With The No. 1 Pick In The NFL Draft …

January 9th, 2010

ProFootballWeekly takes a look back at running back and Buccaneers great Ricky Bell, who was snatched by the Bucs with the No. 1 overall pick in 1977.

Hall of Fame tailback Tony Dorsett was taken with the next pick by the Cowboys.

The ProFootballWeekly piece (which isn’t the greatest) focuses on Bell and Dorsett.

While Dorsett flourished in Big D, Bell was getting booed in Tampa, and the comparisons stung — maybe McKay more than Bell. Said McKay in a 1980 Sports Illustrated column, “That first year the linemen should have carried the ball and Ricky should have blocked, because he always got to the hole first.”

Joe firmly believes Bell, who died at 29 after complications from a rare disease, should have a place in the Bucs Ring of Honor.

Yes, Bell only had one great season, when the Bucs reached the NFC Championship in 1979. But he was the offense that season with 1,263 yards rushing. In ’79, Doug Williams only completed 41.8 percent of his throws.

6 Responses to “With The No. 1 Pick In The NFL Draft …”

  1. FlBoy84 Says:

    I read that Doug said he believed Ricky should be in the Ring as well. And as far as McKay’s “That first year the linemen should have carried the ball and Ricky should have blocked, because he always got to the hole first.” Classic. They don’t make coaches like him anymore. My favorites were:

    On hearing how Buc kicker Pete Rajecki was nervous about McKay watching him in the 1976 pre-season – “That’s unfortuntate, as I plan on attending all the games.”

    On losing a key game – “I told our players that there were 700 million Chinese people in the world who didn’t even know the game was played. The next week, I got five letters from China asking “What happened?”

    After the Bucs broke their 26-game losing streak – “Three or four plane crashes and we’re in the playoffs.”

    In response to a question about what he though about his offense’s execution – “I’m all for it.”

  2. Buuuccscsallday Says:

    Bucs need to trade for Micheal vick and let josh Freeman watch and learn till he’s ready jus like aaron rogers

  3. Eric S Says:

    McKay was amusing. That airplane quote was dark even back then. No way he would say that now (Yes I do know McKay is dead before any smart ass says anything).

    I guess you could put him in the Ring only because of the tragic death. It is a shame that Dorsett forced the Bucs to pick Bell. I do wonder if Dorsett said he wanted to play with the Bucs if they would have picked him or McKay was stuck on one of his old players. Makes you wonder. Heck I still wonder about Bo playing here or Parcells coaching here or Junior Seau coming here. All of those people spurned the Bucs as well.

    So I would be on the fence of putting Bell in. The people who I would put in for sure would be Brooks, Lynch, Barber (when he retires), D. Williams, Gruber, Alstott, maybe Giles (great player) and Nickerson (he really started their defensive resurrection). I would keep Sapp out because he was an ass. Hehe.

  4. Art Rawspine Says:

    Eric S, I can answer your question whether Dorsett would’ve played with the Bucs. Seattle owned the #2 pick in ’77 and Dorsett stated to the AP or UPI that he would not play for any expansion team. Dallas offered them a few draft picks for their #1 and waited for the Bucs to draft Bell. Back then McKay was notorious for picking up his ‘SC boys over better talent, and he didn’t disappoint again. I remember Bell getting knocked out in the Rose Bowl in ’77, and being generally unimpressed with him in college. He always seemed to vanish in the big college games, and in the pros he rarely fought for extra yardage. That said, put him in the ring of honor. He surrendered his prime for a poor professional team and town.

  5. Dave Says:

    No, Ricky Bell should not be in the Ring of Honor.


    NO, they should not get Vick. They need a vet QB to be a backup. Josh is not going back to the bench. It is his team for the next decade OR until he proves he can’t do it.

    Personally, I saw enough that shows he can do it. He just needs the right coaching, consistent coaching, a stable front office and offense, and better WRs.

  6. RustyRhino Says:

    Ricky Bell DOES deserve to be in the Ring of Honor. He gave his all for this team and it cost him his life. Back in 1979 there where not as many “sports doctors” he would have it better today. I saw him play in the Old Sombrero a few times what a gutsy RB. He even could block, what a concept a RB that can block. He has my vote for the Ring of Honor.