NFL Hall of Fame is honoring yet another member of the iconic 2002 Buccaneers defense

Yet another member of the iconic 2002 Buccaneers defense is being honored by the Hall of Fame

Washington Redskins v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Washington Redskins v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Al Messerschmidt/GettyImages

Twice the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have brought home a Super Bowl trophy and both times the defense is what carried the weight. Even with a future Hall of Fame quarterback leading the charge last time, the Bucs defense pounding Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs into submission is the reason it happened.

It was the same case the first time around, except Hall of Fame busts are very much the present, not in the future, for members of that 2002 team. Last year the second-to-last member of the vaunted Buccaneers defense from that season got inducted into Canton as Ronde Barber finally got his bust.

Simeon Rice should be the last member of that defense to get in but he's still waiting on his call.

Meanwhile, a fifth member arguably deserves his bust as well. Monte Kiffin was the architect of the Bucs defense and one of the fathers of a scheme that is now commonplace in the game. He helped perfect the Tampa 2 defense, alongside Tony Dungy and others, and was in charge of one of the best defenses in NFL history.

Kiffin doesn't have a bust in Canton, but he's going to be honored with another award for all that he did during his career.

Monte Kiffin is getting honored by the NFL Hall of Fame this year

On Wednesday, the NFL Hall of Fame announced that Monte Kiffin would be among this year's recipients of the Award for Excellence.

It's part of a new program that recognizes significant contributors to the game of football in five categories – film/video directors, assistant coaches, athletic trainers, equipment managers, and public relations personnel.

Kiffin won't get a bust in Canton but he's getting more than just a handshake. Recipients will get a plaque in a special wing of the Hall of Fame.

He's not going in alone, either. In addition to the 13 other recipients, long-time video director Dan Levy will be getting a plaque as well. Levy was with the Bucs during that Super Bowl season in 2002 and spent four decades in the league earning his status as a film legend.

The fact that four members of that 2002 team are already in the Hall of Fame and are now being joined by coordinators and video personel goes to show just how iconic that team was and remains to this day.

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