Buccaneers’ Jersey Countdown: Number 79

Who was the best player ever to wear number 79 for the Buccaneers?

We have talked at length about the talented players throughout Buccaneers’ history. Whether we are talking about the old days of winless teams, or more recent times coached by Dungy and Gruden, the talent has been there. Fans have always had solid players to hang their hopes on.

But who have been the best?

Over the past weeks and months, we have been counting back through history, looking at the best players ever to wear the Bucs’ jersey. Starting with number 99, we have counted backwards by jersey number, taking a closer look at the talent that has been a part of this franchise for all of these years.

This afternoon, we come to number 79. Our selection is a bit of an obscure one. His name? Reuben Davis.

Davis was an unheralded defensive lineman, as he joined the Bucs as a ninth round pick of the 1988 draft out of North Carolina. Being selected that low keeps the expectations down, but Davis delivered in nearly four and a half years in Tampa.

As a rookie, Davis managed three sacks and 61 tackles. He followed that up with identical numbers in 1989. That year, it was a cold afternoon at Soldier Field in Chicago, and Davis posted two of his sacks, helping the Bucs to a 32-31 win.

Reuben had an off year in 1990, with only one sack to go along with 62 tackles. However, the pass rush numbers went back up in 1991. He posted a career-high of 3.5 sacks in 1991, including 1.5 against the Packers in a losing cause.

Davis’ time in Tampa ended after five games in 1992 before we headed to colder points of the world (Green Bay).

His time in Tampa was short, but he was able to amass 10.5 sacks and 227 tackles while in town. It earns him the best player ever to wear number 79.