Buc'em readers are a smart bunch, dedicated, you come back for more and you absorb it all like a chamois at a car wash. So the Headline should surprise no one.... and yet its time to defend it like Morris did his team at yesterday's press conference.
"The team had no quit" he said. Truth is, it may never have. Even the ugly finish at the end of last season, may have been the best 45 men that could possibly be on the field. Yet didn't you see more fire Sunday than you did in that season finale in 2008 vs the Raiders? ...and against a better team?
Keep in mind this Bucs football team is a unit that has drafted the following players in the first round of the first half of this decade; Kenyatta Walker, and Michael Clayton.
Only recent years are the Bucs starting to use their first picks wisely; Davin Joeseph in 2006, Aqib Talib in 2008 and Josh Freeman this year. Still, Gaines Adams stains the 2007 draft, a reward for finishing 4-12. A reward the Bucs cannot allow themselves to indulge themselves with the #3 pick next April.
There are those whose opinions are not easily swayed. People who remember the Giants, Philly and Jets games like they lived in Queens or just off the Walt Whitman Bridge. Atlanta is where you have to start though if you want to be honest. The week Raheem Morris took charge of the defense and admitted a mistake; something good rookies do.
Because its not really that different if you have a rookie QB or a rookie Head Coach. You still go into the season expecting them to learn and grow. Morris has done both; his clock management and game time decisions have improved tremendously. Some will say an NFL Head Coaching position is not where you should get "on the job' training. But its ok for Quarterbacks to get theirs? Arn't they harder to find?
Starting today, Josh Freeman begins the offseason as the Starting QB for the Bucs. There will be no Luke McCown/Leftwich competition. The Question marks on Cadillac Williams knees have been removed and replaced with explanation points. He was the only back yesterday. and he gained 40 yards entirely on his own. No one will question whether Michael Clayton can be a starting wide receiver anymore. The answer has been obvious the last month. Oh, and the IR Stalag will release all of its POWs for re-enlistment in 2010. In there are two of the three guys who have returned kick off and punt returns for TDs.
Yet there will still be those who will say "How can you want Raheem Morris back after this train wreck"? Yet when you look at it from afar and it looks different from various points, as if a real Amtrak did slide off its railings. You see the front is all mashed up, but the tail end looks relatively unscathed.