Raheem’s Not Vibing With The Media

September 20th, 2010

Watching all of Raheem Morris’ news conferences since he got the Bucs head coaching job, it’s obvious to Joe that Morris often feels that he and his team are treated unfairly by the media.

That first became apparent after Morris dared the media to write something negative about Michael Clayton following his five-catch effort in the Bucs’ season-opening loss to Dallas last year. Previously, the Bucs had gotten heat for re-signing Clayton to a fat contract despite years of poor production.

Since then, Morris has dished out one-liner jabs about negative press rather consistently, and there have been the occasional direct yet playful confrontations. All of which have increased of late.

On Sunday, after the Bucs commanding victory in Carolina, Morris took it all to a new level.

He closed his news conference with body language and a demeanor that lost the the playfullness he typically diplays when knocking the media.

Here’s the exchange and the video link.

Reporter: Rah, How bout if we start right here. We only got eight more to go on the race to 10.

Raheem Morris: That’d be nice. But I’m dealing with you guys, so I know you’re not going to write that. You know, last year we got off to an 0-2 start, and the articles were, ‘Do we have the chance to go 0-16?’ So I’m expecting do-we-have-the-chance-to-go-16-0 articles this week.

That ended the session and, as Joe mentioned, Raheem’s body language screamed anger. The smile was gone. The tension ran deep.

Earlier in the 7-minute news conference, Raheem fielded a question from Tampa Tribune columnist Martin Fennelly and then promptly cut off Fennelly before he could actually ask a question. Raheem stated he didn’t like Fennelly’s pregame column that mentioned the Bucs weren’t honest about Josh Freeman’s thumb injury 10 days prior.

Here’s what Fennelly wrote:

By the way, turns out Freeman not taking snaps at a practice last week wasn’t part of a Bucs “plan.”

Did this team tell the truth about anything?

We’ll know today if 1-0 was a lie, too.

In Joe’s opinion, Fennelly surely wasn’t harsh – didn’t even call out Raheem personally. But here’s the Fennelly-Morris exchange at the postgame news conference yesterday:

Martin Fennelly: Raheem, I know it was last year, but Josh threw 5 picks in this building last year (cutoff by Morris)

Raheem Morris: I know you reminded me in the paper today, Martin. You told me that I lied to you. So I don’t want to lie to you today. We didn’t have any turnovers, and it is what it is.

Later in the news conference, unsolicited, Raheem talked about Fennelly again, but concluded it with a smile and a wink in his direction.

Joe has heard Raheem talk about how he likes “angry workers” on his team, underestimated and highly motivated guys like Ronde Barber and others.  Now it seems like Raheem is an “angry worker” himself. Clearly, the down-on-the-Bucs rhetoric in the local and national media is under his skin, and a 2-0 record is drawing some of it out.

Maybe it’s good. Maybe it’s bad. As long as the Bucs are winning, it really doesn’t matter.

But Joe does think it’s a red flag that Morris was so visibly annoyed by what he perceives to be negative press just minutes after a victory. That tells Joe he’s taking all the chatter too seriously.

54 Responses to “Raheem’s Not Vibing With The Media”

  1. goodfellajay Says:

    gotta love Rah..

  2. booty traps Says:

    +1 for Rah!

    Screw the press. Seems to me hes angry for not getting any love for his players. Im reading it as if he is sticking up for them. I see nothing wrong with it.

    His team hes proud of and everyone else can suck it.

  3. JimBuc Says:

    I am sure the locker room views it (appropriately) as them against the world.

  4. bob Says:

    i definitely get the fact that these people work together all the time (rah and the press) and its not a good thing to be on the press’ bad side.

    but with that being said, it would probably get really old really fast to have guys come to you smiling in your face every day and then immediately turning around and bombing on you left and right in the columns they write. can you say. even though thats basically their job, dont you think it would be hard to respect someone who does that?

    raheem might be a tiny bit overzealous about it, but can you really blame him? im not sure i can.

  5. BigMacAttack Says:

    I called out Rah for this last week, but honestly some of the beat writers in this town need to be plumbed up from time to time. Rah has been here since 02′ except for the Kansas stint, so he has endured these malcontent’s rath all through the Gruden era, so it isn’t like it all started last year. Let em have it Rah. Eff those guys for not being supportive when they win and downright hating when they lose. It’s nice to see the media get taken down a notch or two IMO. Keep winning Rah. Great Job Bucs!!!

