Kiffin Wanted Sapp Out On Third DownsJuly 10th, 2013
Talk to Warren Sapp about Father Dungy and Sapp speaks with reverence. Ask Sapp about Chucky and he can’t stop laughing with all the stories. Bring up former Bucs defensive line coach Rod Marinelli and Sapp’s words boom with gusto and respect.
What about former Bucs defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin? Sapp, to his credit, will try to change the subject or flat out shake his head and won’t say anything. It’s clear Kiffin is not Sapp’s favorite subject.
Joe may have stumbled upon why Sapp didn’t place Kiffin on the same pedestal as the aforementioned coaches. It’s because, per Sapp, Kiffin wanted Sapp off the field on third downs, so Sapp told a gaggle of reporters, including Joe, earlier this year.
“Monte Kiffin was taking me out on third downs,” Sapp said of his first season with Kiffin. “I went to TV and said if I am getting double- and triple-teamed on first and second downs, I must be allowed to rush on third downs. [Tony Dungy] said, ‘You got it.’
“If we were going to be the team we need to be, I have to be in there on third downs. I will give you all I have on first and second down. Hold the double-team, spill it, whatever you want to do. I am with you. Third down has got to be mine! That’s how we went about it.”
And it worked!
Imagine how different Bucs history much less Sapp’s history with the Bucs would have been. Would the Bucs have ever won a Super Bowl with Sapp not rushing the quarterback? Would Sapp have been in the Bucs’ Ring of Honor (to come Nov. 11) much less inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame next month?
Sapp has a long memory. If he believes anyone slighted him, he won’t forget. If he feels someone helped him out, he won’t forget that, either.
Kiffin was a fantastic defensive coordinator. No one is perfect. In the case of Kiffin and Sapp, Kiffin really dropped the ball. Thankfully, Father Dungy intervened.