Stay with me here, and let’s see if you can find the pattern. The Tom Tom Club – Genius of Love, Tommy Tutone – Jenny/867-5309, Soft Cell – Tainted Love, Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice, and Eddy Grant – Electric Avenue. What’s the pattern? What do they all share in common? They are all one-hit-wonder acts that had huge hits with one song. Then just as quick as they appeared, they were gone and forgotten by all but the rare person that loves obscurity.
The music scene isn’t the only place you can find a one-hit-wonder; they can also be found on the football field. What follows are a few Bucs players that were much the same. These players had one, maybe two really good seasons at the most, then seemed to just fade away. Their gradual disappearance happened for a multitude of reasons, whether it was due to their play dropping off the map, or their careers cut short due to injury – The “flash in the pan” players, who just faded away after showing such promise and skill. You never know who will be unpredictable.
These players are in no certain order, but all were special for at least a season or two.
We all have heard the stories of the players that left here and have done well. Some making it to the Pro Bowl, some making the playoffs, and even some winning Super Bowls; this is the opposite side of the coin. These players showed promise and had success; it just didn’t last.
First out the gate.
Michael Clayton – A 6’2″, 202 lb Wide Receiver out of LSU. Drafted in the first round, 15th overall in 2004, Clayton would go on to make the All-Rookie Team for hauling in 80 receptions for over a thousand yards receiving(1193), and he scored seven touchdowns. He not only led all rookies in those statistics but also led the entire Buccaneers’ team. After a big splash in his rookie season, expectations were running high for his second year as a Buc. But it wasn’t meant to be. He never again was able to record more than 500 receiving yards in a season. He wasn’t able to find the end zone more than once in a season after that as well.
Broderick Thomas – The linebacker out of Nebraska that stood 6’4″ and tipped the scales at more than 250 lbs. Thomas was taken in the first round with the 6th overall pick in 1989, and it wasn’t until his 3rd season with the Bucs that he really exploded and showed why he was taken so high in the draft. He recorded 11 sacks and a combined 174 tackles, proving to be the high point of his career, however, the following year, his sacks would fall to just 5, and his tackles declined to just barely over 100. Over the next five years of his career with the Bucs, Lions, Vikings, and Cowboys, he never again had double-digit sacks or triple-digit tackles.
Errict Rhett – A 5’11” high-praised prospect running back out of the University of Florida. Rhett busted out of the gate with over 1,000 yards rushing and seven touchdowns his rookie year. He then followed that up with more than 1200 yards rushing and an outstanding 11 touchdowns in his second year. That seemed to be when the wheels started to come off the train. In five more seasons, split among Tampa, Baltimore, and Cleveland, he never again reached the thousand-yard mark, nor would he ever come close to approaching double-digit touchdowns again.
Hopefully, you were at least somewhat impressed by the numbers put up by Rhett.
Our final stop on this leg of the journey wasn’t quite as fortunate. Some of you that don’t care to ride that train probably know that for real comfort, you have to go with a Cadillac, although not every Cadillac runs the same.
Carnell “Cadillac” Williams – He was to be the answer at running back for the foreseeable future, and this was confirmed by his being taken 6th overall in the first round of the draft, out of the University of Auburn. He wasted no time in getting to work. He won Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2005, rushing for 1178 yards and finding the end zone 6 times in just 14 games; highlighted by a seam busting 71-yard run – A run that would prove to be the longest of his career. He averaged a career-best 4.1 yards per carry. Cadillac would never again reach 1,000 yards rushing in a season, although he did come close on two more occasions, reaching close to 800 yards in his Sophomore campaign, and just over 800 in 2009. In his next six seasons, he only scored another 15 touchdowns total, which went hand in hand with his mediocre yardage. Injuries definitely took their toll on Cadillac, but he did manage 4.1 yards per carry in his last season with the Rams, which bookended what turned out to be a disappointing career. Bucs fans thought they had themselves a bright star in the making, instead, he turned out to be a faint dwarf star, producing a light deceivingly brighter than expected as it would fade out all too fast.
There are more of course, but there’s a few to get it going. Go Bucs!!