The 1976 Expansion Buccaneer Linebackers |
The early success of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was built on their defense and primarily their linebackers. But only one of those players, Richard Wood, came from the expansion team. The rest of the linebacking corps for the 1976 team paled into insignificance compared to their later brothers.
|53||Larry Ball||Played in all but one game in1976 having also been a member of the 1972 perfect Dolphins alongside DT Maulty Moore.
||59||Pete Barnes||NFL veteran of three other teams who played in the final three pre-season games but was released in the final roster cutdown. |
|56|| ||Bubba Broussard||Was a 6th round pick of the Vikings but came to the Bucs in the allocation draft from Chicago. Did not make the team.
||55||Warren Capone||Former Dallas Cowboy who played in the final three pre-season games but was released in the final roster cutdown.|
|54|| ||Steve Colavito||Undrafted linebacker who played four games with the Eagles late in the 1975 season. Did not make the Bucs' team.
||80||Ralph Coleman||Was an 8th round pick of the Cowboys in 1972 and his NFL career amounted to just one game with them that season.|
|56|| ||Bert Cooper||Played in 12 games with three starts before going on IR having been injured in the loss to the Oakland Raiders.
||Bruce Elia||Was selected in the expansion draft from the Dolphins, but was then traded two days later to the San Francisco 49ers alongside WR Willie McGee for QB Steve Spurrier.|
|96|| ||Larry Ely||Was an expansion draft selection from the Bears but did not make the 1976 Buccaneers out of training camp.
||30||Jimmy Gunn||Made the most starts of any linebacker in 1976 for the Bucs but was not able to keep his job the following year.|
|55|| ||Charles Hunt||Played Weeks 5 through 9 as a special teamer and back-up linebacker and amassed one tackle in each area before being released from the NFL for good on leaving Tampa Bay.
||59||Leroy Johnson||Undrafted free agent linebacker who never played in the NFL at all. Another of those real unknown camp bodies whose only claim to fame in the pros is one line in a media guide.|
|47|| ||Ted Jornov||Was a 13th round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1974 draft but never played in the NFL at all. Had come to Tampa as a free agent looking for a chance to make it in the league.
||50||Tim Kearney||Was first obtained in the expansion draft and traded, and then signed as a free agent in Week 2. Declared inactive for the San Diego game and then was released.|
|59|| ||Mike Lemon||Was signed midway through 1976 and wound up being with the Bucs for parts of two seasons as a special teamer.
||50||Steve Maughan||Was placed on IR with a shoulder injury during training camp and then missed all of 1977 with Hodgkins' disease.|
|58|| ||Calvin Peterson||Started the first four games and then hurt his knee. Returned for the Denver game but went on IR for good after that.
||57||Jim Peterson||Played in the first three games with two starts before going on IR with a knee injury. Was a camp cut in 1977.|
|52|| ||Steve Reese||The same as Richard Wood, was obtained with the Jets in a trade. Started 10 games for the 1976 Buccaneers.
||91||Steadman Scavella||Rookie out of Miami who was released during the pre-season campaign and never played in the NFL at all.||55||Jimmie Sims||Went by the name of "Psycho" and played the final two games of the 1976 season having been signed as a free agent because of all the injury problems suffered by the Bucs.
||55||Sid Smith||Switched from center to middle linebacker for his senior year at college and hence got himself drafted but never played in the NFL. Was the Bucs' 10th round pick in 1976.
|| ||Doug Swift||Was part of the perfect 1972 Miami Dolphins team alongside Larry Ball but unlike No.53, Swift never played for the Bucs and indeed never even made it as far as training camp.
||49||Tom West||Played running back and tight end in college but was drafted as a linebacker despite not having played the position since high school. Not surprisingly, never played in the NFL
|54||Richard Wood||Went on to a very successful 10-year career with the Bucs playing in over 130 games. Known as "The Batman".|