Pro Football Talk has been doing "Mount Rushmore"s of every franchise for a couple of weeks now, and today they came around to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Their decision: Lee Roy Selmon, Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks and Ronde Barber are the four faces who should be carved in stone
for all eternity until erosion takes them down.
It's hard to argue with any of those selections. Lee Roy Selmon may be the most dominant defensive lineman I've ever seen, as well as a great person. He doesn't get nearly enough recognition outside of Tampa for his play, despite winning a Defensive Player of the Year award. He may be a Hall of Famer, but no one talks about him as a legendary defensive lineman -- even though that's exactly what his on-field play made him.
I don't need to say anything about Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp. Both won Defensive Player of the Year awards and both were faces of the franchise. Brooks will almost certainly be a Hall of Famer, while Warren Sapp will be enshrined this year. We've talked about Ronde Barber extensively this offseason, too.
A small surprise: according to Rick Stroud, Tony Dungy would have replaced Ronde Barber with Mike Alstott. That's a bit of a surprise. As much as Mike Alstott was (and is) loved in the Tampa Bay area, Ronde Barber was a better player for a longer time. It depends on your criteria: Alstott was more of a face of the franchise, but his on-field impact wasn't as big as Barber's.
Then again, having an all-defense Mount Rushmore may be an accurate reflection of the Bucs' history, but it does feel kind of sad.