  6. Fish Says:

    I love it. Good for Raheem.

    The press has been literally eating him alive since he’s taken over, and that includes the national media. Not only have they torn him apart, but the team as a whole. Yes, he had a rough year last year, but Dominik and him have done a fantastic job building this team and admitting their mistakes like most moral people should do.

    I already liked Dominik, but this bit of news you have brought to us, Joe, is helping boost my opinion of Raheem… Along with the great start, of course.

    Booty Trap is right, he’s sticking up for his players, which is something you have to love in a head coach.

  7. BigMacAttack Says:

    When all you have is enemies out there, all you can do is come out swinging.

  8. Mr. Lucky Says:

    I just watched the press conference. Looking at Morris’s body language he started out angry. Towards the end it appeared that he “eased up” but overall I was SHOCKED that considering the Bucs had just won Raheem was so distraught!

    Overall I’d rather see this side of Morris than the happy go lucky smiling fool side. This is the NFL after all. Keep it up – make the Negative nancy’s of the world eat their words.

  9. DRB Says:


    “red flag”?……..are you serious?…

    and how exactly are you qualified to determine what a red flag is or not?

  10. Not A Rocket Surgeon Says:

    Some good grist for the mill…

    I noticed the ‘edge’ to Coach Morris too…

    If I’m the Coach, I want to keep the ‘edge’ with the team… and increase the fan base.

    How does a Coach do that? Call out poor media writeups (it was crap) and keep winning. Players and Fans love it. Media, not so much.

    Coach Morris has always been an angry worker… it’s bred into coaches from Tampa (Tomlin, Bissacia, Morris, Edwards, etc.)

    Much rather an angry worker with purpose than a snowflake media nut hugger.

  11. Not A Rocket Surgeon Says:

    and calling the team a liar IS calling Morris a liar. He has ownership of this team and their efforts.

  12. JimBuc Says:

    Joe, just watched the video. Your article gives good insight into why some people dislike the press.

    The press always have it both ways becuase you have the power of the pen (or keyboard. I guess). When the Bucs sucked last year the press bashed Morris repeatedly for everything — bad coaching, losing season, mannerisms etc. He had to endure it for months and months. Now, the Bucs win their second game and Morris takes the opportunity to point out the double standard (2 losses last year meant “could they go 0-16”, but 2 wins this year and no one is writing “could they go 16-0) and what does “the press” do? Write that Morris might have character flaw because he was “visibly annoyed.” Beauty of your job. Anything is an article. Easy. Don’t have to win or lose anything, just watch and write.

    But why the negative focus on the person? Fennelly called Morris a liar a few days ago. Morris pushes back, you question his character. Where the article on the great defensive calls Morris made or his defensive schemes? How about how he saw somehting in Freeman that most did not? How about his leadership of the team?

    Nah, its his character. He is weak because he is spending too much time thinking about the press (LOL). Silly, but easy.

  13. Jiminy Chritmas Says:

    You are looking at it wrong Joe.
    Fennelly over stepped his boundaries plus he is a douche in my opinion.
    Raheem is on a roll and he steamrolled the press and NC

  14. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    JimBuc – You are so misguided. This post nowhere questions Morris’ character. Not even remotely close. Work on your reading skills.

    It is shameful that you would waste the time to post such nonsense.

  15. Capt.Tim Says:

    I thought Raheem calling out the media was great. About time those lazy Lil slackers had to have some accountability! It not like we have to many good sports reporters around here! It’s what we’ve seen in the national media. Today’s sports reporters do absolutely no research. They base everything on the previous year and market size. The they write negative crap just because they think it makes them”edgy”. All have turned into Howard Stern wannabes. All they care about is the Cowboys, Pats,Colts, Vikings, and Saints. Just horrible effort at what once was a very respected profession. So, yeah, I loved Raheem rubbing their lazy noses in it. Hope he keeps it up

  16. Kyle Says:

    Joe, ignore JimBuc and the other guy. The mere fact that you lay out these facts that are ignored elsewhere should be appreciated. You didn’t take any shots at Raheem here.

  17. Jiminy Chritmas Says:

    yes! exactly I liked Rah before but now I love him. Way to handle those 2 faced media. Hold them accountable. I bet that really pissed off that fairy Fennelly. Joe’s opinion in the end was typical media opinion that stinks.

