All-Time Teams: Tampa Bay Buccaneers



Introduction

In my endless research of all things football and through my passion for the history of the NFL, I have decided to try and compile an All-Time Team for all 32 current NFL franchises. By All-Time Team I mean a starting roster compiled of the very best players to ever put on each franchise’s jersey. I will be starting in alphabetical order by current franchise location, so Arizona Cardinals all the way to The Washington Football Team, with the goal of releasing one to two All-Time teams a week for the duration of the current NFL season. This is meant to be fun and cause some debate and is based on my opinion after all my research and deep dives into each franchise’s history. Of course, not everyone will agree with who I chose, and I’d love to hear from anyone who agrees or disagrees, but first, let’s lay out some ground rules for how I came up with each team.


1. Each team roster will consist of the following:

Offense - 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 2 OT, 2 OG, 1 C

Defense - 2 DE, 2 DT, 3 LB, 2 CB, 2 S

Special Teams - 1 K, 1 P, 1 Returner

Coach - 1 Head Coach


2. I only considered an individual’s stats and contributions with each specific franchise. For example, Peyton Manning’s years with the Broncos were not considered when deciding on the starting QB of the Colts All-Time Team. As a result, the stats and awards listed with each individual player are only those that were achieved with that specific franchise.


3. A player cannot represent two teams as the starter. Players who spent time with more than one team were considered for the franchise they spent the most time with or had the most impact on. This rule led to some interesting scenarios that I will discuss in detail with each specific article to try and clear up any confusion.


4. A player’s stats and impact were considered in context with their era. This won’t simply be a listing of who passed or ran for the most yards in franchise history.


5. All stats are from Pro-Football-Reference and through the 2021 season. I will also be counting sacks from 1960, though the NFL doesn't officially count sacks until 1982.


6. Players in the "Honorable Mentions" section are ordered by year. It's not an indication of where I believe they rank in franchise history.


Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!


Tampa Bay Buccaneers All-Time Team


Franchise Information

First Season: 1976

Record: 291-433-1 (39.32 W-L%)

Playoff Record: 11-10

Super Bowls Won: 2 (2002 and 2020)

Passing Leader: Jameis Winston 1,563/2,548 | 19,737 Yds | 121 TD

Rushing Leader: James Wilder 1,575 Att | 5,957 Yds | 37 TD

Receiving Leader: Mike Evans 606 Rec | 9,301 Yds | 75 TD

Sack Leader: Lee Roy Selmon 78.5 Sk

Interception Leader: Ronde Barber 47 Int

Scoring Leader: Martin Gramatica 592 Points

Winningest Coach: Jon Gruden 57-55


QB: Brad Johnson (2001-2004)

Record: 26-23 | 61.8 Cmp% | 10,940 Yds | 64 TD | 41 Int | 206 Rush Yds | 3 Rush TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (02) | 2002 Super Bowl Champion


I'm going with Brad Johnson at quarterback for the All-Time Buccaneers. The Buccaneers haven't really had a clear franchise quarterback at any point in their history. Jameis Winston holds the franchise records in yards and touchdowns, but he never led the team to the playoffs and only once had a winning a record. Doug Williams guided the Buccaneers to the playoffs three times, but he had more interceptions in three of his five seasons and completed less than 50% of his passes. Tampa Bay also can't claim Tom Brady as he's obviously the starter for the All-Time Patriots. All of this makes Brad Johnson the clear choice. He was only the primary starter for three seasons, but he guided the Buccaneers to the playoffs in two of them and won the Super Bowl in 2002. Johnson was also named to the Pro-Bowl in 2002 after completing 62% of his passes for over 3,000 yards, 22 touchdowns and just 6 interceptions.

