 1961 to win the British Open and usher in a new era of golf.

    Jordan Spieth, right, comes from one back of Matt Kuchar, left, after 13, going birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie-par to win by 3.
  3. Fennelly: Brutal weekend could be start of something worse for Rays

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Well, that was lovely.

    Brad Boxberger suffers his second loss in the three-game series, this time by allowing back-to-back homers in the eighth inning when called on to protect a 5-3 lead. “Just bad pitches,” he says.
  4. Wesley Chapel hockey camp impresses youth players, parents

    Lightning Strikes

    WESLEY CHAPEL — As a 17-year-old Triple-A hockey player, MacCallum Brown regularly plays against elite talent. As a Palm Harbor resident, he often has to travel to face that talent.

  5. Rays journal: Rays gamble on Sergio Romo's track record, heart

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Some of RHP Sergio Romo's numbers this season with the Dodgers were the worst of his career, yet the Rays feel he can be a good fit for their bullpen.

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 26:  Sergio Romo #54 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch in the 9th inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium on June 26, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)