According to Rick Stroud of the St. Petersburg Times, John Clayton of ESPN said that the Bucs were set to fire Raheem Morris during Bloody Monday (when Todd Haley and Tony Sparano did get the axe), but the Buccaneers coaching staff wasn’t big enough to function without him, and the team did not have a suitable replacement as interim coach.
The Buccaneers have been horrible this season. Last year, they were lucky, both in terms of close games and playing an easy schedule against the NFC West, and got to 10-6, raising expectations. This year, injuries and the failure of several younger players to progress has resulted in a 4-9 record. Earlier this year, I looked at their propensity to have a winning record when they started 3-2 despite poor underlying measures such as point differential. Tampa went out and beat the Saints that day, making me look silly. Since then, they have gone 0-7, with the ultimate indignity of losing 41-14 of Jacksonville apparently being the last straw.
Except, well, the organization is too cheap to buy replacement straws. Raheem Morris is (likely) going to be fired for the organization’s frugality. The Buccaneers were a whopping $59 million under the cap heading into this offseason. While the lockout was still ongoing and discussions about the parameters of a deal were leaking out, I wrote how the Bucs would have to spend just to get to the salary floor. (Later, after the deal was finalized, we found out that individual teams did not have to meet the salary floor requirements yet, until 2013 season). The Bucs’ big move this offseason? Signing a punter.
So yeah. Josh Freeman isn’t playing as well this year. The team was a bit of a paper pirate last year and some regression should have been expected. Then injuries like last year’s top pick Gerald McCoy hit, and the team couldn’t stop anybody from running the ball. But I think we can see where the real problems are. They are too cheap to even fire a coach properly.
[photo via Getty]