Who is Cadillac Williams chasing when it comes to the best sophomore season in Bucs history?
You could be out mowing the lawn.
Or cleaning the grill. Or driving the kids to baseball practice. Or cleaning out the garage. Or planning the gas allowance for your trip to the beach.
It's all a part of summer. But, then again, so is this: The annual Buccaneers Trivia Time quiz here on Buccaneers.com. And this one requires no blood, sweat or tears.
Every summer, after the team has completed its offseason training program and embarked on one last collective vacation before training camp, we here at Buccaneers.com like to engage our readers in another round of a little tougher-than-average team trivia. It's our way of helping you, the avid NFL fan, through this final month of inactivity, the dead zone in the schedule that you may or may not wish to fill with baseball, the NBA draft and, this year, the World Cup.
So sit down for a few minutes and try your hand at our brand of Buc trivia. It's fun, there's nothing at stake and all the answers are at the bottom of the page.
And it sure beats mowing the lawn.
2006 BUCCANEER TRIVIA QUIZ
1. Sophomore Sensation
Last September, then-rookie Cadillac Williams galloped for 434 yards in the first three weeks of the season, the most prolific three-game rushing debut in NFL history. From there, he easily ran past the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' rookie rushing record despite missing a good portion of the middle of the season with a foot injury. Williams' 1,178 rushing yards broke the previous team rookie mark of 1,011, set by Errict Rhett in 1994.
Of course, Williams won't be satisfied with that single record. Though he tends to think in terms of team goals, it wouldn't be surprising to see the former Auburn star challenge James Wilder's overall single-season rushing mark of 1,544 yards, set in 1984.
It wouldn't take that many yards, however, to put up the highest rushing total ever by a Buccaneer second-year player. Would it even take another 1,000-yard season? Just what is Tampa Bay's "sophomore" season rushing record?
Ah, that's our question to you. Who holds the team record for most rushing yards gained in his second season, in what year did he set the mark and, within 100 yards, how much did he gain?
2. Sacking the Streak
From October 10, 1999 through November 9, 2003, Tampa Bay's defense put together a remarkable streak: In 69 consecutive regular-season games, the Buccaneers recorded at least one sack of the opposition. That is an all-time NFL record.
The streak ended on November 16, 2003 when no Buccaneers were able to take down Green Bay's Brett Favre in a 20-13 Tampa Bay loss at Raymond James Stadium. That was an interesting twist of fate, because it was a five-sack game of Favre on 10/10/99 that started the whole thing. Included in that game were two sacks of Favre by Warren Sapp, as the two continued one of the most interesting and respectful one-on-one rivalries of the last decade.
Since the streak ended against Favre four years later, that means that whoever got the last sack for the Buccaneers on 11/9/03 had the final QB takedown in that 69-game streak. And that's our question here:
Who recorded the final individual sack in that amazing team streak, and who was the player sacked?
3. Good from 40
Last season, Matt Bryant ended two years of field goal frustration by giving the team the consistent kicker it craved. Bryant made 21 of 25 three-pointers overall and was particularly sharp in the 30 to 39-yard range, making all eight of such tries.
Bryant did miss two of his four attempts in the 20 to 29-yard range, which kept him from being perfect inside the 40. Of course, that's a very difficult goal to attain. (Bryant was nearly perfect from inside the 50, too, adding 10 successes in 11 tries from 40 to 49 yards.) Perfection from inside the 40 is quite rare, at least in Buccaneer annals. In fact, it has been accomplished only twice in the team's 30-year history.
Who was the last Buccaneer kicker to make all of his field goal attempts from 40 yards or closer during a single season (minimum of five tries), and in what year did he accomplish the feat? Here are your five kicker choices, you figure out the year:
- Martin Gramatica 2. Michael Husted 3. Steve Christie 4. Donald Igwebuike 5. Bill Capece
4. Twin Saviors
On November 26, 2001, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers traveled to St. Louis for a Monday Night Football game, putting another chapter on what was becoming one of the league's best rivalries. The Bucs and Rams had most recently played a thrilling Monday-nighter the previous December in Tampa, with the home team coming out on top, 38-35. They had also met at the end of the 1999 season in the NFC Championship Game, with St. Louis prevailing 11-6 on a late fourth-quarter touchdown.
