The Best

June 25th, 2016
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Who is the best player for the Bucs?

Joe’s not talking about now, but in Bucs history. The two names that jump out at Joe are Lee Roy Selmon and Derrick Brooks.

Well, Elliot Harrison of has been pondering such thoughts. Harrison selected the best player in each team’s history, and in his mind, the best in the annals of the Buccaneers’ franchise is Double-Nickel, Brooks.

The cool thing about Tampa Bay is that it is one of the few franchises where a quarterback — or some other chichi offensive player — doesn’t spring to mind when thinking about the team’s legendary performers. In fact, when I did the top five players in Bucs history, all five were defenders. Brooks deserves to be considered the best of the bunch, over Warren Sapp, John Lynch, Ronde Barber and Lee Roy Selmon. Brooks was a standout weak-side linebacker who possessed the rare talent sandwich as a guy who could play the run and drop into coverage equally well. Brooks mastered reading angles, be it corralling Adrian Peterson or disrupting passing lanes. He picked off 25 passes and forced 24 fumbles en route to 11 Pro Bowls, a Super Bowl win and gold jacket.

It is a tough choice between Brooks and Selmon. Remember, Selmon terrorized opposing quarterbacks often playing in a 34 front. The guy was constantly double- or triple-teamed. Yet he blew through blocks as if he were facing high school players.

Joe always wondered what a complete beast Brooks would have been if he was turned loose and blitzed more often, sort of like what Tuna Parcells and Bill Belicheat did with Lawrence Taylor.

46 Responses to “The Best”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It’s hard to vote against Brooks unless you watched Lee Roy Selmon play…..I had the fortune and he was unbelievable. By a razor-thin margin my vote goes to Lee Roy.

  2. tmaxcon Says:

    This is a tough call. I would give Selmon the edge but this is one of those topics I could switch back to Brooks in 10 minutes. We fans were ucky to see both

  3. Buccfan37 Says:

    To me it is tough naming the best Bucs player ever. Brooks could win if a vote of Bucs fans was taken. I’ll just say a handful of them were the best Bucs players and rest easy.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Speaking for Pablo

    “Pablo thinks there can be no question that the greatest Buc was Martin Gramatica…..Pablo thinks that it is racist that Martin is not in the HOF……Heff Garcia would be Pablo’s second choice”

  5. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Brooks, Selmon, Sapp, then in any order. Barber, Lynch, Alstott

  6. martinii Says:

    It’s tough to choose. Memories of Alstott scoring with several Vikings hanging off him, Lynch crushing receivers and running backs, Brooks everywhere, Barber’s TD interception in Philly, Sapp collapsing an entire O-Line then breaking Jerry Rices leg. My overall choice Leroy Selmon. Don’t forget Warrick Dunn.

  7. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Man, you guys are old! Lol! I never saw Selmon play, I’m only 40, so I’ll go Brooks or Sapp.

  8. the real Bucobruce Says:

    SAPP,it starts upfront.Tampaaaaaa

  9. mike10 Says:

    How is it not Sapp, arguably the best DT of all time.

  10. DB55 Says:

    I love them both, my two favorite players but Sapp still dominated without Brooks. Brooks fell off a tiny bit without Sapp. Plus not too many DTs have almost 100 sacks. But I’m good either way. Watching Brooks chase down Vick are some of my fondest buc memories. Second best to watching Sapp and Farve battle. Really can’t go wrong either way.

  11. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Selmon is up there…but in today’s NFL age…the athletes are bigger, stronger, faster. I’d say Sapp is our GOAT…and set the tone for us defensively.

  12. LakeLandBuc Says:

    My favorite Buc has always been and always will be Simeon Rice, I don’t know why his name is NEVER mention as a HOF player or as one of the greatest Bucs. He had 68 sacks for the Bucs in 5 seasons, he destroyed LTs. But I will go with Ronde Barber as the best Bucs player of all time, over 1,200 tackles, 47 INTS, 28 sacks, over 200 PD. And he did it a high lever for 15 years as a Buc, and he made the greatest play in Bucs history.

  13. LakeLandBuc Says:

    I meant he did it at a high level for 15 seasons as a Buc.

  14. Tnew Says:

    If I could chose one player to insert into this team, right now as a rookie and start their career all over, it would be Sapp. So I guess he would be my pick.

    For looking back over the total package, player and citizen then either Brooks or Selmon, both are Hall of Famers in both categories.

  15. Pickgrin Says:

    DB55 Says:
    June 25th, 2016 at 12:11 pm
    “Sapp still dominated without Brooks. Brooks fell off a tiny bit without Sapp.”

    Um – you’ve got that 100% backwards.

    After Sapp left for Oakland he never went to another pro bowl or made all pro.

    Brooks, however, went to 4 Pro Bowls and made all pro 2X after Sapp left.

