Consistently showing up late for work or sleeping on the job usually will get you fired. LeGarrette Blount could suffer the same fate from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers if he doesn't shape up, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
NEW YORK (AP)
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris says he has agreed to coach the Washington Redskins’ defensive backs.
”I’m a football coach. This is what I do, it’s who I am,” Morris told the Tampa Bay Times, which reported his hiring Thursday.
Morris will be reunited with general manager Bruce Allen, who was the GM in Tampa Bay when Morris returned from a one-year stint as Kansas State’s defensive coordinator to coach the Buccaneers defensive backs.
Morris was Tampa Bay’s defensive backfield coach for four seasons. He replaced Monte Kiffin as defensive coordinator in 2008 and Tampa Bay promoted him to head coach in 2009 replacing Jon Gruden. He had a 17-31-0 record in three years as head coach.
The Buccaneers fired Morris on Jan. 2.
Ending a season on a 10-game losing streak won’t do much for your job security. It didn’t for former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Raheem Morris, who was fired Monday on the heels of a 4-12 season.
“I have a lot of respect and appreciation for the passion Coach Morris gave to our football team, but this change is one we felt was necessary,” GM Mark Dominik said in a statement released by the team.
Morris was 17-31 in three seasons at the helm.
TAMPA, FLA. (AP)
Raheem Morris insists he isn’t worried about job security.
The coach of the struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneers reiterated Monday that his young team is not a finished product and that he remains focused on doing whatever he can to end a seven-game skid that’s ensured the club of a losing record for the second time in three seasons under Morris.
The collapse following a 4-2 start that included wins over NFC South rivals New Orleans and Atlanta has created speculation about whether ownership might consider a coaching change only a year after Morris appeared to have the NFL’s youngest team headed in the right direction.
The Bucs (4-9) face Dallas (7-6) at home Saturday night, then close the season with trips to Carolina and Atlanta.
”When you’re coaching, you’re always on the hot seat. That’s the mentality of what we do. We were on the hot seat when we were 10-6 and we didn’t go to the playoffs. You can still get fired,” Morris said Monday, a day after Tampa Bay may well have hit rock bottom in a 41-14 loss at Jacksonville.
Tampa Bay had seven turnovers, allowed the NFL’s lowest-ranked offense gain a season-best 325 yards, and blew an early 14-0 lead against a team that hadn’t scored more than 20 in a game all year.
Josh Freeman returned to the lineup after sitting out one week with an injury to his throwing shoulder but tossed two more interceptions and lost one of two fumbles that resulted in touchdowns for the Jaguars. Jacksonville took advantage of Bucs mistakes to score four second-quarter TDs in less than eight minutes.
The current losing streak matches the team’s longest under Morris, who replaced Jon Gruden after the 2008 season and began his head coaching debut by dropping seven in a row. The Bucs rebounded from a 3-13 finish in 2009 to go 10-6, narrowly missing the playoffs a year ago.
The quick turnaround heightened expectations for 2011. But turnovers, poor tackling, silly penalties and other mistakes have plagued the offense and defense during a stretch of eight losses in nine games. Inexperience and injuries have been a factor, however inconsistency has been a bigger issue.
”You look back at the game and the score probably should have been 70-14 with the amount of opportunities they had,” Morris said of Sunday’s loss.
The Jaguars entered the game ranked 32nd in passing and total offense and were next to last in scoring, averaging 12.7 points. The Bucs’ porous run defense limited Maurice Jones-Drew to 85 yards rushing, however the Jaguars star scored four TDs and finished with 135 yards total offense.
”I won’t give you any excuses. … We have to do a better job,” Morris said.
”At the end of the day, you’re still building with a bunch of young men and making those guys ready to prepare to win a championship at some point, the coach added. ”We just have to deal with the fact that it’s not going to be this year.”
With three games remaining in his third season, Morris has a 17-28 record. Three NFL coaches already have been dismissed coaches this season, including Kansas City’s Todd Haley, who was fired Monday after going 19-27 in just under three seasons with the Chiefs.
Morris said he is focused on preparing for the Cowboys, not his future.
”I try to tell guys all the time if I was worried about being fired I certainly would not be coaching. I would have taken that physical education job in Long Island that I turned down 15 years ago at this point. But that’s not what I do. We’re entertainers. We’re in this thing to win football games. I’ve got a lot of guys in this locker room counting on us not to show mental weakness, and we won’t do that,” Morris said.
”It’s great for you guys to scare my family half to death and talk about that stuff all throughout. But for us, man, it’s a mentally tough business. It is move on. It is next opponent. It’s next man up. It’s the Dallas Cowboys. … For me, a chance to ruin Jason Garrett’s season, and let you talk about him.”
The Cowboys, coached by Garrett, have lost two straight. They are tied with the Giants atop the NFC East, however New York holds a tie-breaker advantage after beating Dallas on Sunday night.
”Make no secrets about it. We’re not going into the Dallas Cowboys game not to get fired,” Morris said. ”We’re going into the game to win. Period.”
Notes: The placed LB Jacob Cutrera and DT John McCargo on injured reserve. DT Frank Okam was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster. … RB Nic Grigsby was released from the practice squad.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tom Brady showed midseason form in his preseason debut.
