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Sunday, January 2, 2011
Bucs just short of playoff berth

By Pat Yasinskas

NEW ORLEANS -- As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers left the Superdome a few hours ago, they remained in the playoff picture.

They did their part by defeating the Saints, 23-13. But the Bucs (10-6) didn’t get the help they needed as the Packers and Giants won their games. The Packers ended up with the No. 6 seed.

There’s no playoff berth for the Bucs even though they reached what Raheem Morris constantly referred to as “the race to 10’’ wins all season. Ten wins usually mean a playoff berth, but it didn’t happen for the Bucs.

Still, you have to look at their season as a big success. Even in the New Orleans locker room, the Bucs were receiving high praise.

“I think Raheem Morris should be the coach of the year,’’ Saints linebacker Scott Shanle said.

That’s pretty high praise from an opponent. Let’s throw out some other superlatives about the Bucs.