Tippett's rare pass-rushing ability earns him entry into Hall of Fame

A member of the NFL's All-Decade team of the 1980s along with Lawrence Taylor, Mike Singletary, Ted Hendricks and Jack Lambert, linebacker Andre Tippett was a sack machine in his own right, recording a franchise-record 100 sacks in 12 seasons with New England. Tippett owns the top three single-season sack performances in Patriots history (18.5 in 1984, 16.5 in 1985 and 12.5 in 1987) and his 35 sacks in 1984 and 1985 is the highest two-season sack total by a linebacker in NFL history.

Class of 2008

On Saturday, Aug. 2, the Class of 2008 will be formally inducted into the Hall. Earlier this year, they were measured for their bust and jacket sizes. They will be presented with their busts at the Hall of Fame ceremony.

» Bios:Dean | Green | Monk | Thomas | Tippett | Zimmerman
» Video:Dean | Green | Monk | Thomas | Tippett | Zimmerman

After drafting Tippett in the second round out of the University of Iowa, the Patriots used the 6-foot-3, 240-pound linebacker primarily on special teams, where he played in nine games as a rookie during the strike-shortened 1982 season.

After earning a starting spot on the strong side the following season, Tippett gave Patriots fans a glimpse of what he was capable of, recording 8.5 sacks in 15 games. But it wasn't until 1984 -- Tippett's third season -- that the agile linebacker emerged as a dominant force on defense, recording a Patriots team record 18.5 sacks and earning the first of five consecutive trips to the Pro Bowl (1985-'89). His 18.5 sacks that season are the third most by any linebacker in a single season.

In 1985, Tippett helped the Patriots to their first Super Bowl berth. His 16.5 sacks (first in the AFC, second in the NFL), three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries that season earned him AFC Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Injuries began to take a toll on Tippett in 1986 when in Week 9 he suffered a right knee injury that required surgery. Nevertheless, Tippett returned to the lineup for the team's final two regular-season games and one playoff game, earning a Pro Bowl invitation despite missing five games. Tippett missed four games in 1988 and was sidelined for all of 1989 with a shoulder injury.

Tippett remained a dominant force when he returned in 1990 until he retired in 1993. He recorded 27.5 sacks in that time. At the time of his retirment, he ranked seventh on the all-time sacks list and third among all linebackers.

Tippett has worked in the Patriots' front office since his retirement and currently serves as the teams' executive director of community affairs.

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