  16. DB55 Says:

    Fair enough but he still got 10 sacks in Oakland.

  17. Pickgrin Says:

    Brooks is the greatest Buc of all time.

    Brooks – 14 straight years as a Buccaneer and he NEVER missed a game. 1715 tackles- 13.5 sacks- 25 Ints- 24 forced fumbles- 7 TDs

    11 Pro Bowls (10 straight from 97-06), 9 straight All Pros (97-05)
    DPOY – 02

    Sapp – 9 years a Buccaneer – 400 tackles- 77 sacks – 4 ints- 19 forced fumbles- 3 TDs

    7 straight Pro Bowls (97-03), 6 straight All Pros (07-02)
    DPOY – 99
    Lee Roy Selmon – 9 years as a Buccaneer – 742 tackles – 78.5 sacks- 28.5 forced fumbles

    6 straight Pro Bowls (79-84), 5X All Pro (78,79,80,82,94)
    DPOY – 79

  18. Pickgrin Says:

    84 not 94 (obviously) fo Selmon’s last (ill fated) Pro Bowl

  19. Pickgrin Says:

    and (97-02) for Sapps All Pro

  20. AceofAerospace Says:

    As a charter member of the Buccaneer fan club (since 1976), even though the stats may disagree, I have to vote for Selmon also. He absolutely dominated at his position. A lot of Buc defenders benefitted from Selmon’s constant double and triple teams. But am I upset Brooks was chosen? Heck no. You’re not wrong with either pick. It’s again great to be a Bucs fan.

  21. Mike Johnson Says:

    Not even close. Leroy Selmon was an absolute Beast for the Bucs. I was there.
    The man gave 100% every play. He flattened opposing players before they could even get off the ball. We have not had nor probably will ever have another player the likes of him. After Selmon. I’d have to go Brooks then Sapp.

  22. LakeLandBuc Says:

    I don’t buy into this ALL-PRO or Pro Bowl nonsense, I look at the actual on field play of these players. Deion Sanders is considered as the greatest CB of all-time, he has 53 INTS, Ronde has 47, Deion has 493 tackles, Ronde has 1,231, Deion has 1 sack, Ronde has 28. Deion started 16 games ( 1 season), Ronde started 16 games in 13 straight seasons (played in 224 straight games) 6th all-time, only Linemen has more. Ronde the IRONMAN of the NFL, Selmon and Brooks were great, but there’s a reason why the Glazers kept Ronde around for 16 SEASONS.

  23. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Ronde started 224 straight games instead of playing in 224 straight games. He played in 240 straight games.

  24. Buc1987 Says:


    We don’t play.

  25. Buc1987 Says:

    Oh and comparing a DT’s numbers to LB’s is silly Pickgrin.

    Selmon (sorry he was before me time) Seen highlights though!

  26. tmaxcon Says:

    Pro bowls are 100% MEANINGLESS and no way to judge a player. There is a huge difference between Best and Favorite. The pro bowl is just a popularity contest nothing more… unfortunately the hall of fame is starting to turn into a popularity contest and is no longer for best of the best. Dungy being enshrined is proof that ithe is for media favorites not the best of the best.

  27. Pickgrin Says:

    Pro Bowls are not meaningless – but are subject to some degree of “popularity”. It is not uncommon for a great player on a crappy team to get snubbed for a year or 2 at the beginning of their career (see LD54) and also sometimes a perennial pro bowler towards the end of their career tacks a couple extra Pro Bowls onto their resume even if their play has dropped a bit.

    All Pro designations are definitely more noteworthy as there are only 1 or 2 All Pro players at each position and it includes all teams/players in the NFL – not just the top 3-6 players in the NFC or AFC conference.

    Brooks had 3 more All Pro designations than Sapp and 4 more than Selmon.
    To me though, the biggest thing that sets Brooks apart was his longevity. He played an extra 5 years more than Sapp or Selmon as a Buccaneer and was unbelievably productive his entire career. Yes, one could make a case for Ronde Barber on that basis as well – but I would put Brooks, Sapp and Selmon ahead of Barber as all 3 for a period of at least 5-6 (or more) years were considered the most dominant player at their position which I don’t think could have ever been said about Barber at any point in his career.

  28. Dave Says:

    55 is definitely number 1 to me. He could it all and do it all at an elite level.
    Ronde and Lynch were great too but not of the caliber the other 3 were.
    I’d choose Sapp over Selmon because of how dominate he was from the DT spot. Selmon was great but he got more freedom as a DE/LB
    No doubt in my mind if 55 was turned loose like LT was used he’d have 100+ sacks. He had the speed and knew angles instinctively.

