COMMENTARY: Tampa Bay Bucs
The Bucs Ring of Honor felt a bit odd without Doug Williams, one of the earliest icons in franchise history, but now he’s home (again).
As the franchise’s first true franchise quarterback, Williams led the team to three postseason appearances and until 2002 and Super Bowl XXXVII, the furthest any Bucs QB has ever gone to the NFC Championship game. Only Shaun King was able to match take the team back to that game in 2000.
Williams only had two losing seasons in his five-year run with the team going 33-33-1 in his time. He’s topped 3000 passing yards twice, completing an average of 47.4 percent of his passes at a time where throwing under 50 percent was considered acceptable, and threw for 73 touchdowns and interceptions.
Williams was certainly the beneficiary of a dominant defense led by Lee Roy Selmon, but he came through when the team needed him. Williams left the team following the 1982 season for the USFL when he wasn’t re-signed by the team with a falling out with then owner Hugh Culverhouse. If it weren’t for ownership, who knows what else Williams could have accomplished instead of enduring an undeveloped Steve Young, Jack Thompson and Steve DeBerg?
Williams deserved better.
When the organization started its Tampa Stadium Krewe of Honor, Williams wasn’t among the inaugural inductees that included Selmon, his head coach in John McKay and running back Ricky Bell in 1991. HE was honored the following year in 1992. Culverhouse was the final inductee in 1993.
When the team introduced the Ring of Honor in 2009 at Raymond James Stadium, Selmon was honored again as its inaugural inductee. McKay, posthumously, was inducted in 2010, followed by tight end Jimmie Giles in 2011, tackle Paul Gruber in 2012, defensive tackle Warren Sapp in 2013 and linebacker Derrick Brooks in 2014. Naturally the two hall of famers to follow Selmon would be automatic inductees, but where was Williams in the discussion all that time no disrespect to the other members?
Williams deserved better.
Now in 2015, the Bucs are finally recognizing (again) his long-time contributions a mere 22 years after final inductee of the now-defunct Tampa Stadium Krewe of Honor was selected. Williams is getting his due credit again for the team he helped put on the NFL map, despite all those years they had a chance to induct him from the time they instituted the Ring of Honor with his position as the team’s Coordinator of Pro Scouting (2009-2010) to his time as general manager of the UFL’s Virginia Destroyers (2010-2011), his second stint as Grambling State University’s head coach (2011-2014) to now Washington Redskins‘ Personnel Executive (2014-present).
Williams is reunited with Bruce Allen, who was the general manager of the Bucs when he brought him on back as a Personnel Executive in 2004, but currently Washington’s team president.
Speaking of Washington, Williams only spent four years with the team with an “impressive” 5-9 record, but not only helped the team win Super Bowl XXII, but also earned MVP honors for the team and became inducted into their Ring of Fame, you know after only playing 21 games with the team.
Congratulations Mr. Williams, now that the Bucs have another franchise quarterback in Jameis Winston, guess they finally remembered you.
No reason to be bitter, but what took them so long?