As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers prepare for Sunday's regular season finale against the Atlanta Falcons, rumors continue to swirl and predictions continue to roll in that Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris will receive a pink slip from the Glazer family on Monday.
Sports Illustrated's Don Banks is convinced that Morris is out, and explains why:
Tampa Bay's youthful third-year head coach has taken a smoldering situation and turned it into a raging fire in recent weeks, sounding immature, defensive and not up to the pressures and task of being the face of the organization. Oh, and did we mention that his football team is likely to lose its final 10 games this season, many of them in wholly non-competive fashion?
With the regression of quarterback Josh Freeman, Banks believes the Buccaneers need to hire an offensive-minded head coach, listing former Green Bay Packers and Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman, Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey, Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden as candidates.
Gruden's older brother, current ESPN analyst Jon Gruden, won a Super Bowl with the Buccaneers and coached the team from 2002 until he was fired following the 2008 season. The elder Gruden had received a multi-year extension the season before his firing, payments from which will end after this season (and could coincide with his return to an NFL sideline in 2012).