Packers Coach Vows Revenge, NFL Issues Warning

November 26 –The NFL deemed Tampa Bay DT Warren Sapp's block on Green Bay LT Chad Clifton a legal one, but the story just won't go away. Bucs head coach Jon Gruden and Green Bay head coach Mike Sherman addressed Sapp's controversial block on Clifton Monday, but Packers offensive line coach Larry Beightol issued a warning to Sapp on the same day via a telephone conversation with Bucs defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. It didn't take long for the NFL to issue a warning of its own to both teams.

Just one day after Tampa Bay head coach Jon Gruden and Green Bay head coach Mike Sherman addressed Buccaneers defensive tackle Warren Sapp's controversial hit on Packers tackle Chad Clifton, which put the Packers' offensive lineman in the hospital, ended his season as a result of the hip injury he suffered on the play, and led to a post-game, obscenity-laced argument between Sapp and Sherman, the story took a serious twist.

According to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Green Bay offensive line coach Larry Beightol telephoned Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin Monday to discuss Sapp's controversial block. Not only did he complain about the hit to Kiffin, but according to the Milwaukee newspaper, Beightol vowed revenge the next time the two teams clashed.

"It's not a cheap shot, but there has to be something where these players look out for each other," Beightol told the Journal Sentinel. "There will be other games. There will be other times. Like the saying goes, every dog has his day. We'll see about him.

"Everyone is fair game. When we see him again, we'll see how that dog fares. We'll cut him every single time. I want him to know that."

In the past, Beightol has reportedly told his offensive linemen to block high in order to avoid high-risk cut blocks on opposing defensive linemen, but Green Bay's offensive line coach said that rule will not apply for Sapp the next time the 9-2 Bucs and 8-3 Packers meet, which could be in the playoffs.

"There's no need for that," Beightol told the newspaper. "If (Sapp) is a big, tough, hard-nosed guy, then mix it up in the trenches. I told Monte that we didn't cut him because we didn't want to ruin their season. If we play them again, he's fair game. Somewhere we'll see him."

It didn't take the National Football League long to put an end to any future verbal threats between these teams. A memo was issued to both Tampa Bay and Green Bay Tuesday by NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, and in the memo, Tagliabue suggested that any future threats between the Bucs and Packers could result in a fine(s) and/or suspension(s).

"Please make certain," Tagliabue said in the memo, "from today and going forward that there is no further public criticism of the opposing team, players or coaches, or other public comments or threats of injury or retaliation related to these matters.

"Please also understand and advise your staffs that any such criticism or comment will constitute conduct detrimental to the league or professional football, and will be the subject of very substantial fines or other disciplinary action, including potential suspension of assistant coaches."


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