For most players around the league, gearing up for training camp and the resumption of full-speed football activities is enough to keep their minds occupied at this point in the summer.
Buccaneers defensive tackle Brian Price has a bit more on his plate, however. Price’s sister Bridget James was killed in a hit-and-run automobile accident in May, leading Price to both adopt her children and struggle with grief while trying to prepare for the season. It was the latest traumatic familial episode for Price, who has also buried two brothers killed by gunshots.
Price sat down with Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times to talk about the loss and how he’s dealing with it. Price admitted that he still has breakdowns as a result of his sister’s death and talked about why he left the team during spring workouts to return home to California.
“I needed my family,” Price said. “I was down and out. I never felt like this before. [The Buccaneers] felt it was right for me to be with my family and that’s what I needed the most. It’s hard to grieve on your own and be all the way on the other side of the country from the only people who understand what you’re going through.”
Price wouldn’t discuss the fight he had with rookie safety Mark Barron just before he was excused from minicamp, but it definitely seems like he wasn’t in the right frame of mind to be in Tampa. The Buccaneers need a healthy and focused Price for their defense to rebound from last season’s showing, so they have to have their fingers crossed that Price is able to deal with his grief without it limiting his performance on the field.