Sharper runs his mouth again

rabidgopher04

Cheesehead
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Messages
1,467
Reaction score
0
Location
Boston, MA
Taken from the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Grass is greener just across border
Judd Zulgad, Star Tribune
August 22, 2005


Darren Sharper swears he harbors no bitterness toward the Green Bay Packers. If anything, it's just the opposite. His departure from the only NFL organization he had ever known has given him a new lease on football life in Minnesota.

"I'm having a blast," said Sharper, who signed with the Vikings last March after being released by Green Bay in a salary-cap move. "I think just having a fresh start, coming to a new team; the energy that this team has and the organization has as far as expectations. The guys I'm around are just great guys. This year I'm having the most fun I've had in any year in the league."

Considering it's only three weeks into training camp and Sharper appeared in the Super Bowl as a rookie with Green Bay, it's possible the free safety might be getting a little ahead of himself. But Sharper's enthusiasm isn't all that surprising after what he went through last season.

Sharper, who made two Pro Bowl appearances in his eight seasons with the Packers, entered last year expecting to be a key playmaker in new defensive coordinator Bob Slowik's aggressive scheme. But the flaws in Slowik's defense were exposed early, and the Packers quickly went away from that style.

Then in late October against Dallas, Sharper suffered a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee while trying to break up a pass. He missed only one game, but Sharper wasn't the same the rest of the season. His health was only part of the problem.

"Last year sometimes I would come to work and I would feel as though there was a gloom over the workday," he said. "Whether we were coming back from a loss or whether it was just the fact we weren't playing good as a team or just the fact I wasn't having fun being in the work environment that I was in."

The Packers won the NFC North but lost to the visiting Vikings in the first round of the playoffs. Two months later, Sharper became part of the Vikings' offseason defensive makeover, signing a four-year contract after refusing to accept a $4 million pay cut from the Packers.

"He has done a real good job," said Chuck Knox Jr., the Vikings' coverage coordinator. "He has picked up the system, he's a very smart and instinctive player, and he brings some leadership qualities back there."

Daunte an incentive

Sharper, 29, who is expected to receive an average salary of about $4 million per season, also heard from Atlanta, Cleveland, Miami and New Orleans. He insists his reasons for picking the Vikings go beyond getting a chance to face his former team twice a season, although he admits that played a role.

"I think it was more about coming here," Sharper said. "It always makes it more special when you can play against a team that you have played with. The fact we're going to face them twice a year will make it a little bit more of a satisfaction if I can go out and beat those guys. But I think it was more of a situation and the organization here, the opportunity to win a championship with the team we have. Playing with Daunte Culpepper and knowing what he can do. He's always going to give you a chance to win."

Sharper's appreciation for having a Pro Bowl quarterback, of course, came from spending his career watching Brett Favre. Even as he factored in the Vikings' commitment to improve the NFL's 28th-ranked defense, the presence of Culpepper on offense was equally vital.

"Wherever I decided to go I had to go somewhere -- money or no money -- where we have a quarterback that is young and a guy that can lead you to the promised land," Sharper said. "Playing with Brett, I know what it's like to have a guy who can pull the trigger and always give you a chance to win."

Admonishing Favre

Despite his admiration for Favre, Sharper wasn't afraid to criticize his former teammate this offseason for comments the quarterback made about receiver Javon Walker's attempt to get the last two years of his contract reworked. Sharper's message to Walker: Don't pay attention to Favre.

Sharper's stance didn't sit well with many in Green Bay, but he has no regrets.

"Not at all," said Sharper, who hasn't spoken to Favre. "What I said was true. I talked to a lot of guys around the league. After seeing [Favre's] statements, guys came up to me and said, 'Did you hear what Brett said?' Everyone gave their opinion on what they thought, and all of those opinions agreed with me as far as he should not have commented about someone else's contract situation."

Judd Zulgad is [email protected].
Maybe Favre was speaking more of the team situation, not Walker's contract. That's ok. I'm sure Sharper thinks he's going to be all awesome this year on D like he thought last year too. :lol:
 

musccy

Cheesehead
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
1,854
Reaction score
1
Location
Lynchburg, VA
This looks to me like another media twist to create a story. Nothing he said was all that controversial or earthshattering. He's happy in MN...fine, that's not really a knock against the Packers.