The game in 2001 was another thriller, with the Bucs adding another measure of revenge with a 24-17 victory. The Bucs took their final lead on a 21-yard touchdown run by Warrick Dunn, who dove from the five and clipped the pylon before flying out of bounds, completing a 90-yard drive. They nearly iced the game later in the fourth quarter thanks to a blocked punt but couldn't capitalize with an additional score.
Thus, there were some tense moments at the end. The Bucs had to punt from their own 36, and WR Az-Zahir Hakim made a brilliant, 28-yard return to get the ball nearly to midfield and give Kurt Warner an excellent chance to lead the game-tying drive. Instead, the Bucs quickly snuffed out that last gasp with an interception.
Warner's pass on the play was intended for Torry Holt, but two Buccaneers got their hands on the ball instead of the Rams' receiver. Who were those Bucs and who finally ended up with the ball?
5. The Leaders
Malcolm Glazer bought the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1995, and by 1997 the team had returned to NFL prominence after nearly 15 years of cellar-dwelling. Since that 1997 resurgence, the Bucs have been one of the league's most consistent playoff presences, making it in six of the last nine years.
A handful of players have been around for that entire run, such as Mike Alstott, Derrick Brooks, Ronde Barber and Shelton Quarles. At most positions, however, there has been the gradual turnover seen on any ballclub. Warrick Dunn in 1997 becomes Cadillac Williams in 2005. Hardy Nickerson overlapped with Brian Kelly. Brad Johnson came for four seasons then departed.
So let's test your memories as to the principle players on each of those six playoff squads since 1997. Below you'll see a list for each season of the team leaders in rushing yards, receptions, interceptions, tackles, sacks and touchdowns (passing yards, we figured, was too easy). Each list has one incorrect listing. Can you identify the only perfectly accurate list?
(Remember the order: rushing yards-receptions-interceptions-tackles-sacks-touchdowns.)
- 1997: Dunn…Anthony…Abraham…Nickerson…Sapp…Alstott * 1999: Dunn…Dunn…Abraham…Brooks…Sapp…Alstott * 2000: Dunn…K.Johnson…Abraham…Brooks…Sapp…Dunn * 2001: Alstott…K.Johnson…Barber…Brooks…Sapp…Alstott * 2002: Pittman…K.Johnson…Barber…Brooks…Rice…Alstott * 2005: Williams…Galloway…Barber…Brooks…Rice…Galloway
6. State Supremacy
The three powerhouse football schools of the state of Florida – Florida, Florida State and Miami – have intense rivalries that commonly spill into the Buccaneers' locker room. That's because it's a rare Buc roster that doesn't feature at least a couple players from those three schools. One could even call it a rivalry to see which school has made the largest impact on Tampa Bay's franchise history.
It's easy to count up the number of players on the Bucs' updated all-time roster who came from each of those three schools, and at the moment Florida has the lead. A total of 29 former Gators have played for Tampa Bay, while the Seminoles have contributed 27 men to the Bucs' all-time roster and the Hurricanes are third at 17.
But it's also true that a number of the players on each of those three lists actually had very short stays in Tampa. Name Vince Kendrick's alma mater, for instance, or that of Pat Tomberlin or Don Bailey (yes, some of you state football nuts probably just said Florida, Florida State and Miami without even thinking about it).
Perhaps a better metric would be to which school's Buccaneers have played in the most games or made the most starts in Tampa. Sure, Florida State has Derrick Brooks, but Miami has Warren Sapp and Florida has Scot Brantley. So which of those three schools has a group of Buc alumni (or still current Bucs) with the most collective games played and started in franchise history (it's the same school for both questions)?
