Matthew Postins: I don't think there was a great deal of concern, as the Bucs still had a couple of winnable games in December (Carolina most notably). The larger consideration was whether the Bucs would win a game in November and avoid an 0-11 start. They've done that, but they won't win more than a game or two more this season.
Q: Is Raheem Morris the right coach for the job?
MP: I get asked that question each week and the quick answer is I really don't know. He's too young (32) and too green to judge after just nine games. Certainly, he came into the job with a lot of enthusiasm and his players have responded to that. Morris also hasn't been afraid to call players out, including Kellen Winslow and his defense after a poor start to the season. He seems to be a player's coach first and foremost. Now we have to see if his choices on offense and defense pan out. He wants an offense predicated on a potent run game and play action, and a defense that's more aggressive up front (just like current defensive coordinator Jim Bates likes it), but whether those changes will work out takes time to determine. Is he the right guy for the job? Ask me at the end of next season. The Glazers are taking a calculated risk if they stick with Morris past this season, as there are a stable of successful coaches on the market, including Mike Holmgren and local favorite Tony Dungy. Choosing to stick with Morris would be validation for the young coach – and some real pressure to accelerate the rebuilding job.
Q: What's your prediction for Sunday's game, and why?
MP: I'm not as tempted to pick the Bucs as you might think. Yes, they won, but they're still having trouble stopping the run, and that's Miami's real strength. I expect Ronnie Brown to have a huge game. That'll be the difference. Miami 27, Tampa Bay 17.