Best Bucs QB

March 20th, 2016
Where does Doug Williams rank among Bucs QBs?

Where does Doug Williams rank among Bucs QBs?

Something called “Trending Top Lists” has an intriguing clickbait article examining the best quarterbacks in NFL team history.

Of course, one might have to think hard about the best quarterback in Bucs history, since no drafted QB has made it to a second contract and only one starter got a second contract (Joe doesn’t count Steve DeBerg’s revival tour with the Bucs in 1992 and 1993.)

The quarterback honored as No. 1 in Bucs history is an overlooked quarterback. That would be Brad Johnson.

Another franchise that has had a lot of struggles at the QB position over the years, somehow Brad Johnson was somewhat the obvious choice here. Johnson was a journeyman who was recruited by head coach Tony Dungyin in 2001 before Jon Gruden took over the following year. He would play from 2001-2004, amassing 10,940 passing yards, 61.8 completion percentage, 83.2 QB rating, 64 TDs, and 41 INTs. He also owns the highest winning percentage (53.1) for the most games as a Bucs starting QB with a 26-23 record. It’s no surprise the best QB to ever play for the Bucs was was a Super Bowl winner as well. I mean like I said, the Bucs history of QB’s isn’t very good but he won a Super Bowl and you simply cannot take that away from him. Elite defense on the other side of the ball or not, he still helped his team get a ring. End of story.

Interesting to Joe is why Johnson, the lone Bucs quarterback to win a Super Bowl and one of three quarterbacks to lead the team to an NFC championship game, is often overlooked or forgotten.

Doug Williams has his name in the Ring of Honor, yet Shaun King had just as much success and had better numbers. Yet Bucs fans want to throw King, a hometown hero from St. Petersburg, into a bat of boiling oil and instead revere Williams.

That’s awfully hypocritical to Joe.

56 Responses to “Best Bucs QB”

  1. Harry Says:

    Here you go TBBF… lol

  2. Bird Says:

    The “bull” Brad Johnson. Tough as nails. One of my favorite players from that super bowl team

  3. Walter Says:


    Just kidding haha

  4. Dave Says:

    That’s pretty sad that a QB with a 26/23 record is the best in their history!! Yes he won a SB, and I like the guy a lot, but let’s not get carried away. He dumped it off in grudens offense and the defense won it.

    They should have put him #2 with Williams #3.
    Leave #1 position open with a note –
    “Not available at this time”. 😆

  5. Pickgrin Says:

    Doug Williams had a lot of talent, heart and a big arm. Shaun King’s “success” was due mainly to one of the best defenses in NFL history. (The 1999 Bucs D was actually better than the 2002 Defense).

    Steve Young was actually the Bucs most “talented” QB – but the team he played on was one of the worst ever (Leeman Bennett’s back to back 2-14 teams who were lucky to win 4 games).

    Jameis Winston is going to hold every single Buccaneer QB record in just a few short years.

  6. Dave Says:


    No one else did anything here worth a damn. Not DeBerg, King, Young, Testeverde, Garcia, etc.

    Like stated ^^^^^
    JW will be stop this list with all the records within a few short years and hopefully putting all the records out of reach for a long long time

  7. Stanglassman Says:

    For any of you younger guys or just the nostalgic ones I would recommend checking out the 1979 Bucs playoff game of them upsetting the Eagles on youtube. See not only Doug, Ricky Bell, Kevin House and Jimmy Giles in action but also that nasty 3-4 Buc Def. .

  8. BigHogHaynes Says:


  9. Miko Says:

    Silly comparison….it’s Williams’s by a long shot to anyone that actually saw him play….

  10. Tony Says:

    I have watched every game since 1976 and have been a season ticket holder for 35 of those seasons. Doug was by far the best quarterback this team has ever had. Stats are not indicative of how good Doug was back in those days. He was the offense. Jimmy Giles would tell you himself that he wouldn’t be anything if it weren’t for Doug. Brad was an efficient qb, but he had a lot of support. He never really had to do anything on his own. I’m thankful Shaun took over in the 1999 season, but he wasn’t in the same class as Doug. Freeman was terrific in 2010, but he wasn’t the same after that season. I know he had great statistics in 2012, but you can tell he wasn’t the same. Jameis will be better than Doug. He has all the skill sets that Doug had, but I think Jameis has a leadership skill that is unprecedented, at least by Tampa Bay QB standards. People look at statistics when evaluating Doug, which I think is completely unfair; it really is a false narrative. To put it simply, you had to be there.

