Found July 09, 2012 on 60 Max Power O:
Carolina_panthers_v_a159

7. Linebacker Hardy Nickerson: Played for the Buccaneers from 1993 to 1999. One of the NFL’s surest tacklers throughout his career, Nickerson spent his prime in pewter and red. Of his five Pro Bowl selections and two All-Pro nods, all came in his seven-year stint with the Bucs.

Why is Nickerson No. 7?
The “man in the middle” before Derrick Brooks, Nickerson found his niche in the middle of Tony Dungy’s 4-3 defensive scheme. Nickerson is third on the organization’s all-time tackle list with 926 and fifth all-time in forced fumbles. Over his last four years with the Bucs, Nickerson helped maintain a defense that ranked third or better three straight seasons. Nickerson’s 214-tackle 1993 season remains a single-season best for Tampa Bay.

Nickerson’s Legacy with the Buccaneers:
The emergence of Derrick Brooks and age led to Nickerson’s exit from Tampa Bay after the 1999 season (despite his fifth Pro-Bowl selection in seven seasons). Nickerson will be remembered as part of a defensive-minded group that finally got the Bucs back into the .500 column in 1998 (the Bucs finished 8-8). Before that, it had been 17 seasons since Tampa had seen the mark.

Nickerson was the cog in the middle. He was consistent, solid, and almost always made the tackle. Caught in an era when Mike Singletary ruled the world of middle linebackers, Nickerson served as a bright spot on a team with few in his early years before yielding possession of the middle to one of the all-time greats (Brooks).

The Bucs were 53-59 overall in Nickerson’s seasons, although the team was 29-19 over the last three campaigns (all under Tony Dungy). The sturdy linebacker thrived in the Dungy’s system. Nickerson will not make it to Canton but he can hold pride in knowing that he was one of the best players in the league for the decade of the ‘90s.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

var switchTo5x=true; stLight.options({publisher:''});
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Eric LeGrand to Appear in New Subway Ads

Eric LeGrand to Appear in New Subway AdsEric LeGrand has seen more in the last few years than most have seen in a lifetime. Two years ago, the former Rutgers defensive lineman’s life changed forever as he attempted to make a tackle against Army.  During this play, LeGrand suffered a severe injury and became paralyzed from the neck down. That terrible tragedy hasn’t stopped LeGrand...

Hey Hey, Laser Effects – KSK Kontent Klearinghouse

Flubby stumbled on the original Tampa Bay Buccaneers fight song from the late ’70s. If Josh Freeman lets his Jew ‘fro grow out, the team could give this a modern update. – Eagles running back Dion Lewis got arrested over the weekend. Lewis and his brother got locked out of their hotel and proceeded to bang on glass doors and pull the fire alarm in an effort to get back in...
Buccaneers News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.