It was the only realistic move after the Bucs lost the final 10 games of the season to finish 4-12. In his third season, Morris and the Bucs took a major step back. After the team went 10-6 last season, the thought was that Tampa Bay’s youth movement was heading in the right direction.
But it became apparent during the losing streak that Morris lacked maturity and that his player-friendly style backfired on him. The Bucs became a team that was ill-prepared on the field and running wild off it. Key players like quarterback Josh Freeman, receiver Mike Williams and running back LeGarrette Blount all showed major regression this season.
By the end of the season, the Bucs had become the worst team in the NFL. They beat the Colts in a Monday night game early in the season, but I’m firmly convinced the Colts would have won if the game had been played later in the season.
This team was in a free fall, and bringing back Morris wasn’t going to stop it. The Bucs had to pull the plug, and the Glazers needed to send a message to their fans that they want to win.
As soon as I land in Tampa, I’ll head straight to One Buccaneer Place for a 3 p.m. ET news conference. I’ll also get you a list of coaches I see as possible candidates to replace Morris.