Colts safety Gerome Sapp is a restricted free agent who finished the 2005 season strong with 29 special teams tackles. That put him in a tie with Colts defensive end Robert Mathis for the team lead in that category; one that has a significant impact on the opponents' field position.
Sapp looked back on that portion of his season with pride. And deservedly so.
"I was satisfied with what I could do when I got in the game," he said. "You learn to be a role player as you go through sports, and my role primarily this year was special teams. And I tried to do it to the best of my ability."
Perhaps most impressive was that Sapp made 21 of those stops by himself. He credits his success to a number of factors.
"A lot of it is being in the right place, especially on punts when Hunter puts the ball up real high in the air," he explained. "A lot of guys these days don't want to fair catch, so I try to be sure that I'm right there when they catch it. It's just about hustling, trying to be the first one down the field, and when you do get there, using good tackling technique.
Sapp received a contract tender as a restricted free agent that would require another interested team to not only top the Colts' one-year tender, but also compensate them with a sixth-round pick if the Colts chose not to match the offer. Sapp's first dip into the restricted free agency pool hasn't been an easy one.
"It was hectic at first, especially with all the stuff the NFL was going through with the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Teams really didn't know how much money they were going to have available to spend," he said. "For a while I think I was in the danger zone of the Colts not being able to keep me because of the salary issues. But I just had to wait things out to see what would happen. And they ended up tendering me."
While he was waiting to see what the Colts would do as they looked over their roster options, Sapp was able to relax and have some fun.
"Me and Bryan Fletcher took a trip to Brazil and spent some time down there trying to learn the language and the culture," he said. "And I've been going back and forth to Houston to hang with family. I've taken a few other little trips here and there and have a trip to Italy planned. I'm trying to see some more of the world."
But he also took some time to further his education, taking advantage of an NFL-coordinated program.
"It's an entrepreneurial course for executive education at Harvard Business School. They're teaching us different methods of evaluating companies, evaluating investment opportunities, the financial risks and rewards of everything that is brought before us. It also goes over personal real estate and things of that nature. It's a wonderful course, and I'm glad I've taken it," said Sapp.
Gerome provided us with an update on his contract tender status, his thoughts on last season and the upcoming one, and the loss of key free agents like linebacker David Thornton. ColtPower Insiders can read all about it in "Five Questions with Gerome Sapp".
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