Running Backs Could Use A Veteran, Too

May 20th, 2012

Joe’s written about how the previous Bucs regime captained by rockstar general manager Mark Dominik and Raheem Morris liked to talk about how the team had enough veteran leadership in place because ex-players like Keith Millard, Eric Yarber and Alex Van Pelt were position coaches.

Joe never really bought that theory (a coach is not a teammate and never will be), and leadership seemed to be a key issue in the historic collapse of 2011, which led to the heinous 10-game losing streak the Bucs are riding.

So Joe is encouraged by the words of Dominik regarding the effect of Vincent Jackson, as quoted in the Tampa Bay Times today.

“It’s not just (making) big plays in practice,” general manager Mark Dominik said. “It’s his leadership and the style he practices and the way he really helps the younger players and continues to show the ropes and do everything the right way. Vincent Jackson has been a consummate professional from the first day we signed him.”

A “show-the-ropes” veteran for a young corps, what a beautiful thing.

Sure, high-energy new wide receivers coach P.J. Fleck was a 49ers’ receiver for a couple of seasons, but he can’t replicate the impact of an accomplished guy like Jackson sharing knowledge and setting an example for the Bucs’ young receivers. Goodness, ask Mike Williams about how much blocking icon Michael Clayton meant to him in 2010. Clayton was around busting his butt and mentoring all through the 2010 offseason, training camp and preseason.

So on that note, Joe wants to call on Dominik to give his young running backs a “show-the-ropes” veteran, too.

Joe thinks LeGarrette Blount, Michael Smith, Moissis Madu and Doug Martin would seriously benefit from it through the offseason and training camp. And keeping said veteran on the roster wouldn’t hurt either, especially for a team that wants to run the ball like the 1972 Dolphins.

Yeah, you can’t develop a young player with an old veteran taking his spot on the roster, but you also can’t duplicate the impact of a Ryan Grant-type or any accomplished veteran with a good work ethic. 

Earlier this week, Pat Kirwan, of CBS Sports and NFL Radio, called Grant a steal of a free-agent value. Joe can’t see any harm in the Bucs bringing him in. They can always cut him.

25 Responses to “Running Backs Could Use A Veteran, Too”

  1. Brad Says:

    I think linebackers and D line need a more veteran presence over running back. But a solid veteran anywhere could not hurt.

  2. Stevek Says:

    DE Andre Carter

  3. Andrew Says:

    it aint happening. the easiest position to transition from college to the pros is rb. the front office knows this and is predicting success from them. if your going to get a veteran at any position on our team it better be a linebaker or 2.

  4. Garv Says:

    I disagree Joe. Unless Schiano and Byner think they don’t already have the RB’s they need to succeed on this team, they don’t need another vet to “mentor” anyone. It’s not, IMO, a “mentoring” position.

  5. Macabee Says:

    I agree Andrew/Garv,

    There are better minds than me at OneBuc, but I really thought London Fletcher could have helped in that regard. The guy has seen every defense known to man, made at or near the top ten in tackles every year he has been in the league, is a vocal leader respected in every locker room he’s been in and played MLB, a true 3-down backer, considered the heartbeat of the defense.

    Too late to wonder what if, but every time the subject of locker room leadership comes up, I think about that guy!

  6. Eric Says:

    Actually a legit back up to five is a better play.

    Michael Clayton…………….please. Unless you wanna learn how to run your mouth and do nothing.

    All this three yards and a cloud of dust makes me nervous. We’re not in the Big Ten and our defense isn’t good enough to keep the score close.

    Reminds me of Wannstedt ball 2.0.

  7. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    All this “we are going to run the ball, then run the ball some more” is just posturing. The NFL of today is a passing league, and we did not bring Jackson in here, just so we could “run the ball”.

  8. eric Says:

    Why are we postering in may?

  9. BraveBuc Says:

    A vet fullback would be nice as that is also more of a need. Is there anyone on the market?

  10. BigMacAttack Says:

    I think the Bucs have a pretty good mix now of very talented players. Most now have at least a couple years under their belt which helps. I was bummed to read Brian Price still has a lot of pain in his hamstrings. I know he elected not to have another surgery and would just play through the pain, but it may prove to be difficult for him. I want to see Price succeed in the worst possible way, and hope that his injuries continue to heal. Maybe if he can shed some more weight it may help too. I expect to see Price get limited snaps which further increases the impact of losing Bowers. I personally feel if the Doctors told him another procedure would help that he should have had it done.

  11. Patrick Says:

    If we want a veteran RB, we should just sign Earnest Graham back.

    Why not?

  12. Have A Nice Day Says:

    @Patrick Great idea! He certainly knows how to work hard.

  13. Eric Says:

    The doctors recommended more surgery for Price?

  14. Bill Says:

    @Andrew – Easy to transition at running back still doesn’t mean a vet won’t make these guys better and be better depth. Dominik always had vet backs before. Surely Caddy and Graham helped Blount to his amazing 2010 season. WHy not give Doug Martin the same advantage?

  15. Andrew Says:

    @Bill

    That is a good point but i still think linebacker is more of a dire need than rb. compare the 2 positions depth wise. our cap space is slowly dwindling so we have to think of value here. which would u rather have a veteran linebacker or a veteran rb. plus quincy black only counts as half a linebacker hahaha. that is why i dont think we will add a rb. but i tell you what I would like to see either Graham or caddy back on the team they are a couple of my favorite players. I just dont think it is going to happen. with all that said im still thinking of Brian Price. God bless him.

  16. bucobruce Says:

    I would love caddy back.

  17. Derek Says:

    I wish we could bring back earnest graham but ive heard hes still not close to playing and he may never again

  18. buCncRaZy Says:

    I have been saying this forever all of these great late round and UN drafted RBs had A good veteran in there group!

  19. Patrick Says:

    Earnest Graham is probably the best 32 year old RB on the market right now. We’ve seen how awesome he is when healthy. He’s definitely great insurance. He’ll teach the young guys how to do it.

  20. BigMacAttack Says:

    Eric,
    Price said it was an option in the report on NFL.com, which is why I used the word ‘if”. You can read it and make your own determination, but it doesn’t sound good to me at this point in time, which is probably why they signed Amobi.

  21. BigMacAttack Says:

    Per Steve Wyche:

    Price plans to join his teammates at offseason workouts beginning Monday, though he won’t be at full strength. He’s had major hamstring problems caused by hip and pelvis disorders that were repaired surgically. The pain before his surgery last year was brutal and it’s still severe even on good days. Price said he contemplated having another procedure this offseason but opted against it. He said he knows he has to get on the field and be productive.

    “I don’t have the time for that,” Price said of another operation. “I’d rather go through pain.”

  22. BigMacAttack Says:

    Didn’t Joe link this report the other day???

  23. Stevek Says:

    We will pound the rock and throw deep.

  24. Joe Says:

    Patrick:

    If we want a veteran RB, we should just sign Earnest Graham back.

    Why not?

    Aside from the fact he can’t pass a physical?

    And aside from the fact he cannot stay healthy for a full season?

    The chances of Graham returning to the NFL from a blown Achilles are slim.

    Feel free to name a running back who was 32 who returned from a ruptured Achilles. Joe can’t think of one.

  25. FearTheFlag Says:

    Did everyone forget we hired Earnest Byner as our new RB coach? He played for 14 seasons! It doesn’t get much more veteran than that. I have no doubt he know how to teach these young backs how to be a pro. And he doesn’t take up a valuable roster spot!

 
 

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