Already in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, two iconic Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Derrick Brooks and the late Lee Roy Selmon were given an ultimate honor by the league on Friday night.
That’s when it was revealed that both defensive icons were named to the NFL’s Top 100 Players of All Time list:
Lee Roy Selmon is one of the 7 DEs selected to the #NFL100 All-Time Team!
— NFL (@NFL) November 30, 2019
Derrick Brooks is one of the 12 LBs selected to the #NFL100 All-Time Team!
🏈 11x Pro Bowler
🏈 Super Bowl XXXVII Champion
🏈 2000 Walter Payton Man of the Year
🏈 2002 Defensive Player of the Year pic.twitter.com/rfjEbXGEgK
— NFL (@NFL) November 30, 2019
The NFL announced their linebackers and defensive linemen in the first of a series of six shows that will reveal all of the top players.
Brooks who was an 11 time Pro Bowler, former Defensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl champion in 2002, joins iconic names like Dick Butkus, Lawrence Taylor, Chuck Bednarik, Jack Lambert and Ray Lewis, as part of the 12 linebackers selected.
Brooks was the team captain for his 14 years in Tampa Bay and was largely responsible with teammates John Lynch, Hardy Nickerson and others in turning around the Bucs losing ways.
Brooks reacted on social media here:
— Derrick Brooks (@DBrooks55) November 30, 2019
Selmon, the first-ever Buccaneer draft pick in the expansion season of 1976 was a six-time Pro Bowl selection and one of the most fearsome pass rushers as an interior lineman in the NFL in the late 70s and early 80s. He still remains all the time Tampa Bay leader in sacks with 78.5.
He joins the likes of Mean Joe Greene, Alan Page, Reggie White, Deacon Jones, Brooke Smith and John Randle on the all-time team.
Selmon passed away after complications from a stroke in 2011.
Interestingly, it’s such an elite list to be on that the third Buccaneer Hall of Fame player, defensive tackle Warren Sapp, who terrorized defenses in the 90s and early 2000s and made the Hall of Fame himself, is not on the list. Sapp is part of the group of Bucs above who resurrected the franchise in the 90s.
It should also be noted that Dolphins recent Hall of Fame inductee and all time sack leader, Jason Taylor, is also not on the elite list of defensive linemen.
The NFL will continue with its top 100 and it is expected the Dolphins will have Dan Marino prominently represented among it’s quarterback selections.
Bucs QB Winston still not throwing football Thursday
All eyes continue to be on Buccaneer quarterback Jameis Winston’s injured thumb and while for the second straight day at practice he was unable to throw a football, he was seen at least throwing a ball of some kind.
First, Winston injured the thumb late in the first half of Sunday’s wild 38 – 35 win over the Colts and after having two opinions on what to do, was once again on Thursday, at least in the portion open to the media, he was going through reps without holding or throwing the ball.
Some good news on the Jameis Winston injury front: He's not throwing a football yet but he has progressed to throwing a tennis ball. Here’s some video of today’s practice… https://t.co/ymMDtFXTUg pic.twitter.com/2OOGhNKvAg
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) December 12, 2019
Coach Bruce Arians admitted after the game Sunday that Winston had suffered what he termed “a slight slight fracture of the thumb” on his throwing hand just before halftime. When the team came out to warmup for the second half, Winston was unable to grip the football and went back inside for an x ray.
Backup quarterback Ryan Griffin worked the first series of the second half and the Buccaneers got one first down before punting. Griffin is in his sixth season, but Sunday was his first action for the Bucs in a regular season game.
Winston came back and threw for over 200 yards and two more touchdowns, as the Bucs put on a rally after trailing 35 – 21. He threw the game winning TD pass to WR Breshad Perriman with under five minutes remaining.
Wednesday, Winston met with the media at his usual news conference, and repeated twice that he is “day by day” with the thumb.
Arians said he believes the 5th year quarterback will play Sunday at the Lions. And more than likely, Friday’s practice will be the critical day to see if Winston can grip the ball and throw it, especially with some velocity down the field.
The Bucs still have to decide whether they will get a third quarterback to have, just in case Winston cannot play, to be Griffin’s backup?
Winston has been a lightning rod of both praise and criticism, as he currently leads the NFL with 23 interceptions, including three more Sunday. However, he is also second in the NFL in touchdown passes (26) and total passing yards going into play in week 15.
Tampa Bay is on a three game winning streak and gets to play two-win Detroit Sunday.
Bucs moving up in our latest power rankings
With conference championships now over, all focus will shift to bowl games in college. Florida Atlantic was the lone state team playing for a title last week, defeating the UAB Blazers in blowout fashion. In the NFL, the Bucs made it three straight victories.
The Dolphins almost made it two in a row before the late-game drama. The Jacksonville Jaguars offense fell flat at home in a blowout defeat. That all leads into how our top 5 looks heading into this weekend:
Florida Gators- The Gators stay on top despite not participating in the SEC title game. They may not have played a game, but they still got a win by being selected to the Orange Bowl. Dan Mullen is now two for two in his Gators career in gaining entry into the “New Years Six.” Two seasons of a row with a big bowl win can only help the gators getting back to where they want to be, and that is competing for championships.
Florida Atlantic- The Owls were able to win the C-USA championship destroying UAB 49-6. This was the second title in three years for the Owls, and their great success under Lane Kiffin. All good things come to an end in this day and age in college football for non-power five schools. And so, Kiffin is now on his way to “the Grove” and will be the head coach of Ole Miss. The Owls reward is to play host to SMU in the Boca Raton Bowl.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers- The Bucs are riding a hot streak right now. They are now on a three-game winning streak. The offense continues to put up big numbers behind QB Jameis Winston. Winston, who threw for a career hight 456 yards Sunday, has the second-most yards and touchdowns, but leads the league in INTs by a large margin.
The defense has been playing very well during this winning streak. Next, the Bucs will go on the road to face a struggling Detroit Lions team.
UCF Knights- The Knights had a rare off week during the AAC Title game. They had won the previous two and Saturday the Memphis Tigers won this one, avoiding the Knights. UCF, however, still won 9 games and will look to make it 10 in the bowl game. They will head an hour south to play Marshall in the Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa.
Many wanted the Knights to draw an in-state team like FSU or Miami; instead, it will be Marshall. It is important for UCF to end the year strong with a decisive victory.
Miami Dolphins- The Dolphins didn’t win this past weekend over the New York Jets. They did, though, show a lot in this contest. For a team that looked down and out the whole first half of the season, they have completely turned it around.
If it wasn’t for a late review on pass interference, the Dolphins likely would have won their fourth game in their last six. Head coach Brian Flores was livid after the game, and that heart and passion has put his name in the running for coach of the year.
No, he won’t win the award, but what he and this team have done has been impressive with the lack of talent on the roster.