Thursday, October 9, 2008

Though retired, Sapp still annoying

Warren Sapp retired from the NFL in the spring and yet he still is making headlines. Besides his appearance on this seasons "Dancing with the Stars", Sapp appears headed towards a gig as an analyst for whatever network is stupid enough to hire him. Yesterday, ESPN blogger Tim Graham posted that the former Buccaneers and Raiders defensive lineman believes that the Miami Dolphins "wildcat" formation is "disrespectful to all defenses". What? How is an offensive formation disrespectful? This is just another wrinkle in the ever evolving offensive gameplans. People have called this "wildcat" offense a gimmick. People also called the screen, fake punts and field goals, and, yes, even the forward pass, gimmicks.

But Sapp honestly thinks it is disrespectful? How, exactly? Let's see what he said.

"It's disrespectful. You're taking the best player in the game, the quarterback, and you're putting him out wide, outside the numbers, and you put the running back in the back."

"How the hell you going to throw the ball? I'm not even thinking about throw right now. I'm going to get everybody in the gap. It's just power 'O.' You have the running back with the ball already in his hand."

Besides coming off as incoherent, Sapp looks like an ignorant, well, sap. Apparently he hates change. I don't see why this new offensive formation - originally used at Arkansas with Darren McFadden - is that big a deal. And I definitely don't see how it is disrespectful. If anything the Dolphins are giving the defenses a chance to earn more respect. The first team that is able to successfully stop this new formation will be the envy of the league; whoever figures it out looks like a genius. And someone will figure it out, and soon.

The media hype about "wildcat" is leading people to believe that it is all Miami runs. In reality, they rely on it for a handful of plays a game. The ran it 6 times against New England, with ridiculous results, and 10 times against the Chargers. Even without the "wildcat" plays taken into account, Miami's offense in both games would have been close to 300 yards. The scheme works when used sparingly and at the right moment. Sapp's absurd comment should be red flags for all media networks that he is more of a senile, washed-up, old man than a former football player that knows what he is talking about.

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