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League slaps Sapp with fine: $10,000

By Times staff writers
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 20, 2002

TAMPA -- The NFL fined Warren Sapp $10,000 Thursday after reviewing his violent takedown of Ravens rookie running back Chester Taylor.

It was the second straight game for which Sapp received a league sanction. He was fined $5,000 for striking Saints rookie center LeCharles Bentley with his hand.

The Bucs were penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct after Sapp's first-quarter tackle of Taylor, who was lifted off his feet by the Pro Bowl defensive tackle and body-slammed.

"I never heard the whistle," Sapp said. "The only thing that hurts is that it cost my team 15 yards."

Sapp drew no penalty flags on the Bentley play.

Safety Dexter Jackson was fined $5,000 for spearing an opponent after the play. In the letter sent to Jackson, the league did not identify the player.

It is unclear if Sapp or Jackson will appeal.

* * *

COLEMAN UPDATE: One day after developing soreness in his left knee, right guard Cosey Coleman was back at practice. Coleman, who missed all of the preseason and the opener with a left knee sprain, was a welcome return to the starting lineup in Baltimore. But after Wednesday's practice, Coleman complained about soreness.

"We're not going to change his status," coach Jon Gruden said. "He practiced today and said he felt a little bit better, and hopefully that will continue. But he did work (Thursday) and that's a good sign for us."

Backups Todd Washington and Cornell Green likely will split time at right guard if Coleman cannot play.

* * *

NEW PLAYER ON THE BLOCK: The Bucs signed guard Chris Valletta to the practice squad. To make room, they released defensive end Greg White.

Valletta, who played at Texas A&M, entered the league as an undrafted free agent with Tennessee in 2001. He went to training camp this summer before being released Aug. 27.

* * *

START YOUR ENGINES: The running game has struggled in the first two weeks, and the Bucs go into Monday's game averaging 2.9 yards (146 on 51 carries).

"Running the ball is important every week but especially so this week," running back Michael Pittman said. "St. Louis can score at any given time given the weapons they have got on offense. So what we have to do is sustain drives, keep their offense off the field, try to run down the clock and do what we can to control the game."

Pittman, the primary ball carrier, hasn't been able to get going and was shut down with severe cramps in the second half of Sunday's game.

"We've got to go out there and make some plays, pick up our blocking assignments. We've got to have the offensive linemen getting some push, and we have to run the ball," Pittman said. "Now, the last game, I only had 13 carries and Mike (Alstott) only had 11, and for a running back to get his rhythm, he's going to have to get about 20-25 touches."

* * *

DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE: The Rams surrendered seven plays of more than 20 yards against the Giants and are giving up 239 passing yards per game, but Bucs receiver Joe Jurevicius said numbers can be deceiving.

"I don't know if it necessarily opens things up," Jurevicius said. "Statistics are statistics. It's out there on the chalkboard that some passes are being completed, but I think what's important is that we go out there and take care of our business."

* * *

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "It's definitely high energy. It's great players on both sides of the ball. It'll be another doozy. I hope everybody tunes in." -- Rams linebacker Don Davis on the expected atmosphere at Raymond James Stadium Monday.

* * *

INJURY REPORT: Defensive end Simeon Rice (left shoulder sprain) participated in "limited" practice, according to Gruden, but is listed as probable. Tight end Ken Dilger (triceps contusion), defensive tackle Anthony McFarland (hip flexor) and safety John Lynch (right quads contusion) are probable. Safety David Gibson has a right ankle sprain and is questionable.

-- RICK STROUD, ROGER MILLS, DARRELL FRY


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Bucs
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  • League slaps Sapp with fine: $10,000

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  • Rays get unexpected series win
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