Defending Raheem Morris

December 27th, 2011

Just from listening to sports radio and reading various blogs and message boards in the Tampa Bay area, Joe can surmise that Raheem Morris has surpassed Rick Scott as the most loathed man in Florida.

These are tough times for Morris, who may be in his final week as Bucs coach, as the team is in the midst of a gruesome tailspin.

But Ryan Wilson of has Morris’ back. Wilson appears to be of the mind that Morris should return for his final year of his current contract.

Morris is right: it’s not just about coaching. It’s a confluence of events that have led the Bucs to this point. Just like last season, when the culmination sound football and a lot of luck led to a 10-6 record. Maybe Tampa isn’t a 4-11 team 16 weeks into the 2011 season. But perhaps they weren’t a 10-win outfit a year ago, either. More likely: they’re somewhere in between. An average football team that had a run on good luck in ’10 and a run on bad luck in ’11. It happens.

But the NFL is, as they say, a bottom-line business. Which means blaming ill-fated bounces for your plight won’t help you keep your job. And that brings us back to our original point: Morris, in all likelihood has a week left in his current gig.

But it may be too late. The season ticket base has been shrinking for a few years and if Morris comes back next year, as much as fans have turned on him, it wouldn’t shock Joe if the season ticket base is halved.

45 Responses to “Defending Raheem Morris”

  1. Meh Says:

    A run of bad luck? Are you kidding? Bad luck has nothing to do with this year. They are consistently terrible. Bad luck doesn’t get you blown out week after week after week to bad teams.

  2. BucFan South Tampa Says:

    @Meh. Agree. Losing is one thing. Losing with no effort, quitting on your coach week after week, and getting blowed up is not bad luck, its no luck at all..

  3. David Ellis Says:

    I agree, bad luck would usually indicate that you were at least in the game with a chance to win. Bad luck does not enter into the equation. I see bad play accross the board, pure and simple.

  4. David Ellis Says:

    All of the football gurus were wrong when they perceived that the lack of OTAs would hurt the bucs more than other teams. Clearly it hurt all the other teams worse, hence we went 4-2, to start. Once the other teams caught up with the youngry bucs, we lost 10 (soon to be 11) straight. makes sense to me. lol.

  5. ClayBURN94 Says:

    Defend morris all you want, the fact of the matter is we lost 9 straight about to be 10. If we were being competitive and improving is one thing, but if you continue to get blown out the way we are something has to change.

  6. Paul Says:

    That writer is a moron. Raheem isn’t going to sell any tickets next year. That will be the main reason he gets canned. Glazers are losing absurd amounts of money on all of these blackouts.

  7. Paul Says:

    “An average football team that had a run on good luck in ’10 and a run on bad luck in ’11”

    What average football team consistently has multiple players on the field that have no clue what the play call is.

  8. lightningbuc Says:

    What a moron this hack is. The average margin of defeat for the Bucs 11 losses is nearly 19 points. That is worse than pathetic. I still have no earthly idea how they beat the Saints a few months back – if I hadn’t been there I’m not sure i’d believe it.

  9. bucswin Says:

    The write ends his article with, “Morris, in all likelihood has a week left in his current gig.”

    And Joe writes…

    “But it may be too late…”

    Too late for what? The writer agrees that Morris is done here.

  10. Garv Says:

    Halved? WOW! My seats will keep getting better and better thanks to the bandwagoneers!

    LOL I’d be very surprised if Morris comes back but there IS an upside along with continuity. But it is not going to happen. The Royal’s care about money more than anything, soccer next, so I imagine something will be done to increase sales.

    New Year!!!

  11. Garv Says:


  12. bucfanjeff Says:

    Joe, any prediction on when the Glazers might make a move (if one is made)?
    Right away? Within a week? Two?

    Seems like they would want to move quickly to put their names in the coaching hat….if it happens.

  13. Joe Says:


    Joe, any prediction on when the Glazers might make a move (if one is made)?

    ***IF*** there is a move, the Joes are split upon when Raheem Morris will be jettisoned; there is still a chance that he could be brought back or even have his contract extended.

