It shouldn’t have been too difficult to come up with a list of popular 1 year wonders or popular players from the history of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers…They were a team built around players playing great for a bit and then disappearing from sight. But once I started to formulate a list I realized that there were many great characters that deserved mention in this type of listing. Some are here for the serious reasons while some are here just because I smile when I remember a play or a prediction I would have made that the player had no way to support.
Which brings me to...
#10- Wayne Haddix for being the best 1 year wonder ever, and dominating Tecmo Super Bowl…I just knew he would be a 5-6 time Pro-Bowl player.
#9- Errict Rhett for holding down (or maybe I should say holding out) WD-40’s spot…He was going to be the NEXT great Buc back, and he had several good seasons, but once WD-40 stepped foot in Tampa his days were numbered. Still, he was a bright spot on some pretty bad teams.
#8- Brad Johnson for being a great “game manager” during the Super Bowl run…I know a lot of fans were glad to see him go, but he was just what the Dr ordered during our Super Bowl season (and his stats weren’t bad either-281 of 451 <.623> for 3,049 yards, 22 Td’s with only 6 Ints.)
#7- Donald Igwebuike because someone had to be included from the 86-90 era J…Might as well be the kicker.
#6- Lawrence Dawsey for leading the receivers as a rookie (our bright spot that year)…I really wish injury hadn’t taken his career down the shortened path.
#5- Trent Dilfer, Matt Bryant and Joe Jurevicius for reminding us that while the games are important, family is more important. They each suffered a terrible loss and the losses they suffered were felt by all of Buc Nation.
#4- Hardy Nickerson (who might actually be Hall Material), for starting the change on Defense…He was the first Buc defender to come in with a swagger and really deserve it. You knew he was going to make a play when we needed it, and I really think he played a large role in the development of Brooks, Sapp and Lynch.
#3- Ricky Bell for being a great player taken too soon…He was the first really great Buc on the offensive side of the ball (just my opinion) and while he ended his career with another team, I feel if it weren’t for health issues he could have become a premier player in the NFL.
#2- Doug Williams for the first great Buccaneer season…Doug was the straw that stirred the drink, and the leader of the team that made people forget about the bad start the franchise had. I just wish he could have won his Super Bowl with Tampa.
#1- And this is my obvious choice for a player who made a difference with Tampa Bay but will never be elected into the NFL HOF…Michael Spurlock for ending the ridiculous “The Bucs have never returned a kick in their history” line, which made game producers scramble for new material…Without him, we’d still be listening to Chris Myers or Tim Ryan talking about how we’ve never taken a kick back. Thanks Michael.