Michael Bush To Team With Blount?

February 23rd, 2012
“Jimminy Christmas! Mike Bush? Man, that guy’s the reason I’m freakin’ driving the kids to school every damn Wednesday when I should be cutting up film with Griese. But I still love that guy Bush.”

Absolutely the Bucs need help — and bodies — in their offensive backfield.

Kregg Lumpkin is, well, Kregg Lumpkin. And Earnest Graham is a free agent coming off a major injury, plus he’s 32 years old. Moises Madu showed he has NFL quickness, but one would think the Bucs can’t count on his effectiveness in 2012.

Today, Tampa Tribune beat scribe eye-RAH! Kaufman floated a possibility of the Bucs looking to running back Michael Bush in free agency. Many will remember when the then Raiders rookie gutted and gashed the Bucs, with DeMarcus Russell at quarterback, to put the exclamation point on the famous December collapse of 2008 and send Chucky off to invent the Fired Football Coaches Association (or whatever he calls his little club).

Kaufman points out that Bush is a weapon out of the backfield.

Bush is a powerful runner who is also a stellar threat as a receiver, averaging 11.3 yards on his 37 receptions last season for the Raiders. In 2010, Bush averaged 10.8 yards per catch. Very few backs in the league can approach that kind of production as a target out of the backfield and Tampa Bay’s new coaching staff might envision Bush as a particularly effective weapon for Josh Freeman on third down.

Joe’s not going to quibble with Kaufman’s evaluation, but Joe must counter with the fact that LeGarrette Blount himself averaged 9.9 yards per pass catch last season on 15 receptions. And that was for an offensive coordinator that clearly didn’t know how to use him effectively and rarely called designed passing plays his way.

Sorry, but Joe’s not convinced Blount can’t catch two or three balls a game and maul guys in the second level on a screen pass. Joe’s of the mind that Blount is one of the least maximized weapons in the NFL.

While Bush would be a welcome presence to push Blount, back him up and serve as a punishing second threat, Joe would love to see the Bucs find a real speed threat out of the backfield, a scatback type, to make the offense more threatening.

35 Responses to “Michael Bush To Team With Blount?”

  1. HFXBUC Says:

    SPEED! SPEED! SPEED! we need SPEED not another thumper! We add speed to our current WR’s and RB’s and we become physical and explosive.

  2. Northend Says:

    pead or james in draft

  3. Bobby Says:

    I’m torn between Doug Martin & LaMichael James. I think Martin is a better all around back when it comes to blocking, receiving threat, etc. and he is a hard runner but when you watch highlights of LaMichael James there is no denying this kid is a young Sproles like threat. I think either one would be a great compliment to Blount without spending our first round pick on Richardson. Personally, I’d rather have either one of them than Bush.

  4. Bobby Says:

    By the way, the caption is hilarious! LOL!

  5. bucfanjeff Says:

    Coaching doesn’t all of a sudden make you smart. There is a reason Blount wasn’t used on passing downs. They need somebody to team with him. Hopefully, Lumpkin is cut – he can’t gain a yard against a good head wind.

  6. jLM Says:

    Lamar Miller don’t look so shabby either.

  7. Dave Says:

    Agree 100% Joe. They need to draft a Demps, Rainey, James type or find one in free agency. Bush is good, but to me he is not much different from what they have now

  8. jvato24 Says:

    I agree the Bucs need more explosion out of the backfield .. But they MUST have a physical RB in case Blount goes down.

    I dont believe LeMicheal James can carry the load.

    Doug Martin is a hell of a mix of speed and power and can Block for the QB. He is one of Mayocks favorites.

    Bush is overrated and almost Fat. Go get Tolbert as a bigger option and younger Earnest Graham, That opens the door to more RB options in the draft.

  9. Meh Says:

    Nobody is drafting Demps. He is skipping the NFL for the Olympics.

