Brian Leonard Can Catch

March 27th, 2014
Unsigned free agent RB Brian Leonard proved a very reliable pass target for the Bucs in 2013.

Unsigned free agent RB Brian Leonard proved a very reliable pass target in 2013

When Joe appeared with his good friend “The Big Dog,” Steve Duemig of WDAE-AM 620, for the weekly JoeBucsFan Hour yesterday, one caller was happy former Bucs offensive lineman Jeremy Zuttah was traded because said caller wanted a complete and total purge of Rutgers Men.

Rutgers Men equaled Schiano Men in this caller’s eyes, and said caller wants to completely and totally turn the page from the Greg Schiano Era.

Joe explained that Zuttah wasn’t the normal Schiano/Rutgers Man. He was drafted by Chucky and was rather good at times during in his Bucs days, including when as a rookie he filled in for Davin Joseph at right guard.

One Schiano/Rutgers Man whose future is unknown is running back Brian Leonard. The Rutgers Man is a free agent and has yet to sign with anyone.

The one thing that Leonard really brought to the table was his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. The stat nerds over at Pro Football Focus have documented who has the best drop rate of running backs and Leonard was among the best. Of the 30 passes targeted at Leonard that the stat geeks deemed catchable, he dropped but one pass.

Leonard’s rushing was, well, just OK, with a 3.4 yards per carry. Whether that was because of the shaky front line he played behind, only Leonard and Bucs coaches know.

But if Bucs coach Lovie Smith wants a dependable guy out of the backfield on passing downs, you can’t get much better than Leonard.

23 Responses to “Brian Leonard Can Catch”

  1. finishers Says:

    i was wondering if we would resign him.

  2. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “Rutgers Men equaled Schiano Men in this caller’s eyes…”

    That shows the level of intelligence (some) Bucs fans have. So what? Now. even if a Rutgers player is rated high in hte draft, we can’t take one because it will remind of Schiano???

    Schiano was not as bad as every claims. Yes, he made plenty of mistakes, but some of these fools act like he smacked their woman around.

  3. Mike Says:

    So I guess we should get rid of Wright as well? Smh

  4. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Would Leonard make a good TE? He catches, can block to some degree and is not a very good runner.

  5. phattitudes Says:

    With Martin, James, Rainey, and Demps, there is little room for a fifth running back. Leonard’s only fit with the Bucs would be as a H-Back, although a tight end type is probably more of what they are looking at. There have been hints of fascination with the NE two tight end offense. Myers and Wright might already be slated for those roles. I suspect that Leonard will be moving on given the offense we are building.

  6. ToesOnTheLine Says:


    Totally agree man! The crazy hate for Schiano who by most players accounts is a generally good dude who had good intentions is even nuttier when people want to chase productive guys off the team because they played at Rutgers. They’re in the NFL now so who cares where they played college ball as long as they can help a team win

  7. Buc1987 Says:

    The caller was a moron. You are right Bonzai…some fans.

  8. Mr. Patrick Says:

    Hard to speculate anything right now as none of us have seen this mysterious offensive play system

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Just how many backs can we keep?….we did get rid of Lorig…so, I guess we could keep Leonard…but we signed Rainey….and probably will keep Demps. I always liked Leonard….seemed like he gave very strong effort on every play.

  10. sunny Says:

    maybe move to FB?

  11. sunny Says:

    demps will be moving to WR

  12. Captain Stagger Says:

    Shows the quality of listeners to the big dog. The lack of general knowledge on and listening to that show boggle my mind.

    Per Leonard..where is the upside to using a roster spot? I think Martin and James are both suitable 3rd down backs, Rainey got resigned, and Semos offers something special….doubt we carry 5 backs.

  13. teacherman Says:

    Hes 31 or 32.

    He was a mercy signing by Schiano. Like Gibson the DT.

    Schiano may have been many things, but one thing that was noble about him was how loyal he was to his boys.

    But his loyalty cost him his job.

    He gave Leonard Johnson a starting job in his rookie year. Then, the starting nickle job in his second year.

    Every team went out after LJ. And beat him.

    Schianos loyalty blinded him.

    Brian Leonard will NOT be resigned.

  14. Bucfan#37 Says:

    I also liked Leonard’s effort on most of his plays. Whoever he plays for gets a good player.

  15. owlykat Says:

    We need to keep a genuine power back just to pick up short yardage on runs. That slot for a FB may allow the FSU FB on our roster to make the team, and he could be our power back, but it is foolish to just have one person study the new offense. Where will you be if he gets hurt? And isn’t it good to have competition in Preseason to motivate all players to play at a high level? Then we need to sign Leonard to be competition for the power back for short yardage, and at the same time I think we should try Leonard at TE too, not only for competition but where are we going to be if one of our starting TEs gets hurt that we counted on for a two TE Offense? I figure we will keep two passing TEs and one blocking TE. Even if Leonard does not make the team, you could bring him back if someone got hurt and plug him right in. He gives top effort, and I believe he makes the best third down back that we could use too. He excelled doing that last year as well, and was better blocking than Martin or James. This guy is a jack of all trades and we need him back.

  16. adamant Says:

    Not much room for Leonard on the roster right now. Doug Martin will likely be the 3rd down back most of the time. Mike James can be the short yardage/power back. Tough to convert to a new position at his age to TE, plus his size is lacking for that role. I don’t see him coming back to the Bucs.

  17. Larry Says:

    Do people understand the difference in re-signed and resigned? =)

  18. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Tampabaybucfan, I think it depends on the GM, but I believe it is usually 3-4.

    And I think Demps is an exemption unless he plays. Not certain though.

  19. MR.T Says:

    Another back nobody even talks about anymore is Michael Smith. If Tedford wants speed in space, he’s got it. The question is just how good of a runner is he? With basically zero playing time there’s nothing for them to go on for serious game film evaluation. I’ll be interested in watching to see what happens regarding him, even if no one else cares.

  20. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    owlykat Says
    We need to keep a genuine power back just to pick up short yardage on runs. That slot for a FB…

    Lovie has said James will not be used a a FB and that we won’t need a FB in the new system. Which, again, points to more of a passing offense. It’s all guess work right now because of smoke and mirrors leading up to the draft.

  21. sunny Says:

    Mr T, good point about smith

  22. HelmetHead Says:

    I agree with a lot of what has been said. Leonard is really good out of the backfield and he showed a lot of tenacity and durability while the rest of the running backs were out nursing some injury. Demps should be a wideout, not a running back, so let’s sign this guy up. I’m sure he would be cheap.

  23. BK Says:

    The reason Blount was let go by the Bucs is that he could not pass protect. I have seen a couple of interviews of him and he seems like a nice guy (on tv so take it as is) but not the play book geek sometimes needed in more complex offenses like NE.