Warren Sapp

Class of 2013

All-Pro selections


Pro Bowls






"All I’ve ever been taught is that no matter how fast you run the 40 or how much you bench press, it’s all about did you make the play, did you win or did you lose. That’s the way you judge a player. You put him out on the field for 30 plays and see how many times he made a play or was a factor in making a play for you. That’s how I’ve always been judged, and that’s how I judge myself. You can never be satisfied in this game.”

Enshrinement Speech

Career Highlights

Warren Sapp forewent his senior season at the University of Miami to enter the NFL Draft in 1995. He was taken as the 12th player overall in that year’s draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and quickly became a fixture on the interior of the team’s defensive line.

Sapp developed into one of the most dominating defensive tackles in NFL history during 13 seasons that included four final years with the Oakland Raiders from 2004-07. He racked up an unusually high total of sacks for an interior defensive lineman as he registered 96.5 career sacks. Four times he posted double-digit sack totals in a season including a career-high and team record 16.5 in 2000.

He earned NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors in 1999 when he helped the Buccaneers to its first division title in 18 seasons. He recorded 12.5 sacks, 54 tackles, three forced fumbles, and recovered two fumbles that year.

In 2002, Sapp was the leader of a Bucs’ defense that led the NFL in total defense and pass defense. He finished second on the team with 7.5 sacks, tied for most in the NFC by a defensive tackle, and racked up 78 tackles, one forced fumble, a fumble recovery, three passes defensed and posted a career-high two interceptions. Tampa Bay finished 12-4-0 to win the NFC South. Then, the Buccaneers raced through the playoffs with convincing wins over the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional playoff game and the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game before capturing the only Super Bowl title in franchise history. Sapp pitched in with two tackles, one sack for nine yards, two passes defensed and forced a fumble as Tampa Bay defeated Oakland 48-21 in Super Bowl XXXVII.

Sapp earned first-team All-Pro acclaim in four straight seasons from 1999-2002 and was voted to seven Pro Bowls during his career. He is one of a select group of players to be named to multiple NFL All-Decade Teams (1990s and 2000s).

Year Team G Sacks
1995 Tampa Bay 16 3.0
1996 Tampa Bay 15 9.0
1997 Tampa Bay 15 10.5
1998 Tampa Bay 16 7.0
1999 Tampa Bay 15 12.5
2000 Tampa Bay 16 16.5
2001 Tampa Bay 16 6.0
2002 Tampa Bay 16 7.5
2003 Tampa Bay 15 5.0
2004 Oakland 16 2.5
2005 Oakland 10 5.0
2006 Oakland 16 10.0
2007 Oakland 16 2.0
Career Totals: 198 96.5
Additional Career Statistics: Interceptions: 4-8, 1 TD; Receiving: 4-39, 2 TD

Championship Games

1999 NFC – St. Louis Rams 11, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6
Sapp started at right defensive tackle.

2002 NFC – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27, Philadelphia Eagles 10
Sapp started at defensive tackle. He had one tackle and one assist.

Super Bowls

Super Bowl XXXVII – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48, Oakland Raiders 21
Sapp started at defensive tackle. He had two tackles, one sack, two passes defensed and one forced fumble.

All-Pro: 1999 (AP, PFWA, SN) • 2000 (AP, PFWA, SN) • 2001 (AP, PFWA, SN) • 2002 (AP, PFWA, SN)

All-Pro Second Team: 1997 (AP) • 1998 (AP)

All-NFC: 1998 (PW) • 1999 (PW) • 2000 (PW) • 2001 (PW) • 2002 (PW)

(7) – 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001*, 2002*, 2003*, 2004*

*Did not play

(at time of his retirement following 2007 season)

Postseason Records

[Tied for 3rd] Most Sacks, Game – 3.0 (vs. Green Bay, Jan. 4, 1998)

Buccaneers records held by Sapp
(Records through the 2003 season, Sapp’s final season with Tampa Bay)

[1st] Most Sacks, Season – 16.5 (2000)
[Tied for 1st] Most Pro Bowl Selections – 7
[Tied for 1st] Most Consecutive Pro Bowl Selections – 7
[Tied for 1st] Most Pro Bowl Selections by a Defensive Player – 7
[2nd] Most Sacks, Career – 77.0

Postseason Records

[1st] Most Sacks, Game – 3.0 (vs. Green Bay, Jan. 4, 1998)

Team Statistical Championships
Sack Titles: 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000

• 1990s NFL All-Decade Team
• 2000s NFL All-Decade Team
• 1995 All-Rookie Team (PW, PFWA)
• 1999 NFL Defensive Player of the Year (AP, PFWA)

