July 29, 2021

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2002 Versus 2020 Buccaneer’s Defenses: Do They Compare?

3 min read

Mark Humphrey | AP

The 2002 Defense that led the charge to the Buccaneer’s first Super Bowl win is Legen — wait for it, wait for it — Dary.

Three eventual Hall of Famers stalked the field for that unit. 

Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp, and John Lynch were masters of their craft and their domain. It could be easily said that the ’02 defense had 4 enshrined in Canton if you include Ronde Barber. One would be hard-pressed to find a Bucs fan — or anyone that followed that Cover 2 closely — that would argue with that. He’s more than worthy. Get him in there NFL and football media! I digress. To take a look at how good that defense was, consider this. During the regular season, playoffs, and Super Bowl run of 2002-2003 the defense held the opposing offense to ten or fewer points an amazing ten times. In comparison, last season’s defense accomplished this feat only four times. It warrants noting that the ’02 squad had played together longer and didn’t have any Covid Restrictions in place. Last year’s team didn’t really start coming together until after the bye in week 13.

The 2002 version is considered by many to be the very best of the more modern-day NFL. The 2021 team is facing a pretty strong schedule, but should barring injuries be improved from last season’s unit. When you look at both defenses, they really don’t compare much at all. Both were certainly dominant in ways. They both were extremely strong against the run, and they both led the way to success and an NFL Title. The modern-day now version of the Bucs Defense may, in time, come close, but I would be surprised if they surpassed the first Super Bowl Defense. They can, though, forge their own identity and way. Time will tell. They are going to be the best while attempting it, that’s for sure.

I looked at a ton of stats to write this article, and I could have filled it to the gills with stats. I decided not to when I happened upon two sets of Super Bowl Seasons stats. That got me thinking about things that I have read on Bucs Social Media concerning Devin White.

I think most fans don’t realize just how super good he is.

I predicted Canton for White his rookie year in several pieces I did that season of 2019. Many fans know that the man is above average and a great player. I don’t think all that many recognize that he is probably the best inside linebacker in the league right now, and not by a little, and he’s getting better and will continue to for several seasons still to come. The nickname of monster is begotten to a very few exceptional – cream of the crop players. I think Devin White becomes the first mega-monster in League history. He’s that good! Again I digress. I found these two sets of stats. Those stats belong to Derrick Brooks and Devin White from their Super Bowl seasons. These sets of stats were by far the most interesting ones by far, and I will end the article with them. Derrick Brooks 2002/2003 total combined tackles 118, solo 88, tackles for loss 7, and no stats for quarterback hits. Devin White 2020/2021 total combined tackles 140, solo tackles 97, tackles for loss 15, and quarterback hits 16. Can we all say wow together? Go Bucs!!