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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Buccaneers fired Raheem Morris on Monday after his three seasons as Tampa Bay’s head coach.
The team announced the change one day after a 45-24 loss to the Atlanta Falcons extended the franchise’s longest losing streak within the same season since 1977 to 10 games.
Morris went 17-31, including a 10-6 mark in 2010, when the Bucs (4-12) narrowly missed the playoffs.
“I have has a lot of respect and appreciation for the passion coach Morris gave to our football team, but this change is one we felt was necessary,” general manager Mark Dominik said in a brief statement released by the team, which is owned by the Glazer family.
“We want to thank coach Morris for all his hard work and dedication as head coach, ” team co-chairman Joel Glazer said.
The Bucs scheduled a 3 p.m. news conference to discuss the change.
The 35-year-old Morris was hired in January 2009, replacing Jon Gruden after Tampa Bay lost the final four games of 2008 to miss the playoffs following a 9-3 start.
This year’s collapse followed a promising 4-2 start that included wins over NFC South rivals New Orleans and Atlanta, which are both headed to the playoffs.
Morris began his stint as the NFL’s youngest coach with a seven-game losing streak. It ended with a skid that rivaled some of the worst stretches in franchise history, in part because it came only a year after it looked like the Bucs might be headed in the right direction.
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