We all knew something was amiss with Bucs cornerback Brent Grimes this season. How deep the issues ran is even more disturbing after hearing the stories when Grimes joined his wife Miko’s IHeartMiko podcast earlier this week, revealing what went on behind the scenes.
And while it isn’t a great look for the Bucs that they even re-signed the 35-year old veteran, Grimes himself looks like the ultimate selfish, multi-millionaire, money-grabbing player that fans typically despise and that often gives professional sports a bad name.
“I mean it’s an opinion, I don’t feel like I had a bad year,” Grimes said. “I had multiple games where I didn’t have a target. I allowed two touchdowns.
“Fans really don’t know. That’s why the owners in football have a great advantage, because they can paint whatever picture they want to paint because people don’t really know what’s going on. I play football and watching TV copies you can’t really tell what the f*** is going on. You don’t know. It’s whatever, people are going to say what they’re going to say.”
Grimes missed the first two games of the season with an injury, and suited up to start in Week 3 against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football.
“Going into this season I wasn’t sure if I was going to play,” Grimes said. “They called, they were running some weird numbers with the money or whatever. I get there, we come to an agreement of a base salary of $7 million, which is nice money to play left corner or whatever, okay. I’ve been playing left corner, everything is cool. Y’all want to pay me $7 million when other corners are making way more than that and not playing as well as me, cool.
“But we get to the Steelers [game in Week 3] and then they start asking me to follow people and I was just tired of every year of my career I don’t get any type of respect for what I do. And then y’all hit me with the seven [million dollars] and then we get to a game with Antonio Brown and now it’s follow receivers and I couldn’t agree with that. Because it’s just disrespectful because people that follow receivers all the time, unless they’re on a rookie contract or trying to get paid, are usually making $13–15 million dollars per year.
“That’s not right. It’s disrespectful and that just f***** up my whole vibe for the whole year to be completely honest. Because it’s just disrespectful, I just felt disrespected.”
Grimes signed a contract to play football as a cornerback. Now he thinks he has the right to dictate exactly how he’s getting used in a game? He’s not a coach. He’s a player.
Grimes went on to talk about disagreeing with the coaching philosophy, and issues with secondary coach John Hoke.
“I always play runs that bounce to the outside, as a corner, I come out and I just make them cut inside,” Grimes said. “That’s what I usually do. I do that, they cut to the inside and someone else tackles them and I get my assist. So what I’d do is what they tell us to do, run straight to the edge and set a hard edge. I would say that any good running back is going to bounce outside. I used to play running back and if I see someone coming to the edge really hard, running outside in, all you have to do is jump-cut around them. I don’t care how fast that person is, they’re running a loop, you’re just going to run around them.
“That’s why I don’t do that. So I did that, because that’s what they tell us to do and if you remember I argued that for the two, three years that I’ve been there. And I showed them one time, I think it was last year against the Falcons, I did it to show them because they were giving me minuses all the time. I ran in, the dude bounced out and they scored because you can’t do that. So I did it that game. The dude bounced out and he gets whatever yards and it’s a big deal. I got pulled out of that game for that play, and the crazy thing is, when they put the other guy in, because that’s what they coach, the same thing happened again. So I was done. That whole year I was like …”
Grimes’ time in Tampa was most likely done before this podcast, but now his time in Tampa Bay is completely over. In fact, if Grimes had an inkling of perhaps playing somewhere else in 2019, he most likely ruined that chance with his appearance. It didn’t seem to matter to Grimes.
“I don’t care,” Grimes said. “People are going to say what they want. I don’t really worry about what people say. I know, as me, no one really, my whole career, yeah I got people that like me but a lot of people don’t. For whatever reason they want to think I shouldn’t be playing. I’m too small. Who is this dude? And then you talk s*** so then they want to talk s*** about me and I’m just like, okay, I’m just going to keep playing.”
After the season, Bucs defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who took on a bit of a leadership role in 2018 despite not being a team captain, showed frustration with some players on the team who “didn’t keep it real.” While Grimes wasn’t named directly, it is not hard to imagine Grimes was one of those that Pierre-Paul was talking about.
Below are some other excerpts from the podcast from the Grimes.
His opinion on former defensive coordinator Mike Smith’s play calling these last three years:
“He had some stuff that I didn’t agree with, as far as, he didn’t feel like you could play any type of zone in the NFL,” Grimes said. “He thought everybody matched everything and I feel like you can play zones, I really do. I think you can play zones in the NFL which is shown by teams like the Seahawks. The Cowboys play zone. They play man too, but they play zones and they play them well.
“The way you play zones well is you’ve got to coach up players. You’ve got to teach route concepts. You’ve got to have smart players playing that can recognize things other than just, who ran this 40-time or who did this? When I think about it, it sucks for football because it’s like your players, you should have them learning stuff. Like this is the defense we’re going to have to play, these are the routes that they’re going to run to beat said defense, this is how you make plays in this said defense. And coaches seem to just teach, this is where you’re supposed to go, this is where you’re supposed to go, and it kills me to see that.
“It’s dumb. It’s like treating everyone else like they’re dumb and I guess they’ve been coaching for so long that they think they players are dumb. But I feel like if you’ve got dumb players then you need to get smarter players. I feel like this is not just a Bucs thing, I think it’s an NFL thing. If you feel like you can only play man defense then you’ve got dumb players and dumb players is not how you win. People should be able to recognize stuff, you should be trying to trick the offense. The offense shouldn’t know what you’re in.”
On why he chose the Bucs to re-sign with last offseason:
“Not so much the losses, but the team was fun. They had good people and it made it fun. We were 5-11, but people were having fun and we just realized that we were going to be in some f***** up situations but let’s just have fun with it. And we lost, but we played on defense. We played some good ball sometimes, all things considered.”
You can hear the full podcast by searching iHeartMiko in Apple iTunes or other podcast platforms.
– Taylor Jenkins contributed to this report