Falcons’ duo is all business

“It’s not personal, it’s just business.”

It is a phrase that we hear all the time, a phrase that usually comes with a negative connotation. For a player or coach, it usually means you did not get signed, get your option picked up, or were flat out cut.

The Atlanta Falcons have a couple of players who have heard the phrase before. In specific, a couple of players and coaches who have heard it from the ownership and front office of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

At the end of the day, who’s laughing now? Although bearing no hard feelings or remorse, Adrian Clayborn and Raheem Morris, both a part of the 2016-2017 Falcons’ squad, are thriving in the Atlanta brotherhood.

It was not long ago that Raheem Morris was coaching a Bucs’ team that was not going very far. Playing on his defensive line was Adrian Clayborn, a former first-round pick of the Bucs. At the end of the 2011 season, Morris was fired. Three years later, the Bucs chose not to pick up the fifth-year on Clayborn’s rookie contract, making him a free agent.

Fast forward to today and both are sitting two tables apart from each other at the Falcons’ Super Bowl media availability. Morris was reunited with his college coach Dan Quinn and now serves as the assistant head coach and wide receivers coach. Clayborn signed a two-year deal in 2015 and has provided exceptional depth.

Clayborn seemed to be an undervalued player in the Buccaneers’ eyes, he did miss 28 games between two seasons. But, he had potential, racking up 13.5 sacks in 2011 and 2013, when he played 16 games in both. Despite not getting a chance to stay with the team that drafted him, Clayborn has no regret.

“There are no hard feelings, it is part of the business, some teams don’t pick you up, some teams do pick you up,” Clayborn said. “Some of my old teammates, I still keep in contact with, like Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David.”

Morris has enjoyed great success this past season after taking control of the team’s wide receivers. He had three special wide receivers to work with and helped make Atlanta’s offense the best in the league.

He used to be criticized in Tampa for being a “players’ coach” and not having enough control of the locker room. But, it seems like that’s what makes him the coach he is in Atlanta.

“This team is so tight and such a brotherhood that I have a relationship with almost every single guy,” Morris said. “It’s because of the way this organization is run, the coach does a great job of organizing things and we want to be around each other. We have ping pong tournaments and basketball tournaments. It is a part of our culture.”

If anything is apparent, it is that the duo has no issue leaving the past in the past. Despite their careers in Tampa ending earlier than they would have liked, things have worked out for the best.

At the end of the day, it is just business, and for the two former Buccaneers’, they hope their business ends in a couple of rings.

You can follow Pro Player Insiders on Twitter at @playerinsiders. You can follow Matthew Lively @livelyasu

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