Warren Sapp appeared on 620 WDAE with Tom Jones and Rick Stroud today, talking about his new book. They talked about the controversial stuff in his book: Trent Dilfer being an "interception waiting to happen", his problems with Keyshawn Johnson and his criticism of Monte Kiffin, who he blames for the '99 NFC Championship loss to the St. Louis Rams. I wanted to pick out one little bit, though: Sapp talking about Gerald McCoy.
Sapp: I'll tell you what, I'm going to see if I can help him figure it out. I'm going to come back from L.A. this time, me and him are going to get on the field together. I just want to see what he's thinking, get his mind right and maybe just a couple little tips here and there. This ain't rocket science. I'm not going to give him the formula to be the next tyrant on the field, but I promise you: you'll see a much more improved and much more complete player on the field this year, I guarantee that.
Stroud: Warren, how long did it take you before you really felt comfortable out there?
Sapp: Two years. After the '96 season, after we really grinded it down because we started 1-7 - I always say we were the happiest 1-7 team in the history of the world. But the next eight games we go 5-3 and we figure out what we're down. And I expect that from mr. McCoy this year, because last year he had two different people. I talked to him earlier this offseason and he was like "Man, they just got rid of Keith when I was just getting", I said I know, just when you think you're about to get comfortable with the people around you they yank them away from you. Don't worry about it, just keep the men in the room with you. That's where you derive your strength from and that's where you derive your plan that every day you get a little better. It's from the men in that room because that's how I did it, that's how we did it. Me, Simeon [Rice], Greg Spires, Chuck Darby we did it with eachother. Rod [Marinelli] just had to oversee us. We just had the overlord pointing at "There's the meat." We were already ready to bite meat.
It's just a matter of him staying healthy, and that's the first thing. I know a way to keep him healthy is shed those blockers. He's going to hit them with his horns this year, no hands. Hey, we're going to have him hitting with his horns, we aren't going to have him reaching that lineman with people dragging on him.
The Bucs need Gerald McCoy to stay healthy this year. He already played very well last year, but he can't play well when he's on injured reserve. That's what Warren Sapp referred to in that last paragraph: McCoy got injured in two consecutive years because he reached out to grab a running back with one arm, and the force of that back tore his biceps. If he can avoid doing that, he should at least avoid those tears.