- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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Tampa Bay's Raheem Morris took a lot of heat for his coaching last year. The flip side is he now deserves a ton of credit for the Buccaneers' getting to 8-5 this season.
Morris is a Coach of the Year candidate because he has turned the Bucs around, and part of that turnaround has been his ability to lead the team decisively. Morris is playing to the strength of his team, which is quarterback Josh Freeman.
The latest example came in Sunday's victory at Washington. With the Redskins leading 10-9, Morris and underrated offensive coordinator Greg Olson decided to let Freeman take a deep shot. He threw a rocket to tight end Kellen Winslow for a 41-yard touchdown with 3 minutes and 47 seconds left in the game. That gave Tampa Bay a 15-10 lead and what happened next came with absolutely no hesitation.
Without even flinching, Morris decided to go for the two-point conversion and, once again, he and Olson went with their strength. They had Freeman keep the ball, and he simply dragged a couple of Redskins into the end zone to put the Bucs up 17-10.
The Redskins moved down the field and scored a touchdown. They brought on their kicking unit for the extra point, but the snap sailed through the holder's hands.
The Bucs had a 17-16 victory, and Morris' decision to go for the two-point conversion, which was really the only call at the moment, looked even better at the end.