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Redskins Hire Former Tampa Bay Head Coach Raheem Morris As Assistant

By ZAC BOYER | zboyer@freelancestar.com | @ZacBoyer

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris has agreed to join the Washington Redskins as an assistant coach working with the defensive backs, a league source confirmed Wednesday night.

Shanahan

Morris, 35, was fired by the Buccaneers on Jan. 2 after the team finished 4-12, losing its last 10 games. He met with head coach Mike Shanahan and other members of the Redskins’ coaching staff and front office days later, and also entertained an offer from Minnesota to serve as its defensive coordinator.

The move comes as the Redskins have chosen to part ways with Steve Jackson, the safeties coach, and Keenan McCardell, the wide receivers coach, according to the source. Jackson had been with the team since 2004, when he was hired by then-coach Joe Gibbs, and McCardell, a 17-year NFL veteran who began his career in Washington in 1991, just completed his second year as a coach.

Whether or not Morris, a safety at Hofstra from 1994-97, takes Jackson’s role is unclear. He has coached defensive backs nearly his entire career, though in Washington, Bob Slowik is responsible for coaching the cornerbacks.

Attempts to reach the three coaches Wednesday night were unsuccessful, and a Redskins spokesman declined comment on behalf of the team. Morris, though, expressed certainty in his ability to get a coaching position in the NFL for this coming season when speaking to the Tampa Tribune earlier this week.

“With Washington, it was more of an offer, but I also felt great coming out of my talks with Minnesota,” Morris told the newspaper in a story that appeared yesterday. “We should know something pretty soon because you can see jobs shaking out all over the league right now. I’ll be back somewhere next season. I’m not going to just stay at home – I don’t have that in me. I’m a football coach and we do what we do.”

The Redskins’ defense was greatly improved in its second year under Shanahan and Jim Haslett, the defensive coordinator, but the safeties struggled. Both Oshiomogho Atogwe, who signed a five-year, $26 million contract before the season, and LaRon Landry battled injuries, playing together in only four games despite being considered a potential long-term solution at the position.

Morris, who was an assistant in Tampa Bay since 2002, took over as the head coach for the 2009 season when the Buccaneers fired head coach Jon Gruden. Current Redskins general manager Bruce Allen served in the same role in Tampa Bay from 2004-08 and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was a coaching assistant in 2004 and 2005.

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