Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Top 5 running backs in Buccaneers’ history
Number 1: James Wilder
The 1980s were a bad decade for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but that was in spite of what James Wilder did on the field. In fact, Wilder was the best part about the Buccaneers for the entire decade.
Wilder was selected by the Buccaneers in the second round of the 1981 Draft as a fullback, and it didn’t take long for the big back to get things rolling.
While Wilder had a modest first three seasons, it wasn’t until his fourth year, when the Bucs moved him to running back, that the league started to take notice.
In his fourth year and first, as the designated running back, Wilder rushed for 1,544 yards on 407 attempts. His 407 rushing attempts led the entire NFL, and he is still the only Buccaneer to have over 1,500 rushing yards in a season.
That same year, Wilder had 685 receiving yards on 85 receptions, had 13 rushing touchdowns, and made the Pro Bowl.
He followed up his 1984 Pro Bowl season with another 1,000+ yard season. Wilder had 1,300 yards on 365 attempts and then rushing touchdowns. He had a decent year in the receiving aspect as well, netting 341 yards on 53 catches. Unfortunately, this was not enough to get him into the Pro Bowl.
Wilder had a great career with the Bucs. He is the Buccaneers all-time rushing leader, having 5,957 rushing yards and 37 rushing touchdowns. It was a shame that Wilder was never able to lift the Lombardi Trophy, but he will always be a part of Buccaneers lore.