And the new head coach is .... Raheem Morris
I was taught a good little lesson once...what does a story and coin have in common? They both always, absolutely always, have two sides. People will want to replace Raheem Morris as head coach for two reasons, Their frustration at a 3-13 season and no one single tangible thing to blame it all on except the coach, or the immediate availability of another person that sounds like a better deal.
No. 2 has been eliminated, with Bill Cowher now admitting he probably will not return to coaching in 2010, and Shanahan on an airplane headed to Washington at press time. With the removal of big name coaches, Bucs fans need to settle down and let reality hit them right in the face: Raheem Morris is probably the best coach the Bucs can have in 2010.
Within three games, we realized this season was over. In 2004, even an 0-4 start didnt end our season, we were in the playoff race until week 13. In 2006, another 0-4 start gave way to 2-4 and a comeback attempt in the Meadowlands. It didnt seem over until "Jingle Bells" got airplay. But this season, when you saw Josh Johnson take the field against the Eagles, you knew the best we could hope for this year was a stretch where the Bucs show improvement, look more like the Bucs of old, and give us a reason to hope for 2010.
Well spank me and call me Suzie...thats what just happened! The Bucs have won two of the last three games, and two of them against impossible odds. Had we won three games in a row that would have been too much like we were ready for the turn around. We are not!
But what Head Coach do you want to bring in to do 2009 all over again with? well you wont have to worry about that. If there is one thing the Glazers have shown us since 1995 when they came onboard, They are good business men.
They do not make their living making hasty decisions. They know you don't jettison your out of date veteran players and make the playoffs the next year. They know you don't tell your new Coach and General Manager to pick up one of them fancy new quarterbacks, and he will be Dan Marino reborn.
And most importantly, the Glazers know the fastest path to a sold out stadium and return of the waiting list is not a big name head coach. Because Tony Dungy was not this...yet after five wins in 1997 you couldnt get a seat anymore. Remember, most of us wanted Jimmy Johnson or Steve Spurrier, not Mr. Stoic himself.
So play the blame game if you must. Just take aim at the right targets:
The offensive line was told to lose weight, learn the zone blocking system, then told to scrub that system, gain weight again, and learn the old system again. No wonder they regressed. Despite all that, Cadillac Williams finished only 179 yards shy of a 1,000 yard season. Thats just over 400 yards per Patella injury!
Antonio Bryant was hurt all pre-season and it took a 7th round draft pick to step up this year as a reliable starting WR.
Josh Freeman came into the franchise in the 8th game and had Sammy Stroughter and Maurice Stovall as his starting wide receivers.... having worked with neither of them in an offseason designed to get two or three quick wins for Leftwich or McCown.
Most important is the return to Buccaneer football in the last few weeks of the season. Since the Nov. 22 game vs the Saints, the Bucs have been competitive against all teams NOT from New York.
Changes will be made, perhaps a new offensive coordinator will be found, Defensive Backs and Defensive line coaches, who are both Jim Bates guys, are sure to be replaced. Three new young players will be added, five of the best 99 players in college football, to our Bucs....
But one change that wont happen, is Raheem Morris as head coach. Because the hot names are just not available anymore to excite the fans; Then again, Jon Gruden is probably still available.