He says last year was a bit gloomy...not many aruged that after their 1-4 start.

It was his opinion that Brett should have shut his mouth, well, he's not the only one. I dunno...I just don't see anything too malicious or controversial in his quotes.
 

Bruce

Cheesehead
Joined
Jun 2, 2005
Messages
1,078
Reaction score
0
If Sharper could run his legs anywhere near as well as he runs his mouth he would be a first ballot Hall of Famer.

Having said that, I agree with musccy, there was not much in this article that was new or particularly controversial.
 

Chamuko

Cheesehead
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
1,067
Reaction score
0
Location
Guadalajara, Mexico
Bruce said:
If Sharper could run his legs anywhere near as well as he runs his mouth he would be a first ballot Hall of Famer..

100% right on this one Bruce, and maybe a lot of guys would hold a good chance to be Coach or GM fot he Packers !!!! :twisted:
 

NCPackerfan

Cheesehead
Joined
Dec 9, 2004
Messages
203
Reaction score
0
Location
North Carolina
"Last year sometimes I would come to work and I would feel as though there was a gloom over the workday," he said. "Whether we were coming back from a loss or whether it was just the fact we weren't playing good as a team or just the fact I wasn't having fun being in the work environment that I was in."



This statement speaks volumes about the difference between TRUE leaders like Reggie White and Leroy Butler, and a "paper tiger" like Sharper. Whereas Reggie and Leroy would be the first to "light a fire" under teammates suffering from self pity or malaise, Sharper was more concerned with having fun. It's becoming more and more apparent why our defense was like a rudderless ship last year.
 

agopackgo4

Cheesehead
Joined
Jun 22, 2005
Messages
1,365
Reaction score
0
Location
Wausau WI
musccy said:
This looks to me like another media twist to create a story. Nothing he said was all that controversial or earthshattering. He's happy in MN...fine, that's not really a knock against the Packers.

He says last year was a bit gloomy...not many aruged that after their 1-4 start.

It was his opinion that Brett should have shut his mouth, well, he's not the only one. I dunno...I just don't see anything too malicious or controversial in his quotes.
I agree just like what ESPN did with Favre
 

packedhouse01

Cheesehead
Joined
Jun 5, 2005
Messages
1,560
Reaction score
1
My one hope for Sharper this season is that he plays as well for the Queens as he played for us. In other words, I hope he continues to miss tackles and miss assignments. He was certainly noted for that most of his career in Green Bay.
 

calicheesehead

Cheesehead
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
742
Reaction score
0
Location
91214
I'm going to laugh out loud when Sharper mis tackles Green this year! Hopefully he won't be on the IR by the time GB plays them.
 

Bruce

Cheesehead
Joined
Jun 2, 2005
Messages
1,078
Reaction score
0
Here is a reprise (a rough draft) of an article that I wrote back in June (that got picked up by a couple of National venues under the byline Bruce Smith)

The Darren Sharper I will miss...
 

Bruce

Cheesehead
Joined
Jun 2, 2005
Messages
1,078
Reaction score
0
packedhouse01 said:
Bruce, that's a great post. You really hit it right on the head.

Thanks packedhouse. BTW I fixed the pictures -- sorry I just grabbed this draft from an old file that does not work in this format. You should be able to see them now.
 

Pack93z

You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime
Joined
Aug 2, 2005
Messages
4,855
Reaction score
8
Location
Central Wisconsin
Did anyone watch the Vikes game, Jets first touchdown, same old Darren, bit on the play fake and allowed the touch down to be thrown right behind him. He has lost a step and still gambles for the big play. Can't wait.
 

Greg C.

Cheesehead
Joined
Jun 1, 2005
Messages
2,856
Reaction score
0
Location
Marquette, Michigan
I agree with musccy that there is nothing controversial here. It's understandable how Sharper could feel like he has a new lease on life in Minnesota. A lot of people feel that way after they change jobs.

