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June 27, 2014 @ 2:19 pm
Current rating: 3.17 Stars/6 Votes

SR's Fab 5: The Next 10 Bucs Ring Of Honor Candidates

Written by Scott
Reynolds
Scott Reynolds

Scott
Reynolds

Publisher E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Which 10 Buccaneers should be the next candidates for the team's Ring of Honor? Who is the one of the most underrated Bucs of all-time? What makes the 2002 Bucs defense better than the 2013 Seahawks defense? Get the answers and more insight in this edition of SR's Fab 5.
SR's Fab 5 is a collection of inside scoop, analysis and insight from yours truly, Pewter Report publisher and Bucs beat writer Scott Reynolds. Here are a few things that caught my attention this week at One Buc Place:

A few thoughts before we roll into this week’s SR’s Fab 5. With Mark Cook and Eric Dellaratta addressing some of the depth chart issues of the current Buccaneers team as training camp draws near, I decided to go in a different direction with this week’s edition of SR’s Fab 5.

FAB 1. PR’s TOP 10 CANDIDATES FOR BUCS RING OF HONOR IN 2015 AND BEYOND
There has always been some intrigue about the Buccaneers’ selections for the team’s ring of honor. Ultimately, it’s been the Glazers’ decision to permanently affix a particular former member of the organization’s name to Raymond James Stadium, but their selection process has been a bit curious since the team began this process five years ago.

Former defensive end Lee Roy Selmon, the franchise’s first ever pick in 1976 and Tampa Bay’s first Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee was an easy choice in 2009. Selmon holds the record for most career sacks as a Buccaneer with 78, and was the greatest player in franchise history until Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp entered that argument with their stellar careers in Tampa Bay in the 1990s and 200s.

The Glazers continued to pay homage to the old creamsicle Buccaneers with the posthumous induction of John McKay, the first head coach in team history, in 2010. Despite having a 44-88 (33.3 percent) win-loss record, due mostly to the team’s dubious 0-26 start over the Bucs’ first two years of existence, McKay quickly turned Tampa Bay into a playoff contender and took the Bucs to the NFC Championship Game in 1979.

Tight end Jimmie Giles, perhaps the organization’s best offensive weapon over the first two decades of its existence, continued the coronation of old-time Buccaneers. Giles, who had 279 catches for 4,300 yards and 34 touchdowns, was a bit of a surprise pick in 2011 because neither the fans nor the media knew if the Glazers were going to continue to recognize the franchise’s brief glory days from 1979-1982 or move on to the teams in the late 1990s and early 2000s and include Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl champions.

The following season, the Glazers made a bit of a surprise pick – but a right pick – in inducting venerable left tackle Paul Gruber in 2012. Gruber became the first member of the Bucs Ring of Honor to wear both the Bucco Bruce uniforms and the pewter and red. The big question with Gruber’s induction was whether the franchise was going to continue to recognize former greats from the creamsicle era, such as quarterback Doug Williams, wide receiver Mark Carrier or running backs Ricky Bell and James Wilder, or if the Glazers were moving on to the more recent era of Buccaneers wearing red and pewter.

When Sapp became the second member of the Buccaneers organization inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last year, his induction into the Bucs Ring of Honor in 2013 came as no surprise. Like Gruber, Sapp was one of those players that wore both the Bucco Bruce uniform and the red and pewter, and became the first member of Tampa Bay’s 2002 Super Bowl champion team to enter the Ring of Honor. With seven Pro Bowls, an NFL Defensive Player of the Year honor (1999) and 77 career sacks, which is the second-most in franchise history, Sapp became the most decorated player to enter the Bucs Ring of Honor.

Derrick Brooks’ induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014 made him a shoo-in for the Bucs Ring of Honor this year, following the same pattern that illuminated Sapp’s name on the walls of Raymond James Stadium. Brooks, a 14-year veteran in Tampa Bay, trumps Sapp’s accomplishments as a Buccaneer with 11 Pro Bowls and the 2002 NFL Defensive Player of the Year distinction. And in this Pewter Reporter’s opinion, Brooks, who is the Bucs’ all-time leading tackler with 2,198 stops, is the best player in Tampa Bay history, just ahead of Sapp and Selmon.