Year Team W L T Division Finish
1995 Tampa Bay 7 9 0 (5th)
1996 Tampa Bay 6 10 0 (4th)
1997 Tampa Bay 10 6 0 (2nd)
1998 Tampa Bay 8 8 0 (3rd)
1999 Tampa Bay 11 5 0 (2nd)
2000 Tampa Bay 10 6 0 (2nd)
2001 Tampa Bay 9 7 0 (3rd)
2002 Tampa Bay 12 4 0 (1st)
2003 Tampa Bay 7 9 0 (3rd)
2004 Oakland 5 11 0 (4th)
2005 Oakland 4 12 0 (4th)
2006 Oakland 2 14 0 (4th)
2007 Oakland 4 12 0 (4th)


Full Name: Warren Carlos Sapp

Birthdate: December 19, 1972

Birthplace: Orlando, Florida

High School: Apopka (FL)

Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame: February 2, 2013

Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: August 3, 2013

Other Members of Class of 2013: Larry Allen, Cris Carter, Curley Culp, Jonathan Ogden, Bill Parcells, Dave Robinson



Pro Career: 13 seasons, 198 games



Drafted: 1st round (12th player overall) in 1995 by Tampa Bay

Uniform Number: 99

Pro Football Hall of Fame Field at Fawcett Stadium
August 3, 2013

Warren Sapp:
Good evening.  I'd like to give all the love to God because without him none of this is possible, Philippians 4:13, I can do all things with Christ.  I will definitely need him tonight to finish this.
I have to start at the top.  My grandmother is not here today, Rosie Lykes, and I know she's looking down on me right now.  My grandfather and my brother Parnell.  My grandmother said something to me a long time ago that I'll never forget.  She said, boy, don't ever forget where you come from.  And I stand before you today, one humble, proud country boy from Plymouth, Florida.  That's right.  The dirt.  That dirt road was something rough, but sure turned it into something special.
I go to my mother, Annie Roberts.  Mom, I love you.  You were my rock, my everything.  Watching you wake up every morning, and you yelled boy, go to school on your way off to work, and I might not see you for two more days because you were at work so much.  I was going to make sure I got myself to school and do everything right that you wanted me to get done, because I was going to make you proud.  And that was my whole goal was to retire you.
Being the baby of six kids, you get treated real bad, even by your sisters (laughing).  Lisa, you were my protector, my rock.  Whenever I need you, baby, you were steady, ready and willing.  I love you.  Lisa, you were my protector, you taught me how to love and you taught me to fight like hell, and I love you, baby.  Punchy, you showed me what another sport was.  I still hate baseball (laughing).  Arnell, you're not here with me tonight, and I know you're at home right now.  But you were my first superstar.  I watched you run for 348 yards and five touchdowns in a high school football game, and then I went out on the playing field and watched my friend grab a football and say, I'm Arnell Lykes, and we all stopped and said you can't be Sapp's brother.
So my first superstar was in my own living room and I got to eat with him.  Arnell, I love you, boy, more than you can ever think.
In that little dirt town in Plymouth, there wasn't a lot to do.  And I want to thank Quinnly Harper and Troy Rainey, because without you, Troy, I would have never played this great game of football.  I was on my way home and Troy said, where you going?  I said, I'm on my way home.  He said, no, we're going to play football.  I said I got to call my mama first.
Picked up the phone, called her.  She said go ahead, boy.  She didn't know what I had asked her at that time, because all my brothers were running backs and they always came home broke up, and she didn't want her baby broke up.  What a situation, huh?  Apopka.  The indoor foliage capital of the world.  APK, the Blue Darters.  Yeah, baby, we here.  Yes, we are.  Coach Gierke, you were my coach, but more like a father.  I want to say I love you, Coach.  I know you're not here, and I know you're watching.
Will and Janice Carlton, I want to thank you all for Saturday mornings, because without you two, the ACT test would have been a little bit too much for a country boy to bear, because I had no idea the difference between a porch, a lanai or anything else.
Coach Dennis Erickson, and all the University of Miami, the Canes, I want to thank Coach for getting on a plane and flying up from Miami to Orlando, Florida and getting on 441 going north, and just like I told you, Coach, drive until it gets real dark like you've gotten lost, then all of a sudden you'll see the flashing lights and it's going to say “Girls, Girls.”  It was just a little trucker stop, but I lived behind that trucker stop.  (Laughing).
Dennis Erickson, and Greg Smith thank you for coming to get a little country boy and showing him what life was about, because I hadn't seen anything over a five story building, unless my Auntie Olga was driving.  The road dog.  That's right, baby.  I ain't going to forget you.  My road dog.  31 out of 32 stadiums we did.  Yes, it was something special.