    One Joe believes it will be quick, Sunday night, that way it will lessen the negative press. Sunday nights are dead, the sports media is focused on the playoffs and the bowl games. Combined with how Monday is a holiday, such an announcement will be buried.

    The other Joe strongly believes it will be a Friday night in January, it could be a week from Friday, two weeks from Friday or three weeks from Friday. That Joe believes the announcement will come very late on a Friday afternoon or early evening on a Friday, based on when Team Glazer has made previous unhappy news.

  14. Meh Says:

    I don’t think they’ll want the firing to be quiet. That’s their first offseason splash. I’m thinking Tuesday rather than Monday due to the holiday. I think they’re going to take the ripping the bandaid off approach.

    We’ll see.

  15. eric Says:

    Maybe they have a new coach with a contract in his desk.

  16. lightningbuc Says:


    Negative press? The recap of each week’s games is negative press!

  17. Jake Says:

    No need to bury this joyous news on a Friday evening or holiday weekend. News of Morris’s dismissal will bring immediate joy to Bucville! The only thing that would bring even greater joy to Bucville is that this news is followed by the news that the Glazer’s have decided to sell the team. Oh well, can’t fault a man for dreaming.

  18. Bobby Says:

    I don’t think the Glazers will sell the team but judging from the fan base they may very well decide to move the team….

  19. Pinnacl3 Says:

    I, a TRUE Buccaneers fan, will still be rooting for the Bucs regardless of who’s coaching them. I personally believe all these posts on the blogs and comments on the airwaves are coming from people who don’t even attend the games. These are just people who are most likely bandwagon jumping, fair weather flag bearers. I, as a fan, NEVER liked Jon Gruden. I, as a fan, NEVER liked Keyshawn Johnson either. But I never gave up on the Bucs. I never stopped watching the Bucs. And I never stopped supporting the Bucs. The people that actually buy season tickets don’t pay to support the team and be around others that support the Team. No, we don’t condone losing at any rate. No, we aren’t oblivious to a failing system (no matter what side of the ball it’s on). But we do show SUPPORT. We boo players that don’t play well and take away from the team’s effort. We boo bad decisions by the coaching staff. We boo dumbass end-arounds on 3rd and 1 at the opponent’s 5 yard line. We show disdain. We gripe. But we do it person. We do it next to and around 10, 12, or 3 thousand other like-minded BUCS fans. The season ticket holders still believe this team can be good and they’re going to show up and be there to witness it. The others can keep calling in and practice Monday Morning offensive coordinating skills. Tampa’s economy is the BIGGEST and ONLY relevant argument to season ticket sales being so heinous. Next after that is the fair weather fandom and downright horrible “media” coverage of the Bucs on a national and local level. Just my thought. Sent from Section 147, Seat(s) 7 & 8

  20. FIRE RAH! Says:

    screw it all, just let him finish his contract out and see what happens. one thing we know is some think its the owners, some gm, some coach and some think its the talent that stinks. some think its all or some. we have nothing to lose and its either going to work or were looking at another rebiuld. think that pretty much sums it up. i just want to win again, and am waiting patiently no matter how long it takes.

  21. bucfanjeff Says:

    Thanks for the reply, Joe.

    Personally, I think the Glazers let him stay for year 4 – with staff changes of course. We need an aggressive OC (Billick, Sherman..?) and hire a DC (Spagnola if available). Assuming this scenario, the Glazers could fire Raheem in year 4 if things go bad and immediately promote one of those OC guys as HC.

    I think what people overlook is that the Glazers wanted this youth movement, and it would be a complete 180 for them to rip and replace again. Keeping Raheem and making staff changes (OC, DC) keeps continuity of “the plan”.

