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


December 9, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers former players Warren Sapp, Dwight Smith and Mike Alstott look at the Vince Lombardi Trophy as they were honored on the 10th anniversary of the 2002 Super Bowl during halftime at Raymond James Stadium. The Eagles won 23-21. 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: Warren Sapp, Defensive Tackle, 1995-2003

One of only two Buccaneers in the Hall of Fame, it’s obvious why Sapp has moved on to the Sweet 16.. The former 12th overall pick by Tampa Bay, Sapp was one of the cornerstones of the dominate Tampa 2 defense that helped the team win it all in 2002, earning 7 Pro-Bowl appearances in his 9 seasons with Tampa. Despite occasional verbal outbursts and a less than stellar reputation in the media, Sapp will be inducted to the NFL Hall of Fame this year, his first of eligibility.

5 Seed: Brad Culpepper, Defensive Tackle, 1994-1999

Culpepper is one of the more surprising additions to the Sweet 16, and sets up an all defensive tackle matchup with Sapp. Culpepper was a defensive tackle for Tampa Bay from 1994-1999. In his career he compiled 34 sacks and 6 forced fumbles. Since his retirement he has gone on to become a trial lawyer for the Culpepper Kurland law firm in Tampa and has spoken out to his concern for the increasing size of NFL athletes.

Which defensive tackle moves on? Vote below.

3 Seed: Paul Gruber, Offensive Tackle, 1988-1999

Paul Gruber advanced to the Sweet 16 despite playing one of the least “sexy” positions in football. Gruber spent his entire National Football League career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He appeared in 183 games over his 12-year career, starting all of them. For most of his career, Gruber was one of the few great players on a bad team. Unfortunately his career was halted by a broken leg during the 1999 season that did not fully recover, leading to his decision on retirement. Gruber was inducted into the Tampa Bay Ring of Honor in 2012, joining Lee Roy Selmon, John McKay and Jimmie Giles.

2 Seed: Hardy Nickerson, Linebacker, 1993-1999

Hardy Nickerson easily advanced out of round one by defeating Hugh Green. From 1993-1999 Nickerson helped build a dominant defense and a winning culture in Tampa. He earned 5 Pro Bowl appearances as well as 4 All-Pro Selections during his time with Tampa. His accomplishments here earned him a spot on the NFL’s 1990s all decade team.

Which 90’s Buccaneer is your pick to advance? Click below to vote.

1 seed: Lee Roy Selmon, Defensive End, 1976-1984

Selmon is a legendary Buccaneer who belongs in the Sweet 16. What else can be said about the original Buccaneer? Selmon was a star from day one, earning Pro Bowl bids and a Hall of Fame induction during the Bucs formative years. With 78.5 sacks and 28 forced fumbles in his career, Selmon was a disruptive force on the defensive line and a great man on and off the field. He passed away just a couple of years ago, and his impact on the Tampa Bay Area with both the Buccaneers and the USF Bulls Athletic Program will live on for years and years to come.

12 seed: Dexter Jackson, Safety, 1999-2002, 2004-2005

Much like Brad Johnson, Dexter Jackson has moved on to the Sweet 16 thanks to his memorable performance in 2002 to help the Buccaneers win it all. Jackson had such a short time as a prominent player with the Buccaneers, but his MVP performance in the Super Bowl was the highlight. Jackson appeared in 73 games for the Bucs, logging eight interceptions and forcing three fumbles. It was his two interceptions in the Super Bowl against the Raiders that are more well-remembered, and cemented his name in the team’s history books.

Which defender gets your vote? Click below and advance to the next matchup.

3 seed: Simeon Rice, Defensive End, 2001-2006

Simeon moves on to the Sweet 16 despite his somewhat short time in Tampa. Rice was the key pass rusher in the Buccaneers’ 2002 Super Bowl defense, logging 15.5 sacks that regular season and forcing six fumbles. Rice was brought to Tampa after being just as dominant with Arizona, and continue to dominate in his prime with the Buccaneers.

2 seed: Mike Alstott, Fullback, 1996-2007

Alstott advances to round three, which is no surprise to Bucs’ fans. One of the best fullbacks in the history of the NFL, Alstott was maybe the most beloved Buccaneer during his 12 seasons. His six Pro Bowls and 4 All Pro selections don’t quite speak to the impact he had on the fanbase, who all rallied behind the A-Train anytime the Buccaneers’ offense was on the field. Alstott had 58 rushing touchdowns and 13 receiving touchdowns, many of which were earned by barreling over defenders on his way to the end zone.

Which of these Buccaneer greats moves on? Vote below.