Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Amidst the celebration of Super Bowl XXXVII, Jon Gruden took the podium and boldly declared "You Aint Seen Nothing Yet Tampa!"
Well, Jon appears to have been right about something. Since that moment, the Bucs have managed a mediocre 48-53 record, and despite two playoff berths...zero playoff victories to show for it. To top it off, the Bucs began the 2008 season 9-3 and in prime position for the #2 seed. But after one of the greatest collapses in NFL history, the Bucs failed to make the playoffs for the third time under Gruden.
The decision to fire Jon Gruden was bittersweet for me. At first I was in complete shock. The timing seemed so bizarre. Then I was mad, because I really like Jon Gruden as a person. But the more I thought about it, I realized that the NFL is all about results, and Jon Gruden was simply not getting the job done.
When I heard that Gruden was fired, my immeadiate first choice for head coach was Raheem Morris. For the past 2 years, Morris has been on my radar as a rising star in the coaching ranks. The fact that Morris has never been a defensive coordinator in the NFL is concerning to say the least, but Morris just has that "it" factor. He brings energy and enthusiasm, and his players love to play for him.
To be honest, I really don't know what to expect from Raheem. I feel like the Bucs need to take a step back before they can move forward, but I'm okay with that. With nearly $45 million in cap space, and the 19th overall pick in the draft, its an exciting time to be a Bucs fan. At the very least, I hope that Morris will change the culture of the Bucs to a more positve atmosphere, while remaining very close and intact.
Many of you probably don't know the slightest thing about Morris, and your first exposure to him was a press conference in which he was rather nervous and shaky. But his energy and enthusiasm is undeniable. It is also important to point out that Morris comes from the Monte Kiffin coaching tree that includes: Mike Tomlin, Lovie Smith, Rod Marinelli, and for what its worth Tony Dungy. So he has learned from the very best, and I feel like he is in prime position to do well. At the very least, he brings hope to a Bucs and Mets fan that just can't take it anymore.
Check out this clip of Raheem coaching at K-state. You gotta love him