Bucs head coach Raheem Morris attempted to downplay a few incidents involving CB Aqib Talib Tuesday. Morris acknowledged that Talib broke the after-game curfew in London, a matter that was handled internally. Morris went on to say that Talib has never disrespected him despite a report that suggested otherwise.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris addressed the rumors of an altercation between himself and cornerback Aqib Talib. The rumors allege that Morris and Talib were involved in a profanity-filled shouting match after Talib broke curfew the night of the Bucs' 35-7 loss to the New England Patriots in London.
On Tuesday, Morris was asked what in fact happened.
"Like I told you guys the other day, it has been handled internally," said Morris. "A couple of guys went out to dinner with their wives, some with their teammates. They came back late to the hotel after the game curfew. They've been dealt with by myself, by our organization, internally. The rumors about confrontations, they are what they are. You let them go out there, you let them hang. Myself and Talib we have a great relationship, I don't think we've ever had an argument. Now I've yelled at him before, but we actually have never had an argument before."
Morris was asked about if Talib was disrespectful to him in the hotel lobby, as a report on a local radio station suggested.
"I've never ever once been disrespected by Aqib Talib in my life. Never," said Morris.
The use of explicit language was not a big deal to Morris. Like many NFL coaches, including former Bucs coach Jon Gruden, the use of swear words at players and at coaches is nothing unusual.
"We swear to each other every day," said Morris. "I wouldn't call it a disrespect. The swear words that's talk on the football field. We do that all the time. We swear to them on the field talking about a play, and how we can do it better. It is just a form of communication of some sort. He has never ever disrespected me. He has always been as respectful as you can be to a coach, and to a brother-figure, or a father figure, or however he looks at me, and he has been like that to me. I've never had a problem with Talib.
"Now, has he had some issues? Yes, no doubt about it. We got to control that. It is our job as an organization, as a coach, as a position coach, as a defensive coordinator, as a head coach to help them get better as we go."
Morris was asked if the incident with Talib will cause other players to treat him in a disrespectful manner.
"No, he didn't, that's what I'm telling you," said Morris.
The London incident adds to a long list of problems Talib has had dating back to his playing days at Kansas.
Just days before the Bucs departed for London for their game against the Patriots, the state attorney’s office filed misdemeanor battery charges against Talib for an alleged incident that occurred two months ago when Talib allegedly struck cab driver David Duggan on Interstate 275 in Pinellas County the night the Bucs broke training camp.
Bucs general manager Mark Dominik and Morris have stated since Talib was arrested on Aug. 19 that Tampa Bay planned to work with the league office to determine the cornerback's punishment in terms of a possible fine and/or suspension.
In the spring of 2008, Talib allegedly was involved in a fight with former teammate, running back Cory Boyd, at the NFL Rookie Symposium. No chargers were ever filed.
Just six months ago, Talib injured his teammate, Bucs cornerback Torrie Cox, after swinging his helmet at left tackle Donald Penn, whom he had gotten in a skirmish with on the practice field.
During his collegiate playing days at Kansas, Talib reportedly admitted to testing positive for marijuana three times. He was also suspended for two games in 2006 for disciplinary reasons.
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