Tag:Raheem Morris
Posted on: June 19, 2011 11:29 am
Edited on: June 19, 2011 5:30 pm
 

Depression led Tiki Barber to NFL comeback

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Sometimes it's hard to believe that Ronde and Tiki Barber are twin brothers. Ronde, a cornerback with the Buccaneers for 14 seasons, has quietly plodded along, often playing at a Pro Bowl level. Tiki's 10-year career with the Giants, on the other hand, was as much about him letting you know he was the smartest guy in the room as it was about his on-field production.

Tiki retired in 2006 to take a job with NBC, where he appeared to be on the fast track to the Today Show. He wasted little time taking shots at his former team, which became all the more ironic when the Giants won the Super Bowl a year after Tiki retired.

But it wasn't long before Tiki's world began to crumble around him. In April 2010, he left his eight-months-pregnant wife for a 20-something former NBC intern, and a few months later NBC decided not to renew his Football Night in America contract.

Then, in March 2011, Tiki announced he was un-retiring from football, which given the way he left the game, made everyone think he probably needed the money.

Well, it turns out that recent events in Barber's life have left him battling depression, and he needs football to lift him out of the doldrums. According to the Associated Press, Barber said he was unable to deal with losing his $2 million per year job with NBC.

In an interview with HBO set to air Tuesday, Barber says, "I remember there were days where I would literally wake up, have coffee, get something to eat and sit on the couch and do nothing for 10 hours. I started to shrivel. I didn't have that confidence. I didn't have the, that aura anymore."

Barber also speaks publicly about his marriage, saying that, "It was in trouble for a long time. And we decided to get separated. But (former wife) Ginny got pregnant in the middle of it. And a lot of people think children save marriages; sometimes it makes it worse. And we split soon after she was pregnant."

It didn't help that he immediately started dating Traci Johnson, who was 23 at the time. Six months after Barber left his wife Johnson wrote on crushable.com: "I knew that Tiki didn't leave Ginny when she was eight months pregnant for me. I knew that his relationship had deteriorated before my relationship with him was even a thought in his mind."

In the court of public opinion, none of that mattered. The New York tabloids killed Barber, which was made easier since he didn't do much to endear himself to the media during his playing days. Also not helping: recent comments comparing himself to Anne Frank.

Now Tiki is looking for football, the sport he left while in his prime, to fill the void created by subsequent failures, both personally and professionally.

"I crafted this career, right?" he said. "And I had gotten to the point where I was right where I wanted to be and then I failed. It's hard to deal with. … [But] I need to prove to myself that I can be successful at something. I know I'm going to be successful as a football player. I don't know why. The odds say 'No.' I'm 36 and I haven't played in four years. But I just know."

The Buccaneers and Steelers have been mentioned as potential landing spots for Tiki -- Ronde is still in Tampa and Mike Tomlin, a former Bucs defensive backs coach now the coach in Pittsburgh, is close with Barber. The Steelers seem unlikely to take a flyer on an over-the-hill running back with more baggage than upside, but Bucs coach Raheem Morris said recently that "You can't close the door … anybody who can help your team you want to look into it."

Sports are as much about overcoming adversity as the wins and losses. And while it's easy to point to Michael Vick and say, "See, if he can do it Tiki can, too, right?" The difference: Vick possesses skills that defy comprehension, and still people were skeptical he'd be able to play in the NFL after his stint in prison. Barber is 36, and, as we've mentioned countless times before, it's much easier to replace a running back than, say, a left tackle, cornerback or franchise quarterback.

Yes, anything's possible, but the odds are stacked against Tiki.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: May 29, 2011 11:07 am
 

Raheem Morris is cool with Marvin Lewis

Raheem Morris says everything is good between him and Marvin Lewis (Getty).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Last October, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis voiced his frustration at the Buccaneers signing one of Cincinnati’s 2010 draft picks, WR Dezmon Briscoe, after the Bengals had cut him in the preseason.

It wasn’t simply that Tampa Bay signed him and placed him on the practice squad. It was that the Bengals really wanted Briscoe back and that the Buccaneers gave him a contract worth more than three times what normal practice squad players earn ($325,000 vs. about $90,000).

But at last week’s Marvin Lewis charity golf outing, Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris said everything between the two coaches was just fine, thanks very much.

"That's business; this is about the community and the bigger picture," Morris told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "It's not about whether you have a disagreement on the field or whether I like him on game day. I wanted to come in for Marvin and be supportive of him because he's always been supportive of me."