7. Flipping the Calendar
In the ongoing effort to break statistics down into every possible configuration, searching for nuances, the Buccaneers have a variety of win-loss tables relating to the date on which the games are played.
For instance, we can tell you with just a quick reference check that the Bucs are 3-1 all-time when playing on the day after Christmas. And that the team is undefeated in regular-season games played in August. And that the team's worst decade was the 1970s (duh).
So some of the resulting information from this sort of statistical dissemination is a little less than illuminating. But, hey, that's why they call it trivia. And that's why it's of use to us here. Below you'll see five notes regarding the Buccaneers' records during certain days, weeks, months, years and decades. Can you identify which statement is false?
a. The Buccaneers have already won more games in the 2000s than they did during the entire 1980s. b. The Bucs' win over Atlanta last December was their first-ever victory on Christmas Eve day. c. Not counting August (one game) or January (six games), the Bucs most successful month is December. d. The only day in October on which the Bucs have never lost is the eighth. e. The Bucs have played three times on Halloween and are undefeated in those three games.
Another tradition of summer Trivia Time here on Buccaneers.com is to provide the reader with a completely unrelated but enormously interesting sidebar to break up the questions and the answers in the quiz. Okay, maybe just completely unrelated. Anything to keep the reader's eye from accidentally straying down the screen to the answers. If you're going to cheat, you're going to have to do it without any illusions.
This year's break-up text is a look at where the league was 50 years ago. That is, it's an excerpt from the "Chronology of Professional Football" found in the NFL's annual Record & Fact Book. 1955. The sudden-death overtime rule was used for the first time in a pre-season game between the Rams and Giants at Portland, Oregon, August 28. The Rams won 23-17 three minutes into overtime. … A rule change declared the ball dead immediately if the ball carrier touched the ground with any part of his body except his hands or feet while in the grasp of an opponent. … The Baltimore Colts made an 80-cent phone call to Johnny Unitas and signed him as a free agent. Another quarterback, Otto Graham, played his last game as the Browns defeated the Rams 38-14 in the NFL Championship Game, December 26. Graham had quarterbacked the Browns to 10 championship-game appearances in 10 years. … NBC replaced DuMont as the network for the title game, paying a rights fee of $100,000. … 1956. The NFL Players Association was founded. … Grabbing an opponent's facemask (other than the ball carrier) was made illegal. Using radio receivers to communicate with players on the field was prohibited. A natural leather ball with white end stripes replaced the white ball with black stripes for night games. … The Giants moved from the Polo Grounds to Yankee Stadium. … Halas retired as coach of the Bears, and was replaced by Paddy Driscoll. … CBS became the first network to broadcast some NFL regular-season games to selected television markets across the nation. … The Giants routed the Bears 47-7 in the NFL Championship Game, December 30. … 1957. Pete Rozelle was named general manager of the Rams. Anthony J. Morabito, founder and co-owner of the 49ers, died of a heart attack during a game against the Bears at Kezar Stadium, October 28. An NFL-record crowd of 102,368 saw the 49ers-Rams game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, November 10. … The Lions came from 20 points down to post a 31-27 playoff victory over the 49ers, December 22. Detroit defeated Cleveland 59-14 in the NFL Championship Game, December 29.
So, did you read it? Ah, no matter. Either way, it's on to the answers.
1. Errict Rhett, 1995, 1,207 yards. Generally speaking, the backs with the highest single-season totals in team history needed a few years to get in position and, perhaps, the right offense to really explode. James Wilder, for instance, initially played fullback, beginning in 1981, and didn't get his first 1,000-yard season until 1984. Ricky Bell was drafted in 1977 but had just over 1,100 yards in his first two seasons combined for an offense that really struggled. Rhett, however, came on strong during the second half of his 1994 rookie season, with most of his aforementioned 1,011 yards coming in the last seven games. That prompted Sam Wyche and the Bucs' offense to center the attack around Rhett in 1995, and he carried 332 times on the way to a career-best 1,207 yards, the fourth-highest total in Buccaneer annals. That's Williams' sophomore target.
