When Scout asked me to come up with the top four running backs in Bucs history, I didn't think it would be that tough. Little did I know, the Bucs have almost had as many struggles finding franchise running backs as they've had finding a franchise quarterback.
We all have our personal favorites when it comes to running backs, but that doesn't mean those running backs are among the elite in Bucs history. Names like Errict Rhett, Reggie Cobb, Cadillac Williams, and even current back Doug Martin have all done nice things at the position, but I would call any of them elite.
As I started digging through the archive, it was apparent to me that we'd have two running backs who predominantly wore the old creamsicle orange and two backs that made up the Bucs version of thunder and lightning in the late 90's and early 2000's.
Ricky Bell was the Bucs back during the team's trip to the 1979 NFC Championship Game. He was a successful running back, but after the Bucs brought in James Wilder, then head coach John McKay traded Bell to San Diego. Bell's health was already starting to detiorate, and he passed away a few years later. As for Wilder, he is the Bucs all time leading rusher, and clearly the best running back in the team's history.
As for thunder and lightning, Mike Alstott and Warrick Dunn were the only legit threats under Tony Dungy's ultra bland offenses of the late 90's and early 2000's. Alstott may have been listed as a full back, but we all know, he made most of his highlight plays as the bruising running back that brought about his popularity. As for Dunn, he brought the speed and quickness to the Bucs offensive backfield, but it can be argued that he was much more successful during his time with the Atlanta Falcons.