  22. BigMacAttack Says:

    Pinnac, many of the posters on this site are season ticket holders or have been. Think about who the actual fans are that are obsessed with the Team and would spend so much time on the site. Many also attend games that aren’t at every game, so it’s pretty safe to say that about 99% of the fans on this site are diehard Buc fans. We don’t all agree much of the time, and there are a few that have bashed Morris since day 1. These fans still want the Bucs ultimately to win and want the best for them in my opinion. I personally go to every game and defended Coach Morris as long as I possibly could, but these last couple of games and the way the players have not played along with the Coaches behavior / remarks shows me a Coach that has absolutely no control over his team or players. I have been listening to Steve White lately on Old School’s Blog, which often is an hour long rant about problems and corrections. It gives me more than just a blind fan’s perspective of mistakes that are repeated and not ever corrected. A good example is how the Bucs can’t stop a screen play. This is a coaching and scheming problem, and the truth I have learned is the Raheem is a lousy, often clueless Defensive Coordinator. I have reserved many of my comments of late until now, in hopes that he would come around and listen to those that know far more than he. The fact is that he doesn’t listen, he doesn’t know, and will continue to blunder as a DC, much less a head coach. I will support the Bucs too, if Raheem is retained, but not with the same enthusiasm, because it will not improve. He doesn’t get it, sad enough to say.

    If the Colts try to trade Peyton Manning, I’d make the trade and put Freeman on the Bench for a few years, so he can learn and then take over. Manning is an OC/QB all in one, and when he retires let him take over the team as a HC. Whatever the Glazers do, if they keep Raheem, they will be making a huge mistake, and right now any fired NFL Coach would be an improvement over the current staff. The only Coach I would keep right now is Keith Millard. Every other Coach should be replaced, and Dominick should have his leash tightened securely around his neck for one more year.

  23. Thomas 2.2. Says:

    Pinnacl: detroits economy is arguably the worst in the country; they have sold out every game – bc they have a new and exciting product under a quality head coach.

    Jacksonville is in disarray, they have sold out nearly all of their games; same goes for st. Louis.

    This product stinks, they are nowhere close to competitive.

    Fans still complain about problems with their team – to make it better!

  24. Thomas 2.2. Says:

    Bigmac: manning just signed s brand new 20 million per year contract, Glazers wouldnt pay that if it came with a guaranteed ten super bowls.

  25. BigMacAttack Says:

    Thomas, you are probably right, but would you trade for Manning if he was on the Block? Their is talk that the Colts may blow up the whole thing, draft Luck and start over. Also, you have strong opinions, who would you hire as the new HC, DC, OC staff?

  26. Bobby Says:

    Detroit has how many people as opposed to Tampa?????

  27. Pinnacl3 Says:

    @BigMac I agree completely that the product on the field “stinks”. It does. And I’m not protesting the firing of Coach Morris. There’s no defense that can be made really. I’m just not of the mind that a new “shiny”, “Big Name” Coach is going to bring instant WINS in Tampa. Now, a new look secondary and a new offensive coordinator with a new scheme and a designated, dedicated Defensive Coordinator and QB that’s taught to look at more than one receiver on a given play just might do the trick(s).

  28. eric Says:

    30th ranked defense
    -186 in point differential
    on verge of NFl Record for yards per play given up
    the just as young Panthers have outscored us 89-26
    The Jags destroyed us with a crappy rookie QB
    On verge of ten loses in a row which hasnt happened since 76

    Somebody please tell me how any of that can be remotely acceptable in the third year of a rebuilding program?

    Hell a good coach can do way better than that in the third year of an expansion team!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I understand homerism, but cmonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

  29. Pinnacl3 Says:

    @Thomas As it relates to the other cities that have a “struggling” economy, those teams boast a faithful following. People want to see MoJo run in Jacksonville and they get treated to just that. People want to see one of the most unstoppable WR’s in the league in Calvin Johnson and they get treated to just that. We, for some reason, have a wishy washy group in the area. And we come from miles around to see Blount run/hurdle over would be defenders and we get an end around to Benn on 3rd and inches to lose 4 yards. The product isn’t good. The community is starting to show some/more more interest in the future of this team now it seems EVERY game in the near future, the Bucs will considered UnderDogs. The Glazers may be mad geniuses.

  30. Meh Says:

    St Louis, Jacksonville, and Detroit are only selling out because the remaining seats are bought by ownership.