  11. Miguel Grande Says:

    Mike is right!!

    I credit Brad Johnson with planting the seed fr Fantasy Football when he was with the Vikings he completed a TD pass to himself. Yes, he threw it, caught it and scored a TD.

    Doug Williams also had one of the greatest Super Bowl performances of all time, just not for the Bucs.

  12. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Two things:

    First, whoever wrote that needs to go back to school. Errors all over the place.

    Second, I’ve never felt Doug Williams was good. He was better than any QBs the Bucs had for a number of years, but that doesn’t make him any good. He was the best of a bad bunch. His best year couldn’t even touch today’s QBs…even if you broke it down to a game average (since the number of games played was different).

    Bucs have a looooong history of bad QBs. We fans know that…because every year we’ve hoped for it to change.

    That’s why it is so shocking that it finally has.

    But I would give Brad Johnson the top QB spot to date. Hopefully, Winston will blow it away in years to come.

  13. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Dave Says:
    “Yes he won a SB, and I like the guy a lot, but let’s not get carried away. He dumped it off in grudens offense and the defense won it.”

    Actually it was both offense AND defense. We may have had the top defense that year, but our offense was ranked pretty high too.

    And it was our offense that scored more points.

  14. Buc1987 Says:

    Correct Bonzai….I think the O was ranked like 9th that season.

  15. CrustyCrab Says:

    What Doug Williams did for this franchise is what Dungy did for the Bucs in the 90’s. The style of play they played back in that era i don’t think any former Bucs QB would have survived that beating. The Bucs had never been to the playoffs before Williams got there, only won 2 games before he stepped on the field. He took the Yucs to 3 straight playoff games and a 1979 NFC championship game. Once he was out the door it would be 14 years of losing and on top of that he had Colverhouse as an owner.

  16. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Sorry, but the 99 defense wasn’t as good as the 02 defense. The 02 defense was record breaking and doesn’t lose the game in St. Louis. The 02 Barber sacks the 99 Warner on the immaculate td pass 😉

  17. Destinjohnny Says:

    Glennon – only kidding

  18. CrustyCrab Says:

    The style of play back then and the style of play now are like night and day. Today’s NFL quarterback would be crying their arses off if was legal to treat them like football players. Wr’s have the freedom to run without being checked. these new rules would be a cake walk for guys like Williams. You new stat guys kill me you probably never broke a fingernail in your life.

  19. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Any votes for Shaun King?

    “Shaun King, one of two Buc Quarterbacks that lost a NFC Championship Game when his defense gave up 9 points.”

  20. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Speaking for Pablo

    “Pablo knows there will be no surprise that Pablo’s favorite Buc Quarterback is Jeff Garcia……Pablo’s second most favorite is Jeff Garcia”

  21. Buc1987 Says:

    CrustyCrab…to be fair Brad played under those “old rules” too. You’re right though, stats comparing old football players to the newer generation should just be thrown in the trash. Same with the NBA and allowing that CONSTANT traveling to take place when the old timers weren’t allowed to get away with any of that. Tis why I won’t watch the NBA anymore and the NFL might not be too far behind it.

  22. Buc1987 Says:

    TBBF..I was a big Garcia fan. lol

  23. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Id rank our own qbs

    1) Williams…less to work with given it was a franchise team and there was no free agency back then. A shame we were too cheap to resign Doug as hed go on to break super bowl records and get to the Hall mainly as a redskin
    2) Johnson – a razor thin second. Amazing job at his age to help lead this team to it’s first chamionship…while playing hurt.
    3) Testeverde – tough call but he was talented on a talentless team
    4) Dilfer – overcame a slow start with many calling for him to be run out of town to lead us to our first playoff win and nearly a super bowl before he got hurt.
    5) King – started off like gang busters…then showed us he was cery much a rookie at times even in his second season. One of our most athletic qbs.

    Dishonerable mention – Steve Young

  24. Buccfan37 Says:

    My vote is Doug Williams was the best Bucs QB of all time hands down. Most older Bucs fans loved Doug and his effort on the field.