The question I want to know the answer to from the ever-elusive Glazers is that if Sapp and Brooks didn’t get enshrined in Canton, Ohio, would they have still inducted Sapp and Brooks over the past two years or would that dynamic duo have waited while some other members of the organization – perhaps from the distant past – been named to the Bucs Ring of Honor instead?

Former Bucs head coach Tony Dungy and former Pro Bowl strong safety John Lynch missed the cut in the Pro Football Hall of Fame voting last year and should be finalists again in 2015. If either one of them makes the Hall of Fame expect the Glazers to follow suit with their induction into the Ring of Honor the same season. But if neither gets enshrined next year it will be very interesting to see whom the Glazers decide to join the Bucs Ring of Honor.

To help them decide, I’ve come up with a top 10 list of deserving names for them to consider. The first and most obvious one is the patriarch of the Glazer family, late Bucs owner Malcolm Glazer, who died on May 28 at the age of 85 after suffering a series of strokes several years ago.

PewterReport.com’s Top 10 of worthy candidates for the Bucs Ring of Honor:

2015 – Bucs owner Malcolm Glazer
Glazer purchased the team in 1995 after the death of former owner Hugh Culverhouse, paying a then-record $192 million and saving the day by joining with taxpayers to build Raymond James Stadium and keep the team in Tampa Bay. Glazer hired Dungy, the man who turned the Bucs around and into Super Bowl contenders, in 1996, and made a daring trade for head coach Jon Gruden in 2002 that led to the team’s first and only Super Bowl victory. The Bucs have posted eight winning seasons with seven playoff appearances since Glazer bought the team.

2016 – MLB Hardy Nickerson
In keeping with the trend of Buccaneers that transitioned from orange and white to red and pewter, Nickerson needs to get his due for helping transform the culture at One Buccaneer Place and for his stellar play from 1993-99. Nickerson, a five-time Pro Bowler, set a franchise record with 214 tackles in 1993 that still stands today, and provided the leadership that allowed Sapp, Brooks, Lynch and others to flourish and become Super Bowl champions in time. Nickerson became the first Bucs defender to top 1,000 tackles in his career, and his 1,028 stops rank third in team history.

2017 – Coach Tony Dungy
Both Dungy and Gruden deserve to enter the Ring of Honor, but it’s only fitting that Dungy comes first because he helped turn the Bucs around and built a Super Bowl-caliber defense in the late 1990s. In addition to posting a 54-42 record, he helped bring several assistants to Tampa Bay that helped the Bucs win a Super Bowl, and his coaching tree includes legendary defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and four men that became NFL head coaches, including Herman Edwards, Rod Marinelli, Mike Tomlin and Lovie Smith, who is the current Bucs head coach.

2018 – Coach Jon Gruden
Some might say that Gruden won the Super Bowl with Dungy’s team, but there were 27 members of the legendary 2002 team that never played for Dungy – mostly on offense, which was almost entirely rebuilt when Gruden arrived via a trade with Oakland. Gruden won three divisions (2002, 2005 and 2007), which is a franchise record, and also became the team’s all-time winningest head coach with a record of 57-55 while helping the Buccaneers get their first and only Super Bowl championship.

2019 – CB Ronde Barber
In ranking the all-time Buccaneers, Barber has moved his way into the top 5 with a legendary, 16-year career – the longest of any Tampa Bay player. With five Pro Bowls, Barber is the franchise’s all-time interceptor with 47 picks. Those INTs combined with 28 sacks, 200 pass deflections and eight defensive touchdowns and a Super Bowl title should qualify him for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in three years. Barber is also the second-leading tackler in team history with 1,428 and has more starts (232) and games played (241) than any other Buccaneer.

