Sapp Says Young Players Don't Listen To Veterans

As he continues his transition from football player to analyst, Warren Sapp is demonstrating an ability and a willingness to say what he thinks needs to be said.
Though there rarely will be universal agreement with his opinions, Sapp’s ability to articulate his opinions clearly and passionately sets him apart from so many who think that talking on television about the game they played is every bit as easy as it looks.
Sapp’s latest comments didn’t come on television, but they are equally powerful.  In Peter King’s latest Monday Morning Quarterback column, Sapp shares his insights regarding the reason for veteran linebacker Derrick Brooks’ inability to find work.
“I’ll tell you the real reason,” Sapp told King.  “Because it’s not the same for the veterans anymore.  The NFL doesn’t need us.  In this NFL, the old vets don’t factor in.  The kids don’t listen to nobody.  Nobody!  My last year in Oakland, I’d try to talk to some of the kids.  Tommy Kelly, Terdell Sands.  But they had no interest.  I thought the ghosts in that building were so valuable, but none of the young guys cared.  Once in a while, one of the old legends would come in the building, or make a trip.  Jack Tatum would be around, and I’d say, ‘You know who that dude is?  You know how he played?’  And the kids would be like, ‘Nah, I don’t care.’
“The game’s different now.  Look at Vince Young.  Why wouldn’t he listen to Kerry Collins?  I’m sure Vince thinks, ‘Nobody’s been through what I’m going through.  Nobody’s been through my kind of pressure.’  Are you kidding me!  Kerry Collins, fifth pick in the draft, has all the ups and downs, gets benched, makes those racist comments, has the alcohol problems, moves from team to team, comes back, has success . . . Vince Young should suck up all the knowledge Kerry Collins has to offer!  There’s no better role model for him.”
King also makes another key point — the fact that Brooks is a part-time player who won’t be used on special teams makes it more challenging to craft a 53-man roster, and the 45 who dress out on Sunday.
Though Brooks’ leadership should be enough to overcome those logistical issues, the reality that many of the younger players aren’t inclined to respond makes that quality less valuable in the locker room than it used to be.
But if only one team could compile a group of young players who “get it,” Brooks could be a huge asset.  Though the Saints might not fit that bill, they continue to be mentioned most often as the team most likely to sign Brooks.

15 responses to “Sapp Says Young Players Don't Listen To Veterans

  1. After watching and listening to Sapp talk on NFL Network, I would find it hard to listen to him to if I was a young player. By the way from what I heard and read he wasn’t a leader in Oakland at all.

  2. I’m starting to like Warren Sapp a lot more than I did when he first became an analyst. he makes good points

  3. This really mirrors life in general. The more I see stories about the this, the more it makes me wonder if it’s worth plunking down hard-earned money to watch a bunch of knuckleheads who not only don’t get it but refuse to.

  4. I just think no one is listening to Warren Sapp. I read plenty of stories from beat writers across the NFL, with quotes from players, about veterans mentoring rookies who want to learn It depends on the person, some vets want to teach while some don’t, some rookies want to listen while some don’t, and the organization and coaches.

  5. “In this NFL, the old vets don’t factor in. The kids don’t listen to nobody. Nobody! My last year in Oakland, I’d try to talk to some of the kids. Tommy Kelly, Terdell Sands. But they had no interest. ”
    So, in other words, they probably acted just like Sapp did when he was a rookie?
    This is nothing new. As any generation gets old, it finds that the kids don’t value their experiences and what they have to say. They forget that they acted the same way when they were young. This has happened since the dawn of time.
    In 15 years, we’ll be hearing Tommy Kelly (if he plays that long) complain about how none of the rookies want to listen to his wisdom, how the NFL has changed, blah blah.
    The NFL hasn’t changed. It’s just passed Warren Sapp by.

  6. Hmmm…young guys in the Oakland locker room not wanting to listen to Warren Sapp.
    Just goes to show that there is hope in the future for Raiders fans.

  7. I like Warren Sapp, he speaks his mind. If what he says is true, what kind of player wouldn’t look up to Jack Tatum?? Sure, the game has changed. But you have to respect the players who played before there were so many rules to protect the players. The old guys, they were real warriors. They have a gem or two worth hearing.

  8. “Kerry Collins, fifth pick in the draft, has all the ups and downs, gets benched, makes those racist comments…”
    Sapp is the last person that should talk about racist comments.

  9. The Flying Fox says: “Sapp is the last person that should talk about racist comments.”
    That’s what you got from that quote? He simply mentioned it in a string of things Kerry Collins has experienced and fought through to become successful. He did not editorialize about the racist comments.

  10. Ask Bubba the Love Sponge what he thinks about Sapp
    He’ll tell you he’s a REAL CLASS ACT ***SARCASM***

  11. New England would seem to be the exception to taking Vets. I would not be surprised if that is where Brooks lands, He;s a very good, coachable football player. Belichek will sign him if he can.

  12. Haha right, because a young Warren Sapp strikes me as the ultimate stereotype for players soaking up the knowledge and critiques handed down by his veteran teammates. Give me a break

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