BEST HAPPY RETURN

Warrick Dunn

The Bucs had already drafted likely future Hall of Famers Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp — two legends among college football fans in Florida — when the 1997 draft brought Florida State running back Warrick Dunn to town. A little guy (5-foot-9-inches, 180 pounds.) with a huge heart (his personal story and charity work are jaw-dropping), Dunn served five years with the Bucs before joining the Atlanta Falcons as a free agent in 2002. Bad timing, Warrick, as the Bucs won the Big One the following season. Conventional wisdom dictated that Dunn would never be a durable running back in the NFL, but a quick check of the stats find that he’s missed only 10 games in his 11 year career, and has racked up 2,256 carries for 9,461 yards, 43 touchdowns and a 4.2 yards-per-carry rushing average in his career. According to Wikipedia, “As of November 22, 2007, Dunn is one of only 3 running backs 5’11” and under to rush for 10,000 yards.” Provided he stays healthy, Dunn will make an excellent counterpunch to last year’s breakout back Ernest Graham. Even if the football doesn’t work out (though we think it will), Warrick Dunn is a great addition to the Tampa Bay community — and that counts for more than a few touchdowns.

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