Bucs Central

Morris Keeping Legendary Company?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie head coach Raheem Morris season didn’t necessarily go as he had hoped or envisioned it going, with a final record of 3-13, but it would now appear that there is growing sentiment for Morris.  As first reported by the Sports Statistician from Elias Sports Bureau. Morris’ first year at the helm is now being tied too not one, not two, but three legendary Hall of Fame coaches.

The Bucs finished with a 3-13 record in their first season under head coach Raheem Morris. Note that three eventual Super Bowl-winning head coaches lost at least 13 games in their rookie season: Chuck Noll, 1-13 with the Steelers 40 years ago; Bill Walsh, 2-14 with the 49ers 30 years ago; and Jimmy Johnson, 1-15 with the Cowboys 20 years ago.

Now, one of Tampa’s very own local fish wrap, beat reporters has picked up on the story. Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune surmises based on earlier information from that of the Statistician’s from Elias that Morris might have history on his side.

Whether or not history is on Morris’ side or not will largely be determined by the results this coming season. What the other three coaches had, that Morris doesn’t is time. Relatively speaking pre 1996, owners were more willing to allow a coach to fully implement a plan and see it through or atleast until it became quite obvious that things were just not working.

In this current day and age, of the internet. With thousands, upon thousands of different avenues for fans to voice their displeasure over the current state of affairs, with the franchise. Coaches have less time to right a wayward ship.

When you factor in the lame duck status of Morris, who is in the final year of  a two-year deal he signed last year with (club holding a third year option) and a looming work stoppage on the horizon. Time is definitely not on the side of Morris and while history might be. It’s also no guarantee.

Judging by what Noll, Walsh and Johnson did in the draft the year they debuted as NFL head coaches. One has to wonder if Morris is really worth mentioning in the same sentence as those three legendary coaches. That’s even before you factor in what they were able to accomplish with there respective teams on the field with each coach winning multiple Superbowls.

In Noll’s first year as the head coach with the Steelers in 1969, Pittsburgh drafted Mean Joe Greene with the fourth overall pick in the first round out of North Texas and L.C. Greenwood in the 10th round out of Arkansas Pine-Bluff, the two would go on to become the foundation for which the famed Steel Curtain was built.

Walsh’s initial year, as the San Francisco 49ers head coach in 1979 and without a first round draft pick, he somehow managed to landed quarterback Joe Montana in the third round out of Notre Dame and wide receiver Dwight Clark in the 1oth round out of Clemson. The duo became synonymous for the “Catch” that propelled the 49ers over the Cowboys in the Championship game.

Johnson, in his rookie year as the head coach of Dallas Cowboys in 1989, drafted Troy Aikman first overall out of UCLA and Daryl Johnston in the second round out of Syracuse. The tandem of Aikman and Johnston lead the Cowboys to three Superbowl Titles.

Did Morris and company draft two such players this past season?

If history is truly going to repeat itself, then the three most likely candidates for the Bucs would have to be Josh Freeman, Roy Miller or Sammie Stroughter as far as the draft goes, for Morris to be tied with the aforementioned coaches. But more importantly for Morris to even have a chance at history. Time is of the essences.

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