Where Are They Now? The Best Defense Ever—2002 Buccaneers
They say defense wins championships.
In the case of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, that couldn't be more true.
I wanted to throw this together to tip my hat to one of the greatest defenses of all time. The good, the bad, and the ugly, they are all here, except for Asherland Singleton.
I couldn't find anything much about him. Either way, sit back, relax, and enjoy a stroll down memory lane.
It is very much tongue and cheek. I love these guys, but I had some fun.
The mastermind behind it all.
Monte Kiffin is one of the greatest defensive minds in history. Sadly, he left Tampa Bay last season to take a job with The University of Tennessee football program under his son Lane.
The defense he loved so dearly gave him a fond farewell by sinking abysmally into mediocrity after they heard the news.
In 2002, Greg Spires had 47 tackles, 3.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. He stayed with the Bucs until 2008 when he was released.
The Oakland Raiders picked Spires up and released him four months later. He is currently available for children's birthday parties and bat mitzvahs.
Monstrous and ferocious, McFarland amassed 255 career tackles and 22.5 sacks. He went on to win a second Super Bowl, playing for the Indianapolis Colts.
He was released by the Colts in 2006, and can be found in all you can eat buffets nationwide.
Who could forget lovable Warren Sapp?
With career totals of 573 tackles, 96.5 sacks, and 20 forced fumbles there are many offenses who wish they could.
Sapp, the loud mouth emotional leader of the D, stayed a Buc for one more season after the Super Bowl victory.
He then went to Oakland where he continued to have four great seasons, and retired from playing in 2008.
He has since been a runner-up on television's "Dancing with the Stars," and is a member of the NFL Network.
Neither of which fine for skipping.
Simeon Rice is a true QB killer, racking up 122 career sacks (13th of all time) and 473 tackles.
Rice was a fast and athletic ingredient in the Tampa Two. He went on to play three more seasons as a Buc after 2002. He was injured and released in 2006, after he refused to take a pay cut.
All time leading sack-ist?
That makes sense.
He has since played for the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos. It is unclear whether or not he will continue his football career.
Shelton Quarles, whose only Pro-Bowl year was 2002, had 471 career tackles, 13 sacks, and four interceptions.
Quarles was a major part of the Buc's road to the Super Bowl and victory. The team released him in 2007 after Quarles failed a team physical. He has not played pro football since.
I guess he wasn't getting paid enough to work out.
The consummate field general and ultimate defensive leader, Derrick Brooks was the face of the Tampa Two.
Brooks, who was awarded pretty much every award a defensive player can receive in his storied 14 year career, had 1719 tackles, 13.5 sacks, and 25 interceptions.
Sadly, the Buccaneers released him earlier this year as a part of their new youth movement.
I don't think there is another player anywhere that will be missed as much as Derrick Brooks.
Brian Kelly led the NFL in interceptions in 2002 with eight. His sticky hands aided the Buccaneers to the championship.
He exercised his buyout in 2008 and went to the Detroit Lions. He played most of the 2008 season in Detroit and was released.
Released by Detroit in 2008?
Man, that's cold.
The only holdover from the Kiffin era Tampa Bay is Ronde Barber.
Barber, who is currently still playing for the Buccaneers, is the interception king with 37 career picks.
He leads the league among active players with 11 defensive touchdowns and needs two more to tie the all time record.
Let's hope we get 'em. His favorite hobby is pretending to be Tiki at charity events.
Another supreme leader on the defensive field was John Lynch. Lynch played his first eleven seasons as a Buccaneer.
In his career, he racked up 1,062 tackles, 13 sacks, and 26 interceptions, mostly with Tampa. He was released from the Bucs for salary reasons in 2004.
He then signed with the Denver Broncos and left the team in 2007. He played a few games for the New England Patriots in 2008, and now does television commentary.
Belechick would drive me out too.
Dexter Jackson was the MVP of Super Bowl XXXVII after grabbing two interceptions in the game.
To this day, Jackson is still the last defensive player to win the award. Jackson, a habitual free agent, has since played for and been released by the Arizona Cardinals, the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Buccaneers again.
He is currently unemployed.