Another day, another Buccaneer defensive back involved in an off-the-field incident that challenges the mental toughness new head coach Raheem Morris insists his players must have in order to win in 2009.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib was arrested early Thursday morning and charged with simple battery and resisting arrest without violence.
The two chargers — both misdemeanors — came after Talib, who lives in Tampa, was arrested and booked in Pinellas County jail by the Florida Highway Patrol just hours after the Buccaneers broke their first training camp under Morris.
"Obviously you're concerned and disappointed," said Morris. "It's a league issue, and we have to let it go through its due process. We have to wait it out. All I can do right now is mentor him and help him, get him going the right way and make sure things like this don't happen again."
Talib, 23, was arrested at 12:47 a.m. and posted a $300 bond at 6:09 a.m.
Bucs general manager Mark Dominik expressed disappointment in Talib's arrest in a Q&A session with the media on Thursday.
"It's unfortunate what happened last night," said Dominik. "I've been in contact with the league office today. This falls under the personal conduct policy. Certainly whatever decision is made the Commissioner's decision supersedes any decision the club would make at this time. I am working with the Commissioner's office. We're going to continue to work together through this in order to come to a resolution."
The incident reportedly took place in a cab at Gandy Boulevard and Interstate 275 at approximately 11:10 p.m. ET.
Talib allegedly hit cabdriver David Duggan in the right ear and neck with a closed fist. Duggan apparently called police and claimed he was receiving verbal threats from Talib in the taxicab. Once he arrived on the scene, Officer John Ryan told Talib to exit the vehicle three times, but Talib did not comply. The FHP report also stated that there was an "indication of alcohol influence."
This isn't Talib's first incident while playing in the NFL. The former first-round pick and ex-Bucs running back Cory Boyd were involved in an altercation at the 2008 NFL rookie symposium that reportedly involved punches being thrown. No criminal charges were filed.
In late May, Talib and teammate Donald Penn were involved in a fight in practice that resulted in an injury to cornerback Torrie Cox, who was hit in the face and head by Talib, who swung his helmet at Penn but hit Cox by accident.
Cox, who did not have his helmet on at the time, was injured and missed several practices due to the cuts he sustained. While no criminal chargers were filed, Morris punished the entire team for Talib's actions by making the players dedicate an entire practice to conditioning drills.
"He goes a long time doing the right thing, and then he messes up," Morris said of Talib. "We have to see what's going on and resolve the issues, and after we do that we'll continue to build the young man."
Both Dominik and Morris stated Talib would play in Tampa Bay's next preseason contest in Jacksonville, Dominik acknowledged that Talib has work to do away from the football field.
"Aqib is a very outgoing, outspoken young man," said Dominik. "Certainly, he needs to mature a lot more. That's all I'll say."
Talib's arrest comes just two days after Bucs starting free safety Tanard Jackson was suspended for the first four games of the 2009 regular season for violating the league's Substance Abuse Policy.
"We don't feel chapped, just disappointed in the players," said Morris. "We have to make better decisions, and it's up to those guys to make those decisions. We have 78 guys doing it right. That's who I'm coaching right now. We have to believe in the 78 guys doing the right thing and those guys have to do the right thing, and they better hold their hand out and grab them and make them do the right thing. That's what we talked about when we were building this team. We have to have a disciplined football team, and right now we're undisciplined. In order for us to win football games we have to get our discipline back."
Bucs wide receiver Antonio Bryant (knee) and safety Will Allen (shoulder) have been ruled out of Saturday's game in Jacksonville. Kicker Matt Bryant (hamstring) has not practiced all week and is unlikely to play vs. the Jaguars.
Center Jeff Faine (groin), wide receiver Dexter Jackson (ankle), tight end John Gilmore (undisclosed), linebacker Rod Wilson (hamstring), running back Earnest Graham (ankle), defensive end Gaines Adams (ankle) are expected to be game-time decisions.