Warren Sapp Speaks Out on Greg Schiano and Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Alex EspinozaCorrespondent IIIOctober 8, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Head coach Greg Schiano holds his head during the fourth quarter of their 23-3 loss to the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
Winslow Townson/Getty Images

Greg Schiano's intense coaching style might have earned him wins at Rutgers and a subsequent NFL job, but his approach isn't translating into victories for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. On Tuesday, former Bucs great and 2013 Hall of Fame inductee Warren Sapp had some strong criticism for Schiano.

December 9, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers former player Warren Sapp is introduced during the 10th anniversary of the 2002 Super Bowl champions during halftime at Raymond James Stadium. The Eagles won 23-21. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

On an NFL.com podcast, Sapp had a lot to say about the way Schiano has managed the team during his 7-13 tenure in Tampa Bay, via ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas:

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 given away football games, that means your style needs to change.

Tampa Bay is one of four winless teams heading into Week 6 despite a major offseason haul of quality players like Darrelle Revis and Dashon Goldson who were supposed to turn the team into a contender. But the storyline of the 2013 Buccaneers has been locker-room drama rather than on-field success.

Schiano's stint in Tampa Bay comes directly after that of Raheem Morris, who was known for being a player-friendly coach during his run as head coach of the club.

Recently, Schiano met with season-ticket holders to try to fire up some optimism in the fanbase. He also used some third-person references to try to make a point.

But it's not just Schiano's day-in, day-out approach that's rubbing people the wrong way. The coach received some flak when Andrew Brandt of Sports Illustrated reported that the Bucs' locker room had been divided, with some players being designated "Schiano Men" and others receiving different treatment.

The handling of Josh Freeman's benching and eventual release has also been roundly criticized by many in the football world. Sapp was among them, per Yasinskas:

If I'm down in Tampa, I'm questioning this whole thing because it's a mafia style. 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 (Freeman) throw the ball at the end of the game, why is Glennon throwing the ball at the end of the game?

Sapp's incendiary comments come about one month before Sapp's ceremony to be added to the Buccaneers' Ring of Honor, which could lead to some awkward interactions on Nov. 11.