THE ALL-TIME BUCCANEER TEAM After 42 seasons, enough time has passed to produce an all-time Buccaneer team. Not just starters but a full 53- man roster of the best players to have worn the Tampa Bay colours in the NFL.    The 53  includes special teamers, specialists and the need for rotational and back-up players.  Some selections were obvious, others perhaps a little controversial but that is what off-season articles are for.  And you have to take into consideration the eras that each player appeared in. Comparing a receiver or a QB rating from the modern game to that of the 1980s is not realistic. Now we move on to the secondary, a position that was allocated eight spots on our roster, four each for cornerbacks and safeties.   As with the three other positions we have already featured, there are some selections that are just blatantly obvious.   Ronde Barber has one of the cornerback positions locked up and John Lynch  will be the strong safety.   And to think that Ronde’s rookie season was such a disaster in 1997 that he was almost cut and Lynch hardly started his first three seasons in Tampa thanks to the genius that was Sam Wyche being in charge. The other starting cornerback position was between Ricky Reynolds  and Mike Washington.   The nod goes to Reynolds but both are definite selections to the team.    Ricky started 103 of his 105 games for the Bucs, six more than Mike although the latter leads in interceptions 28-17.    Either way, both were outstanding corners for the Buccaneers and could both play opposite Ronde with aplomb. The fourth and final corner position was a little harder with some good recent candidates in Brent Grimes and Aqib Talib.  Both have done a lot in the NFL away from Tampa but not enough here to overcome the choice of Donnie Abraham who started for the Bucs as a rookie in 1996 and had five excellent seasons before being released in a salary cap move after the 2001 season.    This also left no space for Brian Kelly or Martin Mayhew. To play alongside John Lynch was one of the best early year Buccaneers, Cedric Brown.   A true free safety, he remains second in franchise records for interceptions with 29 including nine in the 1981 playoff season.  Behind Lynch and Brown are a pair of Marks.    Mark Cotney was Cedric’s partner in the secondary for many seasons under John McKay and totalled nearly 100 starts in the process.  “Captain Crunch” as he became known was a real fan favourite in the late 1970s.    Mark Robinson arrived in Tampa in a 1988 trade and started for three seasons establishing himself as a team leader from the very outset.  A serious injury ended his career in 1991 but he deservedly owns a place on our all-time roster. NEXT - THE OFFENSIVE LINE
QB DE QB DT QB DT RB James Wilder DE RB Warrick Dunn DE RB Ricky Bell DE RB Mike Alstott DT FB Adger Armstrong DT TE LB Derrick Brooks TE LB Hardy Nickerson TE LB Lavonte David WR Mark Carrier LB Richard Wood WR Kevin House LB Hugh Green WR Mike Evans LB Shelton Quarles WR Vincent Jackson LB David Lewis WR Joey Galloway CB Ronde Barber WR Keenan McCardell CB Ricky Reynolds LT CB Donnie Abraham LG CB Mike Washington C FS Cedric Brown RG SS John Lynch RT S Mark Robinson T S Mark Cotney G KR OL PR K P SPEC