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Dezmon Briscoe: If Raheem Morris Wasn’t Fired, ‘I’d Still Be There’
ASHBURN – After being claimed off waivers by the Washington Redskins on Friday, receiver Dezmon Briscoe said he believes he would still be playing for Tampa Bay if Raheem Morris was still the head coach.
Briscoe was released by the Buccaneers on Thursday, the team’s first day of training camp. Morris, the head coach for the previous three seasons, was fired in January and is now the Redskins’ defensive backs coach.
“The coaching staff, they pretty much hand-picked their guys and knew who they wanted, and with the disciplined program that they’re running down there, I mean, with me not showing up to voluntary workouts – to the new coaching staff, I think that made a big difference as to why I’m not there now.”
Briscoe, 22, didn’t attend the Buccaneers’ voluntary offseason workout program because, he said Saturday, he “had a bunch of personal stuff going on at the house” that has been taken care of. That led to the coaching staff putting him through a conditioning test, which he did not pass and was cited as a reason for his release.
“The conditioning test? Everyone didn’t pass,” Briscoe said. “I feel that was a big reason why – it stuck out with me not passing because I wasn’t there through the offseason training, so they made it seem like I’m not conditioned. [I am]. I’ve just got to take advantage of the opportunity that I have now.”
He didn’t want to elaborate further on the terms of his dismissal, only to say that new head coach Greg Schiano, hired in February, “is a good guy, a real good coach, and I’m pretty sure he has a legit reason why I didn’t fit his program.”
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Briscoe had 35 catches for 385 yards and a team-high six touchdowns last season. Being cut in training camp, especially on the first day, was difficult for him.
“To get cut the first day, it’s disheartening, you know?” Briscoe said. “It’s bad on your self-esteem, but now, it’s just taking advantage of the opportunity that the Redskins give me.”
Exactly how he’ll fit in with the Redskins remains to be seen. Briscoe said his first impression from looking at the playbook is that it’s similar to what he ran in Tampa Bay last season, and he believes it shouldn’t take long for him to pick up the Redskins’ offense.
He described himself as “a big receiver” who can “make big plays, go over guys and score touchdowns” – a role Leonard Hankerson, at 6-foot-2 and 211 pounds, holds now.
The Redskins will likely keep six or seven receivers on the active roster, and Briscoe knows, after being cut by Cincinnati at the end of the preseason in 2010, his rookie year, his opportunities may be running out.
“Every time you get released from a team, you’ve always got to start over and prove yourself over and over again,” Briscoe said. “This type of league that we’re in, we’re all professionals and everyone’s good, so you’ve got to go into camp expecting nothing’s promised and give it your all.”