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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Looking Forward and Back | S.S. Mailbag

This week, Bucs fans have questions about an all-time Bucs offense, Calijah Kancey's expected rookie production, the top moment from last season and more

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are closing on a half-century of onfield history. The franchise's inaugural campaign was in 1976, which means 2025 will be the Buccaneers' 50th season. Tampa Bay may be the NFL's 27th franchise, and the league as a whole has been around for more than a century, but 50 seasons is a whole lot of history no matter how you slice it.

There's one thing I feel certain will be true when the Buccaneers turn 50: Mike Evans will, at that point, be the team's all-time leader in both receiving yards and touchdowns. There are still three seasons to play before 50 are in the books, but Evans' lead (over Chris Godwin) in the first category is 4,759 yards and his lead (over Mike Alstott) is 11 touchdowns. Alstott, obviously, is finished playing and the leading active player behind Evans in touchdowns is also Godwin, with 33, which is 49 behind. To make up that much ground over the next three years, Godwin would have to average 1,586 receiving yards and 16.3 touchdowns. And, of course, Evans isn't going to be sitting idly by while this happens. He'll be adding to his own totals for at least one more year and hopefully for all three.

Which got me thinking: Who were the team's career leaders in the major stat categories at the end of each decade of franchise existence? Let's take a look.

10 Seasons In (1976-85)

Scoring (points): RB James Wilder, 228

Touchdowns: RB James Wilder, 38

Games Played: LB Richard Wood, 132

Games Started: DE Lee Roy Selmon, 117

Rushing Yards: RB James Wilder, 4,178

Receptions: RB James Wilder, 296

Receiving Yards: WR Kevin House, 4,722

Passing Yards: QB Doug Williams, 12,648

Touchdown Passes: QB Doug Williams, 73

Interceptions: S Cedric Brown, 29

Sacks: DE Lee Roy Selmon, 78.5

This decade neatly gives us the entire careers of Cedric Brown and Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon, both of whom played from 1976-84. It's also all but seven games and 11 catches of Kevin House's tenure in Tampa. James Wilder won't maintain all of those leads through the present time, but he does hold on to one of them and likely will continue to do so for a long time.

20 Seasons In (1976-95)

Scoring (points): K Donald Igwebuike, 416

Touchdowns: RB James Wilder, 46

Games Played: LB Richard Wood, 132

Games Started: T Paul Gruber, 122

Rushing Yards: RB James Wilder, 5,957

Receptions: RB James Wilder, 430

Receiving Yards: WR Mark Carrier, 5,018

Passing Yards: QB Vinny Testaverde, 14,820

Touchdown Passes: QB Vinny Testaverde, 77

Interceptions: S Cedric Brown, 29

Sacks: DE Lee Roy Selmon, 78.5

Brown and Selmon hold onto their defensive leads but Mark Carrier has usurped Wilder in receiving yards and Vinny Testaverde takes over the passing categories. Also, the kickers have come for the scoring mark, which they still have today, but it's possible that won't be true after 50 seasons (spoiler alert).

30 Seasons In (1976-2005)

Scoring (points): K Martin Gramatica, 592

Touchdowns: FB Mike Alstott, 68

Games Played: T Paul Gruber, 183

Games Started: T Paul Gruber, 183

Rushing Yards: RB James Wilder, 5,957

Receptions: RB James Wilder, 430

Receiving Yards: WR Mark Carrier, 5,018

Passing Yards: QB Vinny Testaverde, 14,820

Touchdown Passes: QB Vinny Testaverde, 77

Interceptions: CB Donnie Abraham, 31

Sacks: DE Lee Roy Selmon, 78.5

The Bucs' third decade encompassed almost all of Mike Alstott's career and he blasted past Wilder in the touchdown column. Paul Gruber took over as the most tenured Buc over the first 30 years of team history. Donnie Abraham briefly grabbed the franchise interceptions lead but by this point he had future Hall of Famer Ronde Barber breathing right down his neck.

