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Coach Raheem Morris says Tampa Bay Buccaneers brass were all on board with keeping Aqib Talib

A Yahoo Sports report said coach Raheem Morris lobbied to keep Aqib Talib, above.


A Yahoo Sports report said coach Raheem Morris lobbied to keep Aqib Talib, above.

TAMPA — Coach Raheem Morris indicated Wednesday there was "common ground" among the Bucs' owners and general manager Mark Dominik to keep CB Aqib Talib on the team after his arrest in a shooting in March in Garland, Texas.

Morris was responding to a Yahoo Sports story that said Dominik and management were ready to cut ties with Talib. But the lockout prevented transactions and provided Morris with time to make Dominik reverse course, Yahoo Sports reported.

"In the process, Morris sent a message to his young team that talent trumps character," the story said.

On April 24, the St. Petersburg Times reported that barring a last-minute change of heart or perhaps Talib's exoneration, the Bucs were expected to release Talib, who had been in trouble off the field before, and that only the lockout had prevented Tampa Bay from already cutting ties with its 2008 first-round draft pick.

On Aug. 27, Dominik announced commissioner Roger Goodell had ruled Talib would not be suspended for the 2011 season.

Talib is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in the shooting. Police say he pistol whipped and attempted to shoot at his sister's boyfriend before the pistol jammed.

The league will monitor his trial, scheduled for March 2012.

Talib has had no off-field incidents this season. He has been plagued recently by a hamstring injury. He participated in four plays against Carolina two weeks ago and was inactive in Sunday's 41-14 loss to Jacksonville. Talib has two interceptions, returning both for touchdowns.

Morris was asked Wednesday if he had to convince the Glazer family and Dominik to keep Talib.

What we want to do is basically talk about the Cowboys (Saturday's opponent)," Morris said. "All the decisions will be made between myself and Mark Dominik and … if your last name begins with G. That's usually the process that we take. There's always going to be a common ground between all of us."

K2 HAS MORRIS' BACK: TE Kellen Winslow said if Morris were fired, it would "ruin" the Bucs.

There's speculation Morris is on the hot seat after seven straight losses. Saturday night, Tampa Bay (4-9) hosts the Cowboys (7-6) in a game televised on the NFL Network.

"We can't have anything happen to him," Winslow said. "We just can't. It will just ruin the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If something were to happen to him, we would be devastated, and hearts would be broken. We play for him."

Dominik and the Glazers have declined to comment on Morris' status. Morris appreciated Winslow's endorsement.

"Good for Kellen," Morris said. "I'm going to go get that story and read it."

INJURIES: WR Arrelious Benn (concussion), DE Michael Bennett (toe), DT Albert Haynesworth (knee) and DT Brian Price (ankle) did not participate in practice. WR Sammie Stroughter (knee) was limited. CB Aqib Talib (hamstring) and S Larry Asante (hamstring) had full participation.

Coach Raheem Morris says Tampa Bay Buccaneers brass were all on board with keeping Aqib Talib 12/14/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 11:23pm]
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