Buccaneers’ Jersey Countdown: Number 77
Who was the best Buccaneers player ever to wear number 77?
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The Buccaneers have had an interesting history to say the least. To start off franchise history with a winless season certainly puts you in the record books, albeit for the wrong reasons. Whether they were winning or losing, the Bucs have always been memorable.
So too have been their players. The unique element to this franchise is that for every period of history, no matter how tough the wins were to come by, there were players to latch onto. There were players that were uniquely known as “their guys”. They were Bucs. Some were good, some were not so good, but they were unique.
Today we continue our look at the good as we try to determine who were the best. We have been going through history, counting backwards by jersey number, to determine the best player in Bucs history to wear each jersey number. We are up to number 77.
The player to wear it and earn the honor is Brad Culpepper.
Culpepper was actually a 10th round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings (yes the draft was that long back then). He never found a role up there, so he ended up in Tampa Bay from 1994-1999. He became a starter from his left defensive tackle spot and was able to carve out quite the niche role for himself.
His first career sack came on September 11, 1994 in a win over the Indianapolis Colts. He posted three more sacks that year to along with 61 tackles in 15 starts. He posted four more sacks in 1995 although his role was reduced and Culpepper only started four games.
After a down year in 1996, he put up his three best years from 1997-1999, amassing 23.5 sacks during that time period. He managed two performances of three sacks each in 1997, leading him to an 8.5 sack season. Culpepper followed that up with nine sacks in 1998, including taking Brett Favre down twice in a way over the Green Bay Packers.
He played in Tampa one more year before heading off to Chicago, and posted six sacks, including 3.5 over the final two games he played in. After one year in Chicago he was gone.
Next: Free Agent Outlook Part I
During his time with the Bucs, Culpepper started 80 out of 93 games and posted 33 sacks. He’s currently a trial lawyer, but will forever be the best player in franchise history to wear number 77.