  10. Jimmy Says:

    Greg Olson was so out to lunch, he’d F’up a kitchen if he was trying to wash the dishes at Lee Roy Selmons. This is why I don’t get why people are having orgasms over Trent Richardson. The Bucs have a proven back. Blount just needs a coordinator who has a clue about building a gameplan.

    And no, building a gameplan does not mean Regis Benn on an end around every freaking week.

  11. BKNYfootballhead Says:

    I agree on Tolbert. If Dominik is still infatuated with big backs, then Tolbert is a much better option than Bush.
    Bush will probably command the highest FA RB money in the league b/c of tags.
    Tolbert is as well rounded as Bush, less injury prone, and apparently a very high character individual.
    He’s amazing in the red zone, too.

  12. bucfanjeff Says:

    @Jimmy – “The Bucs have a proven back.”

    Whom would that be? Blount? I’m not trying to bash you, but please tell me what he’s proven.

    The only thing I see is he’s dangerous at the 2nd level, but he has to get past the OL first – something he struggles with. Yes, some of that could be placed on Olsen for abandoning the run early. You have to take advantage of your opportunities and he struggled.

    I like Blount, but I often find myself asking more questions about him that I should.

  13. mbaby Says:

    @jlm I love miller in the second rd but if not maybe vick i the 4th. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6q-56NykUk

  14. Capt.Tim Says:

    Really, we need two RBs. We could use Bush as a feature back, if Blount gets dinged up, then draft a lil speed back, to add explosiveness.

    I’m not excited about Lumpy as our Back up RB. Are any of you?

    Do think Lorig played well at FB. Think Lorig and Blount are starters. Totally agree that Blount showed ability as a receiver. He struggled in pass coverage, but a training camp may help that- he’s never had one.

    After those 2- we got nothing. Need more than one to give Ernest Byner something ta work with!

  15. NickinMelbourne Says:

    Rather have Trent Richardson. All of this speculation is exactly what we got last year and then we got a kicker WOOOOHOOOO!! I will believe it when they sign them.

  16. mbaby Says:

    This is a better video of vick. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZoymtxb-20

  17. Patrick Says:

    Off topic, but who the hell names their kid “LaMichael”? Lol

  18. BamBamBuc Says:

    Bush or Tolbert AND LMJ or Rainey type would be best. Look at the Saints, they have Thomas and Ingram on base downs and Sproles for any situation. They even have Ivory for depth. That’s 4 backs that all touched the ball. We had Blount… Graham (injured often), Lumpkin (waste), Madu (unknown). Bush would be fine, but we still need more. I could see Blount/Bush/Madu/LMJ combo… or something to that affect.

  19. jvato24 Says:

    If the Bucs get Tolbert .. They can do whatever they want in the draft regarding RB. Really opens the door, compared to just drafting someone who had better be a complete back as they could be the #1 back in one bad play.

  20. deminion Says:

    Lamar miller is a stud

  21. gotbbucs Says:

    If our defense can start keeping games close at least, Blount is a 1300 yards a year for the next 5 years runner, at the very least. You average him out at 20 carries a game and he would be a freaking monster.

  22. Bobby Says:

    Blount & Martin = Receivers being a lot more open across the middle as LB’s have to respect play action.

  23. TheProsUseAdvoCare Says:

    “The only thing I see is he’s dangerous at the 2nd level, but he has to get past the OL first – something he struggles with”

    LMAO That would be the OLs, FB, and TEs fault, not Blounts. Can’t blame Blount for getting trapped in the backfield due to bad blocking.

  24. Macabee Says:

    I am not disparaging anybody’s choice for Trent Richardson as the Bucs pick at #5 in the 1st round. It is understandable. He is an excellent RB and some JBF posters are not alone in this opinion, many draft experts have the same opinion.