2020 – SS John Lynch
Lynch is easily the best safety in franchise history with 23 interceptions, eight fumble recoveries, seven forced fumbles and 973 tackles, which ranks fifth in Tampa Bay annals. One of the smartest and savviest players to suit up in red and pewter, Lynch went to five Pro Bowls during his Bucs career, which spanned from 1993-2003. Lynch, who is now an NFL commentator on CBS, was also a great philanthropist in the Tampa Bay area and is one of the most beloved players in Bucs history.

2021 – FB Mike Alstott
One of the most beloved players in Bucs history, Alstott was also one of the most productive, evidenced by 5,088 yards rushing, which ranks second all-time in Tampa Bay. His 58 rushing TDs rank first with the Buccaneers. Alstott was also a weapon as a receiver and ranks fourth in team history with 305 catches for 2,284 yards and 13 scores. His 71 total touchdowns is also a franchise record. He finished his 11-year career in 2006 with six Pro Bowl berths, which is the most ever by a Bucs offensive player.

2022 – Defensive Coordinator Monte Kiffin
While Gruden has the distinction of having the most wins as a head coach in franchise history, the coach with the most victories in Tampa Bay is actually Kiffin, who served under both Dungy and Gruden and spent 13 years as the team’s defensive coordinator. The legendary Kiffin, who is credited as one of the founders of the Tampa 2 defensive scheme, stepped out of Dungy’s shadow in 2002, producing the NFL’s top defense that year and again in 2004.

2023 – DE Simeon Rice
Rice, who played for Tampa Bay from 2001-06, recorded 69.5 sacks, which ranks third in team annals. No other Buccaneer has had five straight years of double-digit sacks, and his 30.5 sacks in 2002-03 is the most by a Tampa Bay player in a two-year span. Rice also logged 19 forced fumbles and four interceptions in red and pewter and was one of the most exciting and entertaining players in Bucs history and a key component to Tampa Bay’s top-ranked defenses in 2002 and 2004.

2024 – LB Shelton Quarles
Quarles played strongside linebacker and middle linebacker in Tampa Bay from 1997-2006 and finished as the fourth-leading tackler in team history with 985 stops, which may surprise some Bucs fans. Quarles, who has worked in the Tampa Bay front office for the past seven years, was a Pro Bowler in his first season in at middle linebacker in 2002 and helped the Bucs defense achieve a number-one ranking and win a Super Bowl.

Most fans may not have a problem with the first nine Buccaneers on the list, but Quarles’ selection may catch some off guard. We’ll delve into the discussion of which Tampa Bay greats might be snubbed

FAB 2. QUARLES IS ONE OF THE MOST UNDERRATED BUCS OF ALL-TIME
When Tampa Bay fans rattle off the names of Buccaneers legends, the likes of Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp, Lee Roy Selmon, Ronde Barber, Mike Alstott, Hardy Nickerson, Paul Gruber, Jimmie Giles and John Lynch are generally the first names out of their mouths. One of the names usually reserved for second- or third-tier lists in the minds of fans is former linebacker Shelton Quarles.

While running backs Warrick Dunn and James Wilder, receiver Mark Carrier and quarterback Doug Williams may be more popular with fans, Quarles arguably had a more productive career as a Buccaneer. My selection of Quarles as a Bucs Ring of Honor candidate in 2024 will need some defending.

After starting his career as a strongside linebacker in 1997, Quarles moved to middle linebacker in 2002 and was named to the Pro Bowl that year after helping the Bucs defense achieve the number-one ranking in the NFL and aiding the team to its first and only Super Bowl title. In 10 years with the Bucs, Quarles played in 148 career games with 113 starts and ranks fourth in team history with 985 tackles, including a career-high 196 stops in 2005, which is the third-highest single season mark in franchise history.

Some fans may gripe that Williams won’t be inducted into the Bucs Ring of Honor over the next decade in PewterReport.com’s scenario. In my opinion, he doesn’t deserve to be in the Ring of Honor at all – certainly not ahead of the 10 players I’ve listed.

Williams was a part of three Bucs playoff teams, but Trent Dilfer was part of two in Tampa Bay and won a playoff game and went to the Pro Bowl in 1997. One could make the argument that Dilfer accomplished just as much as Williams did in Tampa Bay.

