Who Is The Best Offensive Player In Bucs History?

April 18th, 2011

Last night, Joe was humbled to be a guest on the weekly RaysRev.com podcast hosted by the WTSP duo of Mike Weber and Matt Sinn, who for Rays fans are must-follows. During the podcast, Joe was hit with a probing question that took Joe aback a little.

Sinn asked Joe, after we discussed the Rays, if Josh Freeman is the best offensive player in Bucs history.

Joe’s initial, impulsive reaction was, of course not. Then quickly Joe scanned through his beer-soaked brain of offensive stars of the past, and couldn’t think of many at all.

Lots of old Bucs fans would say Doug Williams but his stats weren’t all that good. Kevin House was a dangerous receiver but not dominant.

Joe likely thinks one could make a good argument that Warrick Dunn was the best Bucs offensive player. James Wilder certainly made an impact. Perhaps Meshaun Johnson but Meshaun was around really for three years before his days with the Bucs flamed out.

Weber has a good point. If Freeman stays healthy, he very well could be the best Bucs player in franchise history. It’s an interesting argument.

25 Responses to “Who Is The Best Offensive Player In Bucs History?”

  1. Atrain WD40 Says:

    Best offensive player in bucs history was ricky bell…. Loved to watch him play football, although an argument could be stated for the A-Train.

  2. RustyRhino Says:

    Hands down for me it was James Wilder.
    @Joe – James Wilder certainly made an impact. Yeah a major understatement there Joe. Wilder was the entire offence for several years rushing & passing. I Would have loved to have had Wilder and a Qb like we have now.

  3. RustyRhino Says:

    Receiving not passing.

  4. CalicoJack Says:

    Paul Gruber.

  5. Matt Says:

    Yeah, if you’re considering linemen (and you should), it’s Gruber.

  6. JDouble Says:

    Dunn and Alstott for sure….but if Freeman has another year like last year he will already surpass them both. Kinda sad how pitiful our offense has been over the past 30 years.

    @JDouble, somone is using your name at another Bucs website and insulting Joe. It would be pretty lame if it’s actually you.

  7. BamBamBuc Says:

    Let’s put how pitiful the Bucs offense has been over their history into perspective…

    When Josh Freeman can play 1 1/2 seasons, get the only 3 wins for the team in his first half season, and lead them to 10 wins his first full season, have as many come from behind wins as he has and be considered one of the best EVER…. you haven’t had much offense in your history…

    When Mike Williams can come in and get to “almost” a thousand receiving yards, score 11 TDs and break the single season team record for ALL players… you haven’t had much offense in your history…

    When LeGarrette Blount can come in and gain 1000 yards in less than a full season as an undrafted rookie free agent that was cut by the Titans before being added to the roster during the week before the season opener, and be compared to Mike Alstott already… you haven’t had much offense in your history.

    Seriously, there’s not that much for these guys to overcome to be the best offense in history… as a group. They can all surpass the top guys at their respective positions fairly easily. I think RB would be the most difficult, just because we all remember names like James Wilder, Ricky Bell, Mike Alstott, Warrick Dunn, etc.

  8. Joe Says:

    Very good point BamBamBuc.

    Joe was remiss in mentioning Paul Gruber. But when your team has been around 35 years and perhaps the player with the biggest impact has been an offensive lineman, that’s sad.

  9. danbucsfan Says:

    Having been a fan of the Bucs from the start of the franchise, I can honestly say that I have never been more excited about the future of this team and what Josh Freeman has to offer!

  10. Buc N' A Says:

    I think we can all agree. Offense for the Bucs has been crap. For their entire legacy. That’s sad, but it is what it is. I vote. James Wilder, Ricky Bell, Mike Alstott, Paul Gruber. 35 years and that’s all our options?? Yikes. But that’s about to change!! : ) #5, Blount, Williams. K2 – give them a few years and we’ll have some serious contenders.

