While doing my usual late-night perusal of ProFootballTalk before shutting my computer down for the evening, I came across a pretty interesting item containing some rather inflammatory comments made by Simeon Rice earlier today.
It seems that Simeon Rice is not too big a fan of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden, who was recently fired and replaced by Raheem Morris.
â€œHow I feel personally? I could tell you that, too. I think heâ€™s a scumbag,â€ Rice said. â€œI think heâ€™s a scumbag personally. Thatâ€™s when heâ€™s telling you one thing andâ€¦ You know what he told me? â€˜Simeon youâ€™ll be here in the next five years.â€™ I got injured [and] this manâ€™s never said one word to me. I won a Super Bowl for you. I got 13 sacks, 12, 15 every year for you. I balled. I got injured [and] you let me go like it was nothing.â€
Wow. Players who have been cut holding grudges is nothing really new, but coming right out and calling the guy a scumbag is pretty surprising.
What do you think?
Hop over to PFT to read the rest of Simeon Rice’s comment. He goes on and on listing off players who had beef with Gruden for one reason or another, and describing situations that turned into “debacles” because of how Gruden handled them.
Simeon Rice had quite a football career. He shattered the previous Big Ten sack record of 36 by notching 44.5 sacks while at the University of Illinois. He was then picked 3rd in the 1996 NFL draft and was a highly productive player for the Cardinals and Buccaneers (helping Tampa Bay win the 2002 Super Bowl) before suffering a series of nagging injuries. He bounced around after being cut by the Bucs and developed a reputation of being a little bit of a malcontent.
As with anything, I’m sure that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Jon Gruden obviously rubbed some people the wrong way during his Tampa Bay tenure, and I’m sure this won’t be last “scumbag” story that comes out. But Simeon Rice’s comments should probably be taken with at least a little bit of a grain of salt. No doubt there is some animosity there for the unceremonious way that Rice was jettisoned from the Bucs when his production deteriorated, but that’s the way it goes in the salary-cap era NFL.
Still, you have to wonder what the Golden Domers think of the myriad of negative pub that Jon Gruden has been getting recently. It is the worst-kept secret in sports — heck, it’s not even really a secret — that Notre Dome has long coveted Jon Gruden to someday restore the pride of Touchdown Jesus; and the feeling is mutual. But when when of your only public defenders is John Daly, well that has to say something doesn’t it?
One thing is for sure, somewhere Charlie Weis is smiling — and probably feeling just a little bit more secure in his job than he was about a week ago.