DT Anthony McFarland is switching to under tackle after excelling for five seasons at nose tackle
Whether the Bucs were lining up in a 3-4 or a 4-3, they have almost always had strong defensive tackles to station in the middle. Which two were the best? You decide
Because the Tampa Bay Buccaneers used a 3-4 defensive front for most of their first 15 years of existence, the defensive tackle position historically lost roster spots to the linebackers. Still, that spot is responsible for some of the most important moments in franchise history.
For instance, the very first Buccaneer Pro Bowler was a defensive tackle (Dave Pear in 1978). Even with such ridiculously-gifted pass rushers as Lee Roy Selmon and Simeon Rice in the way, the Bucs' single-season record for sacks belongs to a tackle (Warren Sapp, 16.5 in 2000). And while defensive end and linebacker can each claim a Buccaneer who won the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year award, so can defensive tackle (Sapp, again, in 1999).
The Bucs' defensive tackle alumni can claim some of the longest-running stars in team history, from David Logan to Sapp. It is a spot at which men have come from very low draft positions – e.g. Logan, Reuben Davis, Brad Culpepper, even Santana Dotson – to make huge contributions, while others have been drafted high and proved worthy of that investment.
In short, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' All-Time Team is going to be very strong up front.
Just how strong is up to you. Below you will find brief descriptions of the Buccaneer careers of nine outstanding defensive tackles. We're asking you to determine which two should be called the Greatest Bucs and take their spots on the All-Time Team. Please review these players' qualifications below and vote for two of them in the poll to the right. Your votes will determine who makes the team at the position, although the results will not be announced until the entire team is revealed near the beginning of the 2004 season.
(Editor's Note: Three players who saw extensive action at both defensive end and defensive tackle were included among the voting for ends: Chidi Ahanotu, John Cannon and Marcus Jones.)
This is 13th installment of our ongoing effort to determine the Greatest Buccaneers at every position. Already you've selected two cornerbacks, two defensive ends, two outside linebackers, two inside linebackers, two safeties, two offensive tackles, two guards, two running backs, one center, one tight end, one punter and one special teams ace. Still to come in June and July: kick returner, wide receiver, kicker and quarterback. To review the positions discussed so far, visit the All-Time Tampa Bay Buccaneers Team home page.
All-Time Tampa Bay Buccaneers Team: Nominated Defensive Tackles
The nominations are presented in alphabetical order. Only a player's accomplishments with the Buccaneers are considered.