  18. Horice Says:

    Listen, very few of us have people sitting around our workplace being critics of our every move, and then publishing it whether its true or false. If one is to be passionate about what they do, and another takes pride in finding fault with it, you will eventually get fed up with thier BS… Good for Rah! Even this morning after a Divisional win, people find fault with not gaining enough yards, or the Panthers played into the Bucs hand, or why is only one reciever scoring… I mean the list goes on! How about this; Our Coach, coached up his young guys to whip the snot out of or foe, Our QB played lights out, our defense played some “D”, Quincy Black almost killed Moore, and I look forward to see what they will do next week. Win or lose I’m into the Bucs for the rest of my life. And Rah, your my Coach and like ALL of us you have faults, I just want my Team to compete and win, and when we lose one, learn from it and get better from it. Too hell with the critics, they will turn into A$$ kissers when you get into the playoffs. Learn from Joe Madden, give special treatment to the ones who called it straight and fair, and diss those who dont!

  19. Javier n Wimauma Says:

    Raheem is pretty dumb to be making enemies with the media so early, if ever.

    Look what being enemies with the media did to Gruden. He was roasted on the skewer despite winning more Buc games than any other Buc coach, winning the ONLY Super Bowl and 3 division titles.

    So go ahead Raheem, piss the media off! All it takes is for you to lose a few games buddy.

  20. Ash Says:

    Everyone blasted him last year for being to nice and open to the media. Now he flips the script and I LOVE IT!

    Can we quit ultra dissecting Raheem’s every move?

  21. Javier n Wimauma Says:

    “Can we quit ultra dissecting Raheem’s every move?”

    he is a HC of an NFL team. Get used to it.

    Which is why you need a REAL HC and good communicator at the helm. This guy is going to get roasted as soon as everyone else in the media wakes up. And if Raheem himself wakes them up by pissing them off… good night.

  22. Capt.Tim Says:

    Javier- really? Again with Gruden? You two should get a room!

  23. lightningbuc Says:

    Fennelly’s column about the lying was in yesterday’s (Sunday’s) paper. It’s weird to me that Raheem is up in Charlotte preparing for a game and reading the Tampa Tribune hours before his team plays to see what Fennelly says. Maybe he’s looking for bulletin board material, but don’t you have better things to do on game day?

  24. gotbbucs Says:

    javier, who would u rather morris gain respect from? the two faced media or the players on his team? get a clue and please go crawl back under your rock. you can continue to bitch all you want as morris’ approval ratings continue to rise.

  25. Rah Says:

    lightningbuc -You are questioning him reading the paper on gameday? So I guess hes not suppose to wake up, have a cup of coffee, and read the paper like everybody else? Get real buddy. This is why he gets frustrated, by people like you talking out of your butt.

  26. Not A Rocket Surgeon Says:

    C’mon lightning – they have a whole staff of personnel who would notify Coach Morris of stuff like this in the local fishwraps. It’s part of Grella’s job.

    You’re diggin’ for crap that has no relevance and clearly show a distorted and biased view of Coach Morris. I’m certain he reads your comments too… got to love your contribution to making my team angry and thus effective.

    Talk about having opinion that blows up in one’s face.

  27. jaytek74 Says:

    Maybe everyone who hates Rah should just oust this regime and coach the Bucs themselves since they are such experts at the business of pro football. Personally I am glad that nightmare is impossible because I could not deal with 0-16 and getting shut out in every game. Lighten up and give Rah a chance. We have a winning team since Freeman was named the starter who was as I recollect Rah’s guy. But you Rah hating experts just go ahead and keep being so clever. You all make the world a better place.

  28. MichiganBucsFan Says:

    Fennelly did call him a liar, he called the team liars and therefor implied Raheem Morris, the Head Coach, the guy who gives the injury reports to the media, a liar. Fennelly got what he deserved, Rah did what was natural. He felt wronged, and he had a strong emotional reaction to it. There’s nothing more to it than that.

  29. lightningbuc Says:

    Not A Smart Person,

    Below is my post from this morning – obviously if you had read it you would know what I said about him reading a silly Fennelly article and getting his panties all wadded up over it is not rooted in any bias or distortion on my part.

    “And a 16 point lead is insurmountable compared to a 13 point one how? Both are two possessions. I was a big pessimist going into this season. I by no means have visions of a Super Bowl, but if you can’t admit that this team and its coaching are improved since last year, then you really are a hater. I don’t like that word used to describe Bucs fans who are critical of a team, but if you see no good in the past two weeks then that may be exactly what you are!”

