Hey, everyone, NFL Draft Week has finally arrived! And you know what that means: Daily Bucs Trivia! (Don't overthink it.)
Each workday in April I'm posting a Bucs-related trivia question at 10:00 a.m. ET for your enjoyment, or perhaps frustration. At 4:00 p.m. ET, I return to add the answer, and share it on Twitter. Today's question regards long defensive plays that did not reach the end zone, and a weird coincidence between two of them.
In last year's season finale against Atlanta, Jason Pierre-Paul chopped the ball out of Matt Ryan's hands and it shot forward towards the Buccaneers' goal line. Or, more accurately, directly towards rookie linebacker Devin White, who was already in a sprint when he caught it on a bounce and took off in the other direction. White wouldn't be touched as he raced 91 yards for a Tampa Bay touchdown.
That happened to be the longest fumble return in the franchise's 44-season history, breaking a record that had stood for 39 years. During a game at Houston on October 19, 1980, Earl Campbell took a handoff to the left and gained eight yards before Danny Reece forced a fumble and recovered it. Reece took a few steps with the ball and then lateraled it to Cedric Brown, who was on the Bucs' 20-yard line when he caught it. Brown, who ran the rest of the way for a touchdown, didn't get credit for a fumble recovery, but he did get credit for an 80-yard fumble return. That was the longest in team history and it stood until the most recent game played.
So here's a list of the five longest regular-season fumble returns in Buccaneer history:
1. Devin White, 91t, vs. Atlanta, 12/29/19
2. Cedric Brown, 80t, at Houston, 10/19/80
3. Martin Mayhew, 78t, vs. Minnesota, 10/15/95
4. ?????????, 72, at Buffalo, 9/20/09
5. David Logan, 60t, vs. Detroit, 12/14/80
Wait, has the identity of the player with the fourth-longest return been lost to the annals of time? No, I just don't want to reveal it yet because this is where that aforementioned coincidence comes in. See, here are the five longest interception returns in Buccaneers history:
1. Shelton Quarles, 98t, vs. Green Bay, 10/7/01
2. Derrick Brooks, 97t, at Baltimore, 9/15/02
3. Mason Foster, 85t, vs. New Orleans, 9/15/13
4. ?????????, 84, vs. Oakland, 12/28/08
5. Leonard Johnson, 83t, vs. San Diego, 11/11/12
Hmm, we're missing a name again. The first thing I need to point out is that the number representing the length of each return is usually followed by a "t." That indicates that it went for a touchdown. So, White's 91-yard score is listed as "91t." The two returns in which I have not yet identified the player responsible both are missing the "t." That means we're talking about the longest non-scoring fumble return and the longest non-scoring interception return in team history.
And here's the amazing part: The name that replaces those question marks on both lists is the same player.
Bucs Daily Trivia Question, April 20:
Which single player is responsible for the longest non-scoring fumble return AND the longest non-scoring interception return in Buccaneers history?
That's it. Nothing more to explain. Come back at 4:00 p.m. ET for the answer!
Answer: Sabby Piscitelli.
The Buccaneers visited the Buffalo Bills in the second week of the 2009 season, and in the final minute of the first half, Fred Jackson took a handoff to the right where he was met by Ronde Barber. Barber forced a fumble and Piscitelli scooped it up at the Bucs' 20-yard line on a dead run. Piscitelli sprinted down the left sideline and looked almost certain to score but hustling wideout Roscoe Parrish just managed to dive and catch his feet, tripping him up at the eight-yard line. Cadillac Williams caught an eight-yard touchdown pass on the next play.
In the previous year's season finale, the Buccaneers played host to the Oakland Raiders at Raymond James Stadium, and early in the fourth quarter JaMarcus Russell threw deep in the direction of Zach Miller. Piscitelli picked it off at the Buccaneers' five and managed to take it back deep into Oakland territory before Russell got him down at the 11. Coincidentally, this turnover also resulted in an eight-yard touchdown for Cadillac Williams.
And those two plays remain the longest non-scoring fumble return and longest non-scoring interception return in Buccaneers history. Making this even more of a surprise is that was the only fumble recovery of Piscitelli's NFL career. The interception was one of the five he recorded as a Buccaneer.