40 Seasons In (1976-2015)

Scoring (points): K Martin Gramatica, 592

Touchdowns: FB Mike Alstott, 71

Games Played: CB Ronde Barber, 241

Games Started: CB Ronde Barber, 232

Rushing Yards: RB James Wilder, 5,957

Receptions: RB James Wilder, 430

Receiving Yards: WR Mark Carrier, 5,018

Passing Yards: QB Vinny Testaverde, 14,820

Touchdown Passes: QB Josh Freeman, 80

Interceptions: CB Ronde Barber, 47

Sacks: DE Lee Roy Selmon, 78.5

Now we see Barber taking over, as he finished his career in 2012 as the player with the most games, starts and interceptions (in addition to, not included here, defensive touchdowns). Selmon's sack record has stood the test of time, though Warren Sapp got very, very close. Wilder still has the receptions record 40 years in, but it won't withstand the coming Evans onslaught. Josh Freeman had a run as the top TD pass guy before Jameis Winston came along.

50 Seasons In (1976-2025)…Estimated

Scoring (points): WR Mike Evans, 610

Touchdowns: WR Mike Evans, 100

Games Played: CB Ronde Barber, 241

Games Started: CB Ronde Barber, 232

Rushing Yards: RB James Wilder, 5,957

Receptions: WR Mike Evans, 833

Receiving Yards: WR Mike Evans, 13,125

Passing Yards: QB Jameis Winston, 19,737

Touchdown Passes: QB Jameis Winston, 121

Interceptions: CB Ronde Barber, 47

Sacks: DE Lee Roy Selmon, 78.5

These are all the accurate current leaders in each category except for points scored, and for Barber, Wilder, Winston and Selmon, those figures will remain the same after 50 seasons (barring a surprising return to the Bucs by Winston). Gramatica remains the current leader in the scoring category, for now at least. For Evans' totals, we had to do some projections. First, I'm making the guess that he gets one more multi-year deal to stay and possibly finish his career in Tampa, which means I'm saying he'll play each of the next three seasons.

Through his first nine seasons, Evans has averaged approximately 76 catches, 1,158 receiving yards and nine touchdowns per year. I'm going to use very conservative estimates and have him averaging 50 catches for 900 yards and six touchdowns over the next three years. I think he'll do more than that, but I didn't want to overstate things. By those conservative estimates, by the end of 2025 he would have 100 touchdowns, which would be 600 points. He's caught four two-point conversions in his career and I'm going to give him one more, which tacks on 10 more points overall.

As for games played and started, rushing yards, passing, interceptions and sacks, there aren't any active players on the roster who have a realistic shot at catching the current leaders listed above. The only one with any shot at all is Shaq Barrett, who would need to average 13 sacks a season between now and then to pass Selmon. That's certainly not out of the question for a player who averaged almost exactly that from 2019-21, but it would be a very aggressive prediction.

Now on to your questions.

A reminder that you can send questions to me anytime you want on Twitter (@ScottSBucs) and they're easier to find if you include the hashtag #SSMailbagBucs. We are also now soliciting questions each week on our Instagram page; look for that story on Wednesdays. As always, if you want to get a longer question into the mailbag and would prefer to email your question, you can do so to

What kind of production should Calijah Kancey be striving for in his rookie year?

- dread2_ (via Instagram)

Well, let's start with what Kancey himself said regarding a question similar to this one. After the last day of the Bucs' minicamp a couple weeks ago, he was asked if he has set any goals for his rookie season. Kancey's answer:

"Not exactly. For me, my main thing was getting into the program and the system and learning everything and being able to execute it on the field. Once I do that and I'm comfortable with doing that, then I'll set my goals."

Kancey also said that the things he's being asked to do within Todd Bowles' scheme are really emphasizing his strengths, mainly speed and quickness on the inside of the line, and that playing next to Vita Vea is going to open up pass-rushing opportunities for him. So if Kancey can indeed become comfortable within the defense by the start of the season and can capitalize on his role and Vea's presence, his rookie campaign should be quite productive.

