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February 2, 2013 @ 1:59 pm
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Bucs Great Sapp Elected To Hall Of Fame On First Ballot

Written by Mark
Cook
Mark Cook

Mark
Cook

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Bucs defensive tackle Warren Sapp earned Hall of Fame honors Saturday in New Orleans and will join former Bucs great Lee Roy Selmon as one of only two Buccaneers to grace the hallowed halls in Canton, OH.
In their 36-year history of football, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had just one player to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame – that was until Saturday.

Buccaneers great Warren Sapp received enough votes in New Orleans from the Pro Football Writers Association and will join legendary Tampa Bay defensive end Lee Roy Selmon as the only two Buccaneers who grace the hallowed halls of Canton.

Sapp was the most dominate defensive tackle of his generation and football teams, including the Buccaneers, are still searching for the dominant three-technique lineman in the mold of Sapp.

In nine seasons with the Buccaneers Sapp never had less than five sacks except in his 1995 rookie season. To put this in perspective Gerald McCoy made this season’s Pro Bowl with five sacks. During that nine-year stretch with the Buccaneers Sapp collected 77 quarterback takedowns, including his monster 1999 season in which the former Hurricane had an amazing 16.5 sacks.

Sapp left Tampa Bay following the 2003 season and spent the final four years of his career with the Oakland Raiders adding another 17.5 sacks to bring his career sack total to 96.5.

Sapp was selected in first round (12th player overall) by Tampa Bay in 1996 and was named to All-Rookie Team. During his career Sapp amassed 96.5 career sacks despite playing on interior of defensive line and recorded double-digit sack totals four times. Sapp was named 1999 NFL Defensive Player of the Year after helping lead Tampa Bay to first division title in 18 years. Sapp also recorded career-high 16.5 sacks and was a first-team All-Pro four straight times (1999-2002. The former Hurricane star selected to seven Pro Bowls and was named to NFL’s All-Decade Teams of the 1990s, 2000s.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick talked to the Tampa Tribune’s Ira Kaufman – who is on the 46-member selection committee – about the impact Sapp made.

"The combination of Sapp and (linebacker Derrick) Brooks was absolutely devastating,'' Belichick said. "It was like facing Joe Greene and Jack Lambert, when the Steelers were dominant.

"But Sapp was the guy you had better take care of first. He was closer to the football and if you didn't handle Warren Sapp, all the rest didn't matter.''

Former Bears center Olin Kreutz also was complimentary of Sapp.

"He kind of revolutionized the three-technique position,'' said Olin Kreutz, a six-time Pro Bowl center for the Bears who faced Sapp twice a season in the old NFC Central division. "There isn't anyone in the game now in the middle like him.''

The Buccaneers issued this statement shortly after the announcement was made on Saturday.

"This is a proud day for the Buccaneers organization and Bucs fans everywhere," said Buccaneers Co-Chairman Bryan Glazer. "Warren played the game with incredible ability and passion. He was a leader on one of the best defenses in NFL history and helped to redefine the defensive tackle position. It is a fitting honor that he will be recognized as one of the greatest to ever play, and we could not be happier for him."

Sapp's fellow inductees are Larry Allen, Cris Carter, Johnathan Odgen, Bill Parcells, Curley Culp and Dave Robinson.


Last modified on Saturday, 02 February 2013 18:34
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COMMENTS

  • avatar


    THIS IS GEORGE HICKS AGAIN-I CAN'T SAY ENOUGHT ABOUT THE MAN WARREN SAPP- I CAN'T WAIT ONE OF THESE DAYS TO GO BACK TO CANTON AND SEE MR WARREN SAPP THERE WITH ALL THE GREAT HALL OF FAMERS. REGARDLESS OF WHAT TEAM YOU SUPPORT. IT TAKES SPECIAL INDIVIDUALS WHO DID ON THE FIELD THEIR ENTIRE CAREER. SOLID FOOTBAL-EVERYONE OF THEM. YOU MAY NOT LIKE SOME OF THEM THEY ARE A SPECIAL GROUP OF PLAYERS AND COACHES THERE-GO BUCS
  • avatar

    Seat26 - You forgot about Monte Kiffin. He's guaranteed a spot in the HoF when he stops coaching.
  • avatar


    Great to see recognition for Sapp. He was a nightmare for all opposing QBs. Scubog, thanks for the very interesting history lesson...I had forgotten all of that.
  • avatar

    Very proud to see Warren Sapp in the Hall of Fame. I know there are at least three more to go. (Lynch, Brooks, and Barber). Would not be surprised to see Alstott in there eventually as well.
  • avatar

    From the NE corner of RayJay section 145.... WARR-en WARR-en Warr-en. Congrats #99.
  • avatar


    Warren Sapp is personally my favorite Buc of all time. Not only was he the best 3 technique DT to ever play the game but he was the heartbeat of our defense. The way he would skip through the other team while they were stretching pre game or talked trash from the time he entered the stadium he was the pulse. The stretch of football we went through this year when effort was questioned would have never happened on his watch bc not only would he raise the level of those around him but he never shyed away from calling somebody out when needed. This Bucs defense could use a few more nasty guys and a few less good samaritans in my opinion. That said it was an honor watching you harass QBs during your time in Tampa and congrats on a career well done!
  • avatar


    At Buc Fan day when he was drafted, Sapp stood on a stage on the field with Derrick Brooks. He said he was going to make the eleven teams that passed on him regret it. He did!
  • avatar


