Bucs Running Backs Rank Near The Bottom

May 31st, 2010

cadillac williams0531

Last week Joe broke down the Bucs running backs situation, noting that the Bucs were 25th in the NFL in rushing average.

Seems as though Joe is not the only one underwhelmed by the Bucs rushing attack. Add Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports to the list. In analyzing the rushing attacks of each NFL team, Cole has the Bucs ranked No. 26.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers:  A tip of the cap to Bucs leading rusher Cadillac Williams, who came back last season after suffering through injuries for two years. Still, it’s not like Williams was all that electric, averaging only 3.9 yards per carry. Likewise, backups Derrick Ward and Earnest Graham(notes) were just roster flotsam. The Bucs have a bunch of guys who are nice backups at this point. They need somebody who can be a starter. 

This is just what Joe was trying to say last week. The Bucs have depth at running back. Deep, that is, with average backs, most of which have already seen their best days in the NFL.

22 Responses to “Bucs Running Backs Rank Near The Bottom”

  1. Outside01 Says:

    Kareem Huggins this year. Demarcus Murray next year.

  2. thomas Says:

    I am noticing a pattern.

    The national people all tend to agree with those of us called haters – I believe that is 3-4 articles from guys like Schein, Cole, even Too Tall where the conclusion was “negative” or consistent with the “hate” some of you attach to anything negative.

    The fact is this team is bad – everywhere – and rookies don’t carry teams in the nfl. I believe Too Tall’s comments speak toward the better decision last being to keep Jags and Bates and fire Raheem. Yes those systems were not perfect and maybe the team played more comfortably in the old system but long term – it may have been better for the franchise to have stayed the course and not pulled the plug and gone backwards.

    Those moves were only to create scapegoats and save Dom and Rah’s jobs. This running game – like the entire club are at the bottom of the league!!

  3. Eric Says:

    The Dream accomplished a rarity last year. the team digressed in every statistical category.

    Rushing offense/rushing defense

    Passing offense/passing defense

    Offensive first downs/First downs allowed

    Time of Possession, etc. etc. etc.

    And, of course 3-13, down six wins from 08.

    Awesome Job! Can’t imagine why the National Media Isn’t impressed.

  4. Patrick Says:


    Get off of Kareem Huggins! Why are you so hyped up on some practice squad guy who hasn’t even played an NFL down yet?? Cause Raheem the Dream said “he was the driving force of our football team.” Just another example of Raheem sticking his foot in his own mouth again. All talk.


    I really don’t understand why you don’t like our running backs. Personally, I disagree with you completely on this topic.

    That ranking you got from Yahoo Sports really isn’t an accurate measure of our rushing attack at all. Once again, there were numerous and good reasons for our rushing attack not being what we wanted last year. Yes, trailing every minute was a reason. We were always having to pass the freaking ball! And when our offensive line is underperforming, how do you expect the RB’s to be as effective as we want them to be? Also, do you remember the 2 o- cordinators? Plus, look at the coaching staff we have. Not that good. Finally, just look at the team as a whole. We were 3-13 last year. The whole team was bad.

    As for Earnest Graham, I really don’t think anyone can say anything about him. The guy wasn’t given a chance at all last year! None.

    Joe, haven’t you also noticed that the Bucs constantly receive no love from anyone?? No one gives them any respect or attention. So I’m never surprised when I see the Bucs at the bottom of anything. Even our great players (Talib and Winslow) aren’t even noticed.

  5. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    Patrick – Our running backs are good players. And Joe hopes/prays somebody busts through and has a great year and, more important, Olson figures out how to get the most out of all three. But not much can be expected. Caddy’s an inspiration on borrowed time. And Ward and Graham are 30, and nobody’s going to confuse them with stud backs. It is what it is.

    Hope for the best, and surely there’s a RB in the draft for the Bucs next year.

  6. Joe Says:


    I really don’t understand why you don’t like our running backs.

    “Like” isn’t the apropos word. Joe likes Graham a lot. Joe also knows Father Time rests for very few. Joe also loves Cadillac. The guy has two surgically-repaired knees. Not good.

