Next For The Ring Of Honor Is …

February 22nd, 2017


Who will be No. 10?

That’s the question of the day as the Buccaneers consider who should follow John Lynch into the Ring of Honor.

The Bucs broke protocol 13 months ago when they confirmed my initial report that Lynch would be their ninth Ring of Honor recipient. Instead of waiting until summer, as usual, the organization made Lynch official in January, 2016.

That word came down a few weeks before I made my third presentation on behalf of Lynch as a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Four months later, Lynch was announced as a new member of the Ring of Fame for the Broncos.

In naming Lynch so early, the Bucs were trying to boost his Hall of Fame chances. Led by senior writer/editor Scott Smith, the Bucs also provided valuable research for my efforts to land Lynch in Canton.

We’re still trying.

I have no doubt Lynch will be back in the room next February in Minneapolis for the fifth time as a Hall of Fame finalist, joined by Ronde Barber in his first year of eligibility.

But now it’s time to figure out who should join Lynch, Doug Williams, Mike Alstott, Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp, Paul Gruber, Jimmie Giles, John McKay and Lee Roy Selmon atop the east façade of Raymond James Stadium in 2017.

Tony Time

First things first.

The Bucs honored Sapp (2013) and Brooks (2014) in the same year they earned busts in Canton. The team chose not to add a second Ring of Honor ceremony last fall, even though Tony Dungy joined Brooks and Sapp in the Hall in 2016.

There was precedent for that twin-ceremony scenario because Alstott and Williams were honored at halftime of separate games in 2015.

So where does that leave Dungy, who quickly turned around a joke of a franchise after arriving in Tampa in 1996?

It should logically leave him as the 10th man up.

Certainly, there are other strong candidates as well. James Wilder is the franchise leader in career rushing yards and receptions, ranking second to Alstott with 46 touchdowns.

Jon Gruden coached the 2002 Bucs to a Super Bowl victory, also posting division titles in 2005 and 2007.

Warrick Dunn ranks behind Wilder and Alstott on the career rushing list and stands No. 3 in receptions behind Wilder and Mark Carrier.

Simeon Rice registered 69.5 sacks in six seasons with Tampa Bay, adding the final touches to a historic defense. Barber ranks No. 1 in interceptions, first in TDs by a defensive player (14) and second behind Brooks in total tackles.


It’s a formidable list of candidates, but Dungy makes the most sense.

I know some Buc fans still question Dungy’s credentials as a Hall of Famer, especially because Tampa Bay didn’t go all the way during his six years on the sidelines.

But Dungy’s overall winning percentage (.668) ranks seventh all-time for coaches with at least 100 victories. The only men ahead of him are John Madden, George Allen, George Halas, Don Shula, Bill Belichick and Paul Brown.

Five of those coaches already have busts and Belichick is a non-brainer.

Dungy won a Super Bowl with Indianapolis, but he did his best work in Tampa. He needed only nine games to establish a winning culture as the 1996 Bucs finished 5-2 before the breakthrough ’97 season.

The first head coach hired by the Glazers now enjoys a permanent place in the NFL’s shrine of excellence. That should be enough of a reason to honor Dungy on the field this fall.

The others will surely have their day — Dungy’s day is already overdue.

46 Responses to “Next For The Ring Of Honor Is …”

  1. D-Rome Says:

    Tony Dungy needs to be in the Ring of Honor but I don’t know if he needs to be next. I think any relevant Bucs who were on the Super Bowl winning team needs to be honored first and in my opinion that should be Ronde Barber or Simeon Rice.

  2. DB55 Says:

    No question it’s going to be Dee!

  3. Trollslayer Says:

    this should be ronde’s year as he is also eligible for HOF in 2018

  4. mike Says:

    Put gruden in, tony gets in soon and then take a break. We don’t have enough canidates to put someone in every year.

  5. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I could have sworn Gruden was already in? It’s a travesty if he isn’t.

    Frankly, I believe he and Dungy both deserve it.

  6. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Roberto the kicker…

  7. Dewey Selmon Says:

    I can’t believe James Wilder is not in, all time leading rusher.

  8. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Bonzai- 100% agreed. BOTH deserve it!

  9. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Roberto will be the 1st kicker to get in.

  10. Pickgrin Says:

    Ronde Barber is the obvious choice. Boost his chances of getting in the HOF on the 1st ballot. Hell – if Jason Taylor can get in 1st ballot – why can’t Ronde? Barber revolutionized the CB position to a degree by getting 28 sacks and tons of TFLs to go along with his smart and capable play in coverage.

  11. BuccaneerByBirth Says:

    Put Hardy in

  12. Upthegut Says:

    Dungy should not be in. He was an okay coach who built a strong defense but
    didn’t do a damn thing for the offense. However, his biggest blunders were leaving the Buc’s in salary cap hell by overpaying past prime defensive players, thereby mortgaging the future.
    His offense was so boring you actually went to the rest room when WE had the ball. He stubbornly refused to change the offense.
    And his most egregious act, he had the audacity to convince the Glazer boys to
    hire his old crony Lazy Lovie the Looser. Any of those points of his resume disqualify for him in inclusion into the ring of honor.

