Tampa, Fla. The NFL is looking into a verbal confrontation between Tampa Bay cornerback Aqib Talib and an official who worked the Buccaneers’ game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Bucs coach Raheem Morris defended the player Monday, saying Talib did not do anything wrong during a heated exchange outside the team’s locker room following Sunday’s 17-10 loss in Baltimore. Talib was upset about a teammate being penalized for pass interference in the closing minutes of the first half.
Talib reportedly made an expletive-laced comment to an unidentified official about the call made by field judge Boris Cheek. The Tampa Tribune and St. Petersburg Times said the official responded by using an expletive of his own to describe how Talib played and that the player then threatened to punch him.
“We are looking into it,” NFL spokesman Randall Liu said.
The second-quarter pass-interference call against rookie Myron Lewis, who was defending the Ravens’ T.J. Houshmandzadeh, set up a TD that put Baltimore up 17-3.
Morris disagreed with the call and sought an explanation from Cheek before the second half began.
“I don’t really know what happened postgame, and I really didn’t talk to Aqib. I’m sure he did the same thing that everybody else did — talked about the call, disagreed with the official and moved on,” Morris said. “If they they had words, that’s between him and that official. I don’t get into that stuff.”
Talib did not talk to reporters after the game, nor was he available for comment Monday.
The third-year pro out of Kansas University leads the Bucs with six interceptions, despite missing the season opener after being suspended one game without pay for violating the NFL’s personal-conduct policy. He also was fined one additional game check stemming from Talib punching a cab driver in August 2009.
Morris disputed published reports that Talib had to be restrained from going after the official Sunday.
“He didn’t do anything wrong. He was just in conversations, so I’m not going to sit here and act like Aqib did anything wrong,” the coach said.
“I think you can misinterpret how he talks. His swearing is not necessarily the swearing that you guys would come across,” Morris added. “I don’t even know if he swore. I do know he wanted an expanation of the call.”