TAMPA, Fla. – Former Buccaneers defensive end Simeon Rice had some strong words about deserving a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
"There's no Hall of Fame without me in it," Rice says. "There's just not. I dominated when I played. There was nobody better at my position. Nobody."
Rice also took an obvious shot at Hall of Famer Michael Strahan.
"I didn't have nobody falling down to help me get sacks," Rice said. "I didn't have that. I had to earn everything I got."
The falling down reference is to Brett Favre allowing Strahan to set the single-season sack record.
Does Rice belong in the Hall of Fame? He was a great pass rusher, collecting 122 career sacks. But Rice wasn’t even nominated for the Hall of Fame this year and 113 other people were. You can make the argument that Rice was a one-dimensional player who didn’t play the run well.
But there’s more to it than that. Rice was a role player in a great Tampa Bay defense. Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks already are in the Hall of Fame, John Lynch was a finalist this year, and Ronde Barber will have a shot in a couple of years. You can’t take every good player from those Tampa Bay defenses and put them in the Hall of Fame.
Had the Bucs won more than one Super Bowl, Rice might have a shot. But one championship doesn’t warrant four Hall of Fame players.