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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Warner, Favre recall Sapp as game changer

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Published:   |   Updated: August 1, 2013 at 05:07 PM

Warren Sapp went after quarterbacks hard and fast.

In 2002, the Bucs beat the Rams 26-14 in a nationally televised matchup on "Monday Night Football." Linebacker Derrick Brooks clinched the home win by returning a Kurt Warner interception 39 yards for a touchdown with 59 seconds remaining as Tampa Bay improved to 2-1.

Warner tried to chase down Brooks, who went on to be named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, only to be met by a crunching block, courtesy of No. 99.

"If you're standing on the tracks when the train comes, you get hit," was Sapp's terse response when asked about the collision.

Warner, now Sapp's colleague as an NFL Network analyst, harbors no grudges more than a decade later.

"Of all the great players I competed against, there were none more disruptive than Warren," Warner said. "He was the only defensive tackle that I ever played against that could take over an entire game. His passion carried over to not only his teammates, but also to his opponents, and he was truly inspiring."

Praise from Brett Favre

Sapp and Brett Favre had a series of memorable encounters when the Bucs and Packers were rivals in the NFC Central Division before a 2002 realignment split the franchises apart.

"Warren Sapp was the toughest defensive tackle to block that I played against," Favre said. "He was smart, relentless and never took a play off. He could disrupt a game plan single-handedly. He deserves all the honors he's getting and I'll remember him as the best I faced."

Andruzzi, you've been warned

When former Green Bay guard Joe Andruzzi made his first NFL start against the Bucs in a 1998 Monday night game at Raymond James Stadium, Sapp issued a chilling comment that Favre couldn't help but overhear.

"I can remember Warren walking up to the line," Favre said. "It was loud and I've got my hands on (center) Frank Winters' butt. Warren looks up at Joe and he says, 'You picked the wrong night to make your first start, Andruzzi.' I didn't laugh, but it was funny because I was kind of thinking the same thing."

No-win situation

Favre also recalled the time Winters broke his foot and was replaced at center by veteran Jeff Dellenbach.

"Warren approached us and made a funny face," Favre said. "Then he looks up at Jeff and says, 'Dellenbach, I thought you retired.' I couldn't help but laugh at that one. Warren sure knew how to get under your skin. I never started anything with Warren. Why would you want to provoke him?"

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