Kenyatta Walker is not a happy bunny
The Bucs wore all white Sunday. Right tackle Kenyatta Walker was dressed in blue. His attire matched his mood. Wearing street clothes, Walker watched the game from the Bucs' sideline, inactive for the first time in his Tampa Bay career. After Coach Jon Gruden addressed the team in the locker room following a 26-20 overtime loss to New Orleans, Walker unloaded, venting about the way the team is treating him. ``It was disappointing. It was bullshit,'' Walker said of the decision to make him inactive. ``It's very disappointing. I think how it was done was wrong. But that's not the point; we lost the game tonight.''
Walker watched quarterback Brad Johnson take a pounding behind a mistake- plagued offensive line. Johnson was sacked three times and was hit and hurried through most of the game. ``I'm not going to say the offensive line played bad,'' Walker said. ``I'm not going to say the offense played bad. It's a team loss. I'm not pointing no fingers. I'm not going to say if I was in there it would have been different. They've got bigger problems than Kenyatta Walker.''
Gruden explained Friday that Walker would be inactive because injuries at the guard position required activating guard Russ Hochstein instead. Since moving from the left side, which he played all last season, to the right, Walker has struggled with the new offensive scheme. The Bucs' 2001 first-round draft pick was replaced in the starting lineup by newcomer Cornell Green last week. Green, playing in his first NFL game Sunday, started at right tackle. ``With me and with my issues and Gruden, it was done wrong,'' Walker said. ``It was wrong. They didn't tell me, but that's not the point. We lost the game tonight. I don't want to make this bigger than what it is. We lost a game tonight, and apparently it doesn't matter what I do, because I didn't even dress out. It's disappointing when people feed you a lot of bullshit and then stab you in the back.''
Walker said he doesn't understand the team's direction as it pertains to his situation. He admits to some bad plays during the preseason, including games where he committed costly penalties and missed assignments. ``They couldn't even dress me, so what does that say?'' Walker said. ``I don't know what they're trying to do right now. It's not about me right now. We lost a tough game tonight.''
As the Bucs regroup, Walker will try to come to terms with his status. ``Am I pissed off about being on the sideline ... yeah. I'm not injured. I'm not hurt,'' Walker said. ``I've got my mother, my family out there. You know what I'm saying? Who wouldn't be mad? Whatever I did, it's worse for me to be on that sideline. But you know what? I'm going to play their game. I'm going to play my role. If I'm just a scout-team guy this year, whatever I am this year, just let it be. Because apparently I don't know.''