Nina Gio, my Texas crew.  Nina, you taught me what it was to go on a playing field and talk trash and back it up.  Never thought I'd learn it from a girl, but my cousin was just that tough.  Because you know they won't let the girls play all the time.  She said, come on, I'll take you one on one, boy, and I'll whoop you.  So talking trash and backing it up, it's just the way of my family.  It's just the way we've always done it.
Now, out of college and on to the glades.  I want to thank Malcolm Glazer, the Glazer family, the Buccaneer organization.  Because on that April afternoon, it wasn't fashionable to be with Warren Sapp.  I was sitting there for 2 hours and 45 minutes.
But they took me and they said, we're going to change this organization and Derrick Brooks, he was with me that day.  And without you, dude, ain't no way we turned it around.  And I see you right beside him, Lynch.  You were the back end, the front, the back and the middle.  My rocks that made it possible.  I want to thank you, fellas.
I played for a lot of coaches in my day.  But there's three I want to recognize today.  Because when I got to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1995 it was 11 straight double digit loss seasons. And if you don't know what that means, that means 10 or more.  A lot of losing, a lot of bad times.  But a young man walked in the door, Tony Dungy, and he showed us structure and a path, and a vision.  How to get it done, day in and day out.  I still remember it today, Coach, be a pro.  My watch sits five minutes, Tony Dungy fast.  I'll never be late to a meeting.
Jon Gruden.  They say you're two draft picks and $8 million, so I had to walk in his office every day and see what that man was, and boy was he something special.
Held that unit accountable for every snap they took and every yard they were going to lose or whatever it was, and boy, it was so fun to watch that offense get yelled at like we used to get yelled at on defense.  About time Keyshawn gets it (laughing).
And Art Shell, my Hall of Fame coach I had out in Oakland that allowed me to get down as a 34 year old man and take the Oakland Raiders to the number three defense and ten sacks as a 34 year old.  Thank you, Coach.
I never played this game to get in the Hall of Fame.  I played this game to retire my mother, because my mother worked so hard, and I wasn't going to allow her or myself to be in that position again.  I love this game.  I love the passion of it.  I sit here with the greatest among the great.  As Michael Irvin said the other day, this is the Bible of football because you can read it, get inspiration, gain strength, and look to tomorrow.
This game is so great, there is nothing else I know and love that's taken me from a dirt road to heights I've never even seen and now to a gold jacket.  Oh, my goodness (laughing).
There's so many people I have to thank.  So many people I want to continue to talk about, but I know I'm going to forget somebody, but I'm going to go to my team that's with me now.  Phil (Simms)with Showtime (Inside The NFL).  You, Chris, and JB (James Brown), taught a young 39 year old whippersnapper what it is to be a professional and come to work and love your job and love the men you work with.  I want to thank you for the many conversations and the phone calls and the texts, yeah, the texts.  They do text.  The old guys do.  So I just want to thank you guys for guiding me.
To my team now, NFL Network, my humble host, Rich Eisen as we get up early in the morning every Sunday morning, baby.  My coach, Mooch.  Oh, Steve Mariucci.  Marshall Faulk, my Hall of Fame brother, my running back, my partner in crime.  We started on that set together, and you've been such a help to me.  You know what it is, baby, and I love you so much.
Kurt Warner, I know Brenda's looking at you like oh, shake.  You too, Brenda.  I love you quarterback.  I love my quarterbacks.  My quarterback comes to the set, and we get it done, and we love the way we do it.  There is no better man I love on a Sunday morning than you Kurt Warner, because you get me right.  You make me be a little better, and thanks for the socks too.
Now to my U brother.  Michael Irvin, Money Mike forms the green, and his Orange County boy does the orange, and we form the U in the corner.  That's what we do.  It's five other University of Miami brethren in this Hall of Fame, I want to say thank you, and I join you and I love what we have.  The bond, it's a chain thing, you wouldn't understand.
I can sit up here all night long, and I won't do that to Chris, because it's time for us to close the show and get a party going, because we here, baby.  We here, baby.
To my rock, Jamiko Sapp, my ex-wife.  Baby, you held me up when nobody else would.  I want to thank you.  You were my backbone.  All them nights you took care of me.  And I want to say I love you and I thank you.  And for everybody else out there that I did forget, I love you, God bless you and good night.

Presenter Video: Mercedes Sapp presents her father, Warren