  25. Couch Fan Says:

    I’ve always been a Garcia fan to. Of course I’m a little bias because Carmella was just that hot.

  26. Blake_BucsFan Says:

    Maybe because Shaun King was a mediocre talent, had a dominant defense, and failed to lead ONE touchdown drive in a championship game where his defense gave up only 11 points. Where as Williams was the first African American Quarterback to win a Super Bowl. Which he may have been able to do with the Bucs if not for Culverhouse being a miserly old coot.

  27. BucTrooper Says:

    If I had one game to win and I had to pick a Bucs QB to win it I would pick Jeff Garcia. He was pretty awesome the couple years we had him and Raheem dismissed him for Byron Leftwich.

  28. Miko Says:

    Oh yes, we live in a stats world….anyone that hasn’t watched ALL buccaneer eras doesn’t get a vote 🙂

  29. Kalind Says:

    It’s Shaun kings trolling that makes us wanna do that how. His ‘analysis’ is a joke.

  30. cmurda Says:

    Doug Williams my be the Qb that the Bucs drafted and is beloved but honestly, Brad is the best Qb the Bucs have ever had. On one hand, it speaks to Brad’s toughness and ability to get the job done particularly during our Superbowl run, on the other hand can we all admit that it is pretty sad that Johnson was the best that we’ve ever had.

  31. Buc1987 Says:

    Seeing that orange all over Doug.

    Who here has a strong affection for the creamsicles like I do?

    Some absolutely can’t stand them. Yes I know the new ones suck too, but who here still loves the cream?

  32. Buc1987 Says:

    “on the other hand can we all admit that it is pretty sad that Johnson was the best that we’ve ever had.”

    Sad, but reality. Gee I wonder why I was adamant about Winston. Hmmmm lol

  33. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Williams, Johnson,Winston(and climbing). Simple as that.

  34. RachelWatson'sthong Says:

    I liked Craig Erickson.

  35. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Actually…..Jameis Winston is the best Buc QB……how so, you say…..he has only played one year…..exactly…..if his 4,000 yards and appearance in the Pro Bowl are any indication….he will be the best…..
    When his entire body of work is measured against the others….I will be correct.
    To say he’s not the best would certainly be arguable also.

  36. Mike Johnson Says:

    I was there in the stadium watching Doug Williams as a teen with my dad. He was very good. And his O line was ok but not great. My dad always said the Bucs biggest mistake was not paying Doug what he deserved. Has he stayed, we may have won a SB earlier. Testeverde, (saw him play for us too) was ok coming out of college. But he could never stay upright. He took a beat down with our O line. Steve Young was always..running for his life. He developed that style even more so with our Bucs. He also took a beatdown with us. You don’t need a great QB to win a superbowl. Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson are living proof of this! Both were durable but nowhere near very good or great. DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS peoples!

  37. Mike Johnson Says:

    Oohhh..and somebody here mentioned Shaun King. King had some very good games for us. But he was not very consistent. I’d rate him as an average QB
    And yes, No question Brad Johnson was as tough as they come. Great or good? Nope.. he did make some clutch plays when needed though. But that Defense he played with and Behind? GREAT. One of history’s best. If our Bucs had just an average or slightly above average Defense during that superbowl run? Brad Johnson would NOT..have been enough to get us through. No Way!
    Just telling it is. I repeat..DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS>>>AMEN!

  38. Rod Munch Says:

    From a numbers standpoint it was probably Fat Freeman, he single handedly took that 2010 to 10 wins, made ton plays and very much looked like he was a franchise QB. That was an incredible year and the single best year, even better than Johnson in 2002. Don’t forget the QB genesis that Gruden was he did everything he could to make Rob Johnson the starter in 2002. As for Shaun King I always liked the guy and he’d be legend here had the refs not made that BS call in St Louis and took away the Bucs 99 Super Bowl appearance.

  39. Espo Says:

    Long live Brad!!!

    A ring is the one and only unit of measurement I care about here. I fully expect Jameis to surpass King Brad in the future.

  40. Dave Says:

    Vinny cannot be on the list ahead of Doug, Brad or Trent.
    Look at what Vinny did while here… It was atrocious

  41. The Rockstar Says:

    Jameis Winston is the best quarterback in the history of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

  42. wesley Says:

    Doug Williams numbers suck to be honest. I know the team wasn’t any good either, but numbers don’t lie.

