Jared Allen isn’t the only former Kansas City Chiefs player that helped the Vikings beat the Dallas Cowboys this past weekend. Benny Sapp is making an impact for Minnesota, even though former Chiefs coach Herm Edwards told him he would never be an NFL cornerback.
“He just told me I’d never be good enough to play cornerback in the NFL,” Sapp recalled Monday.
You mean he wanted to make you a safety?
“No, I just couldn’t play,” Sapp said. “That was the last conversation I had with him.”
That’s because shortly thereafter, Sapp signed a two-year deal with the Vikings, who have advanced to the NFC championship game with the 5-foot-9, 190-pound defensive back starting at cornerback for most of the season.
“Herm is a good coach, a great guy,” Sapp said. “He never did anything wrong to me, except saying I’d never be able to play cornerback in the NFL.”
This is a little like the great line from “True Grit”: “He never played me false until he killed me.”
“I knew I could do it already,” he said. “I was like, he’s just talking crap.”
Edwards, now an NFL analyst for ESPN, did not return a phone call. Sapp’s answer has been televised the past several Sundays. When Antoine Winfield fractured his right foot in a victory over Baltimore in Week 6, Sapp earned the starting job.
Since Sapp stepped in, he has a career-high 43 tackles, 40 of them solo, and two forced fumbles. In Sunday’s 34-3 playoff victory over Dallas, he had two tackles and helped shut down one of the NFL’s most prolific offenses.
“When I was over there (in Kansas City), I did the same thing I’m doing here,” Sapp said. “Ain’t nothing changed.”
I’m the last person to defend Herm Edwards and will happily blame him for the many mistakes he made during his time in Kansas City.
This isn’t one of them.
Would I take 2009 Sapp on the Chiefs defense right now? Absolutely. But I wasn’t sad to see the 2007 Benny Sapp leave for Minnesota. Don’t get me wrong, he was a good little player, but certainly not a guy I thought would be able to start for a top of the line defense.
Who knows, maybe he will find his way back to Kansas City this offseason so he can get a second chance to be an impact player on the Chiefs defense.