Legendary Tampa Bay LB Derrick Brooks was elected to the Pro Football
Hall of Fame's 2014 class on Saturday. Brooks, regarded as the best
Buccaneer of all time, joins Lee Roy Selmon and Warren Sapp in the Hall
of Fame, but former Bucs head coach Tony Dungy and SS John Lynch fell
short in their attempts to get in.
Earlier this year, former Buccaneers defensive tackle Warren Sapp was
elected the Pro Football Hall of Fame, joining legendary defensive end
Lee Roy Selmon to become the second Tampa Bay player to be given the
On Saturday that list grew by one more as standout Bucs
linebacker Derrick Brooks was elected to the Hall of Fame on his first
Brook was a first-round draft pick of the
Buccaneers in 1995 after a stellar college career playing for Bobby
Bowden and the Florida State Seminoles. In his rookie season, Brooks
started 13 of 16 games, and after that, never left the starting lineup
through his career.
During his Buccaneers career Brooks made the Pro
Bowl 11 times, was a nine-time All-Pro, the NFL Defensive Player of the
Year in 2002 and a Walter Payton Man of the Year winner in 2000.
Brooks led the Buccaneers to their only NFL championship, a 48-21 victory over Oakland in Super Bowl XXXVII following the 2002 season,
and had a key pick-six in that game to clinch the win. A member of the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 2000s, Brooks is
widely regarded as the prototype weakside linebacker for the Tampa 2
scheme in which he played. Statistically, Brooks ended his playing
career with 224 games played and 221 starts, 1,715 tackles, 13.5 sacks,
25 interceptions and seven touchdowns.
Brooks was the only
former Buccaneer to be elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this
year as legendary coach Tony Dungy and strong safety John Lynch did not
make the cut this year. Dungy, who coached the Buccaneers from
1996-2001, brought stability and respectability to a franchise that was
mired in mediocrity for more than a decade. The Buccaneers went 6-10 in
Dungy’s first season, which was his only losing season as a head coach,
and the following year saw Tampa Bay make the
playoffs for the first time in 15 years.
Dungy led Tampa Bay to the
playoffs four times in his six
seasons, including the NFC Championship Game in 1999.
fired by the Buccaneers after their second consecutive playoff loss to
the Philadelphia Eagles.
Dungy was immediately hired by the Colts and
coached seven seasons in Indianapolis. In 2006, he led his team to a
Super Bowl victory. Dungy became the first African-American head coach to win a Super
Dungy retired to work for NBC Sports after the 2008 season and finished his coaching
career with a 139-69 record.
Lynch joined the Buccaneers as a
third-round selection from Stanford in 1993 and played with Tampa Bay
until 2003. Known as one of the most feared hitters in league history,
Lynch’s resume includes nine Pro Bowls, four-time All-Pro selections and
the 2000 NFL Defensive Back of the Year.
After his release by the
Buccaneers after the 2003 season due to a shoulder injury, Lynch played
four more seasons for the Denver Broncos. For his NFL career, the former
Stanford star recorded 1,058 tackles, 13 sacks and 26 interceptions.
joins former Oakland punter Ray Guy, former Seattle offensive tackle
Walter Jones, former Buffalo wide receiver, former Arizona and St. Louis
defensive back Aeneas Williams, former Atlanta and Philadelphia
defensive end Claude Humphrey and former NY Giants defensive end Michael
Strahan as the newest class of Hall of Famers.
The Class of 2014
will be officially enshrined on Saturday, Aug. 2 in Canton, Ohio as the
main event of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Annual Enshrinement
Festival Celebration.– Scott Reynolds contributed to this report
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