Aside from the left tackle, the center is arguably the most vital player on any offensive line. They are responsible for identifying and calling out defensive alignments (along with the quarterbacks). Obviously, they also have to properly snap the ball on every play. Nobody played center better for the Buccaneers than Tony Mayberry, and by a wide margin at that.
Mayberry’s NFL career was spent only in Tampa Bay, all 10 glorious years of it. Oh, by the way, Mayberry didn’t miss a single game in his career. Following his rookie season in 1990, Mayberry started every game at center for the team until he retired after the 1999 season. Go find a dictionary and search for the word “consistency”. If a picture of Mayberry isn’t shown, go get a refund for your book of words.
Born in Germany, the tall German national played his college ball at Wake Forest University. He was selected in the fourth-round of the 1990 NFL Draft, Mayberry will go down as one of the franchise’s best draft-day finds. Few players in franchise history, let alone league history, were able to play at such a high level for such a long time, while avoiding injury.
Mayberry earned Pro Bowl honors in the final three seasons of his career from 1997 to1999. Coincidentally, the Buccaneers made the playoffs in both 1997 and 1999. Mayberry’s contribution to the team’s success in the late ’90s was immense.
Without a doubt, Mayberry was part of the group that laid the foundation for the team that went on to win the 2002 Super Bowl. A terrific player and stalwart for the team during his tenure, Mayberry is very deserving of a 13th overall finish.