Before I begin this article, I want to tell you that this is MY TOP TEN. I’m not writing this because I feel that you, the reader, will agree! I’ve been a Bucs fan since 1976, and I’ve been through the fire with this team and have earned my right to my opinion in this matter. I’ve lost count on how many games I’ve been to, but counting preseason, regular season, and playoffs. The number is well over (60). Younger Bucs fans would need to reference YouTube to watch videos of old Buccaneers, I, however, was at the “Big Sombrero” for most of the games watching not only Bucs players, but watching some of the greatest players in NFL history!
Now to my top ten.
10. Warrick Dunn – In my opinion, Warrick Dunn was part of one of the greatest one-two punch offenses Tampa ever had. Defenses had to game plan for his speed and quickness.
He was a game-changer! Small and elusive.
9. Brad Johnson – As a journeyman quarterback in the NFL, Brad found his way to a very solid Buccaneers team. The reason I have him in my top ten? He was exactly what the team needed at the time, and the Bucs were not much of an offense without him in the game! Leading our Buccaneers to the Super Bowl victory at the QB position gives him the nod!
8. Warren Sapp – Warren was the second ever Hall of Famer in the teams’ history! One huge piece of an NFL juggernaut defense, which led to our Bucs winning not only the respect of the League, but catapulting the franchise to a Super Bowl win!
7. Ronde Barber – Not only did his interception against the Eagles take us to the big game, but Barber is also the only player in NFL history with 45+ interceptions and 25+ sacks. His 28 sacks are the most by a Defensive Back!
6. Derrick Brooks – Who’s your favorite player? Mr. Derrick Brooks! He’s at number six because, well, he’s Derrick Brooks! The QB of the defense, awesome tackler, and all-around athletic dude!
A real nose for the football and a Hall of Famer to boot!
Now for my top five!
5. Kevin House – I’m not sure if the younger generation understands the importance of # 89. He played for Tampa from 1980 – 1986 and was a key target for our quarterback for those years! His receiving yards of 5,169 on 299 receptions catching 34 touchdowns should be recognized as above average as he was on teams that were not good, to say the least. As a kid, I idolized Kevin House and dreamed of being # 89 every time I played sandlot games!
4. Doug Williams – Doug was a strong-armed quarterback who could scramble. He could hurl the ball 80 yards falling backward! He took a mediocre offense and surprised everyone leading the Bucs to the 1979 NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME. Unfortunately, one of my most hated rivals, the Rams won the game 9 – 0. Williams played with Tampa from 1978 – 1982, completing 1,240 passes out of 2,507 (49.5 %) throwing 100 TDs with 93 TDs and a 69.4 QB rating.
3. Ricky Bell – Ricky was the main weapon of choice when it came to the offense! He played from 1977 – 1981, and because of two diseases that affect the skin and striated muscles and various connective tissues of the body, his career and life were cut short at the age of 29. He rushed the ball 822 times for 3,063 yards averaging 3.7 yards per carry with 16 touchdowns. Receiving 97 times for 842 yards and 3 touchdowns. He was a 1991 Krewe of Honor recipient. If not for his health issues, who knows what records he would have broken or set! You are missed!
2. Mike Alstott – No words really can define the importance of Mike Alstott! Just these sounds, Boom! Thud! Boom!
Known and loved by Bucs fans as, “The A-Train”, Mike redefined the fullback position! With quickness and strength from a 6 ft 1, 248-pound bowling ball, Alstott won the hearts of fans for his “go to work” and “Blue Collar” work ethic! Rush attempts of 1,359 for 5,088 yards a 3.7 yards per carry and 58 touchdowns and receiving 305 for 2,284 yards and 13 touchdowns made him a beast and a threat every time he touched the ball! “You’re in good hands with Alstott!”
MY NUMBER ONE GUY.
1. Lee Roy Selmon – No doubt in my mind that the very first draft pick in team history is my number one guy!!!! Lee Roy was a 6 ft 3 pure dude! He played for the Buccaneers from 1976 – 1984 was a (6 x) Pro Bowler, (3x) first-team All-Pro, (2x) second-team All-Pro. NFL’s 1980’s All-Decade Team, Pro-Bowl Co-MVP (1981) 1979 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, 1979 NFL Defensive Lineman of the Year, 1995 Hall of Famer, and his # 63 was retired. 1991 Tampa Stadium Krewe Of Honor and 2009 Ring of Honor. Selmon had 742 tackles, 78.5 sacks and 28.5 fumbles forced. He was the driving force of a young franchise in a day where expansion teams didn’t receive the “best” players but were given “hand me downs” players that the other teams didn’t want.Lee Roy Selmon should be remembered as a Legend! He will be in this writer’s mind!
Well, that’s about it! This was a great flash to the past for me because gathering information from the web brought back so many memories! Let’s hope that new legions are made from current Buccaneer teams! As always, Go Bucs!