Coach Raheem Morris has gotten a reputation as a coach who speaks his mind. This has been lauded by the media and fans as they aren't having to hear double speak or generalities about the team or players. What started off as something refreshing has quickly grown to be a potential issue. Morris has had some interesting comments on various subjects, but none more interesting that his latest assessment of Josh Johnson.
Morris apparently was trying to gush praise on the second year quarterback, when he made an interesting revelations. Stephen Holder of the St. Pete Times has Morris' quote
Morris, who I think meant this as a compliment, said Sunday, "I talked about him being my Jason Garrett, my career backup. . . You’re talking about preparing a guy who you think can be your long-term backup. You might as well put him in a game right now. That makes (him) prepare a little differently."
It was Morris' way of saying Johnson is an asset to the team, rather than a guy with no significant role. Garrett, now a Cowboys assistant, was the consummate backup and made a good living doing so. But we're pretty sure Johnson has loftier goals. Still, when told by reporters on Monday of Morris' characterization, Johnson laughed out loud but did not take offense.
Now, Johnson was able to laugh it off, but this seems to be an odd sort of statement to make. Josh Johnson is a young guy still, who I'd imagine has aspirations of starting somewhere if not Tampa.
Johnson may very well be destined to be a backup for his career, but this isn't something you go public with for several reason. You're killing a young player's dreams here. You think he wants to stick around and work as hard now that he knows he's nothing more than a back up? Any trade value that Johnson has or had is now severely diminished. You've basically told him, "Hey, thanks for playing, we kept you but you have no chance of seeing the field unless a catastrophe strikes."
It just shocks me that Morris would come out and say this. Here you have a guy who worked his tail off, was a project of the former regime yet found his way on to the team, was never given a fair shake at the job this year (or last year), and has been named the #2 QB, at least for a few weeks, and you reward him by saying he isn't good enough to start, but hey stick around, you can carry my clipboard?
It's a minor deal, one that will surely blow over, but it's another gaffe for Morris in a young career. After all, would he have stuck around with the Bucs if Gruden, Allen or Glazer had told him "You should stick around, we always need someone to chest bump the players, you can do that for us for the rest of your coaching career"
What do you think? Is the content or the way he delivered it a big deal?