Did Defenses Catch Up To The Run Game?December 4th, 2013
Yes, the Bucs’ rushing attack, dominant for three weeks, went nearly impotent in the past two games against Detroit and Carolina.
There was a lot of talk today at One Buc Palace about what might have gone wrong. Coaching was in the spotlight.
Donald Penn strongly implied that as much as the Bucs might have been manhandled they also might have been outcoached.
“When you run the ball well, people scheme to stop the run. It’s not an excuse,” Penn said. “We still have to do better and block better and make adjustments. But, you know, it seems like we haven’t been doing it. It’s something we’re still going to focus on.”
Penn went on to say “teams know what we want to do and teams are going to try to stop that.” He referenced that Detroit did an excellent job of scheming against the run, but the Bucs were able to counter with deep balls in the passing attack. Penn says that has to happen more. “We got weapons,” he said.
Mike Sullivan reminded media that after a tough first half in Carolina, the Bucs countered with long runs, “16 yards, nine yards, eight yards,” early in the second half. They were a result of how the Bucs adjusted, Sullivan said, but the consistency just hasn’t been there.
Sullivan said the Bucs must keep committing to the run and “be smart about the things we’re asking our guys to do and be able to adjust and unfortunately, with Carolina, that specific run that we found, we found a little bit too late.”
There’s rarely a perfect answer about why something goes wrong in the running game, but the Bucs just have too much talent on the offensive line, and a good fullback, to get stalled the way they did the past two weeks. Hopefully, the fix will be found. Mike Glennon shouldn’t be counted on to put the team on his back.