    I have a different opinion and it’s not because of his recent surgery, although that is a legitimate concern. It’s his risk/reward quotient. It is his running style and the transition of that power running style to the NFL, that makes him high risk. He has made a living in college gaining yards after contact – which means he runs over people more often than he runs around people. He is a likely candidate to join the top 4 RBs selected in last year’s draft (Ingram, Williams, LeShoure, and Murray), on IR sooner than later.

    This is a deep draft for RBs and I have no doubt that we will get a good one in the draft. Pead, Martin, or James would be very good choices, even Cyrus Gray or Ronnie Hillman are possible choices. While not an every down back, Chris Rainey has the speed, quickness, and pass-catching ability to potentially be another Percy Harvin.

    There are even a couple of late round picks worthy of notice. Our own Darrell Scott, USF, has excellent late round value. There is one kid, Bryce Brown out of Kansas State, by way of Tennessee that may even be a UFA, with loads of talent (kind of a nut case, but may be helped to grow up in the NFL). He was the #1 ranked RB recruit out of high school, ranked ahead of Trent Richardson in 2009.

    The least of my worries is getting a good RB in the draft. I’m more worried about our ability to attract and sign A-List players in FA!

  25. Dave Says:


    I forgot about Demps going the Olympic route.

    I still say they need a speedster, not a big bruiser, to complement Blount.

    It still amazes me how 1 year and Blount was the rage, now everyone wants to abandon him.

    I thought the consensus was the coaches sucked, Olsen as OC sucked, adn teh defense got them way behind way too early.

    If that is the case, then why are so many jumping off the Blount wagon? He is very young and I think can be a good RB out of the backfield. With the better coaching, hopefully, he becomes a better pass protector as well.

    MANY other holes to focus on besides RB

  26. OAR Says:

    Not that we dont need blocking TEs, but come on, Blount has a very hard time finding any holes the O-line creates! And no, Im not saying our O-line is great(certainly our strength) but Graham and even Madu were hitting the holes from same O-line. Plus, Blount fumbles like a Tiki!

  27. OAR Says:

    Not off the Blount wagon and agree with better coaching he may get better and fine tune some points of his running game(see above). I just don’t think he’s perfect, and that its ALL the O-lines fault, or hell, even Olsen’s!

  28. TheProsUseAdvoCare Says:

    Oar, Blount hit the holes when they were there. Over the season they came less and less. Every hole he went to there was a LB waiting for him because our guys couldn’t handle their blocks. It was the same last year except this year it was clear that 80% of the time Blount was out there we were running. So I put that on play calling, but that still doesn’t create holes. There were very few times where Blount missed the hole but there were many times there was no hole at all.

    Blount doesn’t fumble nearly as bad as Tiki or Peterson did. He’ll get it under control.

  29. raphael Says:

    miller is running low 4.3’s now so it should be interesting.

  30. OAR Says:

    Doesnt fumble as much as Tiki????? Really? Blount has fumbled 9 times in his first two years(27 games at that)! In Tiki’s first 28 games he fumbled 5 times. Tiki fumbled 9 times his first three years! Granted Tiki got worse before he got better. I just dont want Blounts signs of fumbling to turn into a Tiki situation!

  31. Bobby Says:

    I’m more concerned with Blount’s inability to grasp the playbook and execute blocks in third down situation than I am his fumbling. Fumbling can be corrected….stupid can’t.

  32. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    We need to work hard on the O Line, perhaps add a better player or two, and a tight end who can Block.
    Blount and Madu can be Thunder and Lightning for us, if we have a line that can actually open some holes for them.

  33. TheProsUseAdvoCare Says:

    @Bobby How many times did you see Blount miss a blocking assignment?

  34. BigMacAttack Says:

    Every position you can fill with a top quality free agent is one less Draft Pick you have to spend. The Bucs have many holes they need to fill before the Draft. If Bush happens to be one of them, go for it.

  35. mbaby Says:

    The Giants turn us down for a QB coach (Gilbride Jr). I swear we get turned down more than Big Ben