  30. Ash Says:

    @Javier n Wimauma- Your simply the dumbest person on this site. Which you have alot of competition for that title on this site, so good job to you! You are so reaching to hate Raheem its not even funny. The team is 2-0 and his players love and respect him. And your concerned about how his relationship is with the media? LET IT GO MAN!! JEEZ

    In a eariler post you said you couldn’t even watch the bucs game and were forced to watch the Vikings / Phins game. Dude your on a Bucs site and cant watch them beat a division rival on the road 20-7? YOUR NOT A FAN OF THIS TEAM, FACE IT!!!!! Go find a Dolphins site to troll on.

  31. DRB Says:

    Javier is a douche…

  32. jaytek74 Says:

    I am in total agreement with ASH in regards to Javier!!! Also, nothing against the media but if you can dish it out then you have to be willing to take it!!!

  33. JimBuc Says:

    Joe, way to address my post by blaming me. LOL Nothing like a good honest dialogue.

    By the way, love the article about Morris’ comments on the running game, as if any coach on the planet would sabotage his own team by saying his running game sucks. That’s obviously what coaches do everyday, they kill the confidence of their own (2-0) team by calling out a portion of the team publicly.

    This gets sillier and sillier.

    Joe, when Morris pushed back at the media dod you write an article criticizing his push back? Simple question, really.

  34. JimBuc Says:

    “Javier n Wimauma Says:

    September 20th, 2010 at 1:06 pm
    Raheem is pretty dumb to be making enemies with the media so early, if ever.”

    Joe, conceding that RahDom (Javier) is not the perfect person for this example, but he does raise an interesting point: if journalist are doing their job, can Morris actually make “enemies” as Rah Dom says? I mean I get the whole news/commentary thing, but . . .

  35. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    JimBuc – We can’t have honest dialogue when you make up things.

    Regarding the running game, Morris did come out and talk about his concern about the running game following the Jacksonville preseason game. Of course, coaches talk about shortcomings of their teams/areas in need of improvement. Happens all the time. Don’t know what you’re talking about. That doesn’t have to be a negative thing, as you seem to think it automatically is.

    To answer your question, Joe didn’t write about Morris pushing back against the media in many months because his tone was always playful. Brought it forth now because the tone changed and the timing was a little unique.

  36. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    JimBuc – To continue to your other question. Sure, any could make enemies in the media. But Raheem is not on a path to making any enemies in the media with the way he’s speaking now. Now Joe could see it eventually going there if the anger he flashed yesterday escalates. But that’s a long way off.

  37. lightningbuc Says:


    Please don’t forget this organization ADMITTED to lying this past summer about being able to fine Restricted Free Agents who had not signed their tender in an attempt to “trick” a particular RFA to sign.

  38. JimBuc Says:

    Joe you are a piece of work. Where do I start:

    1. I did not make anything up. We have a disagreement over my use of the phrase “character flaw.”

    2. This is what some call “intellectual dishonesty”, particularly the part where you said “I don’t know what you are talking about”:

    “Regarding the running game, Morris did come out and talk about his concern about the running game following the Jacksonville preseason game. Of course, coaches talk about shortcomings of their teams/areas in need of improvement. Happens all the time. Don’t know what you’re talking about. That doesn’t have to be a negative thing, as you seem to think it automatically is.”

    Joe, of course coaches are critical of their own teams, but I was commenting on your article about simple coach speak. I am guesing you know that though. LOL.

    3. I will take this as a “YES” followed by a rationalization:

    “To answer your question, Joe didn’t write about Morris pushing back against the media in many months because his tone was always playful. Brought it forth now because the tone changed and the timing was a little unique.”

    Joe, when I asked you if you wrote an article criticizing Morris’ pushback of the media, why did you feel compelled to give the long intro into your response? Uh huh . . . 🙂

  39. JimBuc Says:

    Sad, but true, commentary:

    ” admin Says:

    September 20th, 2010 at 3:55 pm
    Joe here,

    JimBuc – To continue to your other question. Sure, any could make enemies in the media.”

  40. Mr. Lucky Says:

    What strikes me about this press conference is this:

    The Bucs just won and Raheem is acting pissed off like the Bucs lost!


    That means, in my opinion, that Raheem doesn’t enjoy talking to the press douches or he got bad news about something just prior to the press meeting.

