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Buccaneers reportedly planned to fire Morris on Monday

  • By Marc Sessler NFL.com
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Amid a rash of NFL head-coaching dismissals, Raheem Morris' future in Tampa Bay remains clouded.

ESPN's John Clayton reported Thursday that Morris was to be fired by the Buccaneers this past Monday, according to a tweet from the St. Petersburg Times.

Morris was retained, however, for a peculiar reason, according to the tweet: The Bucs' coaching staff wasn't "big enough" to function without Morris and lacked a suitable interim candidate.

NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora reported that Morris, whose Bucs are 4-9 and riding a seven-game losing streak, is under review and in danger of being fired. He'll have to win at least one game to have a chance to retain his job, according to league sources, who also said coaching-staff changes are in the mail regardless, particularly on the offensive side.

With all the speculation over his job security, Morris was asked during his Thursday news conference if any players have offered him words of encouragement this week.

"The guys, they support me through wins, through losses, through whatever," Morris said. "I know there's a cloud outside the organization, but there's a ray of sunshine in the building."

As for the Bucs' coaching staff, the team's official website lists 18 assistants.

» The Chiefs' site lists just 15 assistants -- not including interim coach Romeo Crennel -- but that didn't stop them from firing Todd Haley. In that case, Crennel (a former Browns head coach) was an easy choice to take the reins down the stretch.


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» The Dolphins, under interim coach Todd Bowles, show 18 assistants (including -- in a slightly awkward scenario -- offensive quality control coach Tony Sparano Jr.).

» The Jaguars house 17 assistants under interim coach Mel Tucker.

None of these teams list a larger coaching staff than the Bucs, but here's the bigger issue: With three games left, can Morris show enough to be given another year in Tampa Bay?

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