  11. Chris FWC :) Says:

    As a Buc (6 seasons):
    93 games, 137 FGM. 179 FGA. 77% PCT 411 points
    XPAtt 183 XPM 181 99% PCT 181 points

    592 points total as a Buc. 98.66 points a season.

  12. Joe Says:


    No question in Father Dungy’s mind, the best weapon a team can have offensively is the place kicker.

  13. Dave Says:


    3 Average RBs by league standards, an Offensive Lineman, and a KICKER is what gets mentioned???????? Maybe Jimmy Giles as well. Heck, Galloway should be mentioned for his 2 good years.

    Not sad, pathetic…. putrid…. horrific…

    It is a wonder ANYONE goes to games.

    The good news:
    In 3 years Freeman, Williams, and Blount should be 1,2, & 3 by a landslide with Benn possibly at 4

  14. Joe Says:


    Maybe Jimmy Giles as well.

    Good call! Giles was dominant as a tight end. May have been one of the best blocking tight ends that ever played in the NFL.

  15. Jonny Says:

    A-Train . Nuff said.

    Of course, another similar season from Freeman and he overtakes Alstott, reason being the amount of impact he will have on the wins of our team.

  16. Matthew levanduski Says:

    Martin Gramatica was the man, those were the days!

  17. Oahubuc Says:


  18. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Joe Says:

    April 18th, 2011 at 10:52 am

    No question in Father Dungy’s mind, the best weapon a team can have offensively is the place kicker.

    I would think that would be the case in all teams minds. Out of 32 teams, maybe 3 of them per year have a leading scorer that is NOT a kicker.

  19. Joe Says:

    I would think that would be the case in all teams minds. Out of 32 teams, maybe 3 of them per year have a leading scorer that is NOT a kicker.

    Here’s a perfect example of stats clouding the big picture.

  20. Chris FWC :) Says:

    It doesn’t cloud it too much. I’m sure he won more games than anyone in Buc history. Sad but true.

  21. Derf Says:

    Sorry guys but you’re ALL wrong.

    The most offensive Bucs player: Talib Aquib. I mean how offensive is it cursing out your coach, a referee, your fellow players and slapping a cabbie? Not to mention trying to shoot someone and missing!

    How offensive is that?

  22. RastaMon Says:

    James Wilder……..posted without reading anything but the question

  23. K1ngAdroc Says:

    A-Train………… but soon to be Josh Freeman – only read the question and RastaMon post (Wilder a close second IMO)

  24. Patrick Says:

    Warrick Dunn, Mike Alstott, Joey Galloway, Doug Williams and Brad Johnson are the best offensive players in Bucs history. But Mike Will, Blount and Freeman could very easily be among the best also.

  25. Angelo Says:

    I’ll break it down by general position.

    QB – Doug Williams, back then QBs didn’t have the huge stats they do today, he had good numbers for his time. He was an exciting player.

    RB – James Wilder, had some huge years and other years were consistent both in rushing and receiving. Dunn saw his best days as a Falcon.

    FB – Alstott, nothing more to say, just a bulldozer full of heart.

    WR – Keyshawn, he wasn’t here for long and the stats don’t say it, but he bailed out some really horrendous offenses. During his time here he was one of the most dominating possession receivers of all time.

    OL – Paul Gruber, consistent, had some huge seasons and just underrated overall.

    TE – Jimmy Giles, just a complete package TE that was underused in the passing game for most of his career. Could block as well as a guard, and catch as well as a modern day TE.

    Currently I have to say Giles is the overall winner. He was consistently there throughout the 80s, always giving it his all and making a big play a game even if you didn’t see it. Some non Buc fans to this day still use his name as a comparison for well rounded TEs. His stats look like nothing special, but remember this is back when only a few TEs like Kellen Winslow Sr. were used as big offensive weapons. On another team I think he would have been a Hall of Famer. He did make 4 pro bowls too, so it’s not like he’s a complete underdog.

    Our current bunch (Freeman, Winslow, Williams, Blount) do have a good chance at being our best players ever in those positions if they keep it up.