  13. Miko Says:

    The ring is something that gets my blood boiling…Before the obvious choices, don’t forget the past…great players on poor teams belong too..
    1 – Wilder tops the list..yes!
    2 – Ricky Bell? ..he was in original stadium honor group
    3 – Nickerson
    4 – Barber ..for sure!
    5 – Cotney was a 14 game starter from the beginning in 1976 and made it through 0-26 to the early playoff teams was as solid as can be
    6 – Steve Wilson…original Buc, similar story to Cotney
    * – Richard Wood and Mike Washington served as great original Buc players as well

  14. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Tony Dungy was inducted into the Colts Ring of Honor in 2010. That’s where he belongs, his best seasons were with the Colts.

  15. CaseyMorgan Says:

    My order:
    J Wilder
    S Rice
    R Barber
    J Gruden
    H Nickerson
    and then T Dungy

  16. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    I agree with CasweyMorgan that order too!

  17. StPeteBucsfan Says:

    Ira LMAO…way to troll Tmax!!!

  18. captjimbo Says:

    I’m glad to see Wilder getting recognition. One of my favorite Bucs ever. I can honestly say I’ve never seen a RB get beat up the way he did. Tough as nails. I believe if he would have played with a better organization his numbers would probably be HOF worthy. So Wilder it is.

  19. usf commutter Says:

    Barf tony dungy?????? The guy that cost us at least 2 superbowls?


    also can we take down williams? 5 seasons with 1 winning record no sb?

  20. Trevor Says:

    meh….James Wilder is a better choice.

  21. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Doug Williams..5 seasons..3 playoffs appearances.

  22. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Only won 2 games before Doug Williams, then went 14 seasons without a winning record after Doug.

  23. DBS Says:

    Wilder. Some people played their azz off for this Clown Show and were great at it. Just because they did not bring home a SB does not mean they don’t deserve to be in the ring for their accomplishments.

  24. Rrsrq Says:

    Wilder and/or Dungy. Gotta go with Gruden soon as well, then Ronde, then Jameis

  25. d-roca Says:

    My first thought exactly…two words baby Hardy Nickerson. He brought the fire and attitude with him. Without him comin over from pittsburgh Im not sure that defense ever got it goin to what it did. If its not Hardy this year get him in next year. Huge Nickerson fan here. He definitely gave the opposite practice speech as iverson. Man was all about it. Go bucs

  26. Chris Says:

    No to Dungy, Rice before Hardy. I say Wilder, Barber, Rice. Cmon, Batmoon Wood had a couple of years, Steve Wilson? Its a ring of honor, for legends of the Bucs. Not, ok players for mediocre team Bucs.

  27. Chris Says:


  28. Steve Says:

    For this to be a true ROH, you need to represent the entire history, not just the SB team members… We got Doug W and Paul G in the ROH. Time for James Wilder to be up on the ring wall as well. I think his back is still sore from carrying the team all those years.

  29. Buc1987 Says:

    LakeLandBuc Says:

    “Tony Dungy was inducted into the Colts Ring of Honor in 2010.”

    Yet Gruden still stays off that wall?


  30. Buc1987 Says:

    Reggie Cobb? How come no love for Cobb.

    Just kidding.

  31. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:

    Gene Deckerhoff

  32. Chris Says:

    Rod Jones and Alvin Harper.

  33. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Buc1987..the Colts have more class than the Bucs. The Bucs didn’t appreciate Jon Gruden, that’s why they fire him after going 9-7.

  34. BucTrooper Says:

    Sorry… Gruden before Dungy. The reason is obvious.

  35. Buc1987 Says:


    Gruden is next!

  36. tmaxcon Says:

    Dungy fielded some of the most embarrassing offenses in NFL History… Dungy cost the bucs far more than he helped. Bucs would have gotten better regardless if dungy was coach thanks to the defense whyce was building. The legend of Dungy has far surpassed his actual accomplishments years ago.

    His coaching tree should get him executed not rewarded…

    Herm Edwards FAILED TWO teams

    Marinelli FAILED with a glorious 0-16

    Lovie Smith FAILED in Chicago and is the unquestioned worst coach in bucs franchise history.

    Before the delusional ones start crying Tomlin is NOT a Dungy guy research before saying something stupid please.

    Dungy is simply a mediocre one dimensional coach who could not win in the playoffs. A coach with a career losing playoff record does not belong in hall of fame or ring of honor…

  37. duthsty rhothdes Says:

    DALVIN COOK should be next in the ring!!! NOSBOS try and listen to daniel jerimiahs latest podcast on the draft you will love it

  38. Cobraboy Says:

    Dungy? No.

    Barber? Yes.

  39. Cobraboy Says:

    Donald Igwebuike

  40. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Tony Dungy did nothing with the Bucs..His years with the Colts got him into the Hall of Fame and the Colts Ring of Honor. His Buc years are a moot point.

  41. LakeLandBuc Says:

    85-27 with the Colts in 7 seasons with a super bowl win. That averages out to 12-4 over 7 seasons.

  42. tmaxcon Says:


    Dungy’s career losing playoff record offsets any meaningless double digit win seasonas that resulted in failed playoff appearance. Dungy simply rarely won when it matter.

  43. Buccfan37 Says:

    tmax… agree with that last post 100%.

  44. Buccfan37 Says:

    tmax … the 8:39 post.

  45. yrbndr Says:

    I have to second Miko’s list…
    James Wilder next with consideration for Ricky Bell…

  46. QBKilla Says:

    Wilder then Barber then Hardy. Dungy and Gruden can wait.