Tampa Bay Bucs cite philosophical differences in firing of offensive line coach

STILL CLOSE: Bucs coach Raheem Morris, left, will be rooting for his good friend, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

STILL CLOSE: Bucs coach Raheem Morris, left, will be rooting for his good friend, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.

MOBILE, Ala.— The firing of Bucs offensive line coach Pete Mangurian last week was a collective decision between offensive coordinator Greg Olson and coach Raheem Morris and was not made for personal reasons, Olson said Tuesday.

Mangurian was fired Friday after two seasons despite being under contract for 2011. Olson, who is being given wide latitude by Morris over the offense and offensive assistants, said philosophical differences made a change necessary.

"With Raheem and myself, we don't make a change just to make a change," Olson said after watching Senior Bowl workouts. "It's about what's best for the Buccaneers. There is something to be said for familiarity, someone that's with you philosophically. You want to know what you're getting."

That's what Olson believes he now has in veteran line coach Pat Morris, formerly of the Vikings, who was named Mangurian's replacement days later.

The philosophical differences between Olson and Mangurian, who worked very closely together during game preparation, were the primary issue.

"Change is hard," Olson said. "I just felt we'd be more efficient, we would be run more efficiently and meet more efficiently, and that's important."

When Olson abruptly took over as offensive coordinator in August 2009 after the team unexpectedly fired Jeff Jagodzinski, the circumstances were less than ideal. He had to amend the playbook on the fly and wasn't able to choose his assistants. Pat Morris is the second offensive position coach added since, joining receivers coach Eric Yarber, who last year replaced Richard Mann.

"When the change happened with (Jagodzinski), it was a staff put together by Jags," Olson said. "We made it work. You just find a way. Pete did a tremendous job, obviously, buying into the changes that were being made. But I just felt like it was something we needed to do. To me, it's about finding a way to get better."

ROOTING INTEREST: Raheem Morris may not be clutching a Terrible Towel when he watches the Super Bowl, but he'll be rooting for the Steelers, coached by his close friend, Mike Tomlin.

The pair worked together when Tomlin was the Bucs defensive backs coach and Morris was his assistant. They've been close since, vacationing together.

"We talked about being legendary, and he's done that," Morris said. "He's put himself in great position to have a chance to get two championships as a head coach. He already has one as an assistant coach. I'm not shocked. A lot of people may be. He kind of flies under the radar. I just look at him and I'm ecstatic about what he's been able to do."

Tampa Bay Bucs cite philosophical differences in firing of offensive line coach 01/25/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 6:35pm]

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