Michael Bush To Team With Blount?February 23rd, 2012
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.