Morris on Talib: "He didn't do anything wrong"
Coach Raheem Morris said he did not believe cornerback Aqib Talib acted improperly when he got into a verbal confrontation with an NFL oifficial following Sunday's 17-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Talib expressed his displeasure with a pass interference penalty called on rookie Myron Lewis at the end of the second quarter by field judge Boris Cheek.
The 24-yard penalty set up a 10-yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco to Derrick Mason on the next play that gave Baltimore a 17-3 halftime lead.
Talib used an expletive to describe the call, to which the unidentified member of referee Carl Cheffers' crew responded by saying, "You play like a (expletive)."
Talib, who was restrained by teammates, responded by telling the official, "I'll (hit) you in your (expletive) mouth."
"I don't really know what happened in the post-game stuff and really didn't talk to Aqib,'' Morris said Monday. I'm sure he did the same stuff everybody else did, talked about the call, disagreed with it with the official and moved on. If they had words, that's between him and that official. I don't get into that stuff.
"He didn't do anything wrong. He was just in conversation. I'm not going to sit here and act like Aqib did anything wrong or the official because I'm not into that. That's between those two men and whatever happened, happened. Keep it moving.
"I think you guys misinterpret how he talks. His swearing is not the swearing that you guys would come across. I don't even know if he sweared or not. But I do know he wanted an explanation of the call as well, so he was there listening, he was there part of it, just like the rest of our team was. You know, you go through the same tunnel with 52 guys, people talk, people are going to say whatever they feel at the time. It is what it is.''
Talib has had a history of controlling his anger since entering the NFL. He got into a fight with a teammate at the league's rookie symposium, he swung a helmet during an off-season practice on tackle Donald Penn and struck cornerback Torrie Cox, who had to receive several stitches; and he assaulted a cab driver in 2009, an incident that led to his one-game suspension this season.
"Nobody restrained Aqib yesterday from an official,'' Morris said, although he admitted he was not there at the time of the incident. "Those terms are accusations. There's no violent behavior. There was a conversation walking away.
"You just work with him every day and get him better and that's what he's been doing. He's playing at a Pro Bowl level right now, he's got six interceptions, he's playing the best football since he's been a Buccaneer and that's what he is right now. That's what his teammates are helping him to do, that's what we're helping him to do and that's what our organizatoin is doing.''