NFL Nation: Torrie Cox

Bucs make some minor moves

March, 4, 2010
3/04/10
4:48
PM ET
As the start of a new league year approaches, teams are going to start releasing some players. Even in an uncapped year, this is going to happen because a lot of roster bonuses are structured to be paid in the first 10 days of the league year. Teams aren’t going to pay bonuses to guys they don’t really want.

That process has started in Tampa Bay. The Bucs just announced they’ve released punters Josh Bidwell and Dirk Johnson and cornerback Torrie Cox. Bidwell joined the Bucs in 2004, but spent last season on the injured reserve list. Johnson was brought in as one of his replacements, but he also got injured. Cox had been with the Bucs since 2003, primarily as a special-teams player.

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

TAMPA, Fla. -- Aqib Talib hasn't been suspended yet, but it sure sounds like that remains a possibility.

General manager Mark Dominik just addressed the media for the first time about Talib's arrest and said the Bucs are working with commissioner Roger Goodell and the league office toward a "resolution." Dominik said Talib's arrest on misdemeanor charges for battery and resisting arrest fall under the league's Personal Conduct Policy, which could make the cornerback subject to a suspension without pay.

 Talib

Talib has had previous incidents -- fighting with a teammate at last year's rookie symposium and an altercation in a June workout in which he swung his helmet and injured defensive back Torrie Cox while he was having an altercation with offensive tackle Donald Penn.

My initial reaction is I'm surprised the Bucs didn't make a pre-emptive strike and suspend Talib on their own. That's what the Panthers did last year when they quickly suspended Steve Smith for two games after an altercation with a teammate in training camp.

But I don't want to say the Bucs are taking the easy way out on this one and waiting for the league to make a decision. They may simply be playing it by the book because there are legal issues still being investigated and the NFL Players Association might protest if a decision is made too quickly.

Dominik did express strong disappointment in Talib.

"Aqib is a very outgoing, outspoken young man," Dominik said. "He certainly needs to mature a lot more. That's what I'll say."

But Dominik also said the team isn't ready to give up on last year's first-round draft pick.

"What we're trying to do is to try to help him. It may not seem like it's worked, but we're going to continue to work with him," Dominik said. "If he needs counseling, we'll get him counseling. We're going to work and try to catch his attention.''

Again, this thing's not over. There will be some sort of discipline coming and my guess is it will come in the next few days. Dominik did say Talib is expected to play in Saturday's preseason game at Jacksonville.

Coach Raheem Morris is scheduled to talk to the media after practice ends in about 45 minutes. We're not yet sure if Talib will talk to the media after practice.

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

TAMPA, Fla. -- I'm very curious to hear what Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris will say after Thursday afternoon's practice about the arrest of cornerback Aqib Talib.

By itself, the arrest might not seem like such a big deal. Talib was charged with two misdemeanors early Thursday morning. But the implications go way beyond that and put Morris firmly in a critical spot early in his career.

Talib's had trouble before. Morris has referred to him as a "wild child'' and Talib's most recent problem before this one came during offseason workouts when he was fighting with offensive tackle Donald Penn, swung his helmet and wound up hitting defensive back Torrie Cox.

Talib's latest trouble comes just days after it was revealed that safety Tanard Jackson will be suspended for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Think about these two situations a bit and tell me what Talib and Jackson have in common. Besides being Tampa Bay's two best defensive backs, they're also Morris' guys. He was the defensive backs coach before his sudden ascension to becoming the league's youngest head coach.

A lot has been made of how Morris is a players' coach and there are plenty of good things you can say about that. But being a players' coach isn't always a good thing and that reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend the other night.

My friend has nothing to do with the Bucs, the NFL or the media. But he is a guy with some common sense and, even before the Jackson and Talib situations happened, my friend was predicting big problems for Morris.

My friend was basing it all on his own experience. He once ran a business and hired a bunch of his buddies and that's where the problems started. My friend worked hard, gave everything he had to the business and made the critical mistake of assuming his employees would do the same thing because they were his friends. That didn't happen. The buddies slacked and the business failed. If my friend had the chance to do it all over again, he said he would have hired qualified, committed people he didn't previously know and he would have treated them as employees, not friends.

It might be time for Morris to change the dynamics with his players because it's still early in his regime. So far, his buddies aren't helping him out. Might be a good time to stop having buddies and start having employees.

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