But NCPackerfan makes a great point. Sharper should've been the guy who was pointing the way for his teammates rather than feeling overcome by gloom. Leaders should change the feel of the locker room rather than being overcome by it. Sharper, unfortunately, was never a leader, and is probably relieved that he is no longer expected to be one. In fact, he may be a better player in Minnesota because of that. On the other hand, if things don't go well in Minnesota, don't expect Sharper to be the guy who helps keep things under control.
 

ArizonaPackerFan

Cheesehead
Joined
Dec 15, 2004
Messages
729
Reaction score
0
Pack93z said:
Did anyone watch the Vikes game, Jets first touchdown, same old Darren, bit on the play fake and allowed the touch down to be thrown right behind him. He has lost a step and still gambles for the big play. Can't wait.

I missed that one. I did see a highlight the week before though where Darren was chasing Priest Holmes 20 yards down field. :D

I hope I get to see Darren Sharper attempt to tackle Ahman Green in the open field a few times.
 

Philtration

Cheesehead
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
2,246
Reaction score
3
Location
Chicago
I don't see a reason for anyone to be offended by anything that he said. Of course he is happy. He is well paid by a team that should be a playoff contender. What do you want him to say? "Gee...I wish that I was still with the Packers, my life is over with out them and their fans"
 

musccy

Cheesehead
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
1,854
Reaction score
1
Location
Lynchburg, VA
agreed Phil....people have tried to make a story out of Sharper ever since he left, but I can't recall a single thing that he's said that's shocking. All he's ever said is that the Packers had some issues last year, and that he's happy in MN where he got some decent $ and is playing for a contender. Whoop-de-doo. No story there.
 

ArizonaPackerFan

Cheesehead
Joined
Dec 15, 2004
Messages
729
Reaction score
0
Philtration said:
I don't see a reason for anyone to be offended by anything that he said. Of course he is happy. He is well paid by a team that should be a playoff contender. What do you want him to say? "Gee...I wish that I was still with the Packers, my life is over with out them and their fans"

True, but that's not what bothers me about his comments. Sharper recently said Favre is wrong to comment on another player's contract when talking about the Walker situation. Yet when McKenzie held out last year I didn't hear Sharper saying it was wrong of Favre to comment on McKenzie's contract.

The part that bothers me personally is that I think Sharper is a coward because he won't say it to Favre's face when he was with the Packers last year when Favre commented on McKenzie, yet now Sharper is brave enough to rip Favre because he is safely hundreds of miles away in the Vikings lockerroom.

If Sharper would have said the same thing about Favre during the McKenzie holdout his opinion wouldn't have bothered me even though I disagree with it, but to me it looks like he's a coward because he'll only say it now that he's safely away from Favre.
 

musccy

Cheesehead
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
1,854
Reaction score
1
Location
Lynchburg, VA
It seems like the media is asking everyone and their grandma about their opinions of how Favre handled the JW situation, but for whatever reason, that didn't seem to happen w/ MM.

So, maybe Sharper had the same opinion at the time, but the media wasn't interested in making a story of it. As for him being a coward, maybe, but players usually try to be PC in season and avoid saying the obvious (we're 1-4, it sucks, everyone is miserable). Everything comes out after the season...like the organization admitting the issues w/ Slowik...they were signing his praises in season.
 

carol k

Cheesehead
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
592
Reaction score
0
Location
wrenshall, mn
That is funny that the Duluth paper never mentions Sharper in any of the articles that are written about the Vikings. And sometimes, they take articles from other papers. I don't think he is going to be an asset for the queens at all. I would be very surprised if he is one.
 

agopackgo4

Cheesehead
Joined
Jun 22, 2005
Messages
1,365
Reaction score
0
Location
Wausau WI
Well he is happy right now anyway............we will see how things get if things start going bad for the Vikings. It is too easy to be happy when your team is looking good.
 

rabidgopher04

Cheesehead
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Messages
1,467
Reaction score
0
Location
Boston, MA
Philtration said:
I don't see a reason for anyone to be offended by anything that he said. Of course he is happy. He is well paid by a team that should be a playoff contender. What do you want him to say? "Gee...I wish that I was still with the Packers, my life is over with out them and their fans"
Yes. Who wouldn't? Geez, leave it to a Bears fan to not get it. ;) j/k
 
Top