Tampa Bay Buccaneers  

 

Bucs' Morris out after 10-game losing streak to end season

  • By NFL.com
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The turnover that many expected in Tampa Bay began Monday, when coach Raheem Morris and his entire staff were fired.

Team and league sources told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora of the moves early in the day; the Buccaneers later confirmed the decision via their official Twitter account.

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Morris compiled a 17-31 record in three seasons with the Bucs.

"We want to thank coach Morris for all his hard work and dedication as head coach of the Buccaneers," Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer said in a statement.

Bucs general manager Mark Dominik added, also in a statement: "I have a lot of respect ... for the passion coach Morris gave to our team, but this change is one we felt was necessary."

Morris later issued a statement expressing his gratitude to the organization.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Glazer family for the opportunity they gave me to be the Head Coach of the Buccaneers," Morris said. "I was honored and blessed to have spent the majority of my coaching career with the same (class) organization. I grew up with the Bucs and I was fortunate enough to be part of a Super Bowl victory there. I wish the Glazers, the management, players, staff and most importantly, the fans nothing but the greatest success in the future."

Speaking at a news conference later Monday, Glazer said he wouldn't second-guess his decision to make Morris his coach.

"There's no regrets on what we did," Glazer said. "Raheem worked tirelessly. There were a lot of great things Coach Morris brought to the table. After a 4-12 season, obviously everyone starts reflecting on the negative results. But I've got nothing but positive things to say about Coach Morris and what he contributed, and his attitude and his class, right up until meeting with him today."

Glazer also defended the team's decision to retain Dominik, who took some of the responsibility for its shortcomings.

"I do take responsibility for what happened on this football field as well," Dominik said. "Obviously as the general manager, my job is to help acquire talent, and provide talent, draft players and get us to a competitive level."

"Obviously, we all felt after (the team went 10-6 in 2010) like the team was going in the right direction," Dominik said, adding that injuries hampered the roster. "I thought we had some good players here that were still developing. I still feel like we have some players that can continue to grow, and I still have a lot of belief in what (quarterback) Josh Freeman can do going forward."

Glazer said the Bucs aren't working with a defined timeframe in their coaching search and rejected the notion they would look to make a splash with a big-name coach.

"There's going to be a thorough, wide search," Glazer said. "We want to find the right person for this job, and if that takes a week or three weeks or whatever it is, that's what it will be.

"The objective is to have a fundamentally sound long-term plan of winning," he added. "Selling a few extra tickets this week or next week is not the driver to this decision."

Follow Jason La Canfora on Twitter @JasonLaCanfora.

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