Sorry folks, but between the PewterReport.com crew already breaking down nearly every aspect of the team and the lack of any news, you get another list. And actually two, as this is a two-part series where I will give you my all-time Bucs defensive starting lineup in this week’s edition of The Hook, after listing the best offensive players last week.

I didn’t use any set criteria when compiling my all-time lineup list, just the players I thought were the best over the team’s history. I am sure this will generate plenty of controversy and discussion, so make sure to leave your all-time list in the comments section below.

With a number of players who played crossover or hybrid roles, I decided to go with the more traditional 4-3 scheme when selecting this list.

So without further adieu, here’s my list of the all-time best Bucs defensive fantasy roster.

DE – Lee Roy Selmon

Former Bucs DE Lee Roy Selmon

Former Bucs DE Lee Roy Selmon – Photo courtesy of the Buccaneers

An argument could be made that Selmon was the greatest player the franchise has ever seen. As the team’s very first draft pick in 1976, Selmon earned the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in 1979, helping the Bucs go from an 0-26 start to an NFC Central championship and appearance in the NFC title game that season. Selmon became the Bucs’ first Hall of Famer in 1995, and is also a Bucs Ring of Honor member. They don’t name freeways after mediocre players.

Honorable Mentions: Shaq Barrett, Chidi Ahanotu

NT – Dave Logan

Logan was a bit undersized, but made up for it with heart and determination. Logan was a key cog in the dominant Bucs defenses of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s and is still the team’s fifth all-time leading sacker with 39 quarterback takedowns. The nose tackle played on three Bucs playoff teams and was a 2-time second-team All-Pro.

Honorable Mentions: Brad Culpepper, Vita Vea

DT – Warren Sapp

My favorite Buc of all time. Sapp was everything you wanted in a football player. Nasty, edgy, tenacious and relentless, no one worked harder in practice or played with more effort on Sundays than Sapp. A seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time first-team All-Pro, his 77 career sacks puts him behind only Lee Roy Selmon (78.5) in team history. The former Hurricanes standout was the 1999 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, an NFL Hall of Famer and a Bucs Ring of Honor inductee.

Honorable Mentions: Gerald McCoy, Ndamukong Suh 

DE – Simeon Rice

Former Bucs DE Simeon Rice

Former Bucs DE Simeon Rice – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Rice dominated in his era, but would dominate in today’s NFL as well with his freakish overall athletic ability. Rice finished his Bucs career with 69.5 sacks, ranking him third in franchise history behind just Selmon and Sapp. Rice had a five-year run of double-digit sacks, which is still a Bucs record.

Honorable Mentions: Michael Bennett, Jason Pierre-Paul

LB – Lavonte David

Many questioned David’s ability to be successful in the NFL due to his smallish size and that caused him to slip to the second round. But if the 2012 NFL Draft were to be re-done today, David wouldn’t make it out of the Top 10. David has collected 1,125 career tackles and trails only Ronde Barber (1,428) and Derrick Brooks (2,198) on the team’s all-time list.

Honorable Mentions: Shelton Quarles. Hugh Green

LB – Hardy Nickerson

Who knows if the Bucs win their first Super Bowl in 2002 without Nickerson joining the team in 1993. While Nickerson wasn’t even with the Buccaneers by the time they won that Super Bowl, his influence was still being felt by players he helped mentor. Brooks, Sapp, Lynch and Barber all saw first-hand the dedication and commitment Nickerson brought day in and day out. Nickerson was a three-time Pro Bowler and still holds the team record for most tackles in a season with 214.

Honorable Mentions: David Lewis, Richard Batman Wood

LB – Derrick Brooks

Former Bucs LBs Hardy Nickerson and Derrick Brooks - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Former Bucs LBs Hardy Nickerson and Derrick Brooks – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Not only is Brooks one of the Top 3 players to ever suit up for the Buccaneers, he is one of the best to ever put on an NFL uniform. It’s crazy to think some NFL executives thought Brooks would be better served playing safety in the NFL than linebacker. Brooks collected 11 Pro Bowls, five first-team All-Pros and was named the 2002 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He finished his 14-year career as the team’s all-time leading tackler (2,198) and second in all-time starts (221). Brooks was inducted into the Hall of Fame and the Bucs Ring of Honor.

