TAMPA, Fla. -- For several weeks now, we’ve been hearing a bunch of Tampa Bay players lobby for Raheem Morris to stay as the head coach.
That’s not a bad sign, but I don’t know how much it really means when veteran cornerback Ronde Barber says he’ll retire if Morris is fired. First off, Barber might retire anyway. And, at his age, he might not be part of the plans even if Morris stays. Besides, we all know that being an icon for the Bucs doesn’t mean you get to make any really big decisions. Just ask Derrick Brooks.
But something interesting just happened out here at One Buccaneer Place. The one guy who actually has some power, even though he might not realize it, just went to bat for Morris.
That’s rookie quarterback Josh Freeman. Yes, let’s face it: This kid has more power than Barber and Morris combined, and you could bring in Brooks, Warren Sapp and Mike Alstott and Freeman’s current power would be greater.
He is the centerpiece of whatever future this franchise has. The Bucs drafted him, paid him a fortune and all indications so far are that he’s going to be the first true franchise quarterback this team has had since Doug Williams. If the thoughts of anybody are going to be listened to by ownership, Freeman’s the guy.
Now, understand, it wasn’t like he came out and lobbied for Morris. But, when asked if changing coaching staffs would be a setback for him, Freeman had some pretty strong words.
“It would be a setback for everybody,’’ Freeman said. “Everything is easier the more you get to work with somebody and the more you get to know somebody.’’
Freeman also said he wants to continue working with Greg Olson, who began as quarterbacks coach, but was elevated to offensive coordinator when the Bucs fired Jeff Jagodzinski shortly before the season started.
“I think it would be huge having the same coordinator and the same quarterback coach,’’ Freeman said.
If the Glazers are going to pay attention to anything any player says, they just heard what the only guy who might matter thinks.