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Work goes on as usual for embattled Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris

TAMPA — Raheem Morris described the stunned Louisiana Superdome after Connor Barth's winning field goal in an overtime upset of the Saints on Sunday as a beautiful silence.

And that's what Morris is hearing from the Bucs' owners regarding whether he will remain as coach. Morris said Monday that the only assurance he has received from the Glazer family "is that I've got to do my job tomorrow."

One day after the Bucs beat the Saints 20-17 — the biggest victory under Morris in his first season — he continued to discount reports that the Glazers have contacted former Steelers Super Bowl-winning coach Bill Cowher to gauge his interest in coaching in 2010.

"I don't think Bill Cowher makes those decisions," Morris said. "I think our ownership does. I know I don't, so I don't worry about it.

"When was the last time you've seen one of my owners speak publicly? That's not what we do around here. We don't have to answer to all the critics. That's not our job. … We don't do that stuff. We don't have to.

"The assurance they gave to me is I've got to do my job tomorrow. That's what you've got to do. When you're put in a position to coach a football team, you coach it. And that's what you do until they tell you to stop, and that's what I'm going to do now."

Morris denied a report on ESPN that special teams coach Rich Bisaccia is leaving to join University of Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin and his father, ex-Bucs defensive coordinator and current Volunteers defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, and that defensive backs coach Joe Baker and defensive line coach Robert Nunn won't be back.

"Again, all rumors," Morris said. "Rich Bisaccia is under contract, last time I checked. All my guys are. We make evaluations on everybody at the end of the season. We're just coaching, and we've got one more game to play. I know it's fun for you guys to do the coaches' carousel, but for us, it's reality. It's life. This is what we do."

After Sunday's game, Morris said he believed that if he were about to be fired, the Glazers would approach him "like men." He said Monday that he didn't need a public vote of confidence from ownership.

"The Glazers don't do stuff like that," Morris said. "They come in (the) office, and we talk all the time. They don't have to do that. That's not their job. They're the boss.

"I don't think I'm going to find out (if he has been fired) on SportsCenter, is what I'm saying about that. These guys are high-character people and high-quality people. They'll come knock on my door, or I'll get a call from somebody to come down and see them. Again, when you do what I do, you can't worry about that. You've got to go do your job. If you worry about that, you'll get diced."

Not only have the Bucs won their past two games — both on the road — but Morris has had a major hand in those victories. He took over the play-calling on defense after the Saints buried the Bucs by 31 points six weeks ago. Since then, the Bucs have allowed an average of 17.4 points per game. That's a stark improvement from the averages of 378 yards and 29 points per game they gave up under fired coordinator Jim Bates.

If Morris is allowed to return after this season, he plans to keep his duties as defensive coordinator.

"I kind of like having the keys right now," Morris said. "It's a lot of fun. It's fun being able to make those adjustments at halftime.

"It wasn't fun the first two drives of the game (Sunday), looking at (Saints coach) Sean (Payton) over there and thinking, 'Oh, God, what's he going to go to now?' But you try to stay one step ahead.

"We went out, and we executed the game plan, and we were able to hold them scoreless in the second half, which was awesome."

Morris made a critical adjustment at halftime with the Bucs trailing 17-3. He switched safeties, moving sure-handed tackler Tanard Jackson closer to the line of scrimmage to stop the breakout runs and put Sabby Piscitelli in coverage.

Despite the win, Morris was reluctant to say the Bucs have turned a corner.

"That's what I have to find out," he said. "That's what I have to ask my players. 'Are you hot, or is this your game?'

"I'm hoping this is our game, because I like the way we're going. This is the formula right here. Run the football, play-action pass, easy completions, play good defense, keep them out of the end zone."

Work goes on as usual for embattled Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris

12/28/09 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 5:47pm]
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