Buccaneers’ Jersey Countdown: Number 80


As we go back through Buccaneers’ history, who was the best player ever to wear the number 80?

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The Buccaneers have a rich history. Is it always a great history? We know that it is not. There have been a lot more losing season than winning seasons. Jason Vuic wrote a fantastic book about the first two seasons, where the team didn’t win a game until year two (Check out our review of the book here.)

Through the years, however, the Bucs have put a great deal of talented players out on the field, even in losing causes. Heck, we do have a Ring of Honor, there were SOME good players.

But who are the best?

During the offseason, we began counting down the best players in team history, backwards by jersey number. Our most recent installment was our choice for number 81. Next up is the best player to wear number 80.

The choice is Lawrence Dawsey. Remember him? I’ll bring you up to speed if you don’t.

Dawsey was selected in the third round of the 1991 draft, 66th overall, out of Florida State. At FSU, he was an All-American, and posted 128 receptions for 2,129 yards and 20 touchdowns.

In his rookie year, he caught 55 passes for 818 yards and three touchdowns, earning him UPI NFL-NFC Rookie of the Year honors. Dawsey’s shining moment in his rookie year was a matchup in Miami against the Dolphins when he posted eight receptions for 100 yards and one touchdown. The Bucs’ lost but Dawsey played quite well that fateful day in Miami.

The next year he saw a career high in targets with 94. His receptions went up to 60, although his yardage dipped to 776 and his touchdowns dipped to one. Dawsey did, however, post a 100 yard game against the Packers, catching all five targets thrown his way. He also posted 99 yards in a game against the Lions. Both performances helped the Bucs to victory.

Dawsey did fall off the pace over the rest of his career in Tampa, with only one more touchdown scored over his final three years in town. His best remaining year came in 1994 when he posted 46 receptions for 673 yards and one touchdown.

Next: Breaking Down the Week Three Final Drive

Dawsey finished his career in 1999 after pit stops in New York with the Giants, Miami, and New Orleans. It was a close battle with Michael Clayton, but Lawrence Dawsey is your best player ever to wear number 80 in a Bucs’ uniform.