  31. Bobby Says:

    Nobody said changes don’t need to be made eric, they do but to just pin it all on lack of talent and coaching and say start the whole thing over is just being blind to what you and everyone else has seen. We saw a QB who only threw 6 picks last year and threw 26 TD’s. We saw Mike Williams look like an emerging star. We saw an O-line do a great job at protecting Freeman. We saw a D-line look pretty decent this year in the first 6 games (minus ‘Frisco) What happened!?? Who knows…but we have regressed horribly. Some say it’s the talent, others say it’s the play calling, others say coaching. It’s probably a combination of all of the above. So you make changes where they need to be but you don’t start over…you adjust. The time to do that is in the off season. Without major changes they won’t get this back on track but so many here think that the magic pill is a new HC. History is not on your side with that one. Keep Morris or fire him, makes no difference to me but I don’t expect a new HC to do much better until this rebuild is in year 5. 2013 is when this team should have all the pieces in place. That’s two more drafts and two more shots at FA.

  32. TurnThePage Says:

    Great post BigMac.

    You told the honest truth, and that is definitely refreshing.

    Again, Thomas2.2, you do realize you can’t take credit for Raheem’s soon to be firing. Raheem pretty much earned this all on his own.

    He barks to the media that “I told the players to stick to their core beliefs. I told them to play hard, fast, angry, youngry and hungry. But they didnt come ready to play. I told them to tackle, but they didnt tackle.”

    It takes waaaaaaaay more than cliches to be a coach in the NFL.

    I remember Dungy always, always, always making his team actually practice the fundamentals week in and week out. No matter how high or low the team, he tried to keep them even keel and focused on the next game… and have them practice fundamental football skills. Much like taking ground balls and hitting BP… players cant just stop doing that stuff, seriously at a high level.

    Even Jon Gruden would study defenses like he was preparing for war eery single week. His game plans were at least relevant to the opposing team each week.

    Rah will learn from this maybe… only after he is let go. Unfortunately, the fans are screwed by having to watch someone learn on the got dang job.

  33. BucFan South Tampa Says:

    Five days and a wake up until Morris is fired……

    Trust me, with the amount of limited press NFL Network and ESPN gives the Bucs compared to all the other teams (Chiefs excluded), Morris’ firing wont make much of a splash. Now, his replacement’s hiring will make a splash, depending on who it is.

    Of note, No DC or new OC will come to Tampa without Morris being extended. All HC’s hire the Coordinator’s and Assistant’s. Coming here would essentially be a one year job.

  34. TurnThePage Says:

    And bringing in Peyton Manning would be awesome for Josh Freeman. Josh needs a real pro QB to teach him how to read NFL defenses as well as getting on top of the ball and throwing strikes into the hands of the WRs in stride down field. Peyton could bring the real vertical passing game to the organization and teach Freeman how to read and react quickly and be ready to fire the ball down field.

    I swear I was just thinking this yesterday… not bringing Manning in, but forcing Freeman to watch Mannings game tape when he was doing well. Manning is a big guy with a big arm. Josh is a big guy with a big arm who can also make all the throws. What better guy to learn from than the best big arm, verticle passing QB in the league than Peyton Manning?

  35. Rob in Orlando Says:

    I am not a Raheem supporter or apolgist but… the current Buc roster could not be coached to a winning record by any coach in NFL history. Seriously, “youngry” players are great to sprinkle into your lineup as a second stringer and rarely a starter but having first and second year players starting up and down both sides of the ball is why we are getting our (fill in the blank) kicked. Cheapsters have to spend money on quality free agents at linebacker, safety, lineman (offense and defense) and get a real offensive and defensive coordinator, you know, one with experience at the NFL level. Add an experienced, high priced head coach, and we can turn this around quickly. The Cheapsters hold the key. If they don’t care and won’t spend much more than they are currently spending (we are millions and millions UNDER the salary cap, we will be doormats of the league. Go Bucs!

  36. eric Says:

    Five year rebuilding plan?

    Ok, everybody points to Dallas in the 90’s and San Fran under Bill Walsh.

    Jimmy Johnson famously went 1-15 in 1st year, and by 3rd was 11-5.

    Bill Walsh went 2-14 1st year and 13-3 his third (Super Bowl Champs).

    Somebody please tell me of a team in modern NFL history that did this poorly in the thrid year of a rebuilding plan and overcame it to great success. Or, any success for that matter.