Williams completed a paltry 47.4 percent of his passes in six years with the Buccaneers, throwing for 12,648 yards with 73 touchdowns and 73 picks – hardly Ring of Honor-worthy statistics. If you’re going to consider Williams, you need to consider Dilfer, who threw for more yards (12,969) and completed 54.8 percent of his throws. Williams had a 33-33-1 record as a QB, while Dilfer had a 38-38 mark in Tampa Bay.

In fact, if you want to put a quarterback in the Bucs Ring of Honor ahead of Quarles, the only one to consider is Brad Johnson, who helped Tampa Bay win Super Bowl XXXVII. Johnson, who played four years with the Bucs (2001-2004), completed 61.8 percent of his throws while passing for 10,940 yards with 64 touchdowns and just 41 interceptions.

He finished with a 26-23 record as the Bucs’ starter, including a 3-1 postseason mark. Johnson, who was a Pro Bowler in 2002, accomplished a lot in Tampa Bay, but played six fewer seasons than Quarles did.

Carrier is the Bucs’ all-time leading receiver, but only played in Tampa Bay for six seasons, catching 321 passes for 5,018 yards with 28 touchdowns. While those are impressive statistics, Vincent Jackson has only been in red and pewter for two years and has 150 catches for 2,608 yards and 15 touchdowns. He can eclipse Carrier’s mark with two more strong seasons like he’s had since becoming a Buccaneer. Would that make Jackson worthy of the Bucs Ring of Honor?

Dunn may have been to more Pro Bowls (two) and finished his career as the Bucs’ third-leading rusher with 4,986 yards and 19 touchdowns along with 306 receptions for 2,704 yards with nine receiving scores, but he only played in Tampa Bay for six total seasons (1997-2001, 2008). As beloved as Dunn was by fans, he can’t go into the Bucs Hall of Fame before James Wilder, who accomplished much more than Dunn did in Tampa Bay.

Wilder, who played in Tampa Bay from 1981-89 is the franchise’s all-time leading rusher with 5,957 yards and 37 touchdowns. He also caught 430 passes for 3,492 yards and nine scores in his nine years in orange and white, and made the Pro Bowl once in 1984 when he set the NFL record for 407 carries, which was the most in a single season by any player. Wilder also had 14 100-yard rushing games as a Buccaneer, which is also a record.

Some nostalgic Bucs fans may want Ricky Bell to be in the Ring of Honor, but the accomplishments just aren’t there. He played five years in Tampa Bay and rushed for just 3,057 yards. Wilder, Alstott and Dunn rushed for more, and Bell only scored 16 touchdowns, which is four fewer than Cadillac Williams scored.

If you want to make an argument for Bucs center Tony Mayberry going in over Quarles, I’ll listen. Mayberry became the first Tampa Bay offensive lineman to make the Pro Bowl, and went to Hawaii three times from 1997-99. Mayberry, who played in Tampa Bay from 1990-99, was an iron man, and started all 16 games in each of his last nine seasons.

Quarles played in 148 games with 113 starts, which is 32 fewer starts. But with a Super Bowl ring, six playoff appearances, his place in the franchise’s tackle totals (fourth all-time), and the fact that he was the middle linebacker of the NFL’s top-ranked defense in 2002 and 2005, Quarles has quite a resume`, too. The Vanderbilt product finished his career with a safety, eight forced fumbles, eight fumble recoveries, and four interceptions, including one he returned 98 yards against Brett Favre for a touchdown. That play still stands as the longest play in Buccaneers history.

Not only has Quarles been an asset to the Buccaneers franchise on the field, he has also been a vital member of the team’s front office since 2007 and has spent an equal amount of time building the team’s roster into one that appears to be on the cusp of the playoffs over that span. Quarles, who is Tampa Bay’s director of football operations, is currently in his 18th year in the Buccaneers organization, and by the time 2024 rolls around he could be the team’s next general manager. Who knows?

