Weve Talked about the first two years. The Bucs finally won a game. Two even: and Back to Back! Now they are ready to compete right??
Lesson 3- The Arrival of a Quarterback
The Bucs had a high draft pick again, so they traded down with the Houston Oilers. They Took the Oilers #17 pick and their tight end, some guy named Jimmy Giles! They took other picks too which didn’t pan out, but with the 17th pick the Bucs choose Doug Williams out of Grambling. Coach McKay named Williams the starter off the bat, he felt he was capable of moving the team. He was with his strong arm, and the Bucs were capable of scoring anywhere on the field.
In the first preseason game, Williams let loose a bomb, and the stadium went nuts as it fell incomplete. Why? because finally the Bucs had a QB with an arm who can really let loose. On opening day, Williams first pass went the other way for a touchdown. Then he was hurt and missed the next game at home, also on a Saturday night.
On the third week, the Bucs shocked the NFL world, by beating the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis. Then they returned to Tampa Stadium and shocked the NFL by beating the Falcons, evening their record to .500 for the first time ever. They would flirt with a break even record for the first part of the year, then Doug Williams had his best day of the year at home vs the Bears. After winning, McKay said the Bucs are now contenders instead of pretenders. The Line was still a little poor, and the Backs really could not get big yardage, but the Bucs were able to keep to a .500 record for most of the year, until they played the Rams at Los Angeles, and the Bucs played a respectable game until Doug Williams had his Jaw broken on a late hit by Fred Dryer. The team was one game under break even, but could not win more than one game the rest of the year. The defense played lights out, and were feared by NFL teams. Tampa Bay was ranked 4th in total defense in 1978, and finished with a 5-11 record. No one had an idea what was on the horizon.