TAMPA, Fla, (AP) — Coach Raheem Morris sees a bright future for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and believes he should be a part of it.
Morris' job could be in jeopardy as Tampa Bay (4-11), one year after going 10-6, will try and stop a nine-game skid in Sunday's regular-season finale at Atlanta.
"I think I answered this question a couple weeks ago ... I will never fire myself," Morris said Monday, two days after the Bucs were beaten 48-16 at Carolina. "You don't go from being a coach of a year candidate to being the worst coach in the league to get fired within a year. It's about us. It's a little bit of everything."
Tampa Bay has turned over the ball 36 times and allowed 449 points this season. What has been the most frustrating part for Morris has been a recent stretch of one-sided losses.
"No question ... bingo," Morris said. "But it happens because people go outside of the box and try to make plays that are just not there in order to get that football team, or basketball team, or hockey team to win. You've got to go play within the system and make the plays that technique and opportunity allow you to make. Once you got those things, it's just like the year before."
This year's struggles have not dampened Morris' view on the Bucs' youth movement.
"We made a collective agreement to go young when we took over this program," Morris said. "That's something we wanted to do. I believe in my guys. I believe in the system. I believe in the program. I believe in what we do. We want to build this thing young, and want to develop a team that goes out and wins, and wins consistently."
Morris said this year's deficiencies can be addressed during the upcoming offseason.
"We've got a chance to work on some of the fine details, some of the stuff we may have missed from last year," Morris said. "This year we'll have an offseason. This year we'll have a chance to be with them. This year we'll have great examples on how to lose games, and we'll have great examples on how to win games because we have the last two seasons to look at."
"Last year, this same team won 10 games, now through a little bit of smoke and mirrors so to speak, but that's not the point," Morris added. "You've got a chance to get better this offseason. You've got a chance to come out here and get an offseason and get these guys together. We're not a finished product, but you don't have to be a finished product in order to win. We proved that last year."
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.
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