Bucs LB Derrick Brooks & Warren Sapp gave Jon Gruden a Gatorade shower - Photo by: Getty Images
PewterReport.com has periodically published its Top 25 All-Time Greatest Buccaneers list, updating the rankings due to recent inductions into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Buccaneers Ring of Honor, in addition to the emergence of star players on Tampa Bay’s current roster. The last time we published this list was the summer of 2014 and it’s time the PewterReport.com staff re-examined the careers of the most elite Tampa Bay players and re-ranked the Top 25 All-Time Greatest Buccaneers.
In this five-part series, PewterReport.com’s Scott Reynolds, Mark Cook and Trevor Sikkema analyze each Bucs legend and offer their own commentary on some of the most legendary players in Tampa Bay history.
Some of the rankings – and omissions – will likely cause some controversy among the Pewter Nation. Let us know what you think. Bucs fans and PewterReport.com readers are encouraged to leave their opinions in the article comments section, on the PewterReport.com message boards and on PewterReport.com’s Twitter page.
PewterReport.com concludes the 25 All-Time Greatest Buccaneers with the Top 5 Buccaneers in team history.
PewterReport.com’s All-Time Greatest Buccaneers: 1-5
Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]
Scott, Mark,Trevor, you all were just too young to appreciate what LeeRoy Selmon did for the Buccaneers in the early years.
He was a man among boys. He was so special he deserves to be number one.
I fully understand the majority of fans will not agree with me, but it won’t be the first time that I have gone against the grain. Go Bucs!
I have to agree. I don’t like putting Lee Roy or Brooks second, or less than ANY player but Lee Roy was first. First in the Ring of Honor, first in the NFL Hall of Fame and still the all time sack leader after all these years. He was the MAN and I have to believe this putting him second has to do with simply not seeing the man play. It has to be.
Fact is, the majority of the fans don’t appreciate what Lee Roy did and meant to the Buccaneers because they probably weren’t around when he played.
I’m going to have to agree with Horse. As much as I love Brooks I will go with Selmon as the very best BUC.
The man was just a great player and person. You know someone is special when they name a street after you.
Plus he created a pretty good place to grab a burger.
I don’t see how anyone Leroy Selmon is behind alone – and I sure do appreciate HOFers Sapp and Brooks. And did Hugh Green not play long enough in Tampa or something? So, no you don’t have to go far Brooks being introduced to the conversation – you would find him right behind Selmon.
Just my .02
Great Article. I agree with all the choices from 5 to 1. The great part about all of this is the greatest player yet might be on this Roster right now. There are two or three players on this team that could end up in a future top 5.
First I’d like to thank the Pewter report staff for the work they put in on this piece. Well done!
We “old school” Bucs fans, with our faded, way too small to fit, tear stained Buc jerseys still hanging in our closet, really appreciate those players from the orange and white days making the Top 25. There were a lot of others who gave us a taste of excitement and perhaps a little hope when hope was all we had. But sadly, as the Elton John song says their “candle burned out” before our wishful thinking did. Guys like Jerry Eckwood, Hi-C Copeland, Dave Pear, Mike Washington, Eric Rhett and countless quarterbacks from Randy ‘Why Not Minot?’ Hedberg to Jack “The Throwin Samoan” Thompson and others had brief moments that faded as quickly in the sun as my 1979 Hey Hey Tampa Bay tee shirt.
Got to agree with my friend Horse. Lee Roy was the first Buc Draft pick, the first Buc in the Hall of Fame, first in our hearts and deserves to forever be the first on this list.
It’s great to honor the greatest Bucs of the past – the players deserve the recognition and the team deserves to have its history honored, though obviously it’s been a mixed bag, many more bad years than good since 1976.
At the same time, I personally believe it is wrong to rank individual players, particularly the ones that obviously belong at the top of any list. It’s a tic, a schtick, for media people and fans to always try to fit this player at this spot or that relative to the others, a missing the forest for the trees act that ignores the fact that we don’t need to figure out whether Brooks is better than Sapp, or Selmon is better than Brooks.
It’s only important to recognize those who contributed the most, without individually ranking them.
It’s like publishing a ranking of the Holy Trinity … is God the father better than Jesus the Son, or is the Holy Spirit better than God the Father?
It’s like arguing Hank Aaron was better than Mickey Mantle.
They’re pointless exercises in futility.
Just honor the great ones and leave it at that. Everything else is mere personal opinion.
The obvious hierarchy that counts is: Hall of Famers, then Ring of Honor players.
Not to take anything from Brooks IMO Selmon should be number 1. Selmon did not always have the kind of supporting cast that Brooks had the both were great to watch.
When it comes to Barber he should be the next Buc to be elected in the HOF.
Agree with most. Main complaint is that Brad Johnson is way too low. Alstott, while popular, is a little too high.
Who would you say were the best all time Bucs at the following positions?
Name these and we can field a full team on offense and defense with this Top 25 list.
I have been a fan since my family moved back to Tampa in 78. As great as Lee Roy and Brooks were (and if this were a list of WHO they were as people these men would be 1A and 1B), Warren Sapp was the greatest Buc. He redefined the 3 technique position with speed and quickness. Other teams had to game plan around him and account for him on every snap. While Selmon and Brooks made immeasurable contributions to the Bucs and Tampa, Sapp changed football. He changed the way that defense was played in the late 90s. He made a 3 technique tackle with speed and quickness into a highly sought after commodity. Because of this unique contribution, Sapp is the greatest Buc player.
Putting Nickerson ahead of Lynch is sheer insanity. There’s no argument I can think of for putting the former ahead of the latter. Lynch was here for longer, and he was better in the time he was here, too. That’s not a knock on Hardy. Lynch was just….better, flat out. AND he turned out to be every bit the leader Hardy was, too. I love Hardy, but Lynch is a greater Buc, and it’s not even all that close.
If you asked 100 random football fans, I guarantee you that almost every single one of them knows who John Lynch is/was. Hardy, on the other hand, might not even get 50% who recognize him or could tell you where/what position he played.
Selmon vs. Brooks is tough, but there are at least some really sound arguments for Brooks over Lee Roy. I don’t know how Lynch vs. Nickerson is even a question.
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