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Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Morris finishes second in Coach of Year vote

By Pat Yasinskas

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.