Mora loses cool after postgame radio question

12/25/2005 - Atlanta Falcons

ATLANTA -- Falcons general manager Rich McKay said Sunday
it's too early to tell if the team will discipline coach Jim Mora
for his antics following the team's overtime loss at Tampa Bay.

"Let me get through the weekend," said McKay, who also is the
Falcons president. "Right now I just don't know."

The 27-24 defeat on Saturday eliminated Atlanta from playoff
contention. After the game, in his regularly scheduled postgame
chat with radio flagship analyst Dave Archer, Mora was asked to
explain why the Falcons punted from their 24 when facing
fourth-and-2 with 1:08 remaining in overtime.

Even though Michael Koenen's punt went 53 yards, Mark Jones'
28-yard return put the Buccaneers in position to win the game on
Matt Bryant's field goal five plays later.

According to several team and radio station employees, Mora
abruptly removed his headset after hearing Archer's question and
threw it to the ground.

Three team employees and two with the radio station, all of whom
requested anonymity because they said they feared alienating the
coach, said Mora was so angry that he also threw a microphone --
which almost hit Nicole Watson, a sideline reporter with the radio
station, in the head.

Watson had given Mora the microphone and headset so he could
conduct his usual postgame interview with Archer, who was in the
broadcast booth above the field.

Mora did not immediately return a call placed to his cell phone
Sunday afternoon.

The Falcons have lost five of seven since a Week 9 victory at
Miami left them 6-2 and tied for the NFC lead.

Atlanta, which advanced to the conference title game last season
and beat defending NFC champion Philadelphia in the Sept. 12 season
opener, blew a 24-17 lead against the Bucs when Carnell Williams
ran for a touchdown on fourth-and-1 at the Falcons 6 with 25
seconds left in regulation.