It’s quite telling that the Glazers decided to capture the history of the franchise’s Super Bowl victory with statues of some of the legendary Buccaneers from the 2002 season in the lobby at One Buccaneer Place. Alongside head coach Jon Gruden is Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, John Lynch, Simeon Rice, Ronde Barber, Alstott, Johnson and Quarles. That shows you what the Glazers think of Quarles, who is one of the most underrated Buccaneers of all time – and quite deserving of the Bucs Ring of Honor.

FAB 3. 2002 BUCS DEFENSE WAS BETTER THAN 2013 SEAHAWKS DEFENSE
In doing some research this week I came across a Seahawks blogger that was trying to make the case for Seattle’s Super Bowl-winning defense of 2013 being better than Tampa Bay’s defense in 2002 when the team won Super Bowl XXXVII. You can read the article here, and naturally, this Seahawks fan is going to pick his team over the Buccaneers.

I think both defenses were pretty stellar. Both Seattle and Tampa Bay ranked first in the league in total defense with the Bucs allowing 252.8 yards per game and the Seahawks allowing 273.6 yards per game. The fact that offenses are more potent due to more prolific passing games these days makes Seattle’s statistics just as impressive as Tampa Bay’s. The Bucs defense allowed just 4.2 yards per play and the Seahawks defense allowed only 4.4 yards per play.

The Bucs had a better points allowed average of 12.2 than the Seahawks’ 14.4, especially considering that the average points scored in 2002 was 21.7 and that scoring has only increased to 23.4 points per game over the past decade.

The author then points out that the Buccaneers faced 10 of the top offenses in the NFL during the 2002 season, including the playoffs, while the Seahawks faced just three top 10 offenses, including the postseason. And this is where the author’s argument falls apart.

He states that Seattle went a perfect 3-0 against top offenses en route to the Super Bowl, but in fact, the Seahawks went 7-2 against opponents that had top 15 offenses in 2013. He tries to argue the point where the Bucs should be penalized for going 6-4 in those games (to finish with a 15-4 record), but the reality is that the Bucs actually played eight of the top 15 offenses in 10 games (Tampa Bay played Philadelphia twice, going 1-1; and swept Atlanta 2-0), and finished 8-2 – not 6-4 as the article suggests. New Orleans swept the Bucs that year, but its offense actually ranked 19th that year and shouldn’t be classified as a top offense.

So how is Seattle going 7-2 better than Tampa Bay going 8-2? It’s not.

The author then goes on to state how Seattle ranked first in takeaways with 2.4 per game, while the Bucs ranked third in the league in 2002 with an identical 2.4 average. Yet the Buccaneers finished the 2002 campaign, including the playoffs with nine defensive touchdowns, which is a historical feat that Seattle did not come close to. The Seahawks had just four, including Malcolm Smith’s pick-six in the Super Bowl.

Taking the football away is one thing. Doing something with it when you create a turnover is something entirely different.

Seattle defense has a few stellar performers, especially in the Legion of Boom secondary. Cornerback Richard Sherman and safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas were all Pro Bowlers, but not one of the Seahawks’ front seven made the Pro Bowl.

But Tampa Bay’s defense was legendary and had future Hall of Famers and Pro Bowlers in defensive tackle Warren Sapp and linebacker Derrick Brooks, who was the NFL Defensive MVP in 2002, in addition to Pro Bowlers in middle linebacker Shelton Quarles, defensive end Simeon Rice and strong safety John Lynch. Cornerback Brian Kelly got snubbed for the Pro Bowl that year despite notching eight interceptions and a sack, and cornerback Ronde Barber didn’t have a great season statistically with just two picks during the regular season, but he’s a future Hall of Famer nonetheless.

One thing the author didn’t point out regarding the playoffs was Tampa Bay’s sheer dominance compared to Seattle’s. In three postseason games, including the Super Bowl, the Seahawks forced five fumbles, picked off four passes, recovered three fumbles and scored a defensive touchdown.

In the Buccaneers’ three-game postseason stint, including the Super Bowl, Tampa Bay had nine interceptions, four forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and four defensive scores. Seattle’s numbers pale in comparison.

