In our continuing countdown of the best Buccaneers to wear the uniform, who was the best to wear number 96?
Over the last several days, we have been looking back at the history of the Buccaneers. Despite winning only one championship, the franchise has sported talented players on both sides of the football. Some choices have been easy, such as number 99 and number 97. Number 98 was a tough choice.
Let’s continue the countdown right here. Who was the best player in Bucs’ history to wear number 96. Well, like 98, it was a difficult decision. However, the best of the bunch is Ellis Wyms.
Don’t worry, I’ll remind you who he was.
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Wyms was selected by the Bucs in the sixth round of the 2001 draft. He was a career backup, starting only nine out of 66 games in Tampa, but when in there, he made plays. After playing in only four games as a rookie, Wyms made an impact off of the bench for the Super Bowl champs in 2002, posting 27 tackles, 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
In the Super Bowl win over the Raiders, Wyms added one sack.
The next year was a bit of a down year, with only two sacks, 20 tackles, two passes defended and a forced fumble. Wyms’ final season with the Bucs came in 2006, when he posted five sacks, and 19 total tackles. For his career, not bad for a sixth round pick. In 66 career games with Tampa, Wyms posted 88 tackles, 14.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and four passes defended.
From Lee Roy Selmon, to Ronde Barber, to Warren Sapp, to Gerald McCoy, and everyone in between, the Bucs have had a history of solid defensive players. The teams may not have been where we wanted them to, but the defense has always sported talent. Ellis Wyms may not have been elite, but he made solid contributions, and is the best player to wear number 96.