I’ve sat back and read each of the Bucs Report staff’s Top-Ten Buccaneers Players of All-Time so when I was challenged by Nick Sitro, I couldn’t wait to post mine.
I noticed a lot of names left off of their lists. Not a knock on those who wrote them, most of those writers are young and haven’t seen much of the old school Buccaneers. My list will take from both eras and try to blend them into what should be a great list.
10. Cedrick Brown
Brown and teammate Mark Cotney owned the backfield in 1979. The two safeties made it possible for the front defensive line to roam and do what they did best.
9. Mark Cotney
Cotney was selected in the 1976 expansion draft. He was considered a hard-hitting safety in a time when you could still hit people in football.
8. Ricky Bell
Yes you read that right, Bell was listed as fullback during the ’79 and ’80 seasons. The starting running back that year was rookie Jerry Eckwood. Bell gained 1,263 yards and 7 TDs on 283 carries with 248 yards and 2 TDs receiving in 1979.
7. Richard (Batman) Wood
Wood was everywhere! He was dangerous against the run or pass. A sideline to sideline player, who was a big hitter with great speed and agility.
6. Simeon Rice
Rice was one of if not thee premimanant pass rusher in the league during his time in Tampa. During the 2002 season, Rice posted 15.5 sacks. Known for his high motor and eccentric personality, Rice was as much a factor off as on the field.
5. John Lynch
Lynch’s hard hitting style made players regret crossing the middle against the Buccaneers. Lynch was known as “Friendly Fire” by his teamates for inadvertently breaking Warren Sapp’s hand while assisting on a tackle.
4. Ronde Barber
Barber created the 20/20 club.Being the first player to post 20 sacks and 20 interceptions. Not only is Barber the first to do so, he’s the only one not in the hall of fame. Barber was the definition of versatile. He was a sure tackler, excelled blitzing the quarterback and seemed to always make a play when needed.
3. Warren Sapp
Sapp was part of the foundation of the 2002 Super Bowl team. Him, along with Derrick Brooks would lead a defense that is arguably top-five if not one of the greatest of all time. Sapp’s relentless no-holds barred play made him a fan favorite and a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks.
2. Derrick Brooks
The heart and soul of the 2002 Bucs Super Bowl team. Brooks was a driving influence on and off the field. There wasnt much Brooks couldn’t do. Need a deep drop to help in coverage? Brooks could do that. Do you need to spy a mobile quarterback? He excelled at that, ask Michael Vick. Brooks had a rare combination of athleticism, intuition and discipline that consistently made him special.
1. Lee Roy Selmon
The original, the first Buccaneer, Selmon struck fear in opposing teams. No double team was enough to stop him. If they kept track of sack numbers in his era, his would rank near the top. Selmon was a gentleman off the field and on. Relentless and sometimes unstoppable on the field, Selmon is the reason the Buccaneers have a history of solid defensive play.