Now, what specifically would that look like. Well, given that his strength is getting after the passer, good production would mean a certain number of sacks, hits and quarterback pressures. I'd love to set the bar at 10 sacks, but that may not be realistic. Only one rookie in team history has hit double digits in sacks, and that was Santana Dotson with 10.0 way back in 1992. Even Hall of Famer Warren Sapp only had 3.0 sacks as a rookie. Gerald McCoy, drafted third overall in 2010, also had 3.0 sacks as a rookie. That was Vea's exact total in 2018, too, after he was drafted 12th overall. We might want to set the goal for Kancey at around six or seven sacks as a rookie. I think the Bucs would be thrilled with that production, if it was accompanied by a good pressure rate overall.

Let's talk about that pressure rate. Last year, the best quarterback pressure percentage by an interior lineman, according to NFL Next Gen Stats, was 13.4% by the Jets Quinnen Williams. (I don't know how it wasn't Aaron Donald, either, but they have him at 9.7%.) Eagles superstar Javon Hargrave was next at 13.2%. Chiefs standout Chris Jones was at 10.3%. The Saints' David Onyemata, who got a nice deal with the Falcons in free agency this offseason, was right at 10.0%. The top rookie with at least 50 pass rush snaps was the Packers' Devonte Wyatt, at 9.0% on 100 snaps. The Bucs' Logan Hall was actually third in that group at 6.6% on 257 snaps.

Hall and Kancey aren't the same sort of player. Hall is a lot bigger while Kancey's game is get-off, hand usage and quick penetration into the backfield. The Bucs need him to be a disruptive force in the passing game. So I'd like to see his pressure percentage somewhere around 10.0%.

Can you build you Buccaneers Dream Team on offense?

- bcummingsblair

I wasn't exactly sure what this question meant, but I'm guessing that it is a request to put together the best starting 11 on offense from players in franchise history, assuming we get all those players in their prime. I'll do that and include a fullback among the 11, even if that position has been marginalized somewhat in this point, because we obviously have to have Mike Alstott on the team. Here's a quick run at the assignment:

WR: Mike Evans

LT: Paul Gruber

LG: Ali Marpet

C: Tony Mayberry

RG: Davin Joseph

RT: Tristan Wirfs

TE: Jimmie Giles

WR: Chris Godwin

QB: Tom Brady

RB: James Wilder

FB: Mike Alstott

This list probably displays a bit of recency bias, especially in picking Godwin as the second receiver over the likes of Mark Carrier, Joey Galloway, Vincent Jackson and Kevin House. But Godwin is the second-leading receiver in every category (yards, catches, touchdowns) in franchise history and he's still in his prime so those numbers are only going to go up. Also, the Buccaneers have recently enjoyed the best run of offense in franchise history – much of the franchise's history has been defined more by defensive prowess.

Wilder was a very tough pick for me over Warrick Dunn. I think if I were starting a team I'd take Dunn over Wilder, but you can't argue with Wilder's production as it relates to franchise history. Tom Brady was only a Buc for three years and Brad Johnson also won a Super Bowl, but I doubt anybody's going to argue with me putting the G.O.A.T. in that spot. Joseph and Marpet are two of the only three guards in team history to make the Pro Bowl (the other was Logan Mankins), so I feel those selections are appropriate. Ryan Jensen would be a great anchor for this line but I have to give the nod to Mayberry since he went to three Pro Bowls, the most by any offensive lineman in team history. Rob Gronkowski is undoubtedly the most talented tight end the team has ever employed and he put up very nice numbers as a Buccaneer. But Giles is in the team's Ring of Honor and had a longer run in Tampa than Gronk's two years.

This is off-subject, but I visited One Buc the other day and was told the lobby had been closed to the public since 2020 because of Covid-19. Now that the pandemic is winding down, are there any plans to reopen it for those wishing to take photos of the displays? I was the one who bugged you about the Lee Roy Selmon helmet display years ago, and I've never been able to get back to photograph the change you had those in charge make. Thanks for that, by the way. Love your videos, and thanks for any info you might have.

- Anonymous (via email to

Indeed, the Buccaneers have operated under a system of heightened security awareness at the AdventHealth Training Center since the onset of the pandemic, and while very many of the early restrictions have since been lifted, the facility is still not open to general visitors. There is no sense that this policy will change in the near future.