The author states that the Seahawks faced Drew Brees, Colin Kaepernick and Peyton Manning, the league’s MVP, last year in the postseason, but Kaepernick didn’t make the Pro Bowl. Meanwhile, the Bucs faced three Pro Bowl quarterbacks in Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb and Rich Gannon, who was the league’s MVP in 2002.

For as much as Seattle’s front seven is ballyhooed for its pass-rushing abilities, the reality is that the Seahawks and Bucs each had 43 sacks during the regular seasons of their respective Super Bowl years. But in the postseason, the Seahawks managed only four quarterback captures to Tampa Bay’s 11 against three Pro Bowl quarterbacks.

Seattle’s defense was great last year, but Tampa Bay’s defense was elite in 2002. Case closed.

FAB 4. BUCS DEFENSE MORE DOMINANT IN SUPER BOWL THAN SEATTLE’S
As if one needed any more ammunition to pick apart the argument that Seattle’s 2013 Super Bowl-winning defense was better than Tampa Bay’s legendary defense from 2002, let’s examine the actual performances in Super Bowl itself. Both Seattle and Tampa Bay squared off against a Pro Bowl quarterback that was the league’s MVP that season.

Seattle limited Denver’s Peyton Manning to 34-of-49 passing for 280 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. One of those INTs went for a pick-six by linebacker Malcolm Smith. The Seahawks forced four fumbles and recovered two, but the defense only recorded one sack of the immobile Manning, who was only hit four times.

In Tampa Bay’s 48-21 win over Oakland, Rich Gannon was held to 24-of-44 passing for 272 yards with two touchdowns and five interceptions – three of which were returned for touchdowns. Gannon was also sacked five times, harassed plenty more throughout the game and was 0-for-3 on his two-point conversion pass attempts.

Although the Seahawks won by a score of 43-8, a Percy Harvin kickoff return and a safety on an errant snap on the first play of the game accounted for nine non-conventional points. However, only allowing a touchdown (and a two-point conversion) is impressive by Seattle, nonetheless.

The Bucs defense gave up an early field goal and two late touchdown passes to surrender just 15 points. The Raiders’ other six points came from a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown.

The Seahawks defense allowed 306 yards on 64 plays, and surrendered 18 first downs, while holding Knowshon Moreno and the Broncos’ running game to just 27 yards on 14 carries (1.9 avg.). The Buccaneers defense was more dominant as Oakland had just 269 total yards on 60 plays with only 11 first downs. Charlie Garner, who entered the Super Bowl with 962 yards rushing and 941 yards receiving with 11 total touchdowns in the regular season, was confined to just 19 yards on 11 carries (1.7 avg.).

Two stout performances by two stout defenses, but the differential in sacks (four), interceptions (three) and defensive touchdowns (two) decidedly give Tampa Bay the edge over Seattle and make up for the eight-point differential that Seattle had in points allowed.

FAB 5. Here are a few things to hold you over until the next edition of SR’s Fab 5, which will be in two weeks on July 18.
 
• One of the interesting things about Tampa Bay’s offense in Super Bowl XXXVII is that the Bucs went up against a Raiders defense that ranked sixth in the NFL in points scored and 11th in the league in total yards allowed and fourth in rushing defense. The Raiders defense featured the likes of cornerback Charles Woodson, free safety Rod Woodson, linebackers Bill Romanowski and Eric Barton, and defensive linemen Trace Armstrong and Roderick Coleman, who had 11 sacks that season.

For as much fanfare as Tampa Bay’s defense got in winning the Super Bowl with five interceptions, including three returned for touchdowns, what gets lost is the fact that the Brad Johnson-led offense scored 27 points on its own against Oakland’s defense. Had the defense not scored a single point, Tampa Bay’s offense would have beaten Oakland on its own – 27-21.

• At 5-foot-9, 223 pounds, running back Doug Martin is just one inch shorter than Mike James, who stands 5-foot-10, and also weighs 223 pounds, and he’s three inches shorter than rookie Charles Sims, who stands 6-foot and weighs 211 pounds. But Martin isn’t the shortest Buccaneers back. Brendan Bigelow is 5-foot-10, 180 pounds, Bobby Rainey is 5-foot-8, 212 pounds and Jeff Demps is 5-foot-7, 191 pounds.

