Admittedly, I am a Colts fan. However, my best friend is a Bucs fan and with the Colts and their SBNation blog (StampedeBlue) being insufferable this year, I've enjoyed an increased interest in this Bucs' season. In my opinion, the Bucs have a likable roster with young talent and emerging stars. Also, in the spirit of full disclosure, I really like Raheem Morris. I like his energy. I like his story. And I like the fact his players enjoy playing for him.
However, it seems Raheem will no longer be the Bucs coach in the near future. This despite the fact he has only been on the job for three years and that he is still the same coach that lead a young, outmanned Tampa team to a 10-6 record last season. According to the reactions from blogs like this and other such media outlets, it seems like firing Morris is a move almost unanimously supported by the fans in Tampa Bay. Yet with any coaching change, the first question I ask is who do you replace him with?
Not to belittle anyone's opinion but it seems the current speculation about Raheem's replacement is full of coaches who won't come, coaches who haven't been successful in other stints, or assistants who are as unproven as Raheem is.
Each of these guys are all great football coaches. They are all very unlikely to leave their current jobs. Even if these guys were to be on the coaching market, it is unlikely they would end up on the sidelines for the Bucs next year.
The first two options here posted dreadful records as head coach of the Detroit Lions. Wade Phillips has struggled in each of his coaching stints and was the laughing stock of the league prior to being fired by the Dallas Cowboys during the 2010 season.
Take a deep breath and analyze the situation rationally for a second.
As a Bucs fan you are now in support of Wade Phillips being the next head coach of your favorite team.
Jay Gruden, Rob Ryan, Rob Chudzinski and others are all successful NFL coordinators. However, none are proven as head coaches. Do you really believe any of these guys would put the Bucs in a better position to win in 2012 in their first season on the job than retaining Raheem for a fourth season at the helm?
Finally, the one thing in the entire scenario I feel is most overlooked is the coordinator situation Raheem has been saddled with. Monte Kiffin left in December 2008 and Raheem was named his successor. Fast forward to January 2009 and Raheem is now also assigned the job of head coach. In the final week of the 2009 Preseason came the Jeff Jagodzinski debacle and Greg Olson now donned offensive play calling duties. These are not exactly ideal situations for appointing your coordinators on each side of the ball. I do not believe Raheem Morris has been provided adequate coaching support or the best staff members possible. Although it seems unlikely to happen now, my personal recommendation is to retain Raheem as head coach and provide him adequate offensive and defensive coordinators. Josh McDaniels and Steve Spagnuolo are members of the Rams organization may be available after this season and who would make elite offensive and defensive coordinators respectively. Todd Haley has seen success as an OC and is no longer a member of the Chiefs organization. There is also speculation that Mike Martz may not be back in Chicago and both Jay Cutler and the Bears offense have made significant strides under his tutelage. Each of these assistants, as well as many others could potentially aid the Buccaneers and their current head coach in growth and progress for 2012 and beyond.