December 9, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers former playerDerrick Brooks
is introduced during the 10th anniversary of the 2002 Super Bowl champions during halftimduring the second half at Raymond James Stadium. The Eagles won 23-21. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome to the start of the opening round of Bucs Bracket, the unofficial competition held here at the Pewter Plank to determine the most popular and most beloved Buccaneers of all time. The play-in games have decided the field, so it’s time to kick off the first full round, and we’ll go one section of the field at a time, starting with the Brooks Division, named for Derrick Brooks.
Be sure to cast your vote in each matchup, because every vote counts! Sound off in the comments and let us know why you made the picks you made, because we will use comments on the blog as tiebreakers, in case of a tie.
There are eight matchups today, so we’ll keep the descriptions short and to the point so you can make your choices and get all the information you need. The bracket can be found below. You can click on the image to load a bigger version of the bracket.
1 seed: Derrick Brooks, Linebacker, 1995-2008
I don’t think Brooks needs much introduction. The 9-time All-Pro and former Walter Payton Man of the Year, NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and Pro Bowl MVP was one of the key figures in the Buccaneers’ dominant defense in the early 2000’s and late 1990’s. Brooks was dominant at his position and was also very active in the community in his charitable efforts.
16 seed: Ryan Nece, Linebacker, 2002-2007
Ryan Nece was a very solid role player who started or subbed in across from Derrick Brooks for most of his NFL career. He was a strong special teams player as well. Nece is now very active in charitable efforts in the Tampa Bay Area.
So which of these linebackers is your favorite? Vote below, and then keep reading for more matchups:
8 seed: Scot Brantley, Linebacker, 1980-1987
Yet another linebacker in this group, but Brantley played in much less celebrated days in Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ history. A standout at the University of Florida, Brantley would log 8 interceptions, 5 sacks, and 4 fumble recoveries during his time with the Buccaneers. He would go on to be a radio analyst for the Bucs, and currently has his own radio show in the area.
9 seed: Mike Washington, Cornerback, 1976-1984
Washington was acquired for a third round pick by the brand new Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ franchise and would be a star on defense for the young, struggling franchise soon thereafter. In seven seasons (from 1977-1983) Washington intercepted 28 passes, returning 3 for touchdowns. His career would be ended early due to a spinal injury, but he was certainly one of the better players in the Buccaneers’ earliest days.
So which of these old school Buccaneers is your favorite? Vote below and let us know, and keep reading for the rest of the showdowns:
5 seed: Doug Williams, Quarterback, 1978-1982
Williams is well-known for his performances in Washington with the Redskins, but Williams also donned the orange and white in Tampa Bay for a few seasons, and led the team to an improbable appearance in the NFC Title Game in 1979 against the St. Louis Rams. His numbers were poor, but he led the team to wins before departing after the 1982 season.
12 seed: Jeff Garcia, Quarterback, 2007-2008
Brought in by Jon Gruden to add more veteran leadership to the quarterback position, Garcia was able to compete for and win the starting quarterback job in 2007. Garcia would finish with a 14-10 record in his 24 starts for the Buccaneers and boasted at completion percentage of 64.4 with 25 touchdowns as compared to 10 interceptions.
So which of these quarterbacks is your favorite Buccaneer (and be sure to judge them on their time in Tampa Bay, not with other teams!). Vote below, and then keep reading:
4 seed: Jimmie Giles, Tight End, 1978-1986
GIles is a member of the Buccaneers’ Ring of Honor and a four-time Pro Bowl selection. He was a very prolific receiving tight end who once caught four touchdowns in one game, and finished his Buccaneers’ career with 34 touchdowns. He was a bit of a controversial figure, being the first Buccaneer to ever hold out for a better contract, but his numbers and performance make him an all-time great Buc.
13 seed: Keyshawn Johnson, Wide Receiver, 2000-2003
I swear these matchups were random! Another pass-catcher who was a bit of a controversial figure, Johnson was brought in to be a playmaker on offense after a frustrating season that ended in a low-scoring loss to the St. Louis Rams. Johnson would catch 17 touchdowns during his 4 seasons in Tampa and would eclipse 1000 yards twice.
So which of these touchdown machine receivers is your pick to move on? Vote below and continue to the next matchup.
6 seed: Donald Penn, Tackle, 2006-Present
Donald Penn is the first current Buccaneer to show up in Bucs Bracket, and the one-time Pro Bowl selection is a sturdy but never spectacular left tackle who the Bucs developed after signing him as an undrafted rookie out of Utah State. Penn is a big, strong tackle who lacks elite skill, but performs consistently and helped pave the way for Doug Martin‘s fantastic 2012 season.
11 seed: Chris Hovan, Defensive Tackle, 2005-2009
Hovan joined the Buccaneers after successful seasons in Minnesota, and would provide a solid option in the interior of the defensive line. He finished his Buccaneers’ career with 5 sacks and 220 tackles.
So which of these unsung heros in the trenches is your favorite? Vote below, and keep going to the next matchup.
3 seed: Warrick Dunn, Running Back, 1997-2001, 2008
Dunn was a hard-working, unique running back who rose to fame with the Buccaneers in the Tony Dungy era. The small but surprisingly tough runner made two Pro Bowl appearances as a Buccaneer, and was frequently recognized for his off-the-field efforts to help those less fortunate. Dunn finished with 28 touchdowns as a Buccaneer.
14 seed: Kevin House, Wide Receiver, 1980-1986
House was yet another productive player in the less successful years for the Buccaneers, hauling in 31 touchdowns in less than 100 games in Tampa Bay. He was a big play threat early in his career, averaging over 20 yards per catch in his first two seasons with the Bucs.
So which of these offensive players is your pick to move on? Vote below, and keep going for just two more matchups.
7 seed: Vinny Testaverde, Quarterback, 1987-1992
A star at the University of Miami, Vinny was an interception machine in his first season in Tampa Bay. His numbers would balance out a little, but he’d never deliver on the promise of his NCAA career. He was the butt of plenty of jokes, but he was one of the more productive quarterbacks in franchise history, and deserves his place on this list.
10 seed: Karl Williams, Wide Receiver/Returner, 1996-2003
“The Truth” was a dynamic punt returner who brought back 5 punts for scores during his NFL career, and also chipped in on offense as a wide receiver. He was a member of the 2002 Super Bowl winning team as well.
Vinny or The Truth? Which one is your favorite? Vote below, and then check out one last matchup.
2 seed: Shelton Quarles, Linebacker, 1997-2006
A 2002 Pro Bowl Selection, Quarles was maybe the “best of the rest” on the Buccaneers dominant defense at the turn of the century. Not tabbed as one of the biggest stars, Quarles simply did the dirty work needed as a linebacker next to Derrick Brooks, and logged tackles, defended passes, and occasionally chipped in on the pass rush. The former CFL player caught on with the Bucs after going undrafted, and turned into a solid contributor to one of the best defenses ever.
15 seed: Trent Dilfer, Quarterback, 1994-1999
Dilfer was the sixth overall selection in the 1994 NFL Draft, and was thrust into duty in 1995, when he would manage to throw for only 4 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. He would bounce back and be a part of the 1999 team that would make a playoff run, but an injury kept him out of the final games of the season, and the playoffs. He would go on to win a Super Bowl with the Ravens, and become an ESPN TV analyst.
A first-rounder or undrafted free agent, which do you pick? Make your choice below, and thanks for voting!