The selection of Tampa Bay legendary running back James Wilder to the Bucs Ring of Honor has been long overdue. Despite not donning a Bucs uniform since 1989, Wilder still holds a dozen franchise records from over 30 years ago. For example, Wilder remains Tampa Bay’s all-time leading rusher with 5,957 yards – yet he’s not in the Bucs Ring of Honor.

Bucs owner/co-chairman Joel Glazer addressed Wilder’s candidacy for the Bucs Ring of Honor on Tuesday while speaking to the Tampa Bay media, but was non-committal.

“Yes, all of our great former players are considered,” Glazer. “And as you’ve seen we do one or two every year and there are a lot of worthy candidates. We’re not going to rule anyone out in the near or not to distant future.”

Aside from being the Bucs’ career rushing leader, Wilder has plenty of other Tampa Bay records.

Wilder’s Bucs Records

Most career rushing attempts by a running back: 1,575 – 1981-89
Most rushing yards by a running back in a single season: 1,544 – 1984
Most carries by a running back in a single season: 407 – 1984
Most rushing touchdowns in a season: 13 – 1984
Most TDs by a non-quarterback in a season: 13 – 1984 (tied by WR Mike Evans in 2020)
Most touchdowns in a two-year period: 23 – 1984-85
Most receptions by a running back in a single season: 85 – 1984
Most receiving yards by a running back in a single season: 675 – 1984
Most total offensive yards by a Buccaneer in a single season: 2,229 – 1984
Most career total offensive yards by a Buccaneer: 9,449 yards – 1981-89

Former Bucs RB James Wilder - Photo courtesy of the Buccaneers
Former Bucs RB James Wilder – Photo courtesy of the Buccaneers

Wilder also set a record for most receptions in a game with 13 against Minnesota on September 15, 1985. That receptions record was later tied by Earnest Graham in 2007.

Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans broke Wilder’s previous career receptions record (430) and now has 532 career catches. With 8,266 career receiving yards it may be another year or two before Evans breaks Wilder’s career total yards record of 9,449.

Pewter Report has heralded Wilder’s achievements over the years, and discussed on several occasions how Wilder’s induction into the Bucs Ring of Honor is long overdue. In fact, Pewter Report has led the campaign for Wilder’s induction. Here’s hoping that Glazer and the organization does the right thing and adds his name to the walls of Raymond James Stadium in the Bucs Ring of Honor.

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: sr@pewterreport.com
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