Just when you've thought you've seen all you can see with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers they give you a new way to get beat. It's gotta be tough for Raheem Morris this morning. When everyone is of the unanimous opinion that you should no longer have your job it makes life difficult.
So rather than follow the flow and list all the reasons Raheem deserves to be fired - we thought we'd go a different route and come up with 10 reasons Rah should keep his job (at least until through Christmas).
Believe me, it was tough coming up with 10 reasons after the Bucs completely fell to pieces in Jacksonville but hey, it could be worse. I could be Raheem Morris standing in front of the Glazers after that debacle trying to convince them that, "Hey, I got this."
Let's help the coach out.
1. We're "Yuckry".
The team may have begun young and hungry but that's transformed into young, undisciplined and lacking the fundamentals of football. There's no cool acronym for that, so we'll just call it "yuckry". When the only veteran free agent you add to the roster is a punter - what did you truly expect?
2. Josh Freeman may not be what we thought he was.
When your quarterback leads the league in interceptions, you're not going to win. When he fumbles the football into his own endzone, you're not going to win. When he stares down a receiver like he's found his long lost lover, you're not going to win. When he misses the checkdown and forces a pass into coverage, you're not going to win.
The Freeman of 2011 is worse than the rookie Freeman of 2009. At least that Freeman had the progression and promise. This one just seems to lack confidence, common sense and a receiving core that gives a darn.
3. The Bucs are in the holiday spirit of giving
After seven turnovers and 12 penalties, that's all it could possibly be at this point. Tampa Bay was +3 in the turnover ratio during their 4-2 start that included victories over New Orleans and Atlanta. During the 7 game losing streak, they're a -13.
4. You made us go to London.
Is it any coincidence that the Bucs seem to have left their game overseas? Since the London game, the Bucs are surrendering an average of 33.5 points a game. In that same span, they've scored an average of 16.8 points per game.
5. Bad teams need love too.
They've obviously decided to be Santa to teams that on paper are worse than them. How else do you explain surrendering 41 points to a team whose previous high was 20...back in September? How else to you explain getting beaten by an average of 21 points by a pair of teams who are a combined 8-18? It's one thing to give up a 40-burger to the 49ers, its entirely another get it from Jacksonville.
6. You hired the youngest coach in the NFL and expected him to learn on the job with no veteran leadership.
They jettisoned Jon Gruden after a 9-7 season and then hired Raheem Morris, just a few days after he was promoted to his first NFL defensive coordinator position. Then, they shed the team of any veteran leader not named Ronde Barber and instituted "The plan".
It was a recipe for failure that was expanded upon after the fool's gold of the 2010 season where the Bucs feasted on a weak schedule. After this season's gauntlet exposed the Bucs to not being as far along as we believed, Tampa Bay can't even compete with the bad teams.
Raheem is struggling with his confidence and the team is a reflection of their head coach. Sure, he'll put on a brave face in front of the media but when he looks in the mirror and frantically searches through his little workbook of head coaching tips that he compiled through his years as an assistant, there's no section on helping a "youngry" team regain their confidence.
Even when things are going well, as they did in Jacksonville, it took one mistake for the team to completely fall to pieces. A veteran leader on the football field could have helped calm the storm and get the kids focused. The Bucs don't have that guy on either side of the football. Ronde is a great, hall-of-fame type player. He's not a leader.
Raheem wasn't ready and you did him no favors by stripping him of the only crutch he had.
7. 2009 team would put 41 points on the 2011 team.
The biggest difference between the 2009 3-13 squad and this year's team is that team had heart. They knew they were outmanned in most games but they gave everything they had to compete. Most games, it wasn't pretty but you never saw them quit.
During this seven game losing streak (especially in the second half of the streak), its difficult to see an instance where the team didn't quit.
Yes, that could be an indictment of the head coach - but at the same time, its more about the makeup of the football team. They are clearly more talented than that 2009 squad, they just don't have the heart of that club.
This team cares about the balls thrown to them, even if it hurts the team as a whole (Mr. Winslow, I'm talking about you). This team worries about stats more than wins (even though they're for losers). This team worries about how they look on Sportscenter, not if their ballclub is winning. They are a team of Me-Shawns.
8. Leaders aren't grown.
The Bucs also put an emphasis in drafting guys that were team captains with high moral character in hopes of growing some leadership.
The issue is when none of these young guys have an veteran examples of how to prepare yourself for a game week in and week out it's difficult to emerge as a leader. How can you lead when you don't know what the hell you're doing?
Yes, there's Ronde Barber, Kellen Winslow, Jr. and Jeff Faine. But what is Adrian Clayborn going to learn from Ronde Barber on how to prepare for the battle in the trenches? When the defensive line players are gravitating to Albert Haynesworth for leadership there's obviously a gap there.
9. You can't listen to the fans.
Yes, the fans are your customer and if they're unhappy you have to do something about it. But listening to the fans got you into this mess in the first place. You saw the apathy starting to creep in to segments of the fan base, you heard the constant complaining about Jon Gruden on sports radio.
You didn't want to fire Jon, did you Glazer boys? But it seemed like if you didn't, the fans would arrive with pitch forks and burning torches at One Buc Palace.
We're tired of the re-tread free agents they said. We're tired of that back-stabbing Jon Gruden making our players unhappy. We want a player's coach who could relate well to the team and begin a youth movement. We want a young quarterback to build around and grow with for the future.
So you listened, gave them what they wanted and what did you get? The fan apathy is now at epidemic proportions.
10. It's not the Glazers' style.
Yes, we know that after the putrid (I'm starting to run out adjectives) display on Sunday against one of the league's worst teams that fans want Raheem's head on a pike today - this morning. They didn't even want him boarding the team flight home.
Yet it's not the Glazers style to fire a head coach during the season. Sure, they'll work behind the scenes to secure a new coach before they pull the trigger (we've seen that multiple times) during the season but they've never fired a coach before the final game - at least not publicly.
Some would say Tony Dungy was fired before the Bucs ever took the field in Philadelphia for that playoff game. Raheem is probably the walking dead right now. Yet, it would be hard to see the Glazers pull the trigger now.
What good could come of it? Maybe you can say you're open for business and don't have to hide your intentions. Maybe it shows the fans that you actually give a darn about something other than the bottom line - that you're as upset as the fanbase is at the team's performance (or lack thereof).
Certainly, whomever would take over as the interim coach would have a snowball's chance in Hades of squeezing a win out of these sorry me-first sacks of losers.
Steve Logan has head coaching experience and could probably take the team the rest of the way. God forbid if Greg Olsen got the nod.
At this point, firing Raheem before the final game doesn't really seem to matter much. You can do all your work behind the scenes, fire him on Black Monday and have the new coach in place by the end of the week.
That's typically the way they do it but who knows? Yesterday's debacle was so odious that their hand may be forced.
We'll see, but the truth of it is - we've had to have hit rock bottom right? It can't possibly get any worse than giving up 41 points to Blaine Gabbert...right?