Raheem Morris admits calling players

September, 12, 2011
9/12/11
4:20
PM ET
Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris admitted Monday to contacting players during the lockout.

That came after CBS’ Charlie Casserly reported Sunday the Bucs would be fined by the NFL for Morris talking to players at a time when team employees weren’t allowed to. Morris said he hasn’t been told of any fine, but did admit to the media that he called tight end Kellen Winslow to congratulate him on the birth of a child and cornerback Aqib Talib after he was charged with aggravated assault in March.

Those might be minor infractions. But rules are rules and they were made very clear to all team employees around the league. I know of a couple situations around the league during the lockout where team employees (and we’re not talking high-ranking employees) ran into players at places like the grocery store. Those employees played by the rules. They smiled politely at the players, quickly walked away and the players understood.

There’s no question Morris is a coach who cares about his players and that’s an admirable quality. But it sounds like Morris crossed the line here because one of his biggest strengths also can be a weakness.

He’s an extremely social guy and not just when he's calling players during a lockout. That’s nice. But sometimes you’ve got to tone it down and keep the social side under a little more control.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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