After sitting out New England’s preseason opener in Week 1, the reigning NFL MVP tossed a pair of touchdowns and completed 11 of 19 passes in the New England Patriots’ 31-17 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night.
Brady threw for 118 yards in one half of work, and connected on scoring strikes from 16 yards to Aaron Hernandez, and 8 yards out to Chad Ochocinco, who also both made their debuts.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis also got in on the act, rushing 11 times for 51 yards and two touchdowns.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick called this a big week for his team in regards to position battles and roster spots. It included three straight days of full-pad practices, creating what some players characterized as a regular-season atmosphere.
The pace seemed to be there as Brady and the rest of the first unit played all six offensive series of the first half, failing to score on only two. They scored on four of their first five drives.
Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris had a tough time finding any fault with his team’s effort in a 25-0 rout at Kansas City last week. But this week was more than a small reversal of fortune.
Third-year quarterback Josh Freeman, who was Brady-like against the Chiefs, misfired on his first three passes of the night to set a bad tone the Bucs never got over.
He was done after five series, connecting on 5 of 10 passes for just 33 yards. The Buccaneers had more than that in penalty yards in the first half. They were whistled 10 times for 85 yards, as New England built a 28-0 halftime lead.
Freeman was also sacked twice by the Patriots, who held Tampa Bay to just 73 total yards and four first downs in the opening half. Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo got credit for both sacks, to go along with five tackles.
The Buccaneers didn’t get on the board until early in the third quarter when cornerback Elbert Mack intercepted Ryan Mallett and returned it 69 yards for the score.
Their lone offensive score came early in the third quarter when third-string running back Allen Bradford capped a 12-play, 84-yard drive with 2-yard touchdown run. They were just two of the Bucs’ 64 yards rushing.
But, by then it was seemed clear to the already thinning Raymond James Stadium crowd that it was not Tampa Bay’s night and that their team still has a lot of work to do before the regular season.
Tampa Bay (1-1) will host Miami next Saturday night. New England (2-0) will travel to play at Detroit.
Notes: Patriots DB Bret Lockett was carted off in the second quarter (thigh bruise) and didn’t return. LB Dane Fletcher also didn’t return after injuring a thumb. … Tampa Bay WR Arrelious Benn, TE Luke Stocker, CBs Myron Lewis and Aquib Talib, DTs Roy Miller and Brian Price and S Ahmad Black were inactive.
© 2011 The Associated Press
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Da’Quan Bowers is eager to prove the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were right, and 31 other teams were wrong about a knee injury that hurt his stock in the NFL draft.
The former Clemson defensive end led the nation in sacks last season and was considered a probable top 10 pick before undergoing surgery in January.
Some teams shied away from him on draft day, fearing a less than full recovery might shorten his pro career. But the Bucs were encouraged by the medical reports they gathered on the 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference defensive player of the year and felt comfortable with selecting him in the second round to help bolster a sagging pass rush.
Tampa Bay was last in the NFC with 26 sacks a year ago, but feels its addressed the deficiency after using its top two picks in the draft on Bowers and first-round selection Adrian Clayborn.
“He’s coming along really well. … He’s a giant, 280-pound end. You could see his power rush was his game (at Clemson), you saw his speed and quickness,” coach Raheem Morris said. “The plan we had from the beginning was let’s draft him, let’s be cautious with him. Maybe we’re too cautious with him, but it’s smart.”
Two weeks into training camp, Bowers is listed on the depth chart as the second-string left end behind third-year Michael Bennett. More importantly, though, is he hasn’t had any problems with his right knee and Morris said he will likely play 12 to 15 snaps in his preseason debut Friday night against the Kansas City Chiefs.
“Once I’m finished for the day, I ice it down and go on about my business,” Bowers said. “There’s no soreness, no swelling, no anything.”
It’s the second year in a row they’ve used their first two selections in the draft on defensive lineman, with Bowers and Clayborn joining second-year tackles Gerald McCoy and Brian Price to form what Morris and general manager Mark Dominik hope will become a dominant front.
When the Bucs selected the 6-foot-4, 277-pound native of Bamberg, S.C., with the 51st pick overall, Dominik conceded that the knee injury might force the team to bring the 21-year-old along slowly. Nevertheless, he and Morris said Bowers’ talent and potential made it difficult to resist taking a chance on him at that point in the draft.
Bowers had 19.5 career sacks at Clemson, including 15.5 last year when broke the Tigers’ single-season record of 9.5 previously held by the late Gaines Adams, who was drafted by the Bucs in the first round in 2007.
“We were pretty confident … with the risk and reward from the first day we drafted him,” said Morris, who also serves his own defensive coordinator.
Bowers is not discouraged by being listed No. 2 on the depth chart, while Clayborn is the starter at right end. He’s trying to learn as much as he can in practice and meetings and is confident he can win the left end job before the Sept. 11 regular season against Detroit.
“It hasn’t been easy, but it hasn’t been as tough as I thought it would be,” Bowers said of the transition to Tampa Bay’s defensive system. “We have some great coaches and these other guys on the defensive line have been cooperating, walking me and Adrian through this process.”
© 2011 The Associated Press