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Sapp Exercises Restraint and Buccaneers Roll

October 13, 2003|From Associated Press

LANDOVER, Md. — Warren Sapp and Simeon Rice waited until the game started to run right through the Washington Redskins.

Rice had a career-high four sacks, Sapp had two while avoiding any pregame antics, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers broke loose in the second half to beat Washington, 35-13, Sunday.

All eyes were on Sapp before the game, because Washington's LaVar Arrington objected to Sapp's routine of prancing through the opposing team's exercise formations. The NFL warned both teams to avoid pregame hostilities, and Sapp obliged by waiting until the Redskins had finished stretching before skipping onto the field about 40 minutes ahead of the kickoff.

"I didn't need to run through their stretch," Sapp said. "They've got a whole 53-man squad that we were coming after. That's what we were after -- the game. It wasn't the pregame."

Actually, the defending Super Bowl champions waited a little longer before they really got going. Trailing, 10-7, at halftime, the Buccaneers (3-2) outgained the Redskins (3-3), 295 yards to 112, the rest of the way.

"He got the last laugh, for now," said Arrington, who shared a hug with Sapp after the game.

Buccaneer quarterback Brad Johnson, returning to Washington for the first time since his bittersweet departure in 2000, threw four touchdown passes and completed 22 of 30 passes for 268 yards. And that was with Joe Jurevicius out injured, and Keyshawn Johnson playing with a bruised thigh.

Brad Johnson went 14 of 18 for 205 yards after halftime. Tight end Will Heller and Keyshawn Johnson caught touchdown passes, and Derrick Brooks returned an interception 44 yards for a score -- all in the second half. Keenan McCardell, Tampa Bay's only healthy starting receiver, made two incredible over-the-shoulder catches on touchdown drives and finished with five receptions for 77 yards.

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