The Buccaneers have returned to having visitors at the facility, but they are all invited and pre-approved guests. That system begins at the guard shack outside the gates into the parking lot, so a visitor would need to have their name on a list at that spot in order to get to the front door of the lobby. The team has returned to holding certain gatherings in the lobby, as well, and those visitors do indeed get to see the displays that tell the stories of the team's rich history. In fact, those displays were updated just last year and now include items from and text about the team's second Super Bowl championship.

Salve Scott,

Sorry, I gave up on social media in 2018 so I have to use email to ask this question. I haven't found anything online, but do you know when the Creamsicle uniforms will be worn this year? I am really looking forward to seeing our old uniforms on the field again, even if only 1 game. Finally, not sure if you traveled to SF last year, but I was in the stands wearing orange #63. If the ticket prices aren't too high, I plan to go to Levi's this year.

God bless,

Steve Truxton (via email to

You certainly don't have to apologize for dropping social media; I know a lot of people would probably like to do the same. Anyway, sending an email gives you more room to flesh out your question with more detail.

Steve sent this email before the Buccaneers announced the game in which those beautiful Creamsicle uniforms will make their much-anticipated return, and he's probably already heard the answer. But for anyone who is still not aware, the Creamsicle game is going to be in Week Six, against the Detroit Lions. The date is Sunday, October 15 and the game will kick off at 1:00 p.m. and be televised locally by FOX. Here's more on that.

As for the game you attended last year in San Francisco, I'm glad you got a chance to see your team in person, though if I could have picked one game to witness last season, that wouldn't have been it. That was not a good day for the Bucs. Still, that's awesome that you were out there representing in your Lee Roy Selmon jersey. Hopefully the visiting team will put on a better show at Levi's Stadium this year.

What was your favorite moment from last season?

- theonlychingrub (via Instagram)

If an entire game, or a small collection of plays from one game, counts as a "moment," then I would have to say Mike Evans' three-touchdown performance against Carolina in Week 17. If I have to pick one specific moment in time, I would go with the third of those three scores. Even though, at 30 yards, it was the shortest of his three touchdowns, it was the one that finally put the Bucs ahead in the fourth quarter after they battled back from 14-0 and 21-10 deficits.

It was just so exciting to see a vintage Mike Evans performance, where he is long-striding his way past panicking cornerbacks and, in this case, hauling in beautiful arcing bombs from the great Tom Brady. It was great when it happened once, from 63 yards out, it was jaw-dropping when it happened again, from 57 yards out, and it was almost impossible to believe when it happened a third time.

This performance came on the heals of a streak of seven games in which Evans averaged only 49 yards per game and did not score a touchdown. In fact, he hadn't found the end zone in 11 straight games after scoring three times in the first four weeks. That wasn't really a reflection of Evans' level of play but more of the way the Bucs' offense got bogged down last season and rarely had long-developing plays. And what so great about it was, that with 207 yards on 10 catches, Evans got over the 1,000-yard mark on the season, taking all the pressure off the season finale in Week 18. The Bucs rested Evans and a lot of starters in that game since they had already clinched the division, protecting them from injury before the playoffs. Had Evans still been shy of 1,000 yards, would he have played to have a shot at getting there for an NFL-record ninth straight season to open a career, or would the team have still chosen caution with him? Fortunately, nobody had to worry about that decision.

And, as I just mentioned, the Bucs had already clinched the division title by beating Carolina, and Evans was a huge part of that. That victory was crucial, because if the Panthers had won they would have controlled their own destiny in terms of winning the NFC South in Week 18.

What is your favorite Tampa Bay dessert?

- camthete87 (via Instagram)

I like the iconic key lime pie as much as the next person, but I don't want it very often or in much quantity. However, I love strawberries and every dessert should have whip cream, and strawberry shortcake was named the official dessert of Florida just last year so I'll go with that. If you mean a specific dessert at a specific place around here, there's a crème brûlée bread pudding at the famous Alessi Bakery that is pretty amazing.

Also, in taking a really quick look to make sure I wasn't forgetting something obvious, I happened upon a picture and a description of something called Orange Crunch Cake at the Bubble Room on Captiva Island, and know I really want a piece of Orange Crunch Cake.

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