Sapp Implies Old Bucs Had Bounty System

July 29th, 2014

Middle of the field challenge is greatest for Bucs, Sapp said.

Never at a loss for words. Warren Sapp was at Bucs practice over the weekend with NFL Network and, frankly, never stopped talking on and off the air. Joe suspects Sapp talks to himself, too.

During one Bucs segment for NFL Network, Sapp dove into the challenges of the Tampa-2 defense and explained how money can’t motivate like it used to.

And Sapp is concerned that NFL rules, those turning the game into flag football in some areas, has crippled the punishing potential of Lovie Smith’s defense.

“The real problem is defending the middle of the field. That was the key to our Tampa-2, We had Hardy [Nickerson] running down the field, Shelton Quarles running down the middle and then [Derrick] Brooks and [John] Lynch squeezing it,” Sapp said. “And then when you called it, you were going to pay the price, and we had a little money on the side set aside for that, ok. But you can’t do that anymore. It’s a different game, a different league. Goldson says he’s going to work on his target area and bring it down a little bit, but they still want to be physical in Tampa.”

Well, one day the truth will come out about that “money on the side” Sapp speaks of. Man, John Lynch must have cashed in pretty well. Joe wonders what Sapp got for taking out Steve Young?

Regardless, the challenge defending the middle of the Bucs defense is real. Consider what Sapp told Joe at Super Bowl Media Day.

“You just can’t impose your will on defense any more. [Twenty-five years ago], when [Giants linebacker] Carl Banks used to go out on the slot, the slot disappeared. (laughs) When Wilber Marshall went out on the slot, the slot disappeared. You didn’t have a slot receiver. Wes Welker would have been tartar,” Sapp said.

“The middle was a place you had to circumnavigate. Andre Reed used to be a master of the middle of the field because you had to circumnavigate it, you’d get knocked out going through the middle of that field. There’s an Autobahn built in the middle of the field now.”

Mason Foster has been given playcalling duties and all the old school responsibilities of the “mike” middle linebacker. He’s definitely a big X-factor in this year’s defense, one that’s had Pro Bowlers Nickerson, Quarles and Brian Urlacher in that role previously.

22 Responses to “Sapp Implies Old Bucs Had Bounty System”

  1. Luther Says:

    Sapp should just be quiet. It’s no secret that many NFL teams had bounties. New Orleans was punished because they were told to stop and got caught after the said the had quit.

    Lets not even get into the whole Luther Cambell saga at the U.

  2. Mort Says:

    Money set aside to pay the fine maybe…

    But we already know they had pots for certain umpact plays and things. They’ve been very open about that in the past.

  3. Tom Edrington Says:


    What Would Father Dungy Do?

  4. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Great assessment on the opening of the middle of the field. No doubt the reliance of the tight end position on opening up the seam has benefitted big time off the league protecting their precious little receivers from the big nasty safeties and linebackers patrolling the middle of the field.

  5. DallasBuc Says:

    Saw that…man has no filter.

  6. chris Says:

    Joe appreciates your feedback and strives for a great experience for all users. –Joe

  7. kevin Says:

    Dont understand why some people have issues with this site. No probelms on my end

  8. Bucfever40 Says:

    Sapp, must you talk so much? A new can of worms need not be opened.

  9. OB Says:


    Two things with our big nasty receivers does this make the middle a launch pad for us and since Brian Urlacher just retired does this mean it is still possible to police the middle?

    Great thoughts by the way.

  10. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    The issue I had the other day (no need for details) seems to have gone away now on my laptop, so I don’t know what you did, Joe, but thanks!

    As I recall, all of those guys (former Bucs) have mentioned having bets going…something like if such and such happened someone would buy dinner or such.

  11. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Bucfever40 Says
    “Sapp, must you talk so much?”

    Well…yes…that’s his job.

    Just watch the media attention he garnered by making that statement. Sapp is very calculating.

  12. Buddhaboy Says:

    reason andre reed should be a hall of famer
    is he>?

  13. Harry Says:

    Of course Sapp talks to himself. He says Warren, you are so pretty, you are so smart, Warren is still the Man, Warren, you do not need to tip that hard working watress, Warren lets show everyone what an awesome reporter you are and tell the world Jeremy Shockley squealed on the Saints – you don’t need no proof!

    Great player, maybe best NT ever. I loved watching him play. But so obnoxious at times.