Yet new left tackle Anthony Collins thinks Martin is quite diminutive.

“He’s little,” Collins said of Martin. “Doug is very little, but he can go – based on what I’ve seen on film from the games. Making holes for him is going to be easy. I’m ready to play for him.”

• Despite the addition of Brandon Myers in free agency and Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the draft, the Buccaneers feel very good about the offseason that second-year tight end Tim Wright had.

“I think he’s a great matchup for what we want to do in the passing game and Austin will be playing more of the ‘Y’ position, Tim will be playing more of the ‘H’ move-type of position,” Bucs head coach Lovie Smith said. “We like splitting him out to match-up. If you put a linebacker on him we should win that. Tim wins most of those – with safeties it’s the same thing. He runs excellent routes. Tim can block better than probably he’s given credit for. He’s another guy that just comes to work every day and we’ve taken notice. He’ll be a part of what we’re doing, we have plans for him in our offense, of course most of it is through the pass.”

• This will be the last SR’s Fab 5 column for the next two weeks as I will be on summer vacation starting with the July 4th weekend. The next SR’s Fab 5 will be on Friday, July 18 right before PewterReport.com’s Pre-Training Camp Party at Keel & Curley Winery in Plant City, Fla. on Saturday, July 19 from 4:00-6:00 p.m.

The Keel & Curley Winery is the official winery of PewterReport.com and located at 5210 Thonotosassa Road in Plant City, Fla., just minutes off I-4. You will need to make reservation as space is limited to the first 100 Buccaneers fans. We have already have received RSVPs from over 50 Bucs fans.

Please RSVP by e-mailing PewterReport.com VP of business operations Kim Roper at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The PewterReport.com editorial staff, including Bucs beat writers Scott Reynolds and Mark Cook among others, will be on hand to answer Bucs-related questions, in addition to a Q & A session with Bucs tight end Tim Wright, who will be available to take pictures and sign autographs. Wright made a huge impact as an undrafted free agent last year, catching 54 passes for 571 yards and five touchdowns as the team’s second-leading receiver behind Vincent Jackson.

PewterReport.com has secured special pricing for Bucs fans that wish to partake in drinking wine and beer. Those in attendance will be able to take a group tour of the Keel & Curley Winery and do a wine tasting of some of the most delicious wines you’ve ever tasted for just $5. That’s half off for PewterReport.com fans, and it’s a great activity to do with your significant other.

If wine is not your beverage of choice, Keel & Curley is also home to Two Henrys Brewing Company, the official brewery of PewterReport.com, so there is plenty of beer to sample and drink, too, amid all of the Bucs knowledge that will be flowing. Pints of beer will be on sale that day to PewterReport.com visitors for just $5.
Last modified on Friday, 27 June 2014 15:24
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COMMENTS

  • avatar


    James Wilder. He would have been a hall of fame running back on any other team than the 1980's Bucs.
  • avatar

    Don't wanna take a dump on the effort, but I much prefer when the Fab 5 contains insider scoops on team personnel and interesting items that go into building the team for the coming season. I really don't care to relive the past and hear about awards and honors. This Fab 5 held zero interest for me, and that's the first time I can say that.
  • avatar


    buccaneerNW; in defense of Pewter Report we are paying $10 a year. I think they are entitled to get some vacation time in right now. I do agree it was weak, but I call it filler for the time being.
  • avatar


    The time period leading up to training camp is the worst football drought period . . .
  • avatar

    There are some great talent on this list and I would like to see at least one person from the offensive side of the game and that would be Mike Alstott. I know every single person on this list deserves to make the ring of HONOR. But Mike deserves it. We always talk about defense but offense's count don't they? So yes as great as everyone on the list was Least give it to Mike Alstott he was a work horse and did great things for are team.
  • avatar

    I'm with jongruden on this one - Make it Hardy Nickerson. No question who began the transformation in Tampa Bay. So, it's very fitting if his return coincides with a re-awakening of the franchise. Thanks to Lovie for bringing him back. Hardy's energy was epic. Just makes an old guy want to flex...!
  • avatar