Honorable Mentions: Broderick Thomas, Scot Brantley 

CB – Ronde Barber

If you look up the word ironman in the dictionary, there should be a picture of Barber next to it. Possibly the most cerebral player in franchise history, Barber revolutionized the nickel corner position. He is also the only NFL player with at least 45 interceptions and 25 sacks. Barber is the franchise record holder for most interceptions (47) and starts (232) for the Buccaneers. One of these days the Hall of Fame voters will wake up and give Barber the distinction he deserves with a place in Canton.

Honorable Mentions: Rickey Reynolds, Mike Washington

CB – Aqib Talib

Bucs CB Aqib Talib

Former Bucs CB Aqib Talib – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

This selection might rise a few eyebrows, but had Talib not been such a knucklehead in Tampa Bay and finished out his career here, who know where he would have ended up ranking in the team’s record books. From an athletic standpoint, he may be the most talented corner the team has ever had. That was further cemented by his career achievements after being traded to the Patriots in 2012. Talib was a five-time Pro Bowler and one time All-Pro who played 12 years in the NFL, nabbing 35 interceptions and putting up 10 defensive scores.

Honorable Mentions: Donnie Abraham, Brian Kelly

S – John Lynch

There is no way Lynch could play in today’s NFL, and not because he wasn’t talented enough. Rather, his enforcer, huge-hit style of play would have him suspended every week. Lynch was a five-time Pro Bowler with the Bucs and a two-time first-team All-Pro. The stud safety went on to to have a successful career with the Broncos, where he is a member of their Ring of Honor as well as having his name adorn Raymond James Stadium.

Honorable Mentions: Dexter Jackson, Tanard Jackson

S – Cedric Brown

Former Bucs FS Cedric Brown

Former Bucs FS Cedric Brown – Photo courtesy of the Buccaneers

Brown was the first real defensive back star in franchise history, teaming up with Mark Cotney to give Tampa Bay one of the most feared safety units in the game. Brown led the Bucs in interceptions with a career-high nine in 1981, while playing on three different Bucs playoff teams. Brown notched 29 interceptions, still third best in in Tampa Bay franchise history.

Honorable Mentions: Mark Cotney, Dwight Smith

Cannon Blast 

• What a terrific guest on the Pewter Report podcast this week as second year sensation offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs joined Scott Reynolds and myself on Wednesday. Wirfs was open and honest and a really fun guest who provided a ton of insight on his rookie season, goals for the future and even shared his thoughts on some of his former Iowa teammates who will be draft prospects next spring.

You can watch Wirfs’s appearance below.

Last Laugh

Seriously here we go….again.

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About the Author: Mark Cook

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, the beach and family time.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 mark@pewterreport.com
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eaustinyoung
eaustinyoung (@eaustinyoung)
4 months ago

In the sense of “What If”, if only Revis was used properly. Dude was such a huge grab for us and Schiano’s staff had 0 clue how to use him.

bucballer
bucballer (@bucballer)
Reply to  eaustinyoung
4 months ago

Revis Island was already on the downside of his career when he came here. He was just a mercenary pay for play one year here one year there player.

eaustinyoung
eaustinyoung (@eaustinyoung)
Reply to  bucballer
4 months ago

He had a 2 more pro bowl years after he left Tampa and won a Super Bowl in New England. A lot of people said JPP is on his way out, but he’s had great productivity in a system that works for him. No way you can confidently say Revis was done by the time he came to Tampa. Schiano was just a moron.

bucballer
bucballer (@bucballer)
Reply to  eaustinyoung
4 months ago

Reputation got him those awards. Nobody said he was done when he got here. Reading is fundamental. I said he was on the downside of his career when he got here. He was closer to the end than the beginning. It’s hard when u r a pay for play one year here one year there player. He was never really a part of the team as he was on the team if that makes sense. If I recall, he was complaining about the way he was used and not being used properly. He was not a good fit for this… Read more »

toofamiliar17
toofamiliar17 (@toofamiliar17)
Reply to  bucballer
4 months ago

It was dumb as hell for Schiano to bring him here and then deploy a ton of soft zone coverage that didn’t take advantage of who Revis still very much was at that time – an elite man to man cover corner. That wasn’t his fault, lol, that was ours. Sure, he was obviously closer to the end than the beginning at the age of 28 at the time, but he was still a legitimately excellent corner for three more years after he left NYJ the first time, as good as any in the game in man coverage. Reputation didn’t… Read more »

bucballer
bucballer (@bucballer)
Reply to  toofamiliar17
4 months ago

In 2012 with the Jets, he played 2 games. He signed with the Bucs in 2013 and made the Pro Bowl that year. Was that Pro Bowl earned from the previous year when he played just 2 games with Jets or was it based on the shitty year he had with the shitty Coach the 2013 year he had in Tampa Bay? Don’t tell me he didn’t make the Pro Bowl in 2013 based on reputation! He certainly didn’t earn the right to play in the Pro Bowl after his dismissal season with the Bucs in 2013. So, yes my… Read more »

