Here we go. No more talk. No more nothin’. It’s time to put up or shut the hell up. These are the games where John Facenda’s voice booms from the heavens forevermore. These are the games where NFL history is made. These are the games where young football fans cement their love for teams as they view football with their Fathers for the first time. These are the games they’ll show long after any of us are around to complain about officiating and for two teams today, get ready to pick out ya coffin.
After being passed over for the same position with the Denver Broncos, Raheem Morris was introduced today as Tampa Bay’s head coach replacing Jon Gruden. Morris, 32, was promoted a month ago to defensive coordinator after Monte Kiffin left to join his son Lane’s staff at the University of Tennessee. His rise through the Tampa Bay organization has been very pronounced.
After beginning his coaching career with Hoftstra as a graduate assistant in 1998 and serving in the Jets defensive minority internship in 2001, he joined a Tampa staff that won the Super Bowl in 2002. He’s served, in succession, as the defensive quality control coach, defensive assistant, defensive backs coach (the Bucs were NFL best against the pass that season) and eventually defensive coordinator. In 2006 he left the Bucs to take defensive coordinator position at Kansas State before returning to Tampa the next season.
It’s ironic Tony Dungy had to wait ten years (28-38) before receiving a shot and his coaching tree has spawned Mike Tomlin, 34, and now Morris. The comparisons to Tomlin are natural because of age and energetic coaching style. Tomlin on Morris: “Raheem is an exceptional coach and, more importantly, he’s a better person,” Tomlin said. “Leadership is something he does not have to work at, it oozes out of him. The Tampa Bay organization and its fans are in great hands.”