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Warren Sapp says “pretty boy” LeBron not built for NFL

Nov 18, 2011, 11:27 AM EDT


Could LeBron James make it in the NFL?

It’s a moot question, but thanks to this interminable lockout we have time to dwell on moot questions. Pete Carroll told him to come try out and James did practice with a high school team.

LeBron is certainly athletic enough to be a tight end in the NFL — have the quarterback throw high at the back of the end zone and LeBron will get balls nobody else will. But, could he handle the contact? Could he get that tall frame down low and create leverage to block?

Warren Sapp doesn’t think so. As part of the NFL Network’s “No Huddle” show Sapp fell back on the Jordan rip on LeBron, reports the USA Today (via SLAM).

“How about LeBron do one-sixth of what (Michael) Jordan did, let’s see him go win a championship,” Sapp said. “Go do that. Go see if you can conquer your sport before you come over here because them boys on defense, we like pretty boys like that. We want to split them.”

Jalen Rose gave a better football analysis but basically agrees — James wouldn’t want the contact.

“The one thing about football — you can go up for the football — I don’t think his feet’ll hit the ground on the way down because they will take him out. I think that game is too physical, I think it’s too demanding, I think that it’s hard to block defensive ends — it’s more to that job of being a tight end than just running routes.”

Former Saints coach Jim Mora points out one reason defensive backs would like to play against LeBron — fewer fines.

“I know one thing, it’d be hard to get a hit to the head on him.”

  1. toegoat - Nov 18, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    Warren Sapp is an idiot….. ‘Nuff said.

  2. rumbley1 - Nov 18, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    Can Sapp even run up a basketball court ?

  3. rumbley1 - Nov 18, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    These former players crack me up. Who made them geniuses?

  4. schweddyjabaals - Nov 18, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    Watched him for 7 years here in CLE. Hate to say it, but there isn’t much he can’t do.

  5. mjbulls45 - Nov 18, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    its all a marketing ploy

    u think he would seriously play in the NFL and risk losing all his basketball related money – shoes, contract, endorsements, etc…

    however, if lebron really wanted to take his “brand” to another level and re-coup for the decision mess,

    he should do it, and would be the only big-time NBAer to play in the NFL ,

    bo jackson had an amazing marketing pitch behind “bo knows” with baseball and football…

    doing it with football and basketball would take “bo knows” to another level…

    “lebron knows” –

    should be the new pitch , ha

  6. mgscott - Nov 18, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    Lebron could play in the NFL. Not on D but he could be a WR with not much of a problem.

    • havlicekstoletheball - Nov 18, 2011 at 11:24 PM

      James as a wide receiver?

      He ran a 4.93 in the 40. There are tackles faster than that. Hell, I ran faster than that.

      Tight end? He pushed 225 for only 15 reps. There are safeties much stronger than that.

      He’d get killed. And be lousy before dying.

      • havlicekstoletheball - Nov 18, 2011 at 11:42 PM

      • muhangis - Nov 19, 2011 at 3:34 AM

        Actually his 40 time is 4.62 secs. Huge difference. The writer of the article admitted he made a typo. Scroll down to the comments section.

      • havlicekstoletheball - Nov 19, 2011 at 7:42 AM

        I see the note on the typo. But even at 4.62, he would be near the bottom of wide receivers and working against a defensive secondary full of guys running under 4.5. Don’t get me wrong, if he did run that 4.62, that is a phenomenal speed for someone that size. And the bench press of only 15 reps of 225 means he would have trouble getting jammed.

        The difference between a good HS player and a good college player is very considerable, in speed, size, instinct, hitting power. The difference between a good college player and a true pro prospect is even wider. Pro prospects simply have intangibles that cannot be taught, along with top-shelf physical gifts. The difference between pro prospects and elite professionals is even bigger yet.

  7. tk1966 - Nov 18, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    Warren Sapp

    Same man that said the Steelers defense is “Old, slow and done”

    Steelers – 1st place in division, tied for best record in AFC, tied for 3rd best record in entire NFL. 2nd ranked total defense, 3rd against the pass.