  43. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    I’m not new…been around since the start. That’s why I KNOW what I say is true. He was on a Trent Dilfer level at best.

  44. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Buc1987 Says
    “Who here has a strong affection for the creamsicles like I do?”

    I loved it…but I like the next gen red and pewter better. HATE the new ones. I have not bought a jersey since the new ones came out.

    Bought other things, not jerseys.

  45. wesley Says:

    1. B. Johnson
    2. J. Garcia
    3. J. Winston
    4. D. Williams

  46. wesley Says:

    If I had one game to win and I had to pick a Bucs QB to win it I would pick Jeff Garcia.

    – agree with this whole heartedly

  47. Dave Says:


    Not top 4.
    He was horrible. Can’t throw in the pocket. Caused more sacks than he got away from because of happy feet.

  48. Mike Johnson Says:

    Joe, the reason why is old school Buc fans rever Doug Williams so much is because we were there. WE..meaning the Bucs. All we had to do was pay the man. Mr. culverhouse refused and our eternal downward spiral started and never stoped for many many years. Don’t kid yourselves Buc fans.We were on our way with Mr. Williams. Until our Cheapo mngt refused to pay him.

  49. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Neither Doug nor Shaun King could score a TD in the NFCC game. Brad Johnson thrived in the playoffs. All three had great defenses, but BJ was the only one who didn’t choke when it really counted. I’d take Brian Griese or Freeman ahead of Williams or King when healthy and right in the head. Doug had no touch and couldn’t complete half of his passes. King threw rainbows. DTs had time to get back in coverage when he was here. Schiano ruined Freeman and wasted what could have been a great RB in Blount. Griese couldn’t stay healthy. Jameis will become for the Bucs what Steve Young was for San Francisco. I believe we have the best coaching staff we have ever had, and we’re building, for the first time ever, a team with great talent on offense AND on defense. They’re going to be a playoff team very soon….this fall is just the beginning.

  50. Bucs SB with Jameis Says:

    Harry Says:
    March 20th, 2016 at 10:04 am
    Here you go TBBF… lol
    LoL Good show Harry

  51. Bucs SB with Jameis Says:

    And for those loved yet too young Bucs fans to have watched football in the 70’s and 80’s, I am sorry that some of you have no Idea the change in football from 76 to 2016. Doug Williams was able to do more with less, even as a Black QB, than any QB we have ever cared to start. I am White, for those that want to pull the race card out of their pocket quickly. I think we currently have the best QB we Ever had on our roster and if Smith can fix the Defense then This fan of 40 yrs will Rejoice!!
    P.S. I am a UF alumni.
    Go Bucs!

  52. Cobraboy Says:

    Brad Johnson, no doubt, and he took a beating in the process…

  53. JBF Addict Says:

    Tony and his post nailed it with what he said about Doug. I was there from the beginning too when I sat in the stands and watched him play. He was amazing with very little around him in terms of a line, and the running game was so predictable because of the way McKay liked to call plays. We only threw on third downs. Ever. Imagine the other team’s defense against you always knowing when you were running and when you were passing. And, despite that, Doug Williams was still a really great quarterback. You had to see him to appreciate him, I guess.

    I would say though, that the list is like this:
    1. Brad
    2. Doug
    3. Shaun

    Jameis will be #1 by the end of his rookie contract. Let’s get him there healthy and this debate will be moot.

  54. Espo Says:

    So, in 99 Dilfer had our offense playing well before he got hurt. King came in and did nothing. Dilfer gets released.In 00 King again does nothing, except for that great MNF game. How could you have King on your list? Not only was he not any good, but considering he was a 2nd round draft pick, he was a bust too.

  55. Mike Johnson Says:

    One of the reason the Present ownership inducted Doug Williams into the Bucs hall was trying to..right the wrong done to him by Owner Culverhouse. Everybody back during those times knew had we kept Doug we were on our way. After the Bucs got rid of Doug Williams, they wallowed in mediocrity for years to come. The Bucs suffered tremendously after that. Know your Buc History!

  56. America's Commenter Says:

    Chris Simms was ascending until he lacerated his spleen, which essentially ended his NFL career…