The 1976 Expansion Buccaneer Running Backs
This was not your group of power backs, speedsters, devastating runners and agile receivers.
Then again, behind the 1976 Buc offensive line, you probably would not have noticed anyway.
38Jon BradfordWhen an expansion team goes looking for players, they all come out of the woodwork. Bradford was a 11th round pick of the Jets from 1975 but never ever played in the NFL. 37Bob BurnsLocal Tampa product who did play the 1974 season with the NY Jets having been their 9th round pick that year. Did not make the 1976 Buccaneer roster however.
32 Louis CarterPlayed the first three seasons in Buc history and also wound up throwing the first TD pass in team history too. 26Charlie DavisGoes down in Buccaneer franchise history for scoring the first offensive TD in the Week 4 game in Baltimore.
28 Anthony DavisWas picked up in the NFL veteran allocation draft but went off instead to play in the CFL and only returned to Tampa in 1977. 35Jimmy DuBoseHad the first 100-yard rushing day in Buc history but not until the 1978 season. Played in every game in 1976.
36 Charlie EvansFormer USC tailback who has seen four years with the Giants and Redskins before coming to Tampa. Was injured during camp and was placed on IR for the entire season. 25Dave GagnonHad a 15.0 average as a Chicago Bear back - OK, on his one NFL carry. Did not make the Buccaneer squad out of camp.
34 Harold HartAnother player who was injured in pre-season and spent the whole year on IR. Did not make the 1977 team either. 19Essex JohnsonNFL veteran who was signed just before the first game and wound up playing every game with the 1976 Bucs. Had over 3,000 yards before arriving in Tampa Bay.
20 Vince KendrickBecame the first player to ever get cut by the Bucs in the regular season when he was released after the Week 1 game. 37Morris LaGrandLocal Tampa high school and college player who had seen some NFL time in 1975 with the Saints and Chiefs.
10Larry MartinezAnother of the real unknowns who was part of the 1976 training camp. Had been signed as a free agent but did not make the team and never played in the NFL for any other team. 22Rod McNeillClaimed on waivers three weeks into the 1976 season and wound up returning kickoffs for the Bucs for the year.
44 Manfred MooreWent from the 0-13 Bucs to winning a Super Bowl ring as he was signed by the Raiders on their way to the title. 22Alan PittmanLocal product who was definitely not related to Michael. This Pittman never played in the NFL for any team.
38Billy PritchettFormer 1974 6th round pick Browns who played in the final two pre-season games of 1976 with the Bucs but did not make the roster. 43 Ed WilliamsWas the starting Buc full back for most of the first two seasons and led the 76 Bucs with two rushing touchdowns.
13John C WilsonOne of the most famous of the non-Bucs following NFL Films recording the moment he was cut by John McKay and then tracking him down 25 years later to review the event.