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klick81
01-03-2008, 07:00 PM
http://www.mercurynews.com/sportsheadlines/ci_7873260?nclick_check=1

Raiders' Warren Sapp announces retirement
By Steve Corkran
Bay Area News Group
Article Launched: 01/03/2008 01:37:19 PM PST


Click photo to enlarge
Oakland Raiders' defensive tackle Warren Sapp (99) smiles during a team football... ( Ben Margot )?1?After 13 seasons, Raiders' star Warren Sapp is retiring.
Today, Sapp used only two words to inform Raiders Managing General Partner Al Davis of his intentions for next season.

"I'm done," Sapp said he told Davis in a phone conversation this morning.

Just like that, Sapp made the quantum leap from elite NFL defensive tackle to retired 35-year-old.

Sapp leaves the game with his body intact, his mind sharp and his r?sum? chock full of impressive credentials.

"If you were going to pick a football team and play on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday or whenever, and it came time for you to pick your three-technique (tackle)," Sapp said by phone, "you were taking me with you. That's all I ever wanted from this game."In the end, Sapp received much more than widespread recognition as one of the game's premiere players.

He earned seven Pro Bowl selections with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1999. He played a vital role in the Buccaneers' Super Bowl championship team in the 2002 season. Quarterbacks always knew where he lined up.

Sapp credits former Buccaneers defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, now the Detroit Lions coach, with molding him into a well-rounded player. His development came under the watchful eye of defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin.

Along the way, Sapp got to know Kiffin's son, Lane, now the coach of the Raiders. They grew even closer this past year.

"Warren


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and I hit it off pretty good right away," Lane Kiffin said Monday, "and he liked what he saw in the team meetings. He liked what we talked about, the practice tempo, a bunch of things he'd been disappointed in before. He really got behind us and what we were doing. It was a good experience."
Sapp finished with 96 1/2 career sacks. Former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle John Randle is the only interior lineman with more sacks.

"There are three dudes people are always talking about when it comes to three-techniques, 'under' tackles, whatever you want to call it," Sapp said. "John Randle, Keith Millard and me. - Those three guys right there, you can't go wrong with any of them."

Sapp first informed Davis of his intention to retire in a get-together last Friday night. Davis told Sapp to think about his decision and get back to him this week. That time came in what Sapp termed a "simple conversation."

Davis and Sapp thanked each other for the four-year relationship they enjoyed from the time Sapp joined the Raiders in 2004, exchanged thoughts on the Raiders' current plight and vowed to see each other in a week.

At that time, Davis told Sapp, the Raiders will honor Sapp in a formal setting somewhere in Oakland or Alameda. Sapp said he is thrilled by the prospect.

Davis always has been fond of Sapp. He admired Sapp's tenacity, production and enthusiasm for the game.

So it was that Davis pounced on the chance to land Sapp once he became a free agent after the 2003 season. Sapp learned of the Raiders' interest in him through an early-morning call from agent Drew Rosenhaus.

"He said, 'Al Davis is on the line, and he's not getting off until you're a Raider," Sapp said. "I said, 'Well, do the deal.' I didn't take a visit here. I didn't see who the defensive coordinator was. I didn't see who the head coach was. Al Davis said, 'Warren Sapp, I want you to play for the Oakland Raiders.' I said, 'I'll take that.' I came here, I put in four years."

Sapp said he has no immediate plans. Yet, one day he said he envisions himself as an analyst of some sort.

The Duke
01-03-2008, 07:10 PM
that's a big hole for the raiders to fill

though his attitude ( like the packers controversy) will always be remembered he was a great player

good luck to him :cheers:

touchdownward
01-03-2008, 07:48 PM
Warren Sapp is one of my favorite non-Steelers. He was a great player and always played aggressive.

Good to see that alot of these players are stepping out a little early to insure quality of life after football, like Bettis did.

Newzfoxjr
01-03-2008, 08:01 PM
I always liked him, he's pretty cool and I liked to watch him play...

Rhee Rhee
01-04-2008, 02:37 AM
funny character and quite possibly the best ever at making metaphors! O and he sacked a couple QB's in his time if i recall