    You cite how the Bucs were behind so much. Yet garbage teams like the Jags, Bills and Chiefs were all in the top ten in average yards per carry.

    Few would argue Donald Penn, Jeff Faine and Davin Joseph are not average or better than average lineman. One could make an argument for Trueblood but he’s not awful. So that would stand to reason if the Bucs had any decent talent at running back they wouldn’t be in the bottom rungs of rushing.

    Joe, haven’t you also noticed that the Bucs constantly receive no love from anyone?? No one gives them any respect or attention.

    Respect is earned, not given. Hard to give respect to a team that played so awful last year as the Bucs did. The numbers don’t lie. To quote Tuna, you are what you are. You will notice few people give respect to the Rams, Lions or Redskins either. I’m sure you can do the math.

  7. Patrick Says:


    The Jags, Bills, and Chiefs actually decided to run the ball. Do you remember the wins we had against the Seahawks and the Saints this past season? We won those games because we decided to run the ball. I believe our rushing attack is the strength of our team and the coaching staff just isn’t using it anywhere near as much as they should.

    We need to get Graham the ball this year as I think he’s probably the back that has the most in him. I know Graham is old and all, but he really hasn’t been banged up that much throughout his career. Think about it. Throughout his 7 year career with the Bucs, Graham has actually been on the bench for most of those seasons. He only played during the 2007 season and for half of 2008. I think Graham can play for quite a few more years. Maybe until he’s 34 or 35. He may techically be 30, but his health is that of a 27 or 28 year old instead. He’s healthier than Caddy.

  8. Joe Says:


    The Jags, Bills, and Chiefs actually decided to run the ball.

    Not that much more. The Bills had 424 attempts, Chiefs 438 and Jags 447 to the Bucs 404.

    Let’s take the Jags, who had the most carries of the three teams you cited. They had 43 more rushing attempts than the Bucs. That’s less than three carries per game the Jags had more than the Bucs.

    BTW, the Chiefs and Bills also fired their offensive coordinators before the season started. So we can’t use that excuse for Williams/Graham/Ward/offensive line not getting the job done.

  9. Tom Says:

    Maybe if they didn’t give Derrick Ward over 100 carries and let his sub par 3.6 yard average bring down the rushing production the team average would have been higher. It’s not like forgotten man Earnest Graham’s career YPC is a respectable 4.1 or anything…

    But wait, hasn’t Joe been advocating to give Ward the ball more next year?

    Or is he just piggy backing off the high-level exec that is afraid to be proven wrong on the Ward signing…like every other FA signing the team made last year.

    I bet the scout who recommended Dexter Jackson

  10. Tom Says:

    …felt the same way.

  11. Eric Says:

    Coordinators are important, but the HC sets the tone for what type of team he wants.

    If they did make a committment to running, it might improve. They have another 300 yards in them if used right.

    But, another component is the passing game, which can lead to stacking the box if it sucks, especially if no deep threat emerges.

    Rah needs to make his mind up what he wants to do and stick to it and not just throw stuff up and see if it sticks. Of course that presumes he is capable.

  12. Joe Says:

    But wait, hasn’t Joe been advocating to give Ward the ball more next year?

    Or is he just piggy backing off the high-level exec that is afraid to be proven wrong on the Ward signing…like every other FA signing the team made last year.


    You have a good nose. Joe is not “advocating” more carries for Ward just because he chases Kardashians, nor is he “piggy-backing.” Joe does know a high-ranking official at One Buc Palace who was not happy that Ward wasn’t getting more touches.

    Is Ward the answer? Dunno.


    That’s a very, very good point. Defenses did not respect the Bucs passing game, and why would they? So they just stacked the box and dared the Bucs to throw.

  13. Outside01 Says:

    Hey Patrick, I’m allowed to root for an underdog RB from our practice squad (he actually is not on the PS anymore he finished the year on our 53 man active roster and remains part of our active roster) Why does it bother so much that I am rooting for one of our underdogs? Maybe you are the one that has a problem.

