View Full Version : Benny Sapp: Back to School

07-31-2005, 09:40 AM

Back to school: Sapp cramming in evening

Editor's note: Benny Sapp is a second-year pro with the Kansas City Chiefs in the National Football League. Sapp, a native of Florida, was an all-Gateway Conference performer at the University of Northern Iowa after starting at the University of Iowa for two seasons.

Now that we're here in River Falls, Wis., getting ready for training camp, I thought I'd let you all know what the first week of camp is like.

We pulled into the University of Wisconsin-River Falls Wednesday. We began with an introductory meeting with head coach Dick Vermeil. Then, after we got a night's sleep, we got to work on Thursday morning.

We get a lot of things thrown at us the first week of camp. The reason for this is I think our coaches want to see how fast the players can get a grasp of the system and take what we're taught to the field.

Last year, for me, the first week of camp was real tough because it was a lot like school in that I was learning a new scheme and new terminology. The first week of training camp, I was studying for finals like I was back at UNI. I not only was thinking about trying to make the team and perform while learning a whole new defense.

One thing people might not understand is that if players don't study every night before we go to bed, we'll get lost. Once again, it is like school from the standpoint that every night as a rookie, I came home and studied my playbook.

After a long day on the field, it was the last thing I wanted to do, but I knew I had to study if I was going to make the team.

Every night in camp last year, before I went to sleep, I laid in my bed and visualized the mistakes I made and what I did well in practice. It is a ritual where I think about what I needed to do differently when I made mistakes and think about what led to me doing certain things well in practice.

This mental exercise really helped me improve as a player and make the Chiefs.

At night, the toughest thing is not to fall asleep when you get back to your dorm room after the meetings are finished. You come back to your room, you're exhausted, and then you have to study for two hours. This nightly ordeal is harder than practice because you have to learn a system before you can play in the system.

It's tiring because you have friends and family calling, wanting to know how you're doing. It can be tough to balance your time.

Since this is my second year and our defensive coordinator, Guenther Cunningham, hasn't changed the scheme too much since last year, I know the system and I still have to study, but it is much easier since I'm not starting from scratch.

Instead of having to study every minute I'm away from the field, I can work on things after practice to make myself a better player.

Looking forward to the first week, we'll see more hitting. The first week will be intense. Everybody is glad to be back on the field, and we will be going 100 miles-an-hour on the practice field. That's how the first week of camp is. I can't wait to get going.

Until next week ...

go bo
07-31-2005, 10:43 AM
benny is one of the players i'm going to enjoy hearing from...

decent writer and knows what's important in the story...

and he sure doesn't sound like he's worried about making the team...

i wonder though, with a draftee and two veterans competing for spots, an undrafted second year player from one of the worst defenses ever might not have such good chances this time around...

i'm pulling for the kid (love his attitude and the way he hits (for a smaller guy))...

07-31-2005, 10:53 AM
Sapp is like Boerigter in that you can't help but not root for him.

go bo
07-31-2005, 10:57 AM

maybe that's why i like him so much... :D :D :D

07-31-2005, 11:03 AM

maybe that's why i like him so much... :D :D :D

go bo sapp?