QB Brad Johnson's 92.9 passer rating led the NFC in 2002 and was easily a Buccaneer single-season record
You would not, of course, build an actual team in this manner. You wouldn't, for instance, pay meticulous attention to your tight ends or your punter long before you contemplated the quarterback position. Like the Houston Texans with David Carr or the Carolina Panthers with Kerry Collins, one of the first orders of business for a team in formation is the hunt for a franchise quarterback.
But this is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers All-Time Team, and barring some rapid developments in time travel, the 27 men who comprise the squad will not actually be taking the field together. With no training camp looming and no All-Time Packers Team waiting for the coin flip, we felt comfortable saving the best for last. Now it's time; please help us choose the greatest quarterback in franchise history.
Exactly 51 players have thrown a regular season pass for the Buccaneers in the team's 28-season history. We'll spare you the details of the seven punters, six running backs, two receivers, one tight end, one kicker and one offensive lineman – yes, one offensive lineman – who have fired off a pass or two on odd assignments. (Though, to be fair, running back James Wilder, in addition to being the leading rusher and passcatcher in team history is also the all-time leader in passer rating, thanks to a 16-yard touchdown pass in his only attempt.) Among the remaining players, those 33 men who have taken a snap for the Buccaneers franchise, who is best to head up the All-Time Team?
Vinny Testaverde holds the Buccaneer career records in most categories, though he has been closely contested by Trent Dilfer, Doug Williams and, more recently, Brad Johnson. Johnson boasts the only Super Bowl ring (as a Buccaneer; Williams famously won one as a Washington Redskin) and has made his own serious indent in the record books in recent years. Williams, now a personnel executive with the team, was the first to take the team to the playoffs, only four years into its existence. Trent Dilfer later did so, as well, as did Shaun King, in his rookie season. Steve DeBerg and Craig Erickson provided bright moments in some lean years and have the competitive stats to prove it.
These, in fact, are the seven men we ask you to consider for the quarterback spot on the All-Time Tampa Bay Buccaneers Team. For four months, you have helped us cull the greatest performers from team history and form them into one impressive team. This is your last challenge.
Below, you will find a brief description of the Buccaneer exploits of the seven nominated quarterbacks. Please review their qualifications below and vote for one 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.
This is 17th and final installment of our ongoing effort to determine the Greatest Buccaneers at every position. Already you've selected two cornerbacks, two defensive ends, two defensive tackles, two outside linebackers, two inside linebackers, two safeties, two offensive tackles, two guards, two running backs, two receivers, one center, one tight end, one kicker, one punter, one kick returner and one special teams ace. To review the positions discussed so far, visit the All-Time Tampa Bay Buccaneers Team home page.
All-Time Tampa Bay Buccaneers Team: Nominated Quarterbacks
The nominations are presented in alphabetical order. Only a player's accomplishments with the Buccaneers are considered.