He may not be the Buccaneers' MVP (that honor must go to Joey Galloway in my opinion or perhaps Antonio Bryant) nor the primary impetus of their success (that honor obviously goes to Monte Kiffin and the talented defenses that have consistently inhabited Tampa Bay for years) but Warrick Dunn is still a key cog in the Buccaneers' offense.
This season, while sharing the backfield with Earnest Graham before his injury and now with the resurgent Cadillac Williams, the former Florida State standout has still averaged 4.4 yards a carry and posted two touchdowns on the season.
Obviously, Joe Horrigan, the master historian and vice president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio would refute my take here, but Dunn is definitely HOF material in my book, both on and off the field.
First of all, I'll speak of some of his career accomplishments on the gridiron (because as he stated once on Jim Rome's radio show, that's how he prefers it).
In 12 successful seasons with the Buccaneers and Falcons, he has amassed 15,074 yards of total offense and over six yards every time he's touched the football.
He plays well whenever he's called upon in the Buccaneers' offense and still has explosiveness on occasion.
However, the true story of Dunn is what he does off the field. The Warrick Dunn Foundation builds homes for single mothers, many of whom are impoverished and gives them a new opportunity to excel in life.
Shortly after his 18th birthday, his mom, a police officer, was killed so the onus was on him to raise his younger siblings.
Shortly thereafter he went to Florida State and during his stellar career, became the Seminoles' all-time leading rusher.
However, once again, Dunn's character outshone his impressive athleticism as he received numerous accolades from two of the classiest gentleman American football has ever seen in Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden and then Tampa Bay coach Tony Dungy.
In fact, in Dungy's autobiography Quiet Strength, he reported that he desired to draft Dunn because of the magnificence he brought to the table both on and off the field.
With that said, if the Broncos should fail in their supposedly improbable quest to win a championship, it would do my heart good to see Dunn atop the stage at the end of Super Bowl 43 (which incidentally will be in Tampa, Fla.) hoisting the Lombardi Trophy as he's never done this before.
In a time of year for the NFL where Plax Burress is decimating all the goodwill he obtained last season, Dunn presses on as a classy star and gentleman.
Whenever I see kids rocking a red and pewter No. 28 Buccaneers jersey, it does my heart good. Warrick is class and I can learn from his illustrious example as can all of us.
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