“Dominance. Absolute Dominance.”August 10th, 2011
Raheem Morris has shared a lot of love for his fourth-year linebacker out of Florida State over the past few days. That would be the birthday boy, 24-year-old Geno Hayes.
Asked Monday what he expects from Hayes this season, Raheem was quick to answer, “Dominance. Absolute dominance.”
Joe’s fired up to see Hayes have that kind of season. Perhaps the only player to shine during the heinous Jim Bates Experience, Hayes has mad speed, plus a growing knack for making plays, unlike Quincy Black. It’s also a contract year for Hayes, which always makes things interesting.
What especially struck Joe was Raheem expressing deep respect for Hayes at a later news conference. Raheem gushes over all his players these days — hey, why not? — but there was something special in his tone when he reveled Hayes wasn’t healthy for much of last season.
“You know I hate to even say his reason because he didn’t even tell us and he didn’t tell you guys, but he was suffering through a couple of little injuries last year. You know, he fought through them. He’s a tough kid. And he would never ever say it. He wouldn’t even say it to me. I just kinda know because I know Geno. But he felt great some weeks and he didn’t feel grat some other weeks. And it affected his play. you could see it somewhat.” Raheem said.
“But he is certainly one of the toughest guys I’ve been around when it comes to injury. He’s Ronde Barberesque when it comes to injury and talking about not talking about it. Not complaining or missing a practice or sitting down. He sneaks in the training room and gets treatment and he sneaks out. He doesn’t want to be on that list. He just doesn’t want to be one of those guys.”
Joe’s glad to hear Hayes is healthy, but that also means he’s been injury prone over his three seasons, plus the multiple alarm clock issues, a scissors-happy girlfriend and taking a cops taser to his chest.
Given his smaller size, Joe suspects Hayes will need the kind of dominating season Raheem mentioned in order to remain a Buccaneer.