The Bucs And Jamaal CharlesOctober 3rd, 2012
Joe’s not sure there’s an expiration date on information provided to a reporter off the record, but Tampa Bay Times columnist Gary Shelton had different ideas when he shared an intriguing story yesterday that he said was off-the-record information he’d been sitting on for years.
Speaking on his Gary and The Commish show on 98.7 FM, Shelton said he was told in confidence that there were loud voices in the Bucs’ 2008 draft war room screaming for Tampa Bay to take running back Jamaal Charles with their second-round pick, No. 58 overall.
Of course, in one of the worst draft-day moves in Bucs history, the Bucs instead chose wide receiver scaredy cat Dexter Jackson, the guy who never caught a regular-season pass and looked terrified returning punts and kicks.
Charles was taken 73rd overall that season by the Chiefs and has racked up superstar numbers. He leads the AFC in rushing this season and the Bucs will see him in Tampa after the bye week. Bucs personnel man Shelton Quarles called Charles the fastest running back he’s scouted this season during a radio interview yesterday.
Imagine if the Bucs had drafted Charles?
Assuming he stayed healthy, that would have changed the course of the franchise. Derrick Ward never would have been signed and that money could have gone elsewhere, plus LeGarrette Blount likely would be on another team along with Doug Martin.
Hell, Chucky might still be coaching for Team Glazer if Charles could have helped the Bucs win one more game in 2008.