Sapp To Play Role In Bucs' Offense?

July 31 - Tampa Bay head coach Jon Gruden has plenty of wrinkles in his offense, but he's apparently flirting with a new one, which would involve one of the Bucs' superstar defensive players. While it may or may not come to fruition, Gruden has discussed the idea of involving Bucs Pro Bowl defensive tackle Warren Sapp in his offense if the right situations present themselves.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers assembled quite an offense during the offseason by signing players like running back Michael Pittman, left guard Kerry Jenkins, wide receivers Keenan McCardell and Joe Jurevicius and tight ends Ken Dilger and Marco Battaglia, but Bucs head coach Jon Gruden apparently can't do everything he would like to do on offense with his offensive troops. That's why Gruden has designed a contingency plan, which would call on Pro Bowl defensive tackle Warren Sapp to move over to the offensive side of the football if the right situations presented themselves.

"We may use him (Sapp) in some limited role at some point in time in a contingency role," Gruden said of Sapp playing onto the offensive side of the ball. "It depends on how this roster shakes down."

Sapp has used his exceptional athletic ability to earn five consecutive trips to the Pro Bowl, but struggled at times last season with a torn rotator cuff injury, which required offseason shoulder surgery. But No. 99 is convinced his shoulder is 100 percent healed.

"He (Sapp) was a helluva tight end in high school," said Gruden. "He's a good athlete. But I'm not here to shake up the world by any stretch of the imagination. We're just trying to have a contingency plan ready for injury and we're going to try have a contingency plan for every situation."

Neither Gruden nor Sapp revealed specifics in terms of Sapp's possible offensive role(s), but the Bucs' final 53-man roster, injuries and certain situations will dictate whether or not Sapp plays for the offense and which position(s) he plays at this season.

"I'm talking about a contingency plan for maybe one situation," said Gruden. "I'm not talking about lining him up in a two-point stance. Here's a guy that could help us in a situation, but I'm not going to go crazy here.

If Gruden uses Sapp, it could be at the tight end, fullback and/or guard positions.


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