    It is a pleasue to see our own Warren Sapp make the Hall of Fame First time. I thought that Sapp would be next to Selmon. But He will be under 2013 Hall of Fame . Yes-What a location. When I was there last Sept when I was there celebrating my 67 yrs young. I was wondering If Sapp was in on first balliot. Now when Is the greatest LB of all times for Tampa Derrick Brooks will be selected!. Guys and Gals If you haven't been drive up there see the area and take in Canton Hall of fame and Experience the Superbowl that you have never experience before. There are so many greats there. GO BUCS
  • avatar


    Congratulations, Warren. Well deserved, thanks for the effort you put in. It was great watching you play.
  • avatar


    WELL deserved honor indeed! Can't wait to see his induction this summer and to see the SAPP on the Ring of Honor at the Ray Jay. Exciting time for Buccaneer fans!
  • avatar


    Results count. He deserves it on performance alone.
  • avatar


    Congrats to Sapp. Still one of my fav Bucs all time
  • avatar


    Before Sapp's second year ESPN had a DL competition with things like cone drills, running, jumping, etc. Low score won and Sapp scored a 5. The closest lineman to him was the all-pro John Randall who a nine. I knew right then he was special. Congrats Sapp. I was afraid the national media morons would dis him.
  • avatar


    Congratulations Sapp! You revolutionized the way a position was played on the field, which to me is the definition of what makes someone a HOF. DT's aren't supposed to be able to do what you did. The same is true of Brooks given his size which is why he will also be a HOF. I'm glad the media was able to overlook his personality which is why I didn't think he would be a first ballot HOF. We have another Buc going to Canton. Rejoice! Go Bucs!!
  • avatar


    Just to be clear; Warren Sapp was drafted in 1995. At the time, many fans were upset because of the accusations of "off the field problems" (which I contend were started by Richie McKay). Heck, Sapp couldn't even beat out DT Santana Dotson his rookie year. The Eagles passed on Sapp and took DE Mike Mamula who was projected to be drafted at # 7 before the Bucs (at the urging of Horse) traded down to # 12. Mel Kiper called Sapp a "major gamble". Then again, he thought the Bucs "reached" for Brooks at # 28. Point is, few would have predicted that both Sapp and draftmate Brooks would be headed to Canton after this Draft that was graded a C+ at the time. Then again, the great John Lynch was nearly cut and Ronde was thought to be the reincarnation of Rod "Toast" Jones after his rookie year. Guess that's why I take a wait and see approach when it comes to the Draft. Congratulations Sapp Daddy!
  • avatar

    Great Article With The Facts..Also It Was Rusty Tillman..Sam Wyche's DC Who Really Wanted Brooks..Persuated McKay To Trade Up For Him..At The Time Brooks Was Looked Upon As A Tweener..Maybe Linebacker Or Safety..Wait And See The Best Approach..We Really Never Know..Congrats to Sapp..
  • avatar

    it also should tell you that draft slotting means nothing as far as talent
  • avatar


    I too think Rich McKay, if he didn't start, escalated the Sapp drug issue. Which in my opinion was sheer genius. And Sapp going in before Strahan is terrific. I still HATE Chris Carter.... Congrats Sapp, and if you get a chance give Mr. Chris Carter one of those "Chad Clifton" moments for me.
  • avatar

    Sapp is one of the greatest Buccaneers and Dt's in the NFL of all time so this was well deserved, as far as Sapp the person, no comment!
  • avatar


    Sapp is the sole reason why I'm a bucs Fan after Jerry rice n the 49ers era I fell in Love with the Hurricanes and followed sapp to the NFL THIS IS A GREAT DAY FOR BUCCANEER FANS AND MIAMI HURRICANE FANS EVERY WHERE THE BUCS SHOULD GRAB A COUPLE HURRICANE FREE AGENTS IMO.
  • avatar


    Sapp made a great case for Sapp. Ira Kaufman is a sportswriter who can separate performance from personalities. That shows Ira's professionalism. Ira knows football and he knows football talent. Warren Sapp was a rare talent. He could have lined up a TE and made all pro. The guy was not just quick, he was fast too. If I were in a mall and ran into Warren Sapp, I may nod to him, but I wouldn't try to monopolize his time and I surely wouldn't ask for an autograph. This is where Warren got testy and I thought he was right. Half the kids asking for his autograph were being paid for getting the autographs that was being sold for a lot of money and Warren knew it and didn't want to be victimized. As far as him holding court in the locker room, I use to like it. Warren always told it like it is and some people didn't like but I did. We may never see another DT like Warren Sapp. He should be the next man in the Ring of Honor because he was the main ingredient in Tampa's great defenses and everyone who played with him knew it.
  • avatar


    A well deserved honor for the best d-lineman of his era.
  • avatar


    Congrats Big Warren!!!! Next up Mr Derrick Brooks
  • avatar

    and Thanks to Ira Kaufman for all his hard work which was huge in helping our #99 get to the HOF. Hats off to you Ira!
  • avatar

    Congrat's Warren Sapp! My all time favorite Buc. You deserve it Big 99!
  • avatar


    Really glad to see Sapp make it on the first go around; Brooks better be a no brainer too!
  • avatar


    Congrats Sapp, but every other post on nfl.com someone is bashing Sapp for making it. Saying that he was not worthy of the HOF. Sapp was an a$$hole much of his career, but he was the best DT of this era. Congrats Warren and hopefully Brooks, Lynch and Barber are not far behind.
  • avatar

    99 my favorite buccaneer of all time! Congrats
  • avatar


    Congratulations Warren Sapp! You deserved this honor!
  • avatar


    This was a no brainer. Congratulations Warren!!!!
  • avatar

    The Tampa Tribune's Ira Kaufman worked for over a year of his presentation for Sapp. He must have made a great case for No. 99.
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