Ronde Barber: By The Numbers

At his retirement press conference on Thursday, future Hall of Famer Ronde Barber admitted that he only recently got a better grip on some of the amazing career numbers he posted during 16 years in the NFL.  That is, he knew he had played more games than the vast majority of players, for instance, but he didn’t know the exact number was 243, et cetera.

Most of those numbers have been part of the public discussion for years now.  As he racked up the interceptions and sacks through the years, he frequently became members in new clubs, until the point where he became the only man in the 40-interception/25-sack club.  Listing all of his accomplishments takes a while, but finding a new angle on Ronde’s numbers isn’t easy to do anymore.

That said, the Captain’s Blog has a new one for you, and it speaks to Barber’s incredible durability and career longevity. Continue reading

Hall of Famer Warren Sapp, By the Numbers

On Saturday, former Buccaneer DT Warren Sapp was chosen for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, sharing a star-studded Class of 2013 with G Larry Allen, WR Cris Carter, T Jonathan Ogden and coach Bill Parcells.  It was a momentous occasion for the NFL’s 27th franchise; as most Buccaneer fans know, Sapp joins Lee Roy Selmon as the only players in the Hall who spent the majority of their careers in Tampa.  G Randall McDaniel and QB Steve Young, another pair of Hall of Famers, each played two seasons in Tampa but are better known for their years in Minnesota and San Francisco, respectively.

So one becomes two, and that may be the most important number associated with Saturday’s news.  Here are some more:

1 – Number of figures from the Buccaneers’ 2002 Super Bowl Championship team who are now in the Hall of Fame.  S John Lynch was eligible for the first time in 2012 and made it to the list of semi-finalists.  LB Derrick Brooks will be eligible for the first time in 2014.  CB Ronde Barber, who is also considered a strong candidate upon his eventual retirement, was still playing this past fall.

2 – Number of players from the NFL’s 1995 draft now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Warren Sapp was the 12th player chosen overall in that draft.  RB Curtis Martin, who was enshrined in 2012, was taken 74th overall by the Patriots in Round Three.

3 – Number of players in the Class of 2013 who were elected in their first year of eligibility.  That ties for the most in any given year since 1970 (when the current procedure was put in place) and marks just the second time it has happened in the last 20 years.  Three first-year-eligible candidates were also chosen in 2006 (Troy Aikman, Warren Moon, Reggie White), 1993 (Dan Fouts, Chuck Noll, Walter Payton), 1991 (Earl Campbell, John Hannah, Jan Stenerud), 1990 (Franco Harris, Jack Lambert, Tom Landry), 1987 (Joe Greene, Jim Langer, Gene Upshaw), 1980 (Deacon Jones, Bob Lilly, Jim Otto), 1978 (Lance Alworth, Ray Nitschke, Larry Wilson) and 1977 (Forrest Gregg, Gale Sayers, Bart Starr).

4 – Number of seasons in which Warren Sapp led the Bucs in sacks, despite playing alongside Simeon Rice for three of his nine years with the team.  Sapp also had four double-digit sack seasons, one with Oakland, which is the second-most by any defensive tackle after John Randle.

5 – Number of defensive tackles who have been elected to the Hall in their first year of eligibility since 1970 (when the current procedure was put in place).  Warren Sapp joins the list, which also includes Joe Greene, Bob Lilly, Merlin Olsen and Randy White.  (Reggie White would make it six if he’s included, but was better known as an end.)

6 – Number of players from the University of Miami (FL) now in the Hall of Fame.  The Hurricanes have been represented in each of the last two classes, as former Miami DT Cortez Kennedy went in last year.  The others are Ted Hendricks (Class of 1990), Michael Irvin (2007), Jim Kelly (2002) and Jim Otto (1980).  Miami is now tied for eighth on the list of colleges with the most Hall of Famers, matching the totals of Illinois and Minnesota.  USC heads the list with 11 and Notre Dame is second with 10.

7 – Number of times Warren Sapp was selected for the Pro Bowl, all during his nine years in Tampa.  That is second-most in team history to Derrick Brooks’ 11.

10 – Number of Pro Football Hall of Famers who were born in the state of Florida following the selection of Warren Sapp.  Florida is now tied with New York for the sixth-most representatives in the Hall.  Pennsylvania leads the way with 29, one ahead of Texas.

16 – Number of defensive tackles now in the Hall of Fame after the selection of Sapp.  That includes several players (e.g. Reggie White) who are listed as both ends and tackles.

85 – Number of regular-season and postseason games the Buccaneers won during Sapp’s nine years with the team.  The franchise had won 88 games during the 19 years before his arrival.

96.5 – Warren Sapp’s career sack total over 13 seasons with Tampa Bay and Oakland.  Among those who primarily played defensive tackle, that is second in league history to fellow Hall of Famer John Randle’s 137.5.

99 – Warren Sapp’s jersey number.  He becomes the third player in the Hall of Fame who wore that number in the NFL, joining two other defensive tackles, Dan Hampton (who also played end) and Cortez Kennedy.  The Hall’s collection of 99s has increased three-fold in the last two years, as Kennedy was just enshrined in 2012.

Bucs by the Numbers

200 – Consecutive starts by Buccaneers’ and NFL Ironman, Ronde Barber. It is the longest active regular season game streak in the NFL and the most recorded by a defensive back in history. Last night celebrated this milestone, and Barber answered the call by providing two passes defended, five total tackles, one sack and an interception.

10 – Rushing yards allowed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense, tying the team’s single-game record. The Bucs held Panthers QB Cam Newton to four yards on five carries, and RB DeAngelo Williams was dropped for -1 yards on six carries. For the record, in 2011, Carolina was third in the league with 150.5 rushing yards per game.

37 – Minutes that Tampa Bay controlled the ball. Tampa Bay rushed the ball 36 times on the night for 130 yards, 95 of them coming from rookie RB Doug Martin.  Thanks to two defensive turnovers and allowing only two 3rd down conversions, Tampa controlled possession throughout the game.

18 – Consecutive field goals made by Buccaneers kicker Connor Barth, the longest streak in Buccaneer history and the longest active streak in the NFL. He made three against the Panthers, from 20-, 36- and 40-yards out.

1 – Win. When it comes down to it, it’s the number that matters the most. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers begin their season with a win at home, defeating the Carolina Panthers 16-10.