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News » Tampa Bay Buccaneers Inside Slant 2009-01-30


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Inside Slant 2009-01-30


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Inside Slant 2009-01-30
It came as a mild shock when coach Jon Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen were fired more than two weeks after the end of the season. Coaches are typically let go within 48 hours of the end of the season so teams can begin the process and have a new regime in place to begin offseason planning.


But the Glazer family took its time deciding Gruden's fate. And when they ultimately concluded it was time for Gruden and Allen to go, there was a plan in place.

Both were replaced from within.

Raheem Morris becomes the league's youngest head coach at 32 years old, and Mark Dominik, who has been with the franchise since 1995, will go from director of pro personnel to general manager.

It has been a whirlwind month for Morris. The Bucs' defensive backs coach the past two years, Morris was promoted to defensive coordinator when Lane Kiffin left to join the staff of his son Lane at the University of Tennessee. But he also interviewed with Denver for the head coaching job that ultimately went to Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

That might have opened the eyes of the Glazer family to the rising star of Morris. He has been with the franchise for six seasons over two different stints, and is an alum of Hofstra, where he also spent time as an assistant coach.

Most important, Morris is young and experienced with the Tampa-2 defense. So while the Bucs attempt to invigorate a roster that is quickly aging at a few key spots, they still maintain some continuity with the coaching staff and scheme.

"We will be forever grateful to Jon for bringing us the Super Bowl title, and we thank Bruce for his contributions to our franchise," Buccaneers co-chairman Joel Glazer said in a statement. "However after careful consideration, we feel that this decision is in the best interest of our organization moving forward."

The move comes more than two weeks after the Bucs suffered a monumental collapse, losing their final four games to miss out on the playoffs. They become the first team in 15 years to start 9-3 and miss the playoffs. Tampa Bay has now missed the playoffs four times in six years, although the Bucs have had a winning record each of the past two seasons.

"Any time a season ends, especially the way our season ended, it's a very, very emotional time. And one thing we always like to do is not act on emotion, let things simmer down, think through things carefully and not make any quick, rash decisions," Glazer said.

"After taking a lot of time to look at our franchise, look where it's been, look where it is, look where we want to go, we just felt this was the time for a change."



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: January 30, 2009

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