Sunday, December 4, 2011
Coach sent Brian Price home after flag
By Pat Yasinskas
Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris said he sent Brian Price home after the defensive tackle was called for a personal foul in the third quarter of Sunday's 38-19 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
While addressing the media after the game, Morris used an expletive and had some harsh criticism for Price.
"Because it's foolish, it's selfish to your teammates, to everybody in your organization, to your fans," Morris said. "That's terrible. That's just selfish behavior to get a 15-yard penalty, in that situation, when that's all we talk about, when that's all we discuss. You just can't do that to your team.
"When you give up a penalty, after a third-and-15, those are things that are not smart, not fair to anybody on the football team. Not fair to anybody that's coaching that football team. Those things are unacceptable.''
Price's agent, Chuck Price, no relation to Brian, said his client was deeply hurt by Morris' criticism.
"I know Brian regrets the foolishness, selfishness and untimeliness of the personal foul," Chuck Price told ESPN.com via email Sunday night. "Although I clearly understand the significance of a coach making a point on disciplinary matters, his decision and behavior were out of personal frustration and lack of better judgment. The week of the game against the Bears in London, Brian was telling a teammate how much he loved Raheem and loved playing for him, said, 'Man, I would die for him, he inspires me.' "
Price suffered a sprained ankle last week and wore a walking boot during much of the week before returning to practice on a limited basis. He was listed as questionable for Sunday, but started. Price has started all 12 games after having a rare surgery that included having screws inserted into his pelvis after he appeared in only five games as a rookie last season.
"Raheem has to know that's what BP is all about," Chuck Price wrote in the email. "Why else would they throw him in today after spending a week in a boot? Then add in the pain he is in and the comeback he's made. If I'm not mistaken, it might be his first personal foul/unsportsmanlike penalty this year if not his career. If it was on first down, would it have been treated the same way?"
Pat Yasinskas covers the NFC South for ESPN.com.