Honorable Mentions

  1. Doug Williams (1978-1982) | Record: 33-33-1 | 47.4 Cmp% | 12,648 Yds | 73 TD | 73 Int | 879 Rush Yds | 13 TD

  2. Vinny Testaverde (1987-1992) | Record: 24-48 | 52.1 Cmp% | 14,820 Yds | 77 TD | 112 Int | 905 Rush Yds | 5 Rush TD

  3. Trent Dilfer (1994-1999) | Record: 38-38 | 54.8 Cmp% | 12,969 Yds | 70 TD | 80 Int | 650 Rush Yds | 5 Rush TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (97)

  4. Jameis Winston (2015-2018) | Record: 28-42 | 61.3 Cmp% | 19,737 Yds | 121 TD | 88 Int | 1,044 Rush Yds | 10 Rush TD | Led League in Yds 2019 (5,109) | Led League in Yds/G 2019 (319.3) | 1x Pro-Bowl (15)

  5. Tom Brady (2020-Present) | Record: 24-9 | 66.7 Cmp% | 9,949 Yds | 83 TD | 24 Int | 87 Rush Yds | 5 Rush TD | Led League in Cmp 2021 (485) | Led League in Yds 2021 (5,316) | Led League in TD 2021 (43) | Led League in Yds/G 2021 (312.7) | 1x Pro-Bowl (21) | 2020 Super Bowl Champion


RB: Mike Alstott (1996-2006)

3.7 Yds/A | 5,088 Yds | 58 TD | 305 Rec | 2,284 Rec Yds | 13 Rec TD | 6x Pro-Bowl (97, 98, 99, 00, 01, 02) | 3x All-Pro (97, 98, 99)


Mike Alstott is the clear first choice at running back for the Buccaneers. The only thing keeping him out of the Hall of Fame is that voters must be treating him as a pure running back and not as a fullback. In the 1980s, the fullback position evolved into primarily a lead blocker and pass catcher who occasionally carried the ball. This sprung the likes of fullbacks like Tom Rathman and Daryl Johnston, just to name two. Mike Alstott was the last and greatest of the modern fullbacks. He spent 11 years in Tampa Bay and had over 500 yards rushing five times and over 10 rushing touchdowns once. He also had over 200 receiving yards six times and over 1,000 yards from scrimmage in 1999. Alstott compiled career highs of 949 rushing yards in 1999, 10 rushing touchdowns in 2001, and 65 receptions for 557 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns in 1996. He's the franchise record holder in touchdowns and was named to six straight Pro-Bowls from 1997-2002 and three straight All-Pro Teams from 1997-1999. Fullbacks haven't even come close to putting up numbers like Alstott since he retired in 2006. It's time the Hall of Fame does the right thing and gives him a gold jacket.


RB: James Wilder (1981-1989)

3.8 Yds/A | 5,957 Yds | 37 TD | 430 Rec | 3,492 Rec Yds | 9 Rec TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (84)


This spot came down to James Wilder and Warrick Dunn. I give the slight edge to Wilder. He spent nine years in Tampa Bay, racking up a franchise record 5,957 rushing yards. Wilder had over 1,000 rushing yards twice and over 1,000 yards from scrimmage four times. His best season came in 1984 when he ran for 1,544 yards and 13 touchdowns and added 85 receptions for 685 yards through the air. That's over 2,200 yards from scrimmage. He was named to his only Pro-Bowl in that same 1984 season. Warrick Dunn spent six seasons in Tampa Bay and is an extremely close second.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Warrick Dunn (1997-2001, 2008) | 4.0 Yds/A | 4,986 Yds | 19 TD | 306 Rec | 2,704 Rec Yds | 9 Rec TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (97, 00) | 1997 Offensive Rookie of the Year

  2. Cadillac Williams (2005-2010) | 3.8 Yds/A | 3,677 Yds | 20 TD | 134 Rec | 909 Rec Yds | 4 Rec TD | 2005 Offensive Rookie of the Year

  3. Doug Martin (2012-2017) | 4.0 Yds/A | 4,633 Yds | 26 TD | 130 Rec | 1,091 Rec Yds | 2 Rec TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (12, 15) | 1x All-Pro (15)


WR: Mike Evans (2014-Present)

606 Rec | 9,301 Yds | 75 TD | 4x Pro-Bowl (16, 18, 19, 21)


Mike Evans is far and away the greatest receiver in franchise history. Evans has put up over 1,000 yards in all eight of his seasons and has gone over 10 touchdowns four times. He's the franchise record holder in receptions, yards and touchdowns and has been voted to four different Pro-Bowls. If he continues at his current pace, he'll have a case for the H