For this Buccaneers “what if” scenario, let’s see what could have happened had Bo knew the Buccaneers.
Coming out of 1986, the Buccaneers quarterback was a lefty by the name of Steve Young. Buccaneers all-time leading rusher James Wilder was still hanging around but aging, as was tight end Jimmie Giles, arguably the best tight end in team history. The receivers and offensive line were nothing to look twice at, but the veterans on the team were solid. Adding a back with the athleticism of Jackson, if only for about half a season, would have paid off in dividends. For starters, it would give Young some added insurance of a running game, and Jackson’s presence could have helped extend Wilder’s career, and impact, a bit with a lightened workload.
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With Young and the one-two punch of Jackson and Wilder, the Buccaneers’ offense is greatly improved. As a result, Young is never shipped off to the San Francisco 49ers where he is never mentored by Bill Walsh and Joe Montana, but more on that later. Due to this, the Buccaneers don’t have the first overall pick in the 1987 Draft to take Vinny Testaverde who becomes the Colts’ problem. Instead, back a bit in the draft, the Buccaneers would be able to draft someone for Young to throw the ball to such as Haywood Jeffries, the real-life Houston Oiler. Suddenly this offense is starting to take shape.
Now, the coach of the Buccaneers would still have most likely been Ray Perkins, so there’s a bit of an obvious ceiling here. However, with Jackson spearheading a talented offense lead by an improving Young, the team is actually able to make some playoff appearances, but ultimately the 49ers still rule the 1980’s.