Ray Perkins arrived in Tampa with a mandate from Hugh Culverhouse to do whatever he felt necessary to revive the fortunes of the beleaguered Buccaneers. After
suffering a 4-28 record over the previous two seasons, Buc fans were happy to see any change being brought to the franchise, and Perkins assumed his roles as head
coach, offensive co-ordinator and general manager, with no fear or trepidation from those connected with the team.
His years at the Giants had seen a play-off berth and the seeds sown for Bill Parcells' success, and more of the same
was expected in his second NFL coaching position. Culverhouse introduced the new head coach "as my Vince
Lombardi" and was hoping for the same amount of success as the legendary Green Bay coach had enjoyed some two
decades earlier. Whether Lombardi won his first NFL game by 38 points with a team-record score is not for debate in
this publication, but there is little doubt that it was one of the more impressive debuts in league history.
The 1987 draft will go down as one of the most successful in franchise history. Whatever you might think about the
selection of Vinny Testaverde with the first overall pick, the depth and quality of the lower selections is impressive
with the entire receiving corps for the next five years being drafted in the space of an hour with Ron Hall, Mark Carrier
and Bruce Hill.
But 1987 was the year of the replacement players and the second players' strike. The arguments were the same as
1982 but this time, the owners decided not to cancel games. After a one-week absence, the NFL resumed with
replacement teams whilst the regular players formed picket lines outside. Attendances fell dramatically and less than
5,000 watched the new Bucs win in Detroit in Week 3. Buc players came from training camp cuts and the former USFL
Bandits and posted a respectable 2-1 mark if also being known for an inept offense during those three weeks.
The regulars returned and after a heartbreaking loss to the division champion Bears (after leading 20-0), the Bucs sat at 4-3 and well placed for a play-off berth when they
led the Cardinals 28-3 in the fourth quarter of their game at Busch Stadium. One NFL-record comeback later and the 1987 season began to fall apart. Many players put the
blame on Perkins and his tyrannical training camp regime of three-a-day full kit practices that left players carrying injuries all year.
Vinny-time began in New Orleans and started with him fumbling his first two snaps leading to Saint touchdowns. But he rallied to throw for a record 369-yards and hope
was gained in the losing streak to end the season. That New Orleans encounter was also the one that had T Ron Heller fighting with Perkins in the locker room at half-time
and led to the most respected member of the offensive line being traded away for next to nothing at the end of the year.
1987 was a re-stocking year. The influx of new players helped repair some of the damage done by two years of Leeman Bennett, but the problems began once the team
assembled in training camp. Perkins had tried to install a tough new attitude in Tampa Bay to turn things around. He unfortunately went too far and his inflexibility to adapt
or change would ultimately be his and his team's undoing over the next few seasons.
TE Jerry Bell
LB Keith Browner
CB Jeremiah Castille
S Craig Curry
TE KD Dunn
G Sean Farrell (Trade - SEA)
RB Pat Franklin
WR Leonard Harris
WR Vince Heflin
DT David Logan (Retired)
NT Karl Morgan
DE Bob Nelson
G Greg Robinson
TE Jeff Spek
S Ivory Sully
WR David Williams
QB Steve Young (Trade - SF)
RB Cliff Austin (Trade - ATL)
OL Mark Cooper
G Conrad Goode
S Ray Isom
S Bobby Kemp (Waivers - CIN)
G/DE Tom McHale
DT Dan Sileo (Supplemental)
RB Jeff Smith (Trade - KC)
DT Mike Stensrud
WR Gene Taylor (Waivers - NE)
OL Dan Turk (Trade - PIT)
S Rick Woods (Trade - PIT)