    Go Huggins!

    Go Bucs!

  14. BigMacAttack Says:

    The problem is not the personnel as much as the PLAY CALLING! Olson couldn’t fool anybody. Predictability is big problem for Olson. If Freeman can learn to read defenses, this may help and even solve the problem. If you know when to run/pass and where, with play action and misdirection you keep the opposing defense off balance. The Bucs rarely seemed to be able to do this last season. The offense most times was like reading a bad book. Every time they did something right and started moving the ball, Olson would call plays that made no sense. He was lost in space at least 85% of the time. He must be a Stoner or something.

  15. Patrick Says:


    I wrote “The Jags, Bills, and Chiefs actually decided to run the ball.

    You wrote: ” Not that much more. The Bills had 424 attempts, Chiefs 438, and Jags 447 to the Bucs 404.

    53 of those 404 carries we had were from our quarterbacks. Josh Johnson rushed for 23 carries and Josh Freeman had 30 carries. From our running backs, that’s only 351.

    Maurice Jones-Drew for the Jaguars rushed for 1,391 yards on 312 carries in 09. That’s almost more than the amount of carries Cadillac and Ward had combined (325).

  16. Eric S Says:

    I am fine with the ranking. The running attack was not good last year. The OL was so inconsistent with their run blocking. It did hurt that Faine missed a few games and was replaced by a horrible player. But some of the other OL seemed to have off years. I believe all the other starters were healthy the entire year, but their performance surely didn’t show on the field.

    I was disappointed that the Bucs did not address the RB position in the draft. The top 3 RBs are all old and on the downside of their careers. I would not have minded one of the 2 2nd rounders being used on a RB. Cadillac did an adequate job in 2009. Ward was a big disappointment. I would like Graham to get the ball more.

    You just know Patrick that people like myself would check the stats of these other teams. Jax wasn’t your best choice to make your point. Garrard ran the ball 77 times, so the RB/WR/TE carried the ball 370 times for them. Cassel/Thigpen for KC ran the ball 51 times. Buffalo had 48 carries from their QBs. And if TB gave the ball to Cadillac as many times as Jones Drew, his knee would have fallen off on the field. It is better to go to the 2 back system to keep each of them fresh.

    In some games, the Bucs had to throw more because they got behind by a lot. In other games they just couldn’t run on the opponent. I don’t think if they ran the ball more in those games, it would have made any difference.

  17. The Caddy Says:

    Average backs!

    What’s wrong with you? How many RB’s do you know that come back after 1 ACL surgery? Not to mention two (2)?

    Average my a@@….

  18. Joe Says:

    The Caddy:

    LOL Joe’s talking about production, not heart.

    Joe doesn’t know of many if not any running backs in the NFL that have a bigger heart than Cadillac.

  19. Outside01 Says:

    I gotta sise with Joe here. Some people can’t admit the truth about Caddie because he is such a good guy with an emotional story. He has such, everyone wants him to succeed.

    The truth is he is a 28 year old RB with two rebuilt knees. Odds are he gets injured again this year, and even if he doesn’t, he has averaged 3.9 yards per carry in his NFL carreer. That is horrible. Caddie, Ward, and Graham are all solid runners. They are all clones really. They are all equally great #2s, but none are even close to being great #1s.

    People give me shit about being excited about Huggins, but the truth is we need some young blood in the backfield. I know Huggins is likely nothing special, but dammit I need something to be excited about. Three mediocre #2 running backs that are all around 30 years old with no upside just doesn’t do it for me.

  20. Radio Mushmouth is a Pedophile is a Pedophile Says:

    RB’s are interchangeable nearly irrelevant pieces if you have the right offensive line. The good teams like the Saints have figured that out.

    You think Mike Bell and Pierre are any better than our RB’s ?? Hell no.

    It’s all about the o-line.

  21. The Caddy Says:

    Outside you keep writing like that and odds are that YOU’LL be the one getting injured! 🙁

  22. Outside01 Says:

    I can’t help it if you don’t like the truth.