Ready for another Buccaneer brain-teaser?
As I explained on Tuesday, I will be posting a daily trivia question about the Buccaneers each work day in the month of April, just to give us all a small diversion from the difficulties of the current situation. Hopefully you learned a little bit about Tampa Bay's draft history yesterday.
The question will be posted here each day at 10:00 a.m. ET, and then also shared on Twitter. At 4:00 p.m. ET, I'll update the story to include the answer and share that on Twitter as well. There's no prize, just the pride you'll get from knowing your team and its history well. And this isn't multiple choice; you'll have to figure out the answer for yourself.
Now, obviously, the answers to some of these questions will be relatively easy to look up online. See if you can challenge yourself first before resorting to that solution. Today's question isn't about the biggest numbers in Buccaneers history but about those who have contributed at least a little for a long time.
Bucs Daily Trivia Question, April 2:
You've probably heard the single most impressive statistical note about the very impressive career of Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans: He and Hall-of-Famer Randy Moss are the only two players in NFL history to open their careers with six straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons. With Tom Brady now in town, Evans will go for seven in a row in 2020.
Evans has also surpassed 60 catches in each of his six seasons. Not only is he the first Buccaneer to do that six times in a row, he's also the only one to do so six times, period. No other player in team history has more than three 60-catch seasons, though Chris Godwin will probably change that a few years from now. Fun fact: Adam Humphries had more 60-catch seasons (two) as a Buccaneer than Mark Carrier (one) had, and Carrier was the franchise's all-time receptions leader among wideouts until Evans surpassed him early last year.
Six seasons of 60-plus receptions is also six seasons of 10-plus receptions, but Evans is not the Buccaneers' all-time leader in that category, though he may someday take over that spot, too. We don't usually bother tracking 10-catch seasons because that's not a particularly noteworthy accomplishment. Remember Cecil Shorts? He has one. How about Erik Lorig, who was drafted as a defensive end in 2010. He has one, too. You get the point.
But what about a player who has a lot of 10-catch seasons. That would at least speak to his longevity, and the fact that he was of some use in a bunch of different offenses. So that's today's question: Who is the Buccaneers' all-time leader in 10-catch seasons?
Come back at 4:00 p.m. ET for the answer!
Answer: The key to figuring out the answer to this question was to focus on players who had long Buccaneer tenures and generally had a role of some significance on offense for most of that time. Guess who fits that description perfectly? Yep, the A-Train.
Mike Alstott, who played fullback for the Buccaneers from 1996 through 2006, started his career with 65 catches in his rookie campaign. That would prove to be his single-season high by a long shot as he became much more of a ballcarrier in the following years, but he remained involved in the Bucs' passing attack throughout his career. In fact, he had at least 10 catches in every season that he played, just hitting that mark in the 2003 season that was shortened to four games by a neck injury.
That's 11 seasons in total, the most with 10 or more receptions by any player in franchise history. His final total of 305 receptions currently ranks fifth on the team's all-time leaderboard, just one behind his former Thunder & Lightning partner, Warrick Dunn. If you guessed Dunn, by the way, you weren't too far off. He's tied for sixth with six just seasons.
The closest competitors to Alstott in this admittedly arbitrary contest were tight end Jimmie Giles and running back James Wilder, with nine each. Ron Hall, Kevin House and Dave Moore were next with seven each.