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Stars Out Of The Spotlight: Benny Sapp

Posted Feb 17, 2010

Perhaps calling CB Benny Sapp a “star” is a little aggressive, but the point of this series is to identify players whose contributions in 2009 were vital to team success but also didn’t command the spotlight. Sapp’s 2009 season fits this billing.

On Monday we observed the importance of Chad Greenway’s contributions in 2009, given that the defense lost middle LB E.J. Henderson in Week 12. Sapp’s season followed a similar path, as the Vikings relied on the 6-year pro to step up when Pro Bowl CB Antoine Winfield injured his foot in Week 6. Winfield didn’t fully recover from that injury all season, which made Sapp an important factor in the defense.

For the season, Sapp recorded 55 tackles, 3 tackles for a loss and 2 forced fumbles to go along with 5 special teams tackles and 7 passes defense, tied for 3rd most on the team. While those numbers aren’t sensational and won’t put him on a Pro Bowl ballot, they were sufficient in that they allowed the Vikings defense to manage Winfield’s absence.

In addition, it’s important to remember that statistics are tangible. But perhaps there were intangible aspects of Sapp’s performance that led us to include him in this 5-part series. As stated above, Sapp is a 6-year veteran and during the season he was a player who knew where to be and when to be there. He’s transitioned from a risk-taking DB in 2008 to a solid and reliable defender in 2009.

Sapp will become an unrestricted free agent on March 5, but his performance in 2009 might make the Vikings decision to re-sign him an easy one.

Previous 'Stars Out Of The Spotlight' Articles

Monday, Feb. 15 - C. Greenway

Tuesday, Feb. 16 - C. Kluwe