Keyshawn Johnson was lazy and didn't like Shaun King
"We're in the offseason running around, [Derrick Brooks, Ronde Barber, John Lynch] and the whole crew doing what we do, and there's no Keyshawn," Sapp said, explaining that he was then given a string of excuses. "When he gets here, we break the huddle and he doesn't know the plays or where to line up, if he's on or off the ball."
Instead of working on learning the offense or stepping up as a leader on a unit that was cleary behind the world class defense, Sapp said Keyshawn threw quarterback Shaun King under the bus.
"He didn't like Shaun King," Sapp said. "I was like, Keyshawn you're not getting another quarterback. This is what you signed up for."
Jon Gruden didn't like Keyshawn Johnson
This isn't really a big revelation, as anyone who watched the Bucs in the early 2000s could tell that Jon Gruden wasn't really fond of Keyshawn or his work ethic. As Sapp tells it, Johnson tried to continue getting away with being lazy only to have Gruden throw it right back in his face.
"Gruden pushed every button on his body," Sapp said, with a certain amount of glee. "It was beautiful."
This certainly lines up with how Keyshawn's career in Tampa Bay went after Gruden arrived, as he only lasted one more season before he was traded to the Dallas Cowboys in 2004.
Keenan McCardell and Joe Jurevicius were signed because Keyshawn was so bad
Despite his sales pitch to the Bucs defensive leaders that he'd lead the struggling offense, Sapp said Keyshawn essentially coasting by and doing as little as possible. In fact, Keyshawn's failure as a leader is what prompted Bruce Allen and Jon Gruden to sign Keenan McCardell and Joe Jurevicius ahead of the 2002 season.
"He didn't lead us at all. That's why they went and got [Joe] Jurevicius and Keenan McCardell," Sapp said, laughing. "He was not a leader."
It's hard to pick the truth out of feuds like this, but what Sapp says does line up with who stepped up during the Bucs Super Bowl season. Jurevicius was critical in helping the Bucs pull off an upset in Philadelphia and McCardell helped carry the offense in the Super Bowl.
Johnson, on the other hand, is hardly remembered at all for playing a role in that run.
Keyshawn Johnson 'took advantage' of Tony Dungy
Perhaps most damning is Sapp stopping short of saying Keyshawn Johnson played a role in Tony Dungy being fired after the 2001 season. As Sapp tells it, Dungy's laid back approach and reliance on the defense to carry the team was something Keyshawn exploited rather than try to help fix.
Instead of closing the gap, like it seems he promised he'd do if he came to Tampa Bay, Keyshawn took advantage of Dungy's style and used it to continue doing as little as possible.
"Tony was mild mannered, never cursed, and would make sure we were on all of the details. He just really wouldn't push any buttons." Sapp said. "Man, Keyshawn took full advantage of that."