If you’re not inclined to buy tickets to the November 11 Monday night game between the Dolphins and the Buccaneers for football purposes, you may want to think about purchasing seats to witness the broader potential for awkwardness and drama.
That night, Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp will join the team’s Ring of Honor. It’s the highest recognition any franchise can bestow.
Coincidentally, Sapp has bestowed a fairly low level of recognition on the franchise’s current head coach, during a podcast with Brian Billick on NFL.com.
“If I’m down in Tampa, I’m questioning this whole thing because it’s a mafia style,” Sapp said, via JoeBucsFan.com. “I know [Mike] Glennon is not the quarterback that Josh Freeman is. There’s no question about it. The film tells me this. Practice tells me this. Even my quarterback demeanor tells me this.
‘If you wouldn’t let [Josh Freeman] throw the ball at the end of the game, why is Glennon throwing the ball at the end of the game? Why is [Darrelle] Revis standing eight yards off [Larry] Fitzgerald running a slant route and nobody’s there? Touchdown! Are you kidding me? Let’s lock up our No. 1 corner who we’re paying $16 million and then we rotate the coverage. There has to be a plan. Because when you’re my way or the highway, you must win now. Because guys don’t believe in your way when you’re losing. And you lose the way they lost the first two weeks, you gave away those football games. And whenever you’ve giving away football games, your style needs to change.”
The obvious response by some will be “consider the source.” But when considering the source, remember that the organization has embraced Sapp with open arms in recent months. That makes it a little harder to dismiss his opinions as the misguided rants of a guy who likes to hear himself talk.
Besides, Sapp raises some good points, and he brings to the table the perspective of a man who played in Tampa for a lot of years for Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden. For as unpopular as Gruden seemed to be in the locker room, it seems like the current head coach is even less popular.
Popular or unpopular is irrelevant if the team wins. That’s the best point Sapp makes: “When you’re my way or the highway, you must win now.”
That style will win few friends or defenders unless it’s producing results. Over the last 10 games, the results simply haven’t been there.