At the end of the third quarter the Tampa Bay Buccaneers still had a chance to win the game. They were down 31-12 at that point, and it was a very small chance. But the defense had just forced a 3rd-and-14 and were likely to get the ball back with good field position. This would be their last real chance to win the game - and then Brian Price got called for a 15-yard personal foul, and all that evaporated.
Raheem Morris' reaction was very simple: he exploded. He sent Brian Price home. Not just to the locker room, but home. Clearly Raheem Morris was sending a message here: he would not tolerate stupid penalties any longer. The Bucs have been trying to eliminate those penalties all season, and they've failed
And in this case, I agree with Brian Price's agent. Not because I think sending a message isn't right, but because this is terribly inconsistent of Raheem Morris. Why did he make that move now, and not when Aqib Talib cost the Bucs a goal-line stop in London, or when Kellen Winslow cost the Bucs a sure field goal in Tennessee? Penalties have been an issue all season long, and the Bucs haven't sent a player home before despite multiple opportunities to do so.
Some may compare this to Vernon Davis being sent to the locker room during a game by Mike Singletary. By all accounts that changed Davis' life as a pro, and he's been a model citizen ever since. That's not a great comparison, because Vernon Davis had a history of selfish behavior at that point. Brian Price has no such history. In fact, this is the first time he's been called for a penalty in his NFL career that was not a defensive offside penalty or something similar.
That doesn't absolve Price, of course. The penalty was stupid and not deserving of any praise. He was very publicly sent home, a drastic move for any coach. And drastic moves like that only come when a coach doesn't know what else to do. Clearly Raheem Morris has tried everything to cut out penalties, and it isn't working. So Morris tried this: publicly burning down a player for a stupid penalty.
After protecting Aqib Talib in London and not mentioning Kellen Winslow last week, Brian Price now gets the short end of the stick, even though Price has not had any real issues with penalties before. That's not fair to Price, and a drastic move like that makes it seem like Raheem is losing his grip on the team.
Was sending Price home the right move to make, or is Raheem Morris losing his team?