    Good stats Scott. Wilder, Lynch, Nickerson. I pick Wilder as we had no Offense back then but the big back. We were horrible in those years and the other teams defense bunched up to stop Wilder, but yet he still got yardage. The guy could block too. That's the last of the old bunch for me. If Nickerson wasn't a coach with us now, Lynch would be the pick. Scott you are playing to the politics within the Bucs. That's a no no. Be careful. Anybody can throw stats out there to support something. Mr. Glazer should go in now with Brooks. That should be an automatic. He saved this team and also supported it with getting players when it wasn't cool to spend money.
  • avatar


    You know who was underrated? Donnie Abraham! When I was younger watching but Bucs games this guy was always making plays for us. He was one of the 2nd tier greats!
  • avatar

    He was special - what anticipation and hands..!
  • avatar


    Mark, couldn't help but notice your obvious omission from your top 10 candidates to the Ring of Honor, the best offensive player in franchise history, James Wilder. I would also like to see Doug Williams too. You need to do a little pre-1990 homework Buddy.
  • avatar


    Fantastic analysis on the Bucs vs Seahawks defenses! You couldn't ask for any better. Also appreciate the time put in defending Quarles' career as he does tend to get overlooked. All well done SR. Have a good vacation!
  • avatar


    Have a great vacation.
  • avatar


    Dy-nasty D: Only Selmon 63 and Sapp 99 had their numbers retired. We probably won't see anyone wearing 20 or 47 any time soon. I'm with you JonnyG. Hardy is most deserving player along with Wilder, who as you know played on some really bad teams, a close second in my view. The Ring of Honor needs to be reserved for really special players/coaches. Certainly those recognized as Hall of Fame candidates should be considered first. Simply being a pretty good player for a year or two isn't enough in my thinking. Mr Glazer is my choice for 2015 for resurrecting the team after the Culverhouse era.
  • avatar

    My vote is for Hardy Nickerson who was the forefather of this pitiful organization who started to turn this team around with his tenacity, leadership, hard work, and his refusing quit mentailty that led this defense for many yrs till Derrick Brooks and Sapp took over
  • avatar


    We all need a break after this Fab 5..... Shhheeeesshhhh!!!
  • avatar

    I need all the ammunition I can get living up here in Seattle where everyone including my finance are smug with Seahawks pride. This should bring them down to earth a little! Thanks for the info!
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    My personal opinion is no on Kiffin with regards to the ring of honor. I question his overall capacity as a "great" coach. I also think that the Glazers may hold to what he did during his departure as a reason not to put him there as well. I do think Kiffin was a GOOD coach but not a ring of honor which to me is about greatness. Most of his defensive staff went on to head coaching jobs which speaks volumes about how they may have made is much easier for Kiffin. Lets see, USC...nope, Dallas...nope. Good managers need good workers, great managers TEACH workers how to good/great, I side with the former.
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    Dbuc63, What are you talking about. Kiffin was a great coach. He had our defense in the top 10 for 10 years straight. That unit was the only consitant unit the Bucs have ever had. It takes a few years to get the personel in place to make your defense work. He never had enough time to get the right personel at Dallas and USC to make thier defense great. Kiffin invinted the Tampa2 which is widely used in the NFL and college now. Also it wasnt the students that made the teacher, it was the teacher that made the students. He had a great eye for talent and knew how to teach his defensive staff how to coach, obvious by how many went on to become head coaches as you clearly stated. You saying Kiffin wasnt a good coach because his staff went on to become head coaches is like saying Bill Walsh wasnt a great coach because a lot of his assistant coaches went on to become great head coaches. WOW
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    Hey, I have a couple of questions about the Ring of Honor. 1. Fpr how many years will the Bucs admit a player in each consecutive year? At some point they will have to slow down the selections or the Ring will be like the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. 2. I know that Sapp's number was retired upon his entrance into the Ring. But, not all players entering the Ring will have their numbers retired, correct? Thanks!
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