#BucsBracket Sweet 16: Vote For Your Favorite Tampa Bay Buccaneers of All-Time, Part One


December 9, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers former player Warren Sapp (left) and former player Derrick Brooks talk on the sidelines during the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles at Raymond James Stadium.Former players of the 2002 super bowl championship team came back to celebrate their 10th anniversary. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the third round of #BucsBracket, the unofficial competition held here at the Pewter Plank to determine the most popular and most beloved Buccaneers of all time. We’ve come to the sweet 16, so it’s time to really choose the best of the best.

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 four 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

Brooks may be the most obvious player to advance to the Sweet 16. He’s one of the favorites to win this competition. 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.

4 seed: Jimmie Giles, Tight End, 1978-1986

The best tight end in team history is yet another worthy addition to the Sweet 16. 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.

The best linebacker versus the best tight end… which one moves on? Let us know in the poll below.

3 seed: Warrick Dunn, Running Back, 1997-2001, 2008

Dunn wasn’t with the Buccaneers for the longest time, but he made a big impact while he was in town. 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.

2 seed: Shelton Quarles, Linebacker, 1997-2006

Quarles was a bit of an unsung hero and had his best season at the right time for the Bucs. 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.

Both joined the Buccaneers in 1997, but which will join the Elite 8? Vote below.

1 seed: Ronde Barber, Cornerback/Safety, 1997-2012

Barber needs very little introduction, and little explanation as to why he’s in the Sweet 16 of Bucs Bracket. The recently retired defensive back has a laundry list of accomplishments, and is one of the best to play his position in the history of the NFL. His combination of sacks and interceptions is unmatched in the history of the league, and his durability was among the best of any non-kicker in league history.

13 seed: Brad Johnson, Quarterback, 2001-2004

Johnson had a great season with the Buccaneers that just so happened to coincide with their first and only championship, so he’s advanced to the Sweet 16 thanks to the memories of that momentous occasion. Johnson was never spectacular but had a very strong season under Jon Gruden and it was enough to score the points needed to win in 2002.

Which Super Bowl winning Buccaneer moves on? Pick the best one from the ballot below.

3 seed: James Wilder, Running Back, 1981-1989

Doug Martin set plenty of records in 2012, but still falls short of some of the marks set by James Wilder. One of the best running backs of his era, Wilder was the focal point of the Bucs’ offense in the 80’s. He’s definitely one of the 16 best Buccaneers of all time, but if he more favored than…

2 seed: John Lynch, Safety, 1993-2003

Lynch was a fan favorite and always made important plays and impact hits, and that earned him a place in the Sweet 16. The five-time Pro Bowl selection was one of the hardest hitters in the league, and one of the core members of the Bucs’ legendary defense. Is he worthy of moving on?

You decide between these two great Buccaneers, and pick who moves on in the vote below.