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Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Bucs ready to add Ring of Honor member

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have said they’ll make an announcement Wednesday about the next inductee to their Ring of Honor.

They won’t officially say who it is yet, but the St. Petersburg Times is reporting that it’s former tight end Jimmie Giles and they’re citing former quarterback Doug Williams as the source. I’ve got no problem with Giles going in as the third member of the Ring of Honor after Lee Roy Selmon and John McKay. Giles was a very good tight end. The Glazer family, which owns the team, works together to select members of the Ring of Honor and team co-chairman Bryan Glazer serves as the front man for those efforts. The Glazers are making a smart move by going by some degree of chronological order.

If he had skipped ahead to Derrick Brooks, guys like Giles, James Wilder, Paul Gruber and Hardy Nickerson would have to wait for years. Once Brooks goes in, it’s going to open the gates for the rest of the big names from Tampa Bay’s golden age -- Warren Sapp, John Lynch, Mike Alstott, Warrick Dunn, Tony Dungy, Jon Gruden and Ronde Barber. By the time all those guys get in, Josh Freeman, LeGarrette Blount and Mike Williams might be ready to follow.

The Bucs didn’t have a glorious history before Dungy came along, but it’s important to recognize guys like Giles now and Brooks and friends can wait a few years. The guy who may be waiting the longest is Doug Williams. You could make a case Williams should be the next guy going into the Ring of Honor, but that’s not likely to happen anytime soon.

After winning the battle of public opinion in his long-ago feud with former owner Hugh Culverhouse, Williams was back in the good graces of the franchise for a time. He worked in the team’s personnel department and was close with Gruden and former general manager Bruce Allen.

But Williams left due to a strained relationship with Mark Dominik after he became the general manager. Williams might not have the fans on his side this time. He’s taken public shots at the Bucs and Dominik, while the franchise has stayed quiet about Williams. Even while Williams still worked for the team, he created an awkward moment when the Bucs announced Selmon as the first member of the Ring of Honor. Williams spoke at that news conference and it was kind of bizarre. Instead of talking about Selmon, he spent almost all of his time talking about the 1979 team.

The franchise probably is going to stay quiet on Williams for a long time. He was an important part of the franchise’s early years, but he’s burned some bridges. Unless those are repaired, Williams probably won’t be going into the Ring of Honor.