2. Simeon Rice and Jake Delhomme. Playing the odds was a good strategy on this one, especially if you weren't going to guess Sapp. Sapp and Rice are the two most prolific Buccaneer sack-men of the last decade, and Rice has led the entire NFL in that category over the last five years. On November 9, 2003 in Carolina, Rice got to Delhomme twice, the only two sacks recorded by the Buccaneers that day in a heartbreaking, last-second 27-24 loss to the Panthers.
3. Donald Igwebuike, 1989. Igwebuike, in fact, is responsible for both such seasons in Buccaneer history, though this '89 campaign was by far the more impressive of the two. In 1989, while making 22 of 28 field goals overall, Iggy nailed all 15 of his attempts from inside 40 yards. That included nine of nine from 20 to 29 yards and six of six from 30 to 39 yards. He was only five of 10 from 40 to 49 yards but did make two of his three from 50 or more. Iggy had close-range perfect in 1987, too, but that was in only eight attempts. Gramatica was quite close in 2002, making 21 of 23, and even closer in 2001, nailing 18 of 19. In fact, he had a four-year run where he almost turned the trick, making 18 of 20 in 1999, his rookie year, and 16 of 18 in 2000, his Pro Bowl season.
4. Derrick Brooks and John Lynch, with Lynch making the interception. The two Pro Bowl defenders combined on the game-saving play. Brooks managed to tip Warner's pass and Lynch caught the deflection. Around this time, Lynch picked up the nickname "The Closer" due to a penchant for turnovers near the ends of close games. By the way, Mike Alstott effectively put the game away on the next play by running around the end for nine yards, allowing Brad Johnson to sneak for the first down and kneel twice to end the game. In that game, Alstott also broke the franchise's all-time record for touchdowns scored with his 46th and 47th TDs. He currently has 68.
5. 2000: Dunn…K.Johnson…Abraham…Brooks…Sapp…Dunn. The 2000 Buccaneers made the playoffs as a Wild Card team. Warrick Dunn led that team with 1,133 rushing yards, as well as nine touchdowns. Keyshawn Johnson was the receptions leader at 71 while Donnie Abraham paced the interceptors with seven. Brooks' 179 tackles were tops on the squad and Sapp's 16.5 sacks were not only a team high but a franchise record. Here are the incorrect entries in each of the other five choices: 1997…Dunn led the team in receptions, not Reidel Anthony; 1999…Alstott led the team in rushing, not Dunn; 2001…Simeon Rice led the team in sacks, not Sapp; 2002…Brian Kelly led the team in interceptions, not Barber; 2005…Shelton Quarles led the team in tackles, not Brooks.
6. Florida State, 785 games played, 523 starts. FSU has fewer alumni on the Bucs but more games and starts, though not by much. Florida is second with 758 games and 435 starts while Miami comes in last at 675 and 357. Give the Canes their due, however; per capita, they have the best total of games played. In other words, the Miami players tend to stick. By the way, the five Seminoles that led the way to the top total were Derrick Brooks, Warrick Dunn, Dexter Jackson, Greg Spires and Brad Johnson.
7. e. The Bucs have played three times on Halloween and are undefeated in those three games. Actually, the Bucs have played three Halloween games, but are just 1-2 in those contests. As for the other notes…a) The Bucs have 54 wins in the first six years of the 2000s as compared to just 45 during all of the 1980s; b) The Bucs did get their first Christmas Eve win this past year, going to 1-3 on December 24; c) The Bucs are 47-63 all-time in December, for a winning percentage of .427. That just edges their September mark of 46-63, .422.; d) The Bucs are 3-0 all-time on Oct. 8 but have lost at least one game on each of the other 30 days of the 10th month.