(Raheem shows his team some signs of encouragement during an "upset" of the Green Bay Packers in Raheems first year.)
Raheem Morris has taken a lot of criticism over that last 2-3 years since being "promoted" to Head Coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There are many that have defended him and his decisions, and then there are far more who have scrutinised and lashed out against him and GM Mark Dominik
For one, I think we as fans have been overreacting on the "Morris needs to go" rants. I've been looking around and reading articles and he is actually on pace for a good career according to his win totals in his first 3 years. Bill Belichick (20), Bill Walsh (21), Bill Parcels (22), Dick Vermeil (18), and Sean Payton (25) all have had/have great success in the NFL and by my count Raheem has 17 with 7 games left in his 3rd year. Granted this is just speculation over what other Head Coaches have done after their first 3 years, but if you look at the way things have played out...no matter what happens the rest of this year, I see good things for the future.
Raheem started off his tenure in controversy and pretty much dumped all of the veterans on the Bucs roster to "scout" his young players. The first year was an evaluation for what this team needed when rebuilding from the ground..up. Quickly we learned the answer....this team needed A LOT of help. In the 2nd year it was about putting his drafts to the test and getting them to "gel together" and get some wins. Given the bad (em...awful) 1st season, we were graced with a fairly easy schedule. However, even having an "easy" schedule we have to keep in mind we had the YOUNGEST team in the NFL with the YOUNGEST Head Coach. Getting 10 wins in the NFL with the youngest team is a pretty good feat (no matter who you play). After all, this is still the NFL. In gaining those 10 wins, I believe the fan base has become unrealistically optomistic as to how good this team was suppose to perform this year. The Bucs have played each of the leagues top 3 teams, the 5th best team twice, and the leagues 9th best team in just the first half of the year. Coming away with 4 wins and 5 losses. Even if we finish out the year at lets say 7-9....we then have another draft, with young players getting older, with more experience, a full off-season AND a somewhat easier schedule to play. Then if we talk about pairing the draft talent with previous years draft talent and experience, I think we find ourselves back near the top of the NFL heading into another off season with ANOTHER draft class to pair with the previous (that was a mouthfull right?).....suddenly I find a "difficult" schedule (seemingly) much LESS difficult. Give Raheem some help with a better Offensive Cordinator and I'm predicting a pretty solid team for years to come. Possibly throw in a D Corrdinator to top it off, and Raheem might be sitting with the rest of the coaches mentioned above. We've seen the good, and we've seen the bad (errr...down right ugly) ....the real question is....is this all just a dream? Or is Raheem on pace to make something real out of this team? Possibly create a future in which we have only had a small glimspe of? It's easy to want MORE.....faster. Especially with coaches like Jim Harbaugh bursting on to the scene...but he brought help with him. A coaching staff who had been together and already knew how to win...as well as the experience of his own NFL career AND his brother already being a successful Head Coach for the Ravens. Maybe Raheem and our Buccaneers aren't as far away from greatness as it seems...with a little help and his contract exstention....only time can really tell. Just food for thought. GO BUCS!!! :)