Al Keck’s Top-Ten Buccaneers Quarterbacks of All-Time, Sort of.


Let’s call this the NFL’s version of the Rubik’s Cube.

You say you know football?

You play Madden, you claim you had your moments in high school football and you watched “Little Giants” twice without crying.

So, let’s put your gridiron genius to work.

Compile a list of the Top-Ten Bucs Quarterbacks of All-Time!

C’mon!! Don’t be a wuss!

These sage words from my parole officer keep rolling through my head.  “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should!”

And that’s the rub. I’m not sure you can come up with 10 names. The Bucs have never had “one” quarterback truly show the way. While the Packers have had Bart Starr and Brett Favre, the Bucs have had Tim Rattay and Jerry Golsteyn.

Even if I put together a Top Ten list for Ray Kennedy and only Ray Kennedy, I couldn’t do it with a straight face. Then again, I’m sure Ray Kennedy has a Top 20 list ready to go.

Our fresh world is all about challenges. We now drop the gauntlet. Not sure a drumroll is appropriate. So, please cue the “campfire and beans” scene from Blazing Saddles.

Here are my Top Ten Quarterbacks in Bucs History!!

10. HOLD

This selection is on hold because of the coronavirus. Hell, everything else is!!

9. Steve DeBerg

DeBerg is one of my favorite Buccaneers ever. Twice he took a beating as a stable pony while the Bucs got the guts to play their latest quarterback of the future. I was so happy when he finally received a genuine opportunity with the Chiefs and led them to the playoffs twice. All class and guts.

8. Jeff Garcia

The last man to quarterback the Bucs in a playoff game. Won 14 of the 24 games he started and is one of five Bucs quarterbacks to make the Pro Bowl.

7. Shaun King

Now, before you think Johnny Dean has crawled into my head and taken over my brain, hear me out. After his junior year at Tulane, King visited the Bucs and applied for a PR internship after he graduated. Instead, after his senior year, the Bucs drafted him in the second round and made him their quarterback. Seriously, he has the best winning percentage of any Buccaneers quarterback at 14-8. He played a ton of gigantic games as the Bucs were becoming a playoff team. Just having to quarterback the Bucs offense against Brooks, Sapp, and Lynch in practice every day gets my respect.

6. Trent Dilfer

Yeah, Trent Dilfer. Therefore, this is the Rubik’s Cube of the NFL. Still, he is one of only a handful of Buccaneer quarterbacks to have a .500 record or better as a starter at 38-38. Trent was at his best when he handed the football to Dunn and Alstott and occasionally hit a pass to keep the defense honest. Made a Pro Bowl as a Bucs quarterback as well.

5. Vinny Testaverde

Just surviving the early years with the Buccaneers and still putting together a 21-year career is damn impressive. It is criminal the way they threw him to the wolves with a lack of talent around him and coaching he received. Highly regarded in Ravens and Jets’ history.

4. Brad Johnson

From this selection on, Peter Blake believes these quarterbacks could lead the Bucs to a 10-6 record today!! They considered Johnson to be the last piece of the Bucs playoff puzzle and proved it with Jon Gruden. He quarterbacked the Bucs to a Super Bowl victory. Also he played his best in the playoffs. Oh, and made a Pro Bowl.

3. Josh Freeman

Such a waste. In four seasons Freeman developed into one of the top young quarterbacks around. In year five, personal demons took over. Very sad, could easily still be the Bucs quarterback today. He made the Pro Bowl as a Buccaneer.

2. Jameis Winston

Owns every Buccaneer passing record, Winston needed only four of his five years to demolish them. But those frickin’ interceptions! His own worst enemy. Never led the Bucs to the playoffs and never really led the Bucs to a big game victory because of those frickin’ interceptions! The biggest example losses are to Houston and Atlanta to close out 2019. The Bucs had a chance to close the season 9-7 with a six-game winning streak. Instead, six interceptions, including two Pick-6’s, made for a 7-9 disappointment. Also represented the Bucs in a Pro Bowl.

1. Doug Williams

This may be more about what could have been, yet, what he endured here showed his greatness. In 1978 he was the first Black quarterback drafted in the first round. He took over a team that two years before was the worst professional team ever assembled. By his second year, he quarterbacked that team to the playoffs and within one game of the Super Bowl. He didn’t have amazing stats, but he quarterbacked the Bucs to their biggest wins outside the Super Bowl season. Owner Hugh Culverhouse ruined his franchise by refusing to pay him fairly.

There is my Top Ten. Honorable Mentions… really??!! Grow a pair and put yours together.