Buccaneers’ Jersey Countdown: Number 81
As the preseason rolls on, we continue our trip through Buccaneers’ history. Who was the best player to wear number 81?
Time to continue our countdown through Buccaneers’ history. Right now, the Bucs are getting ready to take on Jacksonville in their second preseason game. While they do that, we are going to go back in time to look at some of the best players ever to put on a Bucs’ jersey.
For anyone that may have forgotten, we have been counting down through history. Specifically, we have been counting down the best players ever to play for Tampa by jersey number. There have been some talented players to play for this team over the years, though the wins have been hard to come by.
But who are the best?
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We have gone through numbers 90-99 and seen some terrific defensive players. As we finish up 80-89, the offensive talent hasn’t been quite as good, but there have been some bright lights. Most recently, we looked at number 82. Today we look at number 81.
The choice is Jacquez Green. Remember him?
Green joined the Bucs in 1998 as an undrafted free agent with potential in both the passing game and as a returner. He flashed that potential in week one against the Green Bay Packers. Green may have only caught two passes as a backup receiver, but he wowed Bucs’ fans with a 95 yard punt return for a touchdown. He finished the year with 14 receptions for 251 yards and two touchdowns, and added 15 yards per punt return on 30 returns.
Jacquez saw an increased role in 1999, and although he only started ten games, he was able to catch 56 passes for 791 yards and three touchdowns. In a November win over the Chiefs, Green was huge, posting seven receptions for 164 yards and a touchdown. The following season saw Green start every game and post 51 catches for 773 yards and a touchdown. He went over the 100 yard mark twice, once in a win over the Bears and once in a loss to the Vikings.
His final year with Tampa was in 2001, when he dropped to 36 catches for 402 yards and one touchdown. He signed with the Redskins as a free agent in 2002 before being released and signing with the Lions. In 2003, he re-signed in Tampa before retiring.
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For his Tampa career, Green managed 157 receptions for 2,217 yards and seven touchdowns. He also averaged 12 yards per punt return over 55 attempts, and the one touchdown. They aren’t numbers that will send him to Canton, but he certainly is the best Bucs’ player ever to wear number 81.