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Sapp Has No Regrets


A lot has happened since Nov. 24, 2002, when Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Warren Sapp brought an end to Chad Clifton's season with a blindside hit.

Clifton regained the ability to walk, for one.

But not even time has changed the way Sapp feels about the incident.

Wednesday, in a conference call with members of the Wisconsin media, Sapp once again made no apologies about delivering the blow that landed the Green Bay Packers offensive tackle in the hospital.

Sapp might feel sorry about the outcome of the hit -- which, although away from the play, was deemed a legal block by the NFL -- but he doesn't regret the act itself.

"If you're talking about, 'Was I concerned with (Clifton) getting better?,' that's a different question than asking me, 'Do I regret something?'" Sapp said. "Because regretting something means that you've done something wrong, or out of line, or in the context of something against somebody.

"I've done nothing but make a legal, clean block. The aftereffect, the man getting hurt ... I wished he'd get up off the ground and go to the sideline and continue to play the game."

But that's not what happened.

Sustaining a separated pelvis due to Sapp's third-quarter shot, which occurred as Brian Kelly returned an interception down the sideline, Clifton had to be carted off the turf at Raymond James Stadium and was hospitalized for several nights.

Additional bedridden weeks followed at Clifton's home in Green Bay, before the now 27-year-old was able to get around with a walker and eventually begin his football rehabilitation.

In March, still in the early stages of his comeback, Clifton broke his silence about the incident and said he didn't begrudge Sapp for a hit he agreed was "legal," if "unnecessary."

Wednesday, Clifton echoed those sentiments and said he won't be out for revenge Sunday.

That Sapp is still being questioned about a the hit almost a year later is puzzling to the six-time Pro Bowler, especially considering Clifton's stance on the matter.

And for that, Sapp suggests the media is to blame.

"You guys want to interpret it your own way," Sapp said. "Chad Clifton said it was a clean play, so I'm wondering, what is all of this (one year) later?"

To this point, Sapp hasn't made any attempt to discuss the incident with Clifton and doesn't expect Sunday will be any different.

Nor does he worry that members of the Packers offensive line might look to return the favor with a shot of their own.

"I'm not concerned about anything on the football field," Sapp said. "I can handle myself. I'll be fine."

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