Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Sports

Warren Sapp says Bucs are mishandling Gerald McCoy

Warren Sapp is not coming back to the NFL. He doesn’t think Simeon Rice is, either. But the Bucs Hall of Fame tackle, who with Rice helped underwrite one of the great defenses in NFL history with a menacing pass rush, can’t stomach what he’s seeing.

"I’m a little lost right now," Sapp said. "This is hard to watch."

He’s talking about the current Bucs pass rush, which is nonexistent. It goes beyond the fact that the Bucs have a league-low seven sacks. To Sapp, it goes to what he thinks should be the heart of the defense: Bucs perennial Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy.

"If you have a lead dog and if it’s not GMC – that’s what I call Gerald, like a big wide-body GMC – you put the Volkswagens and all the rest of them around him and you allow him to work," Sapp said." You’ve got five one-on-ones and you designate Robert Ayers as the one with the one-and-ones? Gerald’s the better player. What are we doing here?

"Wasting isn’t even the word. Gerald has more sacks since he came into the league than any other defensive tackle. Tell me why Robert Ayers, who’s a defensive end, now has the free reign to where he wants to go and you got to get out of his way?"

Sapp says he talks a lot with McCoy, and senses frustration.

"Beyond imagination. I talk to him. He ain’t happy with nothing that’s going on."

There will be no quick fixes to the 2-4 Bucs’ defense or pass rush. But Sapp sees unleashing McCoy as a start in the right direction. He thinks McCoy isn’t being used properly by Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith and defensive line coach Jay Hayes. As for McCoy …

"That man doesn’t take a day off," Sapp said. "You don’t have to worry about what he’s doing outside the workplace. He ain’t Sapp. He’s not going out at night. I had a rule: I was going to hang out with the owls and soar with the eagles. Gerald isn’t like that. He’s just a guy who loves to play the game. That’s just who Gerald is. Let him play the game.

"To have that ‘Gerald’ game, he needs to be released, to be told that you are the man, you are the man that drives this, it starts up front. It’s frustrating to me because I know how good of a kid he is and how much he wants to help this football team. But for some reason, the D coordinator and the D line coach don’t feel that he’s that guy. For some reason, they haven’t set him up, they haven’t made him the lead dog."

Sapp points to his days as one of the Bucs lead dogs, and his relationship with defensive line coach Rod Marinelli.

"They just don’t Gerald what they gave me," Sapp said. "Rod Marinelli would come in there and say, ‘I’m going to find you six one-on-ones.’ Rod Marinelli spent his Sunday, his Monday, his Tuesday and his early Wednesday trying to find me one-on-ones.

"They were setting me up for the one-on-ones, but if I didn’t get there, I had other ways, pushing the pocket, disrupting the pocket, get him out of the pocket, then everybody else would clean up what I left around. That’s what they need to do with Gerald. He’s your lead dog. He disrupts it and everybody else cleans up."

The Bucs’ pass rush has been so bad that for a brief instant, the 43-year-old Rice, the last Buc to have a 10-sack season (in 2005), is talking about a comeback to help his old team. The Bucs have been so bad that absurdity has actual traction.

Sapp, 44, was asked if he’s returning to get the band back together.

"I’ve already told you, brother: I have my gold jacket. (Simeon) is looking for his, I guess. I have no idea what he’s thinking. Even when he was talking, you didn’t know what he was saying. He’s just talking. He’s not coming back. He just like to talk."

Back to the Bucs pass rush.

Gerald is the most talented guy, the hundred-million dollar guy, and you ain’t going to put it on him? He has the skill. Why are you going the other way? You can’t get Gerald the one-on-ones? We’re not building rockets here. Find the baddest guy on your team, find the matchup and let him beat the hell out of everybody."

Comments
Guess here is, USF will break ground on indoor facility in ’18

Guess here is, USF will break ground on indoor facility in ’18

While I don't like attaching disclaimers to forecasts, it's only fair to note my projections occasionally have gone askew.Initially, I wasn't sold on Quinton Flowers as a starting quarterback, and wasn't crazy about the hiring of baseball coach Mark ...
Updated: 25 minutes ago
The Bucs should keep defensive end Robert Ayers

The Bucs should keep defensive end Robert Ayers

NFL free agency is less than a month away, and with it comes the hope that the Buccaneers, who have more than $60 million in cap space, can quickly reshape their roster.They can gain another $24 million if they release Doug Martin, William Gholston, ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Who is new Rays 1B/DH C.J. Cron? 10 things to know

Who is new Rays 1B/DH C.J. Cron? 10 things to know

Acquired Saturday night from the Angels (for a player to be named – a minor-leaguer, and not a top prospect), 1B/DH C.J. Cron is expected to join the Rays today in Port Charlotte.Here are 10 things to know about him:1. Full name: Christopher Jo...
Updated: 3 hours ago
As Kevin Kiermaier blasts changes, Rays see empowered Kevin Cash as stabilizer

As Kevin Kiermaier blasts changes, Rays see empowered Kevin Cash as stabilizer

PORT CHARLOTTE — The list of those no longer with the team was going to be noteworthy no matter what Monday as the holdovers, newcomers and wannabes gathered for the first full-squad workout in Camp Dis-A-Ray.Then even before Rays manager Kevin...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Tuesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballIllinois at Michigan State7 p.m.ESPNWest Virginia at Baylor7 p.m.ESPN2Mississippi State at Texas A&M7 p.m.SECBoston College at N.C. State7 p.m.FSFCreighton at Butler7 p.m.FS1Rhode Island at La Salle7 p.m.CBSSNRutgers at Ohio St...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Bucs agree to terms with Brentson Buckner to be their defensive line coach

Bucs agree to terms with Brentson Buckner to be their defensive line coach

Brentson Buckner didn't need to bring his resume when he interviewed for the Bucs' job as defensive line coach. No references were needed, either.All the Bucs had to do was ask quarterback Jameis Winston whether the Arizona Cardinals defensive line w...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Trade rumors can weigh on NHL players as deadline approaches

Trade rumors can weigh on NHL players as deadline approaches

WASHINGTON — Tyler Johnson was as good as gone.Or so it seemed.The scuttlebutt around last year's trade deadline was that the Lightning center could be the piece headed elsewhere to land a top-four defenseman. Maybe Nashville? St. Louis?Then th...
Updated: 11 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Feb. 19

Monday’s scoreboardSoftballSpringstead 11, Central 0
Updated: 12 hours ago
HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Sager Cavalier and November Morton

HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Sager Cavalier and November Morton

Sager Cavalier, AlonsoAs soon as the buzzer sounded, Cavalier raced toward the sideline to start the celebration. The junior leaped into the arms of coach Todd Price. The embrace lasted a few minutes as the two jumped around on the court.For the firs...
Published: 02/19/18
On the mend: Bucs’ Noah Spence posts workout pic

On the mend: Bucs’ Noah Spence posts workout pic

Defensive end Noah Spence, whose two NFL seasons have both been limited by injuries to his right shoulder, is getting himself healthy for the 2018 season.Spence has kept a low profile since the Bucs placed him on injured reserve in late October, a mo...
Published: 02/19/18