Bucs make good call on Jerramy Stevens

TAMPA, Fla. -- Before I flew out of the Atlanta airport this morning, I wrote that the Bucs should go ahead and release tight end Jerramy Stevens and make a bit of a statement.

Well, that’s exactly what they did a few hours ago. The Bucs released the tight end, who was charged with narcotics violations on Saturday night. Stevens had past problems with the law and off the field. Surely the fact that he was nothing more than a role player made it easy to kick him to the curb.

The Bucs probably don’t do that with Josh Freeman or Gerald McCoy. But Freeman and McCoy have shown no propensity to get into any sort of trouble, and that’s important to note. Freeman and McCoy were the first-round picks in each of the drafts run by coach Raheem Morris and Mark Dominik.

Those guys got bashed a lot last year, but let’s give Morris and Dominik some credit for trying to do things the right way. They care about character. The previous regime of coach Jon Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen really didn’t, and they were the ones who brought in Stevens as well as Aqib Talib and Tanard Jackson, some other guys who ran into recent problems.

Morris and Dominik might not have a room full of choirboys like the Bucs did in the Tony Dungy years. But they realize good character can help a team succeed, and we’re not talking just about guys with legal problems.

Morris and Dominik ran Antonio Bryant and Derrick Ward out of town because they didn’t have great attitudes and were viewed as bad influences in the locker room.