Open Mic: Sapp fired up to talk football

Attention, Football Fan. Warren Sapp has a NFL Network microphone. Watch. Better yet, watch out.

"Warren Sapp is live. You better call your cable provider," Sapp playfully warned on Tuesday while promoting NFL Network's new Gameday Morning show, which debuts Sunday at 8 a.m. Mountain Time.

Sapp will be paired with former NFL running back Marshall Faulk and studio host Spero Dedes (radio play-by-play voice of the Los Angeles Lakers).

The move to broadcasting seems natural for the outspoken Sapp, who looks forward to offering viewers a defensive lineman's perspective of the game.

"Don't think you're going to get something sugar-coated," he said. "The one thing I know about this game is, the eye in the sky never lies. If I say something about you, I'm going to put the tape on and show it to you."

Sapp's hearty laugh bellowed through the telephone when I asked him to size up the Broncos' running game.

"I played the Denver Broncos my first year (2004) at Oakland, and they ran the ball 51 times for more than 250 yards, almost five yards a clip. It was a very, very nasty day . . .
"They're good at what they do, but let's not crown them the world-beaters. Now, Oakland has its work cut out, I guarantee you that. I know the system Oakland plays . . . (the Raiders) are in trouble.

"If you're asking me for a scouting report, the Raiders against the Broncos, the Broncos are going to run for 100-plus yards. And (Mike) Shanahan knows this."

Rather than give a favorite to win the AFC, Sapp said just watch for the team that peaks at the right time. "You've seen it in Denver. They peak at the right time, running off game after game after game after game," he said.

"You see the beards growing, the offensive line's not talking to anybody and all the superstitious stuff that goes on - the stinky socks and funky jocks . . .

"That's what makes football why we love it, what makes it the game and the pilgrimage every year to NFL stadiums across this land in the fall . . . There's nothing better."