Horse
Horse (@horse)
4 months ago

Mark, You and Scott like Sapp because he would interview with you and the Press, and at times treat you and others like crap depending on his mood at that time. His arrogance, anger, miss treatment of humans, should never be rewarded, and that’s what exactly you are doing. Regardless of that, there is no question Selmon was better as a player. Sapp didn’t motor100% all the time, Selmon did, enough! It’s not fair to Selmon because you would never have the nerve to do it, if he was alive!. Like I said to Scott, same on you! Now go… Read more »

bucballer
bucballer (@bucballer)
Reply to  Horse
4 months ago

Selmon is/was the greatest Buccaneer of all time. Ferocious on the field and a true gentleman off the field. The Bucs were fortunate to have Lee Roy Selmon and Dewey Selmon play for them. Outstanding family of men!

drdneast
drdneast (@drdneast)
Reply to  Horse
4 months ago

Wow, Horse. I am sure both Mark and Scott would agree with you that Sapp was a lousy human being a good part of the time when he played here. I have read both of them admit as much in the past. Mark is rating thier football ability, not judging them for a Humanitarian Award which Brooks, Selmon and Dunn would all qualify for.

bucballer
bucballer (@bucballer)
Reply to  drdneast
4 months ago

Sorta like Pete Rose!

Captain Sly
Captain Sly (@captain-sly)
Reply to  Horse
4 months ago

Ouch! Pretty sure you know Sapp is in hof and you would agree that Sapp was at least a top DT in the league when he played. Nobody is judging him on anything else except what he did on the football field. One of the Buc Football Greats Period!

PissedOffBuc1988
PissedOffBuc1988 (@buclover1988)
Reply to  Captain Sly
4 months ago

Agreed on all counts. No one is calling Sapp a saint. I love Sapp the player and that’s ok. Even new york Giants fans love Lawrence Taylor the football player. Same can be said about Barry bonds, Antonio brown, and many other great athletes.
If we were talking both talent and character, we’d have McCoy on the list instead of Sapp.

toofamiliar17
toofamiliar17 (@toofamiliar17)
4 months ago

I’m glad you recognized that picking Talib would raise some eyebrows, Mark! As it should. What does what he would have done *IF* he had stayed here have to do with anything? This is a Bucs list. If you’re going to use that rationale with him, then you have to do it with every spot on the team. Which makes Warrick Dunn the runaway starting RB – between his time in TB and ATL, he dwarfs every RB record on the books for our franchise. IF he had stayed here, that’s what would have happened. So that’s how he should… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by toofamiliar17
bucballer
bucballer (@bucballer)
Reply to  toofamiliar17
4 months ago

Talib was a malcontent when he was here. A true knucklehead if u will. His talent and potential was enormous. He just lacked common sense and was basically a thug while here in Tampa!

PissedOffBuc1988
PissedOffBuc1988 (@buclover1988)
4 months ago

Talib over Abraham was the Hook Cook chose to get everyone to bite. I don’t believe at all Cook sees Talib as an all time great Buc on defense over Donnie. Talib is no doubt a great talent, but he was never part of a great defense here nor did he make the pro bowl here. Donnie had 31 ints during his 6 year career as a Buc. That’s 5.1 ints a year and showed he wasn’t a flash in the pan and recorded 7 in back to back seasons. Donnie was the real deal and it’s a shame he… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by PissedOffBuc1988
bucballer
bucballer (@bucballer)
Reply to  PissedOffBuc1988
4 months ago

Here here my man! Totally agree. Ricky Reynolds was also a good Buc during not so bright times.

twspin
twspin (@twspin)
3 months ago

I’ll never ever forget meeting Leroy Selmon as a kid. That big smile and those huge Paws.Say what you will about the Mouth..Sapp. he played hard on the field. Hellava cast assembled here. All worthy of our admiration as Buc fans.

hamilton
hamilton (@hamilton)
1 month ago

nice last