Earlier this year former Bucs great Warren Sapp was elected the NFL Hall of Fame, joining the legendary Lee Roy Selmon.
Sapp and Selmon may soon have three fellow Bucs to share their busts in Canton, Ohio with, after it was announced on Wednesday night that Derrick Brooks, John Lynch and former head coach Tony Dungy have made the cut to the 25 semi-finalists, and could be part of the next class to be bestowed the ultimate NFL honor.
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, and 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 AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2002 and a Walter Payton Man of the Year winner in 2000.
Statistically Brooks ended his playing career with 224 games played and 221 starts, 1,715 tackles, 13.5 sacks, 25 touchdowns and seven touchdowns.
John Lynch joined the Buccaneers as a third-round selection from Stanford in 1993 and played until 2003 with Tampa Bay. 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 Lynch played four more seasons for the Denver Broncos. For his career, the former Stanford Cardinal recorded 1,058 tackles, 13 sacks and 26 interceptions.
Dungy 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 and the following year saw Tampa Bay make the playoffs for the first time in 15 years.
Dungy coached the Buccaneers from 1996-2001 and Tampa Bay made the playoffs four times in his six seasons including the NFC Championship game in 1999. Dungy was 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 and in 2006 led his team to a Super Bowl victory. Dungy was the first African-American to win a Super Bowl.
Dungy retired after the 2008 season and finished his coaching career with a 139-69 record.
The list of 25 semifinalists will be reduced by mail ballot to 15 modern-era finalists. The results of the modern-era reduction vote to 15 finalists will be announced during a one-hour special on NFL Network on Wednesday, Jan. 8 2014 at 10 p.m. ET. The Class of 2014 will be determined at the Selection Committee’s annual meeting on Saturday, Feb. 1, in New York, the day before Super Bowl XLVIII.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014 will be announced during “3rd Annual NFL Honors,” a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally that evening from 8-10 p.m. (ET) on FOX. “NFL Honors” will be taped earlier that evening at Radio City Music Hall in New York City from 6-8 p.m. (ET) when the 2014 Hall of Fame Inductees will be introduced for the first time.
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.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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