One of the greatest defensive tackles to ever play the game, Warren Sapp had no trouble being recognized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, getting inducted in his first year of eligibility. He gave his induction speech in Canton, Ohio, on Saturday and these are some of the highlights.
Sapp's speech was impassioned and rapid-fire. He said one thing he'll always keep with him is his mom telling him "never forget where you came from," and that he is humble today because of it. He also said that no matter what, he was always driven by his family and those close to him, to do right by them and get them to be proud of him.
From there, he thanked his coaches and teammates. He said that without Derrick Brooks and John Lynch, the Buccaneers would never have turned it around to win a Super Bowl. Sapp said that he, Brooks and Lynch were the front, middle and back of the great defense.
But even after thanking his teammates, and coaches Tony Dungy, Jon Gruden and Art Shell, Sapp returned to talking about his mother.
"I never played this game to get into the Hall of Fame," Sapp said. "I played this game to retire my mother. I love this game, I love the passion of it, and I sit here with the greatest, among the great."
He continued to express his gratitude for what the sport has done for him and his family. "This game is so great, there's nothing else I know and love that's taken me from a dirt road to heights I've never seen -- and a golf jacket," Sapp said.
Sapp wrapped it all up thanking everyone once again, and got choked up as he talked about those who supported him throughout his entire journey. By the end, he was in tears.
Drafted with the 12th overall pick in 1995, Sapp helped turn the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from a laughingstock into a contender. As the centerpiece of Monte Kiffin's influential Cover 2 scheme, Sapp used his unique blend of size and strength to become a rare specimen -- a run-stuffing tackle who was also a threat in the pass rush. He won Defensive Player of the Year in 1999 after recording 16.5 sacks, a number which was just unheard of for an interior lineman at the time.
Sapp got his Super Bowl ring in 2002 as the Bucs fielded one of the best defenses of all time. He joined the Oakland Raiders in 2004 and continued to be productive up to his retirement in 2008. Sapp finished his career with 96.5 sacks, seven Pro Bowls and appearances on both the 1990s and 2000s All-Decade Teams.