    Heck the Atlanta coach took over a 4-12 team and has been to playoffs four straight! After they lost Vick!

    There are no five year plans in the modern NFL!

  37. Bobby Says:

    There is if you get rid of ALL of your vets.

  38. Bobby Says:

    I don’t believe Bill Walsh in his prime could have taken this roster and done any better than .500

  39. eric Says:


    I agree.

    I am only saying that the great “rebuilding” organizations that this team is supposedly modeling itself after did not completely fall apart in year three, and did not take five years to reach their goals.

    Its a myth. Koolaid. Delusional. Rediculous.

    For the clowns at One Buc Place to try to pass this off as normal youthful development is sickening.

  40. bucfanjeff Says:

    Thomas 2.2. Says:
    Pinnacl: detroits economy is arguably the worst in the country; they have sold out every game – bc they have a new and exciting product under a quality head coach.
    Uh, the ONLY thing to do in detroit is Red Wings, Tigers and Lions. They work to eat and watch sports. The alternative is gang related….harsh I know.

  41. Patrick Says:

    Look at the Saints. 3-13 in 2005, Katrina hit the city, and everything was in shambles from the city to the team. A year later they have a long term winner.

    Look at the 49ers: pathetic team last year. They hire Harbough and it changes everything. They’re now the #2 seed in the NFC.

    Look at the Panthers: yeah they’re 6-9 but their team, especially their offense, looks 10 times better than ours right now. They’re definitely going to be a contender next year. Rookie HC, rookie QB, young team just like us. First year of their rebuilding and they’re already better than us. Third year of our rebuilding and we’re in the cellar of the division. Rivera took over a horrible 2-14 team, Raheem took over a 9-7 team that was one game away from the playoffs and that was 9-3 at one point.

    This rebuilding job of Rah and Dom’s has been a joke and inferior to what all the other teams have done. No excuse, we could be a better team right now.

  42. BigMacAttack Says:

    I do feel that the new practice rules hurt young teams. Having all these restrictions on padded practices is stupid, and it hurts young defenses, if not all defenses. Look at the Packers’ D, Patriots’ D, Panthers’, Saints’, the list goes on of defenses that have struggled and given up way too many points. I assume it was the NFLPA that pushed for this rule limiting padded practices to next to nothing. This definitely hurt the Bucs, because now you have to conduct tackle drills without pads, which is even worse for injuries. This is a very stupid rule that should be renegotiated and changed in the offseason. It isn’t helping anybody in the NFL and has lead to an inferior product.
    Just Sayin.

  43. Pete Dutcher Says:

    I don’t think they’ll want the firing to be quiet. That’s their first offseason splash.

    The Glazers were blasted by national press on the last two firings. I seriously doubt it would play out like that.

    One Joe believes it will be quick, Sunday night, that way it will lessen the negative press. Sunday nights are dead, the sports media is focused on the playoffs and the bowl games. Combined with how Monday is a holiday, such an announcement will be buried.

    Although the Friday theory has some merit…I think this one is the one. It might even happen on Monday.

    I agree though that there is a chance the Glazers will extend the Morris contract and give him another year. It would cost next to nothing contract-wise, and if they bring in the right coordinators, tickets WOULD sell.

    I think it’s a small chance, but there is some chance of seeing this happen.

    Another possiblilty….

    Glazers somehow manage to get Dungy to come back. They hire Turner as OC and demote Morris to DC. Morris would do well under Gruden. The offense would be fixed. Dungy could demote Freeman for developmental purposes since he is so young and bring in Payton Manning. Manning would also have a strong affect on the offensive unit as a whole, and not just on the field.

  44. BigMacAttack Says:

    Pete, buddy, think about what you just said. Why in thee world would they keep Raheem as a DC? That would be worse than keeping him as a HC and hiring a DC for him. The fans have spoken pretty loudly on Raheem.

  45. Tampa2 Says:

    @Eric, John McKay took his 0-26 expansion team to within one win of the Superbowl in year three. Raheem has taken to Bucs to the toilet Bowl in his 3 years, and hopefully someone flushes it after the upcoming Atlanta debacle that will insure the most points allowed since 1986.
    @Pete Dutcher. are you on crack?