Leroy Butler irked at Sapp, Buccaneers

January, 31, 2012
1/31/12
10:43
AM ET
There’s a very interesting blog item by The Palm Beach Post’s Brian Briggane. He caught up with former Green Bay defensive back Leroy Butler, who is unhappy that former Green Bay coach Mike Sherman did not get the job as head coach in Tampa Bay.

Butler is unhappy with the Glazer family that owns the Buccaneers, and with former Tampa Bay defensive tackle Warren Sapp. Butler said he believes Sapp influenced the Glazers' decision to not hire Sherman.

There’s history between Sapp and Sherman. Back in 2002, Sapp turned from defensive tackle to blocker after a Tampa Bay interception. Sapp hit Green Bay offensive lineman Chad Clifton and knocked him out of the game. Sherman and Sapp had a heated exchange that got a lot of national attention.

Sapp later left the Bucs, and Sherman left the Packers. But their paths crossed again last week when reports surfaced that Sherman was about to get hired to coach the Bucs.

Sapp sent out some tweets that blasted Sherman and general manager Mark Dominik, who use the same agent. Sherman had interviewed with the Bucs early in the process and again last week.

Butler claims that Sapp’s tweets influenced the Glazers to pass on Sherman and hire Greg Schiano away from Rutgers.

Part of me would like to say Butler is categorically wrong. I don’t think the Glazers use Sapp as some sort of advisor, and I’d like to say the owners probably weren’t sitting around reading his tweets when they were in the middle of making such an important decision. But I can’t say that definitively when it comes to the Bucs. As I’ve written before, the Bucs sometimes are way too sensitive about how they are perceived.

I’d like to think this was not one of those times. I’d like to think that, after meeting with Sherman and Schiano, the Bucs simply decided Schiano was the better fit for their franchise.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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