    Yeah, his opinion is obviously spot-on

  8. dgforreal - Nov 18, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    “we like pretty boys like that. We want to split them.”


  9. jason9696 - Nov 18, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    Those are two words that don’t belong in the same sentence, “pretty” and “Lebron”.

  10. bryan1377 - Nov 18, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    LeBron cannot play WR in the NFL … he is too slow. Also, he’d want not part of blocking a 300lb lineman if he was a TE.

  11. 00maltliquor - Nov 18, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    He should be the one doing the hitting. I think he would be amazing as an outside linebacker.
    And why did you put him in a Cleveland Browns uni?

  12. redstar504 - Nov 18, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    There is no chance he ever plays in the NFL and here is the reason. There is no other sport where you put yourself and your livelihood on the line every time you line up for a play. People pick the sports they pick for a reason. Lebron is an amazing athlete he could have picked any sport and he chose B-Ball. Athleats pick their primary sports based on what makes them them. It takes a special make up to play football. It is more than skill. You have to have a special mental make up that allows you to throw all caution to the wind. You have to have the mental make up to ignore the pain get up and come back for more. The NFL is part the skill and grace of B-Ball and the Pain and Punishment of boxing.

    I played both in High School and one in College. I will say this I felt pain on just about every snap of a football game but experienced pain in basketball on only a handful of plays. It takes a special mind and body to make it in football.

  13. dirkified - Nov 18, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    He is not fast enough to play in the NFL. He would get some bones broke. The TE’s and WR’s in the NFL are insanely fast, LeBron is not..

    • redstar504 - Nov 18, 2011 at 2:22 PM

      Lebron has the speed required. Heck the best TE in the NFL right now is a B-Ball player Jimmy Graham and I can tell you this Jimmy Graham isn’t that fast he gets the ball by out hopping then over powering defenders. He isn’t running streak routs.

      • dirkified - Nov 18, 2011 at 2:26 PM

        BS, most TE’s have a 4.4-4.8 40yrd.. do you have any idea how fast that is? Get a clue..

      • redstar504 - Nov 18, 2011 at 3:52 PM

        Lebron ran a 4.4 in the 40 now that was in high school but as a comparison Jimmy Graham ran a 4.5 at the NFL combine. It’s not 4.0 reciever speed but 4.5 ish is fine for a TE.

      • dirkified - Nov 18, 2011 at 4:05 PM

        his HS record shows a 5.3 40yrd dash.. get your “facts” right..

      • redstar504 - Nov 18, 2011 at 4:55 PM

        Straight Quotes from the internet:

        “Blessed with an incredible 6-foot-8, 240-pound frame, LeBron James would be the perfect tight end. He is big, strong, and fast. He was once timed at 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash, which would give him elite speed for a position in which he would surely excel.” – bleacher report

        “Lebron James runs the 40 yard dash in 4.5 seconds, although his best is 4.3” – Wiki Answers

        None are definitive sources but at least it is something to go on.

      • redstar504 - Nov 18, 2011 at 5:00 PM

        again I don’t want to come across like I think he could play in the NFL read what I wrote above this. I don’t think he has the mental toughness to take the pain. I do think he likely has the speed and hands to make it happen but boom one hard hit and he’s done. I don’t think he could make a single drive where he is targeted 2-3 times.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 18, 2011 at 5:39 PM

        When you start quoting the Bleacher report, your argument loses all credibility.

  14. cantonbound13 - Nov 18, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    Pretty boy LeBron is not built for the NBA either. The Chokin’ One is the most overrated player the NBA has ever seen. He’s the Tim Tebow of the NBA. No wait, Tebow has actually carried his team to victories in the 4th quarter.

  15. trbowman - Nov 18, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    Warren Sapp ripped Queen James a new one.

  16. goforthanddie - Nov 18, 2011 at 6:52 PM

    leb has shown he’s not built for the NBA either, if mental counts.

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