Buccaneers: Comparing the current team to the 2002 champions

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 10: Jameis Winston
CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 10: Jameis Winston /
2 of 10
TAMPA, FL – JANUARY 1: Quarterback Jameis Winston
TAMPA, FL – JANUARY 1: Quarterback Jameis Winston /


2002: Brad Johnson, Rob Johnson, and Shaun King

Brad Johnson was in his third season with the Bucs during the 2002 season and was 32 years old playing as a game manager in Jon Gruden’s “West Coast” offense.

He started thirteen games with a record of 10-3 with 3049 yards, 62.3% completion, 22 touchdowns, and six interceptions with 6.8 yards/attempt and a 92.9 quarterback rating.
Throwing for short passes with high success in Gruden’s offense had him play well enough to make the Pro Bowl during the 2002 season.

Rob Johnson was Brad Johnson’s backup and played in six games while starting two – at Carolina and at Chicago during the 2002 season going 2-0 with 536 yards, 64.8% completions with one touchdown, and two interceptions with 6.1 yards/attempt and a 75.8 quarterback rating.

Third stringer Shaun King started one game in a losing effort against the Pittsburgh Steelers during week fifteen.

2017: Jameis Winston, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Ryan Griffin

Jameis Winston, after being drafted first overall in 2015 is heading into his third season never missing a game with a total of 8132 yards, 59.6% completion, 50 touchdowns, and 33 interceptions with 7.4 yards/attempt and an 85.2 quarterback rating.

Ryan Fitzpatrick was brought in during free agency to be the backup for Winston while playing last season for the Jets did not live up to contract he was given (1 year – $12 million). Last year, he played in fourteen games with eleven starts going 3-8.

He ended up with 2710 yards, 56.6% completion, twelve touchdowns, and seventeen interceptions with 6.7 yards/attempt and a 45.4 quarterback rating last season.

I hope Winston stays healthy the whole season so we don’t have to see Fitzpatrick for an extended time other than cleanup duty.

Third stringer Ryan Griffin has never even played a snap in the NFL which is the reason Fitzpatrick was signed.

Clearly Jameis is more of a risk taker than Brad and is asked to do more in Koetter’s offense than Brad was because obviously the 2017 team does not have one of the best defenses in NFL history that can win games alone for the team… yet.

Jameis is well on his way to being one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and Brad was never considered one of the best in the league although he was selected for two Pro Bowls compared to Winston’s one so far.

ADVANTAGE: 2017 Quarterbacks – Jameis Winston, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Ryan Griffin