Lewis didn’t seem all that supportive in October when he said this: "(Briscoe) was in camp for us, but when you overpay a guy on the practice squad, you create a problem in the system for teams. I don't know that teams want to set the precedent and they did with Dezmon."

Not only did Lewis come off looking clueless about business in the NFL (and the risks of cutting a WR you actually want to keep), some of those words alluded to possible collusion among the teams. Apparently, somebody from the NFL office said something to Lewis, and from then on, he didn’t make a peep about the issue.

Still, Morris looks up to Lewis and what he’s accomplished.

"When you talk about guys that paved the way not only for coaches but young African-American coaches,” Morris said, “he's been a consummate leader.”

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: April 29, 2011 10:22 pm
Edited on: April 30, 2011 12:31 am
 

Cobb waited an awfully long time in green room

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

NEW YORK – Kentucky WR Randall Cobb, in a best-case scenario, actually thought he had a chance to sneak into the first round of the NFL draft. So, there he sat in the green room, and he didn’t hear his name called during Thursday’s first 32 picks.

Cobb Surely, he must have thought, I’ll go early in the second round, so I won’t have to sit here too long. Then, the Cardinals took Ryan Williams and Williams left the green room, and the Broncos took Rahim Moore and Morris left as well. And there was Cobb all by himself.

And he waited some more.

Maybe he thought he was cursed, especially when you hear about the dream he had recently. Somehow, someway, Brett Favre had returned to Green Bay, and, in a very matter of fact manner, told Cobb nobody would draft him.

“It scared the mess out of me,” Cobb said, after the Packers had taken him in the second round with the No. 64 pick. “I woke up in a sweat.”

NFL Draft
NFL Draft Coverage More NFL Draft Coverage
Mock Drafts | Risers/Fallers
Prospects | Full Draft Coverage
And until the Packers selected him, he was living a nightmare.

“As the draft kept going, it was a concern,” Cobb said. “But I always had faith.”

That faith was rewarded when the Super Bowl champs took him and made him a very happy (and relieved) wide receiver.

“I would have waited until the seventh round if I could go to the Packers,” Cobb said. “It was well worth the wait.”

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: April 22, 2011 4:32 pm
 

Hovan rips former Buc teammate, Talib

C. Hovan apparently is not a fan of A. Talib (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

You and I might think it’s utterly ridiculous if the Buccaneers let the off-the-field-challenged Aqib Talib return for yet another chance at playing in the NFL – of course, we’d also say that was simply the reality for one of the most talented cornerbacks in the NFC – but it sounds like former Tampa Bay and current Rams DT Chris Hovan is outraged by the matter.

On Thursday afternoon, he did a radio spot with WQYK (via JoeBucsFan.com ), and he let loose.

A sampling of the transcript:

Chris Hovan: How many strikes does Aqib get? I mean, really? He beats up a taxi driver. He beats — I saw what he did to Torrie Cox by hitting him in the head with a helmet. I have never seen that before in my 15-20 years of playing football.

J.P. Peterson: He didn’t do it on purpose…

Hovan: Yes he did.

J.P.: You think he did?

Hovan: Yes he did. He took his helmet off and he whacked him over the bridge of the nose. He knew what he was doing. He has been given too much leeway from Raheem Morris because, I guess, Coach Morris has favoritism towards him because he played defensive back. Again, they are giving this young man way too much leeway. Any other individual would have been cut way before this. But Aqib has so much talent — his talent goes through the ceiling. But you can’t keep having these offseason issues and you can’t keep covering for this kid. They are saying it’s OK for what he is doing and he just pistol whipped somebody in Texas. I mean, how many times does ownership and management let this kid get off?


For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: April 19, 2011 3:00 pm
 

Hot Routes 4.19.11: Belichick is open to trades

Posted by Will Brinson



Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • BREAKING NEWS: Bill Belichick is willing to trade draft picks. Shocking, I know, right? Actually, Belichick was responding to the fact that everyone thinks they'll be trading. They probably will, because that's what they do, but for whatever reason, it's just assumed that everyone can have their pile of picks if they give something else up. Maybe the Pats actually want to nail some early-round picks this time. 
  • Our own Mike Freeman hopped on Pro Football Talk Live! (it is Live! and not Live, right?) with Mike Florio to talk about the labor situation, the draft and Jon Gruden. I think Florio's a decent enough looking fella, but I prefer to take him in the ear. Er, wait -- you can listen here and watch here.
Posted on: March 31, 2011 1:48 pm
Edited on: March 31, 2011 6:55 pm
 

Offseason checkup: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Posted by Will Brinson

J. Freeman is the face of the Tampa Bay franchise (Getty).  

Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups. Also, check out our team-by-team podcast:





If you know anyone predicted that the Buccaneers would challenge for a divisional title and/or the playoffs, you should stop reading this immediately, buy that person a plane ticket to Las Vegas and go get your Biff Tannen on.

