Ward’s The Gem In The Offense

August 23rd, 2009

Derrick Ward brings Pro Bowl talent to the Bucs backfield

When was the last time the Bucs had a lightning quick, powerful, do-it-all running back in his prime?

Say, Warrick Dunn 2000? It’s been a long time — until now.

Joe is giddy that Derrick Ward looks like the same guy who averaged 5.6 yards a carry and caught 41 balls for the Giants last year. He’s already got 5+ yards a carry for the Bucs in preseason action and two quality games in the books. And at training camp, Joe could see Ward, who turns 29 next week, is carved out of stone.

Ward gushed over the Bucs rushing attack after the game Saturday on the Buccaneers Radio Network on 620 WDAE-AM. He talked about the Bucs depth, including fullback B.J. Askew (14 carries for 52 yards) shouldering the rushing load effectively late in the game.

As for the new zone blocking scheme, Ward said the offensive line is adjusting just fine. “I can see the cutback lanes,” he said.

Joe is juiced to watch Ward get 20+ carries a game and be a game-breaking target out of the backfield. As Bucs fans saw when Cadillac Williams (who couldn’t catch the ball like Ward) burst onto the scene, a dominant running back can cover for a number of ills. 

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