  41. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Hey how about those cowbouys going 0-2 to start the season?

    Anyone want to wager that Jerry Jones is looking for Jon Gruden’s number?

  42. McBuc Says:

    Mr Lucky…Maybe it means he is going with the “us against the world thing” hard core…Rally around the family!

  43. Mr. Lucky Says:

    McBucs – one other IMPORTANT thing in Raheem’s conference. He said that the TEAM was of one mind, implying that one of the reasons Ward and Clayhands are gone was their attitude.

    One thing I noticed when I played sports is that CHEMISTRY is the intangable that goes underappreciated. Let’s face it when you’ve got a whining crybaby on the team it can be a real spirit breaker. I also noticed that Raheem mentioned Rhonde stepping up in the lockeroom as well.

  44. Seriously? Says:

    Ugh…you have got to be kidding me.

    Morris is always laughing and joking with the media. Is this post a big joke?

    “Raheem’s body language screamed anger. The smile was gone. The tension ran deep.”


  45. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    JimBuc – Joe can assure that he answers you honestly always. Sad that you feel compelled to post/imply/say otherwise.

    To directly answer your question, No, Joe is not being critical of Raheem pushing back against the media here in this post. So not Joe has not written anything critical of Raheem pushing back against the media in recent memory. Yes, Joe recalls being critical of that earlier in his tenure, the Clayton incident comes to mind.

    And, no, Joe doesn’t read minds regarding whatever you consider simple coachspeak.

    You wrote: Joe “questioned his character.” Sorry, JimBuc, that’s a flat out fabrication. You can spin it to yourself all you want. It won’t make it true.

  46. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    Seriously? – All you have to do is watch the video link above. You’ll see a different Morris than you’re used to at the end of the video.

  47. BigMacAttack Says:

    I like the “Punch them in the Mouth” attitude coming from this team. I think in Tampa, they call it Swagger. They are bound and determined to stick together and mow down anybody that gets in their way, including the Steelers. I don’t see cockiness, but confidence is there. If you believe you can, then I damn sure know you can.

    And as for the Media, they love you when you win and they’ll bash you when you lose, regardless what you say to them.

    I wonder if Tomlin and Morris will have dinner together Saturday night before they commence to beating the hell out of each other on Sunday. I bet they do.

  48. topdoggie Says:

    Joe I enjoyed the press conference. Although I like JoeBucsfan and think you do fair reporting I think some of the other media needed that. It seems like they are fans of other teams and are stuck covering the Bucs all negative all the time. I quit reading alot of the mullet wrapers for that reason.

  49. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Personally I LIKE the new Raheem and his angry attitude.

    If he’s reading JBF.com then good for him now get busy figuring how how to score some points Sunday.

  50. Will the Beast Says:

    Go head Bro show and Prove then Talk about it. Tampa only gets negative press believe me I lived in New York, Boston, L.A and Tampa. Until we step on a few faces and let people know we are in the building people don’t seem to know about it. The pieces are in place now just bash some heads

  51. factoidboy Says:

    I guarantee Rah doesn’t walk to the mike blind… he’s got a team of people briefing him before he walks into the media room. And if he just found out that a beat writer he sees all the time called him a liar that day, I’d expect him to be seriously pissed. Rah is the man.

  52. gt40bear Says:

    Guys, let’s not all get bent about this. It was Martin Fennelly for God’s sake. Few read his swill and fewer still put any credence to it! Yes he did call Morris and the Bucs liars but does it surprise anyone? The next positive thought running through Fennelly’s mind will be his first! Stopped reading him years ago. Liking Morris more by the day. Go Bucs!

  53. Mark Says:

    I don’t think you’ll ever see Raheem go nutso on the media. I think yesterdays press conference is the worst of it. But is this entirely out of character for Raheem? I would say not at all. I think Raheem is very calculated in how he portrays himself. Raheem wants to create an environment that cultivates the best characteristics of his players. As you mentioned Joe, Raheem is indeed taking on the “angry worker” mentality. It is going to fire up his team and frankly most fans.

  54. Capt.Tim Says:

    JimBuc, like I said , I respect your passion for this team. You stood up all summer when alot of these “new Buc fans” were calling you the Glazers puppy. You’ve won. You got your vindication! Now, quit being so damn argumentative and posting dumb stuff on every post! You won, the haters are looking like fools. Enjoy it, but act like you got some damn sense, instead of a lunatic! R-e-l-a-x!!