Raheem Morris, having just finished a less-than-spectacular first season as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will get at least one more season as head coach. Ownership said yesterday that they're "committed to the plan that [they] began 12 months ago with coach Morris."
So the rebuilding continues, as it should. Yes, the Bucs went 3-13, and under no circumstances can a 3-13 season be seen as a success (outside of Detroit), but that's sort of the point of rebuilding, isn't it? You take some lumps. Did the level of talent and experience in Tampa Bay warrant anything better than 3-13? Maybe, but not much better.
Morris and rookie quarterback Josh Freeman(notes) will get a chance to grow together. Freeman threw a pretty healthy 18 interceptions in just 10 games, but he also showed some spectacular bursts of playmaking ability. If and how quickly he can mature into a legitimate NFL quarterback will have a lot to do with how long Morris gets to keep his job.
But whether we're talking about Raheem Morris, Eric Mangini, or any other first-year head coach, don't they all deserve more than one year? Unless they go 0-16, or they sell the team's blocking sleds and use the money to go on a three-day PCP binge in Reno, I don't think a second year is too much to ask.
Again, the concept is rebuilding. You tear down, you build back up, and you expect some losses along the way. No one wants to do it, but sometimes you gotta. How do you expect to build anything if a guy doesn't get more than 16 games to do it? What are you going to do, start again every single year?
The Bucs hired Morris for a reason. And whatever that reason was, it's still there. When a team fires a head coach after one year, to me, it's the same as admitting, "We made a very big mistake in hiring this guy." Maybe Morris didn't have the greatest of years, but I don't think he did anything that makes him a clear-cut disaster, either.
I like the decision, Bucs. Give Morris another chance, see if he can make some strides next year, and hopefully, your initial instincts about the guy turn out to be right.