Derrick Ward’s Role Might Be Increased

November 5th, 2009

A lot of money spent, a lot of moves made, a few draft picks spent on building a run-first, throw-deep offense with Raheem the Dream so coveted.

Then in the first month of the season, (newer) offensive coordinator Greg Olson threw it out the window and reverted to Chucky’s playbook.

The biggest acquisition the Bucs made in the offseason was signing running back Derrick Ward. But he’s been nearly as invisible as Rachel Watson since Olson decided to revamp the offense midstream.

But Don Parr of believes with rookie quarterback Josh Freeman making his first start, the running game will be more of a priority and Ward will return to the mix.

The Buccaneers made the signing of RB Derrick Ward one of their top priorities in the offseason, and after scoring a four-year, $17 million contract, he was expected to handle the majority of the workload in the backfield for a team that figured to rely heavily on the running game. Through seven games, though, Ward has just 45 carries while Cadillac Williams has 76, and the Bucs are running the risk of wearing out Williams, who is not a durable player. What makes this situation more perplexing is that the Bucs’ coaching staff has been fairly consistent in saying it would like to get Ward more touches, yet he continues to get a relatively modest number of carries. The sixth-year veteran has yet to have more than 13 in a game. Observers say the team could make better use of its running game, and it finally might do so when rookie QB Josh Freeman takes over as the starter in Week Nine.

The only chace the Bucs have of beating the Packers is to pound the ball early and often on the ground.  There’s no question Ward should be a key element of this.

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