In his 18 years as a personnel man in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization, new Dolphins General Manager Dennis Hickey was part of a front office that drafted a lot of quality players.
Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle and Bucs legend Warren Sapp was a big part of one of the greatest defenses in NFL history that’s ultimately recognized for their blowout and dominating defensive performance against the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII.
Speaking to Dolphins.com, Sapp spoke about Hickey, a man he knew during his nine seasons with the Bucs, and praised the longtime personnel executive for his front office skills.
“Dennis was there and definitely in the front office picking some good players, building a championship roster. He was just a quiet guy. And hey, they always say the quiet ones are the ones you need to worry about.”
When you look at the list of great players that the Buccaneers had during Hickey’s tenure at the team, it’s the ultimate proof that the front office in Tampa was a successful one. The Bucs drafted franchise players like Ronde Barber, Dwight Smith, John Lynch and Warrick Dunn, and brought in stud free agents like Simeon Rice and Keyshawn Johnson. More recently, the Buccaneers loaded up with good young talented players like Doug Martin and Lavonte David, creating a bright future for a Tampa team currently in transition.
“We had great draft picks, we had great personnel decisions that we made. Bringing Simeon (Rice) in put us over the top as a defensive front. We made some good personnel decision no doubt about. I don’t know how much Dennis had to do with that, but he was in the room. Hopefully it rubs off on the Dolphins because I like what the Dolphins are doing.”
Sapp thinks Hickey will be able to bring in more dependable players on both sides of the ball, and add even more talent to what in his eyes is an aggressive and skilled defense. He thinks that the defense is not that far off talent wise from a defense playing in this Sunday’s big game.
“I love that defense, love that defense. Cameron Wake and (Jared) Odrick, and big Randy Starks. They need to sign that monster back too. Then you get Dion Jordan in there and you have a nice little mix of young and old and ornery guys. They’re good guys and that’s what you want. You want a good mix like Seattle has.”
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