Honoring The Craftsmanship Of A Legend

July 2nd, 2021

“Rondé, the defense is good now but they still aren’t close to what we were.”

A legend of an assistant coach will get a king’s honor this September.

The Bucs announced yesterday that former Bucs defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin will be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor on Sept. 19 when the Bucs host the Dixie Chicks. It’s the second game of the season, scheduled for a 4:05 p.m. kickoff.

Kiffin, of course, came to the Bucs when Father Dungy took over as head coach and helped form one of the greatest defenses in NFL history. It sure helped to have players like Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, John Lynch, Rondé Barber and Simeon Rice.

That defense carried the Bucs year after year to what became known as the “Glory Years.” It finally reached its peak when the defense led the route of the Raiders to win Super Bowl XXXVII in January of 2003. Kiffin’s defense had three touchdowns that evening in one of the greatest displays of a suffocating defense rarely seen in a Super Bowl.

The Bucs forced five turnovers that night, all of which were interceptions thrown by the 2002 NFL MVP, Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon.

25 Responses to “Honoring The Craftsmanship Of A Legend”

  1. Buczilla Says:

    Our 2002 defense was the best that the NFL has ever seen, or probably ever will see and it was led by inarguably the best off-ball linebacker to ever live. I love our current defense, but as Logen Ninefingers is fond of saying, “you have to be realistic about these things”. Ronde, if he really did say that, is correct.

  2. SOEbuc Says:

    The man with one of the top five defense in league history. Bucs best coordinator in franchise history. Love ya Monte.

  3. Rayjay1122 Says:

    Wonder how different the current defense would be if they were allowed to unload on ball carriers, WR ans QB positions like the 2002 defense enjoyed being allowed to do.

    Different game now. Comparing seems pointless to a degree.

  4. Medicated Pete Says:

    The stadium was so loud when that defense was on the field. They were rock stars.

  5. David Says:

    Let’s not get carried away. They are definitely one of the top Defenses in the history of the NFL but “the greatest” is probably stretching it.
    1985 Bears
    2000 Ravens
    1986 NYG
    76-77 Steelers

    I’d put them in the top 5… in no particular order.

  6. Pine Hills Says:

    To this very day I love watching a 10 to 7 ballgame with ferocious defence rather than a 42 to 35 game with garbage tackling.
    Love me some Bucball!
    # 2 thing that makes me angry … drop an easy pass.
    # 1 thing that makes me INSANE?
    Miss an easy tackle!!!
    Ask my wife. Whiffed tackles make me insane.

  7. Buczilla Says:


    I see where you are coming from, but if all things are equal, I’m going to choose the team that I have followed since I was a kid. All of the teams that you mentioned were damn good as well and I’d expect fans of those teams to say that their team had the best defense. I’m obviously a homer, so I gotta go with the Bucs D. The numbers that they put up in 2002 and what they accomplished that year stand on their own.

  8. Bird Says:

    Good to hear. And Lets face it , monte is getting old as dirt

    I will be at that game

  9. mark2001 Says:

    Frankly, for a while, I felt that Monte bailed on the Bucs and helped torch the team last season he was here… helping Gruden get fired and helping to lead to an over a decade winning drought. In retrospect, that may have been overemphasized in my mind… because Gruden was likely gone in another year or two. And the Glazers were far from knowing a good GM and HC when they saw one and were making those decisions. So be it.

    But still, he was important in helping Dungy to develop a great defense. Rod, Herm, Lovie, Mike Tomlin….so may great position coaches as well. But he does deserves credit. Actually, I think Bowles someday deserves the same honor in a decade, and he is building it with an Offensive minded HC, without Tony Dungy’s defensive mind overseeing the development.

  10. PSL Bob Says:

    Tampa 2 baby! He made it a league standard. He will always be remembered for crafting the Bucs dominant defense during the run to their first SB. Love our current defense, but back then we didn’t have much of an offense to root for, so the defense got most of our attention.

  11. Bucman Says:

    @David and Zilla,

    I don’t recall the exact numbers, but I believe that defense still holds the record for the most games in a row with at least one interception and one sack. I think that should put them in the upper tier of the top 5.

  12. Buc1987 Says:

    More than well deserved.

    It’s about time actually.

  13. Razor Ramone Says:

    Monte lives in my neighborhood I see him from time to time, he hasn’t changed a bit. He’s always glad to stop and chat. I saw him the morning of the Super Bowl he was decked out in all his old Bucs gear and he was fired up, of course he predicted the win. A great guy and a no brained for ROH!!!

  14. skomsky Says:

    Hey Buczilla, I love my Bucs too and DB55 is a first ballot HOF and one of the top off the ball linebackers to ever play BUT not the best. That honor goes to a guy I grew up watching in NY. LT – Lawrence Taylor is not only the best off the ball LB to ever play he is arguably one of the top 5 Defensive players in history. he single handedly changed the game.

  15. Bellingham Bucs Fan Says:

    Lawrence Taylor is “arguably one of the top 5 Defensive players in history.” skomsky, thanks for the laugh! LT is the best and there is no argument whatsoever.

  16. Mike C Says:

    The rules had also already began the offensive tilt so I personally would be more inclined to rate the Ravens and Bucs Defenses higher. Than Chicago, ny, or pittsburgh.

  17. Drunkinybor Says:

    I still say the 3 ints. Returned for touchdowns is a Superbowl record that will never be broken.

  18. Miller5252 Says:

    Sounds like we got a good discussion on who’s the best defensive player ever….. I would love to hear what everyone’s take is including the Joe’s and Unc Ira

  19. Jmarkbuc Says:

    That defense was phenomenal. One of the biggest impressions was the way they would all be dancing waiting for the other team to come to the ball. 1st down, 3rd down, game breaking down.. it didn’t matter. That was a D that knew it was gonna kick your ass…

  20. Buczilla Says:

    @skomsky & Bellingham Bucs Fan

    By off-ball linebacker, I mean dudes that don’t primarily rush the passer and are more like defensive ends (JPP and Shaq are perfect examples). As much as I LOVE Derrick Brooks, Lawrence Taylor was simply better at what he did than Brooks was at what he did. In all fairness to Brooks though, it’s a lot more glamourus to get a sack than to blanket Marshall Faulk coming out of the backfield. No linebacker has ever covered backs, wideouts, and tight ends like Brooks did back in the day.

    As far as best defensive player ever, that would be Reggie White for me and I think that he would be even better if he played today. Lawrence Taylor is a very close second and it pains me to say that since linebacker is my favorite position.

  21. Buczilla Says:

    *glamorous for the spelling police, or grammar police, or whatever they are calling themselves. Heard they’ve been stalking hereabouts lately. 😛

  22. KnoxvilleBuc Says:

    I love to see Monte getting the recognition he deserves. What a staff he help build. The coaching tree he help develop has spread throughout the NFL and college. Well deserved honor for one of the greatest defensive minds in history. A decade of domination on defense.

  23. Sumosam Says:

    The Bucs defense was great from 1998 to 2002. They had a terrific 5 year run. Not many teams have had that. 1 great year for the Ravens
    1 great year for the Bears. The Steelers had a run from 1974 to 1980. That’s a seven year run. I have to rate our defense as second best ever because of the amount of time they did it.

  24. Ne+ bucs fan Says:

    Ditto, David

  25. Ne+ bucs fan Says: