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Bucs Rebuilding Status


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I saw this article in Tampa. It really makes you appreciate how a rebuilding project COULD have been done in Atlanta. Compared to this, I have no complaints with the Falcons leadership!

By MARTIN FENNELLY | The Tampa Tribune

Published: November 25, 2009

TAMPA - It was just another day at One Buc Nuthouse.

Move along, nothing to see here.

Padding his NFL lead in fired/demoted coordinators, straw grasping and general franchise dysfunction - and suddenly stumbling toward the firing line - Raheem Morris, citing lack of progress, has announced another mistake in midstream and demoted Jim Bates, no relation to Norman, though this season is back to resembling the "Psycho" shower scene. I thought we were through with this.

Morris replaced Bates with: himself. He is going to be a defensive coordinator after all, which, as I recall, is where our story began.

I'm starting to feel sorry for Raheem.

What hasn't flown over this cuckoo's nest?

And are the Glazers watching? This is their mess, too.

There's Man United over there, and over here is Man, Oh, Man.

To review: The Bucs now have a head coach who has never been a head coach and a defensive coordinator who has never been a defensive coordinator - and they're the same guy. Morris had better be careful he doesn't accidentally fire himself in the confusion. Come to think of it, that already might have happened.

Bucs players rallied around the Rah.

"The building is not falling down," Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber said.

Barber was adamant, as was his friend the boss, that it was not a players' revolt that led to Bates' demotion and a return to the schemes of the famed Tampa 2 defense.

"It's fun to write, but it's completely false," Barber said.

"There's no turncoat in this building," Morris added.

The Falcons are coming! The Falcons are coming!

Once the Bucs won a game, I was fairly certain Morris and General Manager Mark Dominik, who has had an equally shaky rookie season, were generally safe, what with Josh Freeman's promise. After all, how can you judge them on one season?

Now I'm not so sure. The Glazers can't be, either.

With each burp, the energetic, earnest, likable Morris swims farther into the deep end of the pool while his water wings hang on the fence. When you line up this club's missteps, the pattern makes outsiders squeal. And insiders have to be gaining on them.

Understand, there's something to be said for admitting mistakes, for accountability. But the bottom line is the new crew keeps ... making mistakes.

They either didn't have the personnel to fit Bates' scheme and didn't adjust, or didn't hire the right guy, like with the deposed offensive coordinator. Two hires, two blanks. Where else does this happen this fast?

And should Morris and Dominik be trusted with the impending decisions needed to rebuild this team? Where's their credibility right now?

Part of me wanted open auditions for defensive coordinator. What about linebackers coach Joe Barry? Or Ronde Barber, player-coach. Or maybe a "Spartacus" kind of deal.

"I'm defensive coordinator."

"I'm defensive coordinator."

Instead, Morris will ride the bull. He'll take the blame. Bully for him, I suppose. If he's going down, he's going down his way. Maybe we'll laugh about this when the defense turns around, or after Raheem's first playoff win, or when the American Federation of Offensive and Defensive Coordinators pickets Bucs headquarters.

Back to Morris.

"It's definitely an accountability issue," he said. "It's definitely something I have to do."

And so Bates, whom Morris described as "one of the most well respected minds in the league and my friend," has been banished to the Land of Misfit Toys. And Morris is now juggling two jobs high on the wire, no net, as usual. Sooner or later, all head coaches run out of people to blame. It's on them. Morris must know as much.

But get this straight:

The building is not falling down.

That's next week.

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