But as far as one Bucs player is concerned, the players should be more concerned with their futures in Tampa, Fla., than anyone else on the team.
"It can't be that simple," Bucs guard Davin Joseph told the Tampa Tribune after being asked if the team is playing hard for Morris. "You can't say this looks like a team that doesn't want coach Morris to come back. The way we're going, I'd say this is a team where I'm wondering whether our players are going to come back."
Defensive end Michael Bennett similarly bristled at the notion that it's the responsibility of the coaching staff to get its players motivated to compete each week.
"You've got to have some motivation yourself," Bennett said. "At the end of the day, it's about taking on a blocker, shedding the block and making a play. All the rest doesn't matter."
But throughout their nine-game losing streak, the Bucs have struggled to do those simple things like shedding blocks and making plays. They were burned in particular by a porous run defense Saturday, which gave up 270 yards to the Panthers, as starting defensive tackles Albert Haynesworth and Brian Price sat out with injuries.
"That was an embarrassing performance, really, in the run game," Bucs conerback Ronde Barber told the Tribune. "It's frustrating to watch because you know what the problems are.
"It looks like guys want to do their own thing. You've got to believe the guy next to you is going to do his job."