The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had many ups and downs since they joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1976 along with the Seattle Seahawks. They lost their first 26 games, not winning until week 13 of their second season.
Then, just 3 years after beginning, the Bucs were the first post-merger team to win a division, a playoff game, and play in as well as host a conference championship game.
Unfortunately, after a few years of success in the late ’70s and early ’80s, Tampa Bay went through 14 consecutive seasons, before then going through 10 seasons where they were perennial playoff contenders, culminating in a Super Bowl victory over the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII after the 2002 season.
Although they have not been back to a Super Bowl since 2002, there have been some bright spots and good players to come through the Buccaneers organization. Here are some of the top NFL bobbleheads from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Warren Sapp – Defensive Tackle 1995 – 2007
Coming out of the University of Miami, Warren Sapp was known for his fun-loving style of play and ferocious ability to disrupt offenses from the middle of the defensive line.
Selected to the Pro Bowl for 7 consecutive years from 1997-2003, Sapp also won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1999. He was named to the second team ’90s All-Decade Team and the first team for the 2000’s All-Decade Team.
Warren Sapp flourished in the aggressive Tampa 2 defense, which helped them win Super Bowl XXXVII.
Derrick Brooks – Outside Linebacker 1995 – 2008
Another member of that great Bucs defense that propelled them to a championship, Derrick Brooks is widely known as one of the greatest players in Tampa Bay history.
Selected to 11 Pro Bowls and a 9-time All-Pro, Brooks played his entire 14-year career with the Buccaneers. He was named the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2000 for all of his work in the community and was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2002.
Brad Johnson – Quarterback 1992 – 2008
Although he only played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 4 years, he will be known for being the quarterback when the Bucs won the Super Bowl in 2002, which was also one of the two years that Johnson was selected to the Pro Bowl.
John Lynch – Strong Safety 1993 – 2007
Yet another member of the Super Bowl XXXVII winning team, John Lynch was a tough strong safety that is in both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Ring of Honor as well as the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame.
Lynch was selected to 9 Pro Bowls in the 11 years from 1997 – 2007, and a 4-time All-Pro. After retiring from his playing days, Lynch became the general manager for the San Francisco 49ers where he has built a Super Bowl team with a strong defense of course.
Jameis Winston – Quarterback 2015 – present
A member of the current Bucs team, Winston is the epitome of an up and down quarterback. This past year Winston led the league in passing yards and completions, but also led the league in interceptions and total turnovers. He was the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in the same year.
However, being drafted with the overall first pick in the 2015 NFL draft raises expectations for an NFL quarterback, and new coach Bruce Arians may be looking to move on from Winston this year. We will see as the NFL offseason progresses.
Mike Evans – Wide Receiver 2014 – present
One of Jameis Winston’s favorite targets, Evans was selected with the 7th overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft out of Texas A&M.
He has finished with over 1,000 yards receiving in each of his first 6 seasons, joining Randy Moss as the only receivers to accomplish that, and 4 seasons with at least 8 touchdowns. He has been the fastest to 7,000 yards receiving in NFL history.
In addition to that, Mike Evans owns many of the franchises receiving records, including most receiving yards and touchdowns in a career, most receptions in a career, and most receiving yards in a season. He also holds the franchise record for most receiving touchdowns in a season, which he accomplished twice with 12 in 2014, and 2016.
Keyshawn Johnson – Wide Receiver 1996 – 2006
Although playing for multiple teams in his career, he had his best years while playing with the Buccaneers. This included the Super Bowl run in 2002, where Johnson had his second consecutive 1,000 yard seasons and helped the Bucs win the Super Bowl, adding 6 catches for 69 yards in the game.
Unfortunately, his time in Tampa Bay was brief, as his relationship with head coach Jon Gruden was tenuous at best, and he was traded to the Dallas Cowboys after the 2003 season.
Mike Alstott – Fullback 1996 – 2007
Alstott spent his entire 12-year career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, making room for running backs such as Warrick Dunn and Michael Pittman while also adding yards rushing himself. Alstott was also a threat out of the backfield, finishing his career with 305 receptions and 2,284 receiving yards.
He was also part of the Super Bowl team in 2002 and was the man that scored the first Super Bowl touchdown in Buccaneer history.
Carnell Williams – Running Back 2005 – 2011
Carnell “Cadillac” Williams was selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft, 3 picks behind his fellow Auburn Tiger teammate Ronnie Brown, who went to the Miami Dolphins.
Williams had a solid rookie year, finishing with 1,178 yards and 6 touchdowns, winning the AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. Injuries would derail his career after this though, as he was unable to get over 1,000 yards again in his career.
Simeon Rice – Defensive End 1996 – 2007
Working next to Warren Sapp on the Super Bowl team in 2002, he was able to see a lot of success while Sapp took double teams in the middle of the line. In addition to the Super Bowl victory, Rice was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1996, and name to 4 All-Pro teams and 3 Pro Bowls.
Playing for the Arizona Cardinals and the Buccaneers, Rice had double-digit sack totals in 8 out of his first 10 seasons.
Although the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have only one Super Bowl victory in their 44-year history it was one of the truly great teams in NFL history, especially on defense. Is there any other players that you would like to see as a bobblehead? Please let me know in the comments below!