Over the summer, Tampa Bay Buccaneers CB Aqib Talib found himself in trouble with the law once again after firing a gun at his sister’s boyfriend and his actions nearly led to the Buccaneers releasing the talented but troubled cornerback. Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik wanted to part ways with Talib, but head coach Raheem Morris finally talked him out of doing so.
According to Yahoo! Sports, it was Morris who was able to convince the Buccaneers front office to keep Talib. Yahoo! cites an unnamed Buccaneers player of saying “Wrong message. Raheem believes he can get through to anybody and he can, to an extent. Guys do listen to him. But sometimes they have to see that you’re going to back it up…(Talib) is a huge talent. but you have to know there are certain guys who are impossible to get through to”. The unnamed player sounds like a veteran, I can only speculate that it might be something Ronde Barber said.
Talib has a history of run ins. He got into a fight at the NFL rookie symposium and in 2009 he was arrested for simple assault on a taxi cab driver, ultimately drawing a league imposed suspension.
This is exactly what happens when the coach becomes someone players hang out with instead of being someone the players respect and almost fear. In 2oo9, Morris was seen out and about town with players. He was seen at concerts, Tampa Bay Rays and Lightening games. You never see Bill Belichick or Mike Tomlin hanging with the boys in casual settings.If the players don’t feel that they will be held accountable for their actions, then there is no motivation for any sort of type of behavior.
Morris has now gone from runner up for NFL Coach of the Year in 2010 to being on the hot seat after a seriously disappointing season. The chorus of calls for Morris to be fired is growing louder and there might be nothing short of winning the last three games of the season which might save his coaching career. Given the manner in which the Buccaneers have played in the last seven games, that feat seems highly improbable.