When it comes to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Ring of Honor candidates for 2019, Monte Kiffin has to be high on the list. Kiffin, who is now a defensive assistant coach for Florida Atlantic University, which is led by the FAU head coach, Monte’s son, Lane Kiffin, served as the Buccaneers defensive coordinator from 1996 to 2008.
Monte Kiffin is widely considered to be one of the greatest defensive coordinators in NFL history. Many of his defensive schemes are still being used today in both the college and NFL ranks. Monte Kiffin is known as the “father” of the ‘Tampa 2’ cover defense.
According to NFL.com stats, Tampa Bay had top 10 ranked defense, statistically every year from 1996 to 2008, except 2006. During the 2002-2003 season, when the Bucs won the Super Bowl, Tampa Bay had the #1 ranked defense in the NFL and did so again in 2005 when they finished #1 in terms of team defense, statistically.
As if that wasn’t enough to get Monte Kiffin a spot in the Bucs Ring of Honor, during the 2002-2003 season, Tampa Bay’s defense was and still is considered to be ranked in the top ten as far as all-time best defenses in NFL history. The starting players on that historic defensive squad included many star players, such as Warren Sapp, Simeon Rice, Greg Spires, Derrick Brooks, Shelton Quarles, Alshermond Singleton, Ronde Barber, John Lynch, Brian Kelly, and Dexter Jackson, etc. Yes, the Bucs had an incredible defense in 2002, but let’s give a lot of the credit to the man who deserves it, the one who called the plays, the true leader and mastermind of the Buccaneers defense, Mr. Monte Kiffin. Not only does Monte Kiffin deserve a spot in the Bucs Ring of Honor, but they might also as well build a statue of him outside of Raymond James Stadium, too. Take a bow, Coach Kiffin. Thanks for your service to this team, franchise, and organization. We thank you! Go Bucs!