NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp played in Tampa Bay for nine seasons, winning one Super Bowl and making seven Pro Bowls as a Buccaneer. On Tuesday, Sapp held court with the local media at the Bucs’ new practice facility and had some pointed comments for newly acquired TE Kellen Winslow.
Sapp said Winslow, who didn’t report to Tuesday’s OTA workout, needs to attend practices to help build team camaraderie.
“It shows your dedication to your team,” Sapp said. “More than anything, that’s what OTAs (organized team activities) show. Are you ready to forge the foundation that will carry us through the season? Because that’s what’s going on right now. That’s why Winslow needs to be here.”
In his playing days, Sapp said his teams were focused on working hard during workouts, and he credited the effort they put in during OTAs with helping the players come together as a unit. That’s another reason why Sapp stressed how important it is for Winslow to attend OTAs.
“So the quarterback has confidence that when the blitz package is going (he can say), ‘I know you’re going to be there for me, Winslow,'” Sapp said. “You have to forge it that way.”
NFL.com senior writer Steve Wyche reports that the coaching staff knew Winslow would be absent and understands why.
Told that Winslow claims to be “misunderstood,” Sapp dismissed the notion.
“So when your team fires up OTAs and you’re not here, I guess you’re being misunderstood again, right?” Sapp said. “Your past doesn’t equal your future, but it will give me some reflection of what you might do.”
Winslow, then a Brown, missed the 2005 season after being involved in a motorcycle accident (his contract precluded him from riding the bike). Also, his brash comments about his playing ability have at times rubbed some people the wrong way.