And even though Raheem Morris' Tampa Bay squad shocked the world, people still aren't ready to believe. That's okay, and probably a little fair until the success becomes consistent, and perhaps more, um, explicable. But sometimes wins aren't borne out by stats and Josh Freeman, an absolute star of a quarterback in the making, is a good sample of that. Freeman led the Bucs on several incredibly impressive fourth-quarter comebacks in 2010, and there's little question that he's the face of the franchise going forward.

All optimism aside, though, there's still plenty the Bucs need to address before going head-to-head against the Falcons and Saints seems like a fair fight.



Defensive line, secondary

Tampa Bay burned its first two 2010 picks on defensive tackles -- Gerald McCoy and Brian Price -- and it wouldn't be all that surprising to see the Bucs use some early selections on the defensive line again this year. Defensive end is a big need, and there's plenty of depth at the position heading into April's draft.

The secondary could be an issue for the Bucs, but it's really up in the air at the moment. That's because would-be-star cornerback Aqib Talib is dealing with "violence issues" that have manifested in the form of a "felony arrest warrant," and Tanard Jackson, suspended for substance abuse issues in 2010, is a total wild card. Ronde Barber's fine when it comes to behavior, but there's little chance he'll play after 2011.



1. Defensive end
After spending two early picks on the interior defensive line in 2010, it actually makes a ton of sense to also address the ends in 2011. And this is the perfect draft to do so with a pile of DE talent that should fall to the back end of the first round. Perhaps guys like Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan and Iowa's Adrian Clayborn would entice the Bucs.

2. Cornerback
It wouldn't seem all that prudent to suggest that the Bucs look for a "problem child" type of corner to beef up their secondary, but if someone like Jimmy Smith falls to them, they'd have to at least consider the move. (And, really, it's not fair to make any comparison with Smith's reported attitude problems and the legal issues for the current Bucs' secondary.) Alternately, don't be shocked to see them beef up the position's depth via later rounds.

3. Running Back

LeGarrette Blount had an absolutely fantastic season for Tampa (and he's blatantly going to be the guy who gets drafted too early in 2011 fantasy drafts) but there are still questions as to whether it was Tampa's scheme or Blount's skills that propelled his year. Even if it was the latter, the Bucs should look to build backfield depth in a year that's prime for doing so in the draft.



Its relatively easy to be bullish on the Bucs heading into 2011, but it's also important to remember that there is room for improvement and growth in Tampa, and with such room can come some growing pains. Of course, it's not terrible news that the draft sets up nicely in terms of depth versus need for this roster.

A repeat of 10 wins in 2011 might be a bit of a stretch, especially if Atlanta and New Orleans improve in the offseason. But discounting Morris' ability to motivate this team would be a foolish move, and there's good reason to expect continued improvement.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our
RSS Feed


Posted on: March 21, 2011 7:53 pm
 

Bucs leading candidate for Hard Knocks

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

One of the highlights of observing/reporting on training camp every year is watching Hard Knocks and seeing what mildly insane speech/interview comes out of the minds and mouths of NFL players and coaches.

There was Bengals coach Marvin Lewis’ “Be a f------ pro!” and Rex Ryan’s “Let’s go eat a g------ snack!” and Jets CB Antonio Cromartie’s struggle to remember the ages of all his children.

Quality stuff, all of it.

So, if the NFL lockout prevents training camp from starting on time – or taking place at all – another annual viewing experience will be lost. But if there IS a training camp and there IS a Hard Knocks, there’s a chance the Buccaneers could be the 2011 subject.

That’s according to ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas, who writes that Tampa Bay’s club is the leading candidate to be featured.

Coach Raheem Morris likely wouldn’t drop quite as many F-bombs as Ryan (could anybody?) but he could showcase his charisma, while the Buccaneers could focus on young players like QB Josh Freeman, RB LeGarrette Blount and WR Mike Williams.

Like just about every Hard Knocks ever produced, it would probably make for mandatory viewing.

WARNING: THE VIDEO BELOW IS NSFW WITH EXPLICIT (LIKE F-BOMBS AND EVERYTHING) LANGUAGE




For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: March 9, 2011 1:56 pm
 

Hot Routes 3.9.11 anyone want Tiki?

Hot Routes

Posted by Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com