In his new post, Raheem Morris will assist Mike Tomlin in coaching the Bucs' defensive backs
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have announced three more changes to their coaching staff, recognizing the outstanding contributions of two young coaches and adding a third to aid the defense.
Jeremy Bates has been promoted to assistant quarterbacks coach and Raheem Morris has been promoted to assistant defensive backs coach. Joe Woods, a three-year assistant at Western Michigan University, has been hired to serve as defensive quality control coach.
Both Bates and Morris joined the Bucs in 2002, as Head Coach Jon Gruden formed his first coaching staff after being acquired from the Oakland Raiders. As offensive and defensive quality control coaches, respectively, Bates and Morris worked tirelessly in helping the Buccaneers reach and win Super Bowl XXXVII in their first season in Tampa. In 2003, Morris was promoted to defensive assistant.
In the NFL, quality control coaches spend a significant amount of time breaking down opponent game film, creating scouting reports and working on game plans. However, they also assist position coaches on the field, and both Bates and Morris proved valuable in that regard. Now each will have a specific position on which to concentrate and a veteran coach to assist. Bates will work with Quarterbacks Coach John Shoop, who is in his first year with the team. Morris will help Defensive Backs Coach Mike Tomlin, who is entering his fourth season in Tampa.
Woods spent three seasons in charge of the cornerbacks for a strong secondary at Western Michigan. Though the Broncos were 11th in the conference in pass defense in 2003, they finished second in that category in 2002 and first in 2001. In Woods' first season with the team, Western Michigan finished with the 17th-best pass defense in the nation.
Before joining the Broncos' staff, Woods spent three seasons as an assistant at Hofstra (1998-2000). In his last two seasons with the Pride, the team made the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs and advanced to the quarterfinals. When he left Hofstra for WMU, it was a return to the MAC for Woods, who had spent the 1997 season coaching the defensive backs at Kent State.
The 33-year-old Woods also had four collegiate coaching stops before Kent State, directing the defensive backs at Grand Valley State from 1994-97, tutoring the inside linebackers at Northwestern State during the spring of 1994 and working for one season (1992) at Muskingum College. His first coaching appointment was as a graduate assistant at Eastern Michigan from 1993-94. At GVSU, Woods helped the team compile a 33-12 record during his four years on the staff.
As a player, Woods won four letters at Illinois State, earning first-team all-conference honors in 1991. He served as the Redbirds' captain for two seasons and earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice.
The Buccaneers have hired four coaches since the end of 2003 and promoted three others. In addition to Woods and Shoop, the team added Ron Middleton to handle tight ends and Kyle Shanahan to serve as offensive quality control coach. Art Valero, formerly the tight ends coach, will now be in charge of the running backs.