Steve White played defensive end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1996 through 2001, during the same time span as coach Tony Dungy’s career in Tampa. He was part of the Bucs defensive heyday, helping to turn a struggling franchise into an eventual Super Bowl champion. Like Dungy, he too just missed out on seeing the fruit of his labor, going to the New York Jets in 2002 and missing out on the Buccaneers first Super Bowl title. Unlike Dungy, Steve White isn’t afraid to vocalize his opinions on the Buccaneers front office.
Citing an article by the Tampa Bay Times posted by Rick Stroud, White took offense to comments made about Raheem Morris by Buccaneers Co-chairman Joel Glazer.
Here is the excerpt taken from the Tampa Bay Times article:
On whether he (Joel Glazer) believes some ‘integrity,’ was lost in three seasons under Morris.
“At yesterday’s owners meeting, there was a focus group of fans brough in to talk to the owners and all of them, to a person, said one thing and the one thing was what was important to them was the integrity of the players, the NFL and what happens on and off the field. They pay attention. Over everything, integrity was No. 1.
“Sometimes, after a bad season, you have to take a step back and we take a step back and look at where we’re at, where we’ve been and what we’ve got to do to get back to what we really believe in and what we stand for and what we want to stand for and what the community wants us to be and I think you’re going to start to see all those things calibrate back to what the Buccaneers are all about.
“I have great respect for coach Morris. I always have. But I’m excited for what coach Schiano is bringing to our team and what he’ll bring to our community and what he will bring to the players in the locker room. I think they’re in for a different cultural attributes that haven’t been there in the past. It’s not right or wrong from the past, just different. He knows what he wants to do and it will be good.”
In response, Steve White posted the following on his School of the Legends blog feed:
“I’m very irritated this evening by comments Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer made about former head coach Raheem Morris. I can’t and won’t defend Morris’ record here as head coach, but to infer the Bucs lost “integrity” under him as Glazer did today is cheap and uncalled for. Coach Morris had plenty of opportunities to complain about the fact that the Glazers weren’t willing to spend in free agency to bring in veteran talent during his tenure to help with locker room issues but he took the high road. And lets be real here, the Glazers aren’t exactly paragons of integrity themselves.”
“I haven’t forgotten that they had already hired Bill Parcells while we were trying to win a playoff game in 2001. I haven’t forgotten how Coach Dungy had to find out he was fired by the media and went in the middle of the night in the rain to clean out his office. I haven’t forgotten the contract disputes with guys like WR Keenan McCardell when they alleged they were promised things that weren’t delivered. I also haven’t forgotten how they fired Jon Gruden well after other jobs he might have had a shot at were already filled. And Im definitely not the biggest Gruden fan.
Hell I haven’t forgotten how they wanted Coach Dungy to fire his whole offensive staff while they were in Hawaii to coach the Pro Bowl. So excuse me if I take Joel Glazer throwing around the integrity with a mountain, not a grain, of salt. There are other and better ways to get the fans excited about the new Coach Schiano era than talking down on Coach Morris. Especially when he has done nothing to deserve that at least publicly. Fin.”
To ensure fans and critics alike heard what he had to say, he also posted the comments on Twitter @sgw94
Wherever you may fall in terms of opinion, one thing is for certain; times have changed at One Buc Place.
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