FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Former Patriots linebacker Andre Tippett, a five-time Pro Bowler and a member of the NFL's 1980s All-Decade Team, has been named as one of 17 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2008. Tippett, a finalist for the second consecutive year, joins 13 other modern-era players, two players selected by the Hall of Fame's Senior Committee and one contributor in the pool from which this year's Hall of Fame class will be selected. The Hall of Fame's 44-member Selection Committee will meet in Phoenix on Saturday, Feb. 2 to choose between four and seven players from the finalist pool for election to the Hall of Fame. Further details on the selection process and a list of the other finalists can be found in the attached release from the Hall of Fame.
Below are selected highlights of Tippett's career, which spanned 11 seasons from 1982-93:
- Tippett is a member of the NFL's 1980s All-Decade team. Four of the six other linebackers on the team are already in the Hall of Fame (Lawrence Taylor, Mike Singletary, Ted Hendricks and Jack Lambert). Significantly, recent Hall of Fame inductee Harry Carson (1976-88) was omitted from the list.
- Tippett was selected to five Pro Bowls in his career, earning the nod in five straight seasons from 1984-88.
- From 1984-85, Tippett recorded the highest two-season sack total by a linebacker in NFL history, totaling 35.0 sacks during the two seasons. His 18.5 sacks in 1984 are the third most by any linebacker in a single season, while his 16.5 sacks in 1985 are tied for the sixth most by any linebacker in NFL history. He achieved the feat despite playing primarily on the strong side, lining up opposite of a tight end, in an era where most successful pass-rushers lined up on the weak side.
- Tippett ranked seventh on the all-time sacks list at the time of his retirement following the 1993 season.
- Tippett ranked third among linebackers on the all-time sacks list at the time of his retirement following the 1993 season.
- Over his career, Tippett recorded 100 sacks in 151 games, an average of 0.662 sacks per game. The mark currently ranks fourth in NFL history among linebackers.
- Tippett was named the NFL's linebacker of the year by the NFL Players Association for three straight seasons from 1985-87. He was also named to the Associated Press All-NFL First Team on two occasions (1985, 1987).
- Tippett holds the Patriots' franchise record with 100.0 career sacks. He also owns the top three single-season sack performances in Patriots history: 18.5 in 1984, 16.5 in 1985 and 12.5 in 1987 (tied with Mike Vrabel's 2007 total).
- Tippett recovered 17 opponents' fumbles during his career, tying him for first on the Patriots' all-time list (Steve Nelson). He also forced 14 fumbles in his career.
- Tippett spent his entire 11-year career with the Patriots and was a member of three playoff teams, including the 1985 AFC Champions.
- Tippett was selected to the Patriots' 35th Anniversary Team in 1994 and was selected to the Patriots Team of the Century in 2000.
- After not recording a sack as a rookie in 1982, Tippett finished either first or second on the team in sacks in each of his final 10 seasons. He led the team in sacks six times and finished second on the team four times.
- Tippett recorded 30 multiple-sack games in his career and sacked a total of 37 different quarterbacks.