Morris finishes second in Coach of Year vote

Tampa Bay’s Raheem Morris finished second in The Associated Press’ Coach of the Year voting.

New England’s Bill Belichick won by a large margin, collecting 38 votes. Morris had 11.5 in a year in which he took the Bucs from 3-13 to 10-6.

Atlanta’s Mike Smith was one of several coaches tied for fourth place in the voting. The good news for Smith, though, is that multiple reports have him close to agreeing to a long-term contract extension. That’s been expected for several weeks as Smith has had a winning record in each of his first three years.

His original contract was for four years at an average of $2.2 million a season. Owner Arthur Blank isn’t letting the labor uncertainty get in the way of locking up Smith, who is expected to get a hefty raise. General manager Thomas Dimitroff also is expected to get a contract extension at some point this offseason.