Morris brings team together after Talib incident
Bucs coach Raheem Morris decided to scrap his plans for practice Thursday and ordered a special teams workout in an attempt to bring the team together one day after cornerback Aqib Talib swung his helmet at offensive tackle Donald Penn.
Cornerback Torrie Cox, who was trying to play peace-maker during the altercation late in practice Wednesday, was inadvertently struck by Talib's helmet and suffered a facial laceration. He was treated by the team's medical staff and his injury is not considered serious. Talib said Cox received stitches.
Morris said the matter was handled 'in house,' and would not reveal sanctions against Talib, although it's likely he was fined. On Thursday, players mostly ran 50- and 100-yard sprints and even hit the blocking sled. The workout lasted about 30 minutes.
"Man, I told you every day as a head coach for me is brand new,'' Morris said. "I went to my office today and that's what I felt. We had a practice scripted today. I just felt we needed something else. I felt like I needed something else for our team, for team development and team growth. We could've gone out there and done X's and O's today and not gotten better. I feel like we got better as a team today.''
It's the second violent incident involving Talib and another teammate in two years, the Bucs first-round pick in 2008. He had an altercation with rookie running back Cory Boyd at the NFL Rookie Symposium shortly after the draft last year.
"Anytime you play this voilent of a game, you're always going to have some type of controlling your emotions issues,'' Morris said. "I've got my own controlling my emotions issues. That's when the coach steps in and helps him and he has to grow from it, he has to learn.
"Each individual action that you take, you've got to get something out of it and learn from it. That's what I think he's doing...You saw him grow. Last year was an off-the-field incident. This year was on-the-field incident. If he grows as much as he did from his off-the-field incident, then I'm going to love it. We're all going to love it.''
Morris appeared as concerned that news of the incident involving Talib and Penn reached the media as he did with Talib's actions.
"We went out there yesterday and had a spirited practice,'' Morris said. "Like I said, tempers boil over. Actions happen that you don't like. You take it and handle it in-house. It's a family affair. Then you come out to today and figure out how to change it.
"No question, you've always got to worry about different elements of your actions. We always handle family affairs internally and it's been handled. It's been handled. He understands the consequences for his team, we understand the consequences for our team if anybody does anything. We deal with it internally, we deal with it as a family and it's been dealt with.
"When stuff happens, when things happen internally, the leaders have got to step up and handle it. When you guys get it first before everybody else, then we're not developing our leaders right. Our leaders have got to be developed within. They've got to learn how to deal with those situations. They've got to learn how to keep it inside.''