  14. Deputy Buc Says:

    I’m pretty sure he was probably referencing how in the past that Lynch would just come over the middle and clobber someone, pay a fine at worse and go on about business. With that, I could see him mentioning money being set aside. Now they get suspended etc for such actions.

    I remember Lynch being fined a couple times, but it would be interesting to know just how much he was fined over his career compared to players in the new era of receiver pamperin….err…. protection

  15. Jim Walker Says:

    As long as everybody plays by the same rules I have no problem with it.

  16. Brandon Says:

    Harry Says:
    July 29th, 2014 at 10:52 am
    Of course Sapp talks to himself. He says Warren, you are so pretty, you are so smart, Warren is still the Man, Warren, you do not need to tip that hard working watress, Warren lets show everyone what an awesome reporter you are and tell the world Jeremy Shockley squealed on the Saints – you don’t need no proof!

    Great player, maybe best NT ever. I loved watching him play. But so obnoxious at times.


    #1, he was never a NT.

    #2, it’s about football. Do you think anybody would still be talking about him if he were the nicest guy out on the field but terrible… or even average? NO! Part of Sapp’s greatness was his brashness, his ability to pump himself and teammates up, even if that meant antagonizing the other team or media. I couldn’t possibly care less. He brought a swagger to the Bucs D that it NEVER had… not even under Lee Roy Selmon. We were feared and hated by offensive teams we played, unlike the past 10+ years when on the rare occasion we are able to knock an opposing offensive player to the ground, we help them up and tell them how great they are. We need some attitude in Tampa. Sapp is sorely missed.

  17. pick6 Says:

    sapp seemed to make mention in his interview of lovie of how the team would cover players’ fines indirectly. if so, that’s not a bounty, per se, but definitely a wink a nod from your organization saying don’t worry about crossing the line now and then, intimidation is part of our game, and we will pay the price for what we are coaching you to do. in the minds of players and organizations, these things were not just accepted but embraced a short time ago and they probably see themselves as hedging against the sissification of the league when engaging in it.

  18. buc4lyfe Says:

    Only you joe would make up a story for hits to your website and when it’s obvious your doing it, just makes you seem pathetic. Your the skip bayless of sports in Tampa. Bounty system what a dangerous word to use especially back in an era where everyone got punished over the middle is just that no one did it better than us.

    Maybe it’s me but I sure thought he meant setting aside money for fines, why would a hall of famer with one of his sidekicks on that defense whose about to go in this year actually say that about his glory years. Even Warren sapp is smarter than that. Besides he played with his back to the safties and hands in the dirty. In my opinion that’s irresponsible reporting and poor grasps of football speak

  19. buc4lyfe Says:

    Tony dungy all over again. So illegal his is what made our defense great? Yes Lynch knock your brother in law unconscious and risk your sisters husband’s health just for cash. That has hall of game written all over it

  20. Stanglassman Says:

    BTW- Sapp knocked not only Steve Young out of that game he also took out Jerry Rice. It was the 1st regular season game in the new ownership and uniforms. It was a great game & time to be a Bucs fan. I ran into Brian Glazier the night before the game and gave him a nice (Romeo y Julieta I believe) Cigar welcomed him to Tampa and said ‘You should smoke it after the Bucs beat the Niners tomorrow.’

  21. Deputy Buc Says:

    eh… even if he meant set aside money for fines… he should know to clarify a statement such as that after he was involved with the jeremy shocking snitching on the Saints bounty gate scandal.

    But I do remember him talking about it in an interview one of the networks (think it was nfl network) In that interview he talked specifically about fines.

    That being said, I wouldn’t put it past EVERY NFL team having a bounty program at some point.

  22. d-money Says:

    Good Lord Joe,

    Your knack for either taking things out if context , or in this case, completely whiffing in what someone is taking about is uncanny.

    I saw that interview and Sapp was talking about how things are different these days in the NFL. The money they had set aside was to pay their fines.

    His point being that they didn’t mind paying the fines because they weren’t as big as they are now and they didn’t have to worry about suspensions. Specifically, how Barron and Goldson in the Tampa 2 can’t play exactly they way Lynch did back in the day.

    Quite frankly I don’t see how you got bounty system out of that at all.

    And what makes you so sure Sapp was talking about paying fines? Feel free to watch the video on–Joe