  29. Dave Says:

    Top defense ( in order)

    Offense (in no order)
    QB- Doug Williams and Brad Johnson
    WR- Carrier and Keyshon
    RB- Wilder and Dunn and Alstott.
    You can argue for Caddilac but I’d put Doug Martin in here also. He’s snout to be the leading rusher in history of the franchise with 2 average years.
    TE- Giles
    OL- Gruber

  30. WINdycitybuc Says:

    The biggest reason I give the nod to the late-great Selmon, was the fact that he did damage on garbage teams (excluding the ’79 Bucs, of course), while Brooks did damage in a system that was perfectly suited to him. Not to mention he played on one of the NFL’s best defenses of all time. I’m proud to have them both representing us in the HOF.

  31. StAugBuc Says:

    I’d choose Sapp over Selmon because of how dominate he was from the DT spot. Selmon was great but he got more freedom as a DE/LB
    Watched his career and don’t ever remember him being used as a LB. His hand was in the dirt.

  32. Mike Johnson Says:

    Tmaxcon..Am..I actually agree with you for a change. PRO BOWLS ARE USELESS..Period! They are expense paid vacations by the NFL to called best number creator players.

  33. tmaxcon Says:


    Like your list but you cannot include Doug Martin on a all time list when he has only had 2 good years… he’s a 50/50 back 2 good 2 horrible. Hopefully the injurit’s are behind him and he earns a spot on that list but it’s too early for him to be included in that discussion

  34. tmaxcon Says:


    The reason I feel probowl is completely meaningless is for several reasons

    Popularity contest
    Voting process not taken seriously
    Subjective criteria or not clearly defined
    Usually they get to the 4th or 5th alternate based on injuries or if guy wants to go
    Seems like 25% of players make probowl with all the damn alternates

    You combine all the reason above in my opinion you can’t take pro bowls seriously. All pro yes pro bowl no..

  35. DB55 Says:

    What can I say, I’m a silly guy. Plus don’t you think it’s amazing a DT can get 10 sacks in a season when he’s about to retire? Playing on a scrub team with no help. Amazing!

  36. Pickgrin Says:

    Sapp was playing DE his last years in Oakland in a 3-4 Defense. (I think)

    Here are his sack totals the last 5 years of his career.

    03- 5
    04- 2.5
    05- 5
    06- 10
    07- 2

    Not exactly going out with a bang. That’s the other reason Brooks is the best Buc of all time. He played lights out for 14 straight years – Sapp’s play the last few years of his career was nowhere near the dominance he displayed from 97>2001.

  37. Buc1987 Says:

    Pickgrin..It’s not typically the job of the DT to produce sacks..

    This coming from a guy that was perfectly fine with Buc shipping him off to Oakland because his words didn’t match his play anymore. I’m not saying his played didn’t slip off. I’m saying he did much more for the defense than just play the game. He was the fire that kept the D fired up.

    Brooks was silent, but deadly.

    To me Sapp will always BE the greatest Buc of all time and much of that has to do with his mouth as well as his play. Jameis is cut from the same cloth and that’s one of the main reasons why I like him so much.

  38. Buc1987 Says:

    Sorry for the typos…it’s the te-killa-ya typing… lol

  39. Rrsrq Says:

    Brooks (ask Michael Vick), the fastest qb ever in the league and when DB spied on him, he could do nothing. Also one single play stands out for me against the Buffalo Bills where Brooks caused a fumble in the backfield, the ball got picked up and the RB was running and Brooks still chased him down, you would have to see it to believe it. Though, Lee Roy Selmon my favorite Buc of all time, simply because I met him as a kid at my next door neighbors house who was Jimmy DuBose

  40. DB55 Says:

    I’m not arguing. I’m good either way. It’s like picking a favorite between uhm nevermind.

  41. DB55 Says:

    I’m watching a good boxing match on cbs.

  42. the real Bucobruce Says:

    Sapp was the anchor of the defense he was double and triple team and still dominated and made everyone around him better and pump them up offensive players defensive players.Tampaaaaa

  43. BoJim Says:

    1982 Pro Bowl. I believe double, triple teams weren’t allowed. Lee Roy got 4 sacks.

    Wasn’t a good idea to go 1 on 1 with Selmon.

  44. BamBan44 Says:

    Just shows how little people remember. Prior to 1995, the Pro Bowl selection process was completely in the hands of coaches and players, and All-Pro was media selection. It was not a popularity contest back then, it was an honor. The game was actually better back then as well, as it was (mostly) pre-free agency and players actually wanted the bonus that came with winning over the one that came with losing. Selmon’s Pro Bowls mean a whole lot more than Sapp or Brooks. The Pro Bowl wasn’t alway a popularity contest, wasn’t always laughable to watch.

  45. BamBam44 Says:

    Been so long since posting, I can’t even type my own screen name

  46. Phil Says:

    I expect Jameis will top that list when his career is over.