Saturday, January 8, 2011
Updated: January 9, 11:20 AM ET
Source: Raheem Morris granted option
ESPN.com news services
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have exercised the two-year option on the contract of coach Raheem Morris, two years after his hire made him the youngest coach in the NFL, a team source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
The team also picked up the one-year option in general manager Mark Dominik's contract, a league source told Schefter. However, there have not been contract discussions on a long-term contract extension with either Morris or Dominik.
The Buccaneers had two weeks from the end of Tampa Bay's season to pick up Morris' option.
The Bucs finished 10-6 but failed to advance to the playoffs as the New Orleans Saints (11-5) and Green Bay Packers (10-6) clinched the NFC's wild-card berths.
It was a colossal turnaround for Tampa Bay, which finished in the NFC South cellar at 3-13 in Morris' first season after the team was 9-7 in 2008.
Morris, 34, took
over a team that had won three division titles under Jon Gruden but hasn't won a playoff game since capturing the franchise's only NFL championship in January 2003.
The Bucs had promoted Morris to defensive coordinator on Christmas Day in 2008 before firing Gruden less than a month later.
Morris, a former Hofstra player and assistant coach, has been with the Bucs for eight seasons over two stints.
He initially joined Gruden's staff as defensive quality control coach for the 2002 Super Bowl run and was assistant defensive backs coach for two seasons before spending 2006 as defensive coordinator at Kansas State.
He and former Bucs assistant Mike Tomlin, now the coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, helped develop one of the top secondaries in the NFL. Both accepted other jobs after Tampa Bay led the league in total defense in 2005, and Gruden lured Morris back when the Bucs dropped to 19th against the pass the following season.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.