On this week's Inside the NFL, shown on Showtime, Warren Sapp has already concluded that the season is already over for a few teams--the Raiders included. Sapp, the former defensive tackle for the Raiders said that both the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders are part of an unforgiving week in which their seasons were over even before they began.
To make matters worse, Phil Simms agreed. After saying moments before that the NFL season couldn't be predicted after week one, James Brown asked him what he thought about Sapp's statement. His reply was, "I can't argue that."
I'll be at the Raiders' practice Thursday morning and you can bet I'll be asking current Raiders what they think of that statement.
Check back later and I'll have a transcript for you.
James Brown: Week one in the books. I don't know if we can come up with definitive conclusions, but what kind of hints at what we should expect for 2009.
Phil Simms: Well I hope we can't define the NFL after one week.
James Brown: I hope that too.
Phil Simms: A couple of things. One, the league is loaded with good players, there's gonna' be surprise teams. But, as you look at the league, you can't overanalyze the first week. But it's the coaches, there's so many gameplanners out there. They need information to gameplan against you. So the first week is the toughest week of all for them. We'll find out about a few of these good teams in week four or five.
Chris Collinsworth: I think my big thing was watching the defenses. For whatever reason in preseason, I don't think quarterbacks are ready to go in week one, because you don't see all the blitzes, you don't see all the protection schemes. You just don't see all that stuff. A lot of quarterbacks started very slowly this week. I think they'll be better in week two, but the defensive coordinators can make a huge difference. Rex Ryan, obviously, with the Jets. I thought Mike Nolan--night and day with the Denver Broncos, what they had done a season ago. Maybe the biggest change was with Dom Capers in Green Bay. Now, and I think Green Bay's offense is gonna' wake up. They're too good to have the kind of day that they had the other night, night after night. So I think that right now, Green Bay is on my watch list. I like that team.
James Brown: Bill Cowher said it when he was on our show last week. Dom Capers, he thought, was the best offseason move for sure. Warren!
Warren Sapp: I tell you what. I look at the NFL and I look at one thing--it's unforgiving. As you look across the league, there's a certain amount of teams that this season is over before it ever begins. And we're talking about Detroit, St. Louis, Kansas City, Cleveland, Oakland.
James Brown: Over already big boy?
Warren Sapp: Over, Over.
Chris Collinsworth: Cincinnati passed! Alright! [laughter]
Warren Sapp: That's what I'm telling you. It's an unforgiving league.
James Brown: Warren, so you're saying absolutely, they're going to have horrible years this season, after week one.
Warren Sapp: Those five right there, write 'em off. You're talking about blackouts? Be happy that you got a blackout. Maybe they'll [telecasts] beam a game that means something to you.
James Brown: Phil! You just got finished saying we can't be definitive after week one and... [points to Sapp].
Phil Simms: Well, I really can't argue that point. [laughter]
Warren Sapp: That's what I like.
Phil Simms: No, listen, it's like we were talking earlier about the St. Louis--there's certain teams, no matter how it fell for them this year, even if they got the lucky breaks, won a few games they didn't expect to win, they still weren't going to the playoffs and I think he named a few of those teams.
James Brown: I'm going to give you guys hope. Warren is hard on you, but I'm gonna' give you a little hope.
Later in the show, talking about losing in the last seconds and people having the worst week ever, Collinsworth is talking about how Buffalo, Cincinnati, and Oakland need hope and that had they won, they would've been feeling good about themselves.
Warren Sapp: But Oakland plays worse when they have confidence. Oakland plays worse when they feel good about themselves.
Chris Collinsworth: Wait, wait, wait. You played out there.
Warren Sapp: I was there for four years! Trust me.
Chris Collinsworth: You gotta' explain that one. What do you mean?
Warren Sapp: Whenever we felt good about going into the week, we would layed an egg. I mean an absolute egg.
James Brown: Why?
Phil Simms: So you couldn't handle success?
Warren Sapp: [leans forward shaking his head] Not even a little bit. Not even a little confidence.
Phil Simms: You'd believe the headlines they wrote about you?
Warren Sapp: Exactly, that's what we--they'd walk in reading [holding his arms up like he has a newspaper in his hands], I'd be, 'What you doing with the paper?'