No Rush From Either Side Of The BallDecember 22nd, 2008
Here’s a little NFL math for you: No running game + No pass rush = No chance.
The Bucs simply can’t run the ball, and they’ve run out of excuses. Even with the passing attack revived under Jeff Garcia in games against Carolina and San Diego, the Bucs can’t manage anything on the ground, other than their old QB running for his life.
And you thought Sunday’s return of Joey Galloway and several four-wide-receiver sets might open up the running game? Yeah, right.
And there’s almost no threat in the backfield. When the Bucs talk about “breaking one,” they’re referring to bones not long runs. The longest scamper by a Bucs running back in the last four games is only 12 yards. On Sunday, Cadillac Williams and Warrick Dunn were a combined 17 rushes for 47 yards.
Nobody has an answer, or even a theory, in the Bucs locker room, where Joe spent some time after the Chargers game.
“I know Earnest Graham is biting down real hard watching these games,” Antonio Bryant said. “I know it’s killing him to watch.”
Choosing a running back in the 2009 draft looks more and more like a priority for the Bucs. Same goes for a wide receiver, and a stud defensive lineman, maybe even a quarterback.
As for the pass rush, there’s not much to say. The Bucs don’t have the talent on the defensive line to generate one, and Monte Kiffin, for all his genius, couldn’t figure out a way to disrupt Phillip Rivers.
Rivers took one lousy coverage sack near midfield, which set up his punter nicely. Joe speculates Rivers was just surprised to see a red jersey within two feet of him.