TAMPA — The Buccaneers are doing their best to channel the much hated ‘Yuckaneers’ days with their play as of late. Not all the fans have lost hope, but those retaining their love for the Bucs are either shut in, or fabrications.
There have been reports of players giving up in games and although no truth can really be put to that until a quote is, one guy who won’t be playing the rest of the year is third year cornerback Aqib Talib, who was placed on injured reserve for the second straight year by the Bucs, this time with a hamstring injury.
Talib has regressed in play this year and although he has showed flashes of real potential, like last season, he just hasn’t been able to repeat what is know viewed as lightning in a bottle. Plus he offers many off the field headaches that the Bucs, who are already an incredibly undisciplined team, don’t need.
It was reported by multiple outlets last week that Bucs GM Mark Dominik wanted to cut Talib before this year after his latest arrest for a violent crime. Everyone’s favorite head coach Raheem Morris wanted to keep him and convinced Dominik he would be making an egregious error if he did so. Dominik kept Talib and he as underwhelmed in every opportunity available, getting torched by everyone from Calvin Johnson to Pierre Garcon.
There has been a lot of talk about Raheem Morris needing to be fired after this abomination of a season and those cries for blood are justified. But how are the same cries for Talib not justified? Morris has been blasted for not living up to last season and letting this franchise down but has Talib not done the same thing?
Like Morris and all of the Bucs for that matter, Talib had an amazing 2010 season, leading the team in interceptions until he was placed on IR with a hip injury. But this year he has not played up to par and has made serious mental errors on the field in terms of penalties and blown coverage. The question is where is the hypocritical line drawn? When does it stop being okay to question Talib’s place on this team and start to question Morris?
The fact of the matter is they both deserve to go and if they stay they stay under the same thin as ice warning.
If Morris stays, he stays knowing that if this team starts out sluggish again and the embarrassing blowouts continue, he’s getting the boot. Same goes for Talib. If he is in any way responsible for blow coverage or stupid penalties, he’s riding the bench. Tampa can’t afford to move forward with a corner who has the potential to be elite but only lives up to it half the time.
There is a wealth of corners coming into this year’s draft and the Bucs are expected to spend a pick on at least two. Right Now Tampa has the fifth pick in the draft and could very likely be in line to get someone like LSU’s Morris Claiborne.
I believe that whether or not Talib is on the team shouldn’t factor into the Bucs decision to draft a corner because he and he alone is not the future no matter what. As we have seen Talib at his best can only do so much and will need help. Whether he’s on the team to be a part of that is going to be an interesting storyline to follow into what could be his final offseason as a Buccaneer.