August 25, 2010
If there are any Reality Therapists out there reading this blog, please get over to Sabby Piscitelli's(notes) house, stat. The Tampa Bay Bucs' former starting strong safety recently lost that first-string position to Sean Jones(notes), and he wasn't happy about it at all.
"I don't think it was ever a competition," Piscitelli recently told the media, implying that head coach Raheem Morris had his mind made up about the switch and didn't give Piscitelli a fair shake. "That's my opinion. I don't think it was a competition; that's all I'm going to say on that."
Problem is, Morris and his staff would be entirely justified in knocking Sabby off his perch based on past performance alone. In 2009, he led the NFL in missed tackles, according to Football Outsiders, and was frequently victimized over the top when the Bucs tried to bring Cover-1 looks early in the season. That's a guy who would probably be better off keeping his mouth shut in this case, a notion that Morris held as well.
"I don't have to [justify the move], and that's unfortunate for him," Morris told Pewter Report. "That's probably why he didn't get it. Generally you go out there and do your very best. That's the thing to do, so that's Sabby's problem."
Morris also said that he wasn't concerned about moving the unhappy Piscitelli to another team, because "his job is to make us happy ... that's how the NFL works."
"In '09 we weren't a very good football team ... we all struggled," Morris said later in the same press conference. "He was a guy that was a part of it ... Whatever the reasons were, nobody cares. It is your job to go out there and get it done. That is the same thing I'd tell Sabby. He feels bad about not being a starter. He feels bad because he feels like he was unjustly done, and nobody really cares. You got to [go] out there and get it done and show us what you got. You only get one chance to do this thing, myself included."
The Bucs are looking to rebuild a defense that got gashed against both the run and the pass last season, and rooting out the best and worst players going forward is part of the program. If Piscitelli has a problem with that, he should ask to go to the film and have the coaches tell him what they're seeing. Judging from the numbers, such a move would only reinforce that he wouldn't like what he saw ... and that Morris' decision was the right one.
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