clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ron Wolf's Legacy

I was flipping through my old copy of The Packer Way and was reminded that Ron Wolf was the first GM for the Tampa Bay back in 1976 and 1977. He clashed with head coach John McKay which led to his firing before the 1978 season. He was replaced by John McKay's driver. Imagine how different it might have gone if Tampa Bay had kept Wolf?

When I left the Bucs in 1978, I figured I had botched my final shot at running a team. The next season, the Bucs made the NFC championship game. The franchise was only four years old; no team had ever reached the title contest faster. And they did it mostly with players I had obtained. So I knew my tenure in Tampa hadn't been a failure, even through it was perceived that way. I wondered if anyone would give me a chance to prove I could do better.

Although Tampa Bay advanced to the NFC championship game in 1979, they didn't win another playoff game until 1997. Wolf had as much to do with the only bright spot in the first 20 years of their franchise as anybody.

Wolf worked for the Raiders from 1966-1975, and again from 1978-1990. He spent the 1991 season with the Jets, then was the Packers' GM from 1992-2001. Obviously the Packers had an outstanding run during his tenure with the team, but Oakland too had some outstanding teams for a long period of time when he worked in their front office. Even the Jets had one of their rare playoff appearances in 1991, the one year he worked for them.

Even with the retirement of QB Brett Favre there are still three key members of the 2008 offense that were originally drafted by him; LT Chad Clifton, RT Mark Tauscher, and WR Donald Driver.