Top Five Tampa Bay Bucs Quarterbacks in History

NFL NEWS: Tampa Bay Bucs

Quarterback isn’t something that’s been historically great for the Bucs, but here are the five most productive in franchise history.

The criteria for their standing is a balance of quarterback rating, passing yards, completion percentage and finally wins and losses. Wins and losses get a bit muddled since so few ended up finishing with winning records with the team.


Doug Williams

Williams, a first round pick (17th overall) in the 1978 NFL Draft, has 12,648 passing yards, a 66.2 quarterback rating, completed 47.4 percent of his passes, and throwing for 73 touchdowns and interceptions. He finished with a .500 record with 33-33-1. He lead the team to three playoff runs with a 1-3 record taking them as far as the NFC title game in 1980 in a losing effort to the Los Angeles Rams.

His most productive year statistically was in 1981 when he passed for a career high 3,563 yards,19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

Williams played for five seasons with the team leaving following the 1982 season, all under head coach John McKay.

Brian Griese

Griese, journeyman quarterback, had two stints with the team playing from 2004-2005 and 2008 for head coach Jon Gruden. Greise was perhaps the most accurate passer the Bucs ever had who was a regular starter at 65.6 percent completion percentage through 22 games. Despite never playing a full season for the team, he had a 12-9 record with the team passing for 4,841 yards, 32 touchdowns, 26 interceptions and a respectable 85.5 QB rating.

Putting Griese on this list is a bit sketchy considering there are only five Bucs quarterbacks with over 10,000 passing yards. Greise makes his list rather than Trent Dilfer because he has a higher TD-to-INT ratio, higher completion percentage, better record and QB rating.

Jeff Garcia

Garcia, a slightly more successful journeyman than Greise, played in 25 games in two seasons with the Bucs from 2007-2008 under Gruden, producing a 14-10 record. Garcia had a 64.4 percentage, a franchise high 92.2 QB rating , threw for 5,152 yards, 25 TDs and 10 INTs.

What surprised me the most about his time with the team is how head coach Raheem Morris didn’t make a conscious effort to re-sign him to help mentor Freeman instead opting for former Jacksonville Jaguars/Pittsburgh Steelers QB Byron Leftwich, who never saw anywhere near the success Garcia did.

Bucs QB Josh Freeman

Josh Freeman

Freeman, who was drafted in the 2009 draft, was also picked 17th overall selection by the Bucs by head coach Raheem Morris. He nearly topped all Bucs career passing records in his near five seasons with the team. He completed 58.2 percent of his passes for 13,534 yards (2nd overall), franchise-record 1,144 completions, 1,967 attempts (3rd overall), a franchise record 80 passing TDs, 66 INTs, 78.8 QB rating and a 24-35 record.

Freeman produced one winning season, which was a 10-6 record in 2010. Unfortunately tiebreakers eliminated the Bucs from playoff contention, which funny enough, the Green Bay Packers, who shared the same record, ended up winning the Super Bowl. Freeman made the most of his time with a team before a falling out with coaching staff and the team resulted in his untimely release in 2013.

Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson

It’s no surprise the best QB to ever play for the Bucs was also the most successful one since he was the team’s QB during the Super Bowl.

Johnson was also a journeyman who recruited by head coach Tony Dungy in 2001 before Gruden took over the following year. He would play from 2001-2004, amassing 10,940 passing yards, 61.8 completion percentage, 83.2 QB rating, 64 TDs, and 41 INTs. He also owns the highest winning percentage (53.1) for the most games as a Bucs starting QB with a 26-23 record.

Johnson may never achieved hall of fame numbers, but the trend the franchise has a starting QB is that, the longer you stick around, the best you can possibly do is a .500 record as indicated by Dilfer (38-38-0) and Williams’ runs.

So there you have it. For the five worst, here it is. Perhaps the biggest goal is the Bucs could ever achieve is if they can have a quarterback ever last more than five seasons with the team.


About Tom

Tom Chang is a freelance journalist with a background in multimedia journalism and web publishing. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications at USF Tampa. Tom's interests include a little bit of everything from entertainment to sports. He also wishes to delve into creative writing writing sci-fi/fantasy stories. Tom was recently the Online Editor for USF St. Petersburg's the Crow's Nest, he joined the staff in January 2010 where he started freelance writing, photographing, copy editing and later became a staff writer. Tom’s freelance experience in journalism amassed a wide range of companies including Creative Loafing, The Focus Magazine, Lutz News,, and Tampa Tribune.
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