Why The Bucs Are Below Average At RB

July 23rd, 2010

Joe loves Cadillac Williams to death. If half the players in the NFL — much less one of Williams’  teammates at running back (ahem) — had the same heart and desire as Caddy, the NFL would truly be a wonder to behold.

So this is not a knock on Williams. Rather, it’s a source of concern for Joe.

Caddy is 28, in some circles that’s middle-aged for running backs. He’s walking on two man-reconstructed knees. Not a good thing. And he’s also a workhorse.

Per Vacation Man, of Stalinist BSPN — these days, that’s a friggin’ compliment to that children’s network — writes how no running back in the NFC South was on the field more than Cadillac Williams and that the Bucs have him penciled in as their No. 1 back this season.

Tampa Bay’s Cadillac Williams was on the field for almost 60 percent of Tampa Bay’s offensive plays and was the only division running back to take part in more than 50 percent of his team’s offensive plays. Not bad for a guy who has endured two major knee injuries in his career.

Let’s be real here: The Bucs were one of the worst teams in the league at running the ball last year — the numbers don’t lie. A year removed, the Bucs plan on using a guy who every time he runs around the right corner Joe holds his breath, not because he might bust a long gain but because he might bust a knee (again), and that he’s not exactly a spring chicken. This concerns Joe a great deal.

Don’t pin this on the offensive line either. If Donald Penn, Jeff Faine, Davin Joseph and Jeremy Trueblood were somehow cut, they’d be on another team before nightfall.

Next year in Joe’s eyes, Mark Dominik has two positions that need upgrading for the Bucs to jump to the next level: Defensive end and running back.

Joe can see Cadillac coming off the bench as an effective running back. Not as a No. 1 back. Not at his age with two rebuilt knees.

20 Responses to “Why The Bucs Are Below Average At RB”

  1. Not a Rocket Surgeon Says:

    Go. Kareem. Huggins.

    I absolutely have the same concerns expressed in this article.

    (You’d think I’d wrote it… lol)

  2. JimBuc Says:

    Big concern for the team, I agree.

    Caddy has been very unlucky. He was one dimensional coming out of college, but he was a special runner, fast and strong. I got to watch him at Lambeau field. The Bucs had the ball to start the 4th quarter. During the commercial break, the teams were standing in formation and Caddy was clapping and slapping his hands against the ground, as if he knew he had beaten the Packers D into submission. The Packer LBs were all standing with their hands on their knees. Two plays later he broke a big one on his way to 158.

  3. Not a Rocket Surgeon Says:

    Nice JB

    I want that guy, this season… is that too much too ask?

    (and for KH and DW to step up?)

    Ok, now I’m drinking koolaid.

  4. CalicoJack Says:

    Caddy was easily the most effective back on the team last year. That may be because they didn’t give the ball to Graham…

  5. eric Says:

    I think Joe is right about the needs for next season, except i would add O-line depth. However, it is based on the premise that the players drafted this year to address other needs actually pan out. That is an open question. It also requires that Freeman show the progression we all hope for.

    Furthering my concerns for the running game, aside from the personnel issues is:

    Can we run the ball if nobody respects our passing game? This is where i think the minus AB has far reaching ramifications and specifically spills over to the running game. Of course BM would have solved that problem and freed us up to address some of the needs Joe mentioned. Nobody will respect Reggie Brown or Clayton, IMO, so it will be up to Benn and Williams.

    Lambeau field Jimbuc? Awesome! 05 season? Always wanted to go to a game there.

  6. topdoggie Says:

    Caddy has a heart as big as Dunn did. I’m prayin he has a great year.
    Joe I dropped you an email through you hate mail. It has nothing to do with hate. I love this site.

  7. Joe Says:

    Joe I dropped you an email through you hate mail. It has nothing to do with hate.


    Love letters can be sent to Joe at Joe@JoeBucsFan.com 🙂

    Thanks for the kind words topdoggie.

  8. BamBamBuc Says:

    I agree with adding O-line depth as another major area of need. Specifically Tackle. With Trueblood on a RFA tender this year, he’ll be unrestricted next year. Penn, unless he signs an extension, will also be unrestricted. That could mean both tackle positions losing starters (unless they re-sign after the season). It could almost make the case that DE and OT are the two greatest areas of need, with RB at 3rd.

    Don’t forget though. Next year, most teams will have many players to sign or let become FAs, including the Bucs. It was looking like an average of about 17 per team, maybe more. There is the possibility of getting a DE or OT through FA and still getting the RB in the draft.

  9. Patrick Says:

    Tell me, why is running back such a concern?! I feel just fine about our running backs. Caddy had a good season last year considering the circumstances he was under (coming back from an injury). Now he’s had a full offseason where he’s been healthy. Derrick Ward just didn’t get the ball last year. We invested a lot of money in him and I believe he can still contribute unlike Clayton (he’s hopeless). And Earnest Graham…….don’t even get me started on him! Don’t bring up his age or any of that. Remember the Earnest Graham from 2007 and 2008???? After that, he’s had to play FULLBACK, when he obviously doesn’t even have the build for it, and it’s shortening his career. Remember, Earnest Graham hasn’t taken the hits that most 30 year old backs have and doesn’t have that much mileage. The guy was on the bench pretty much until 2007. Until that year, he really didn’t play at all. So really, I consider to be younger than 30.

    Don’t think that running backs can play good or great football past 30??? Look at Thomas Jones. He’s 31 and he rushed for 1,402 yards last year and 14 touchdowns. That’s also with a lot mileage and hits on him.


  10. Patrick Says:

    disregard the “and” at the end of my post

  11. Joe Says:


    Joe’s not a gambler. For every productive running back over 30, Joe can cite dozens of good backs who flamed out prior to 30. Yeah, Ricky Williams is over 30 as well. But Jones and Williams, those guys are the exception, not the rule.

    Then there’s the not so small issue of Caddy having two bad knees.

    Joe hopes Caddy can be productive next year as the No. 1 back. Joe’s not about to bet one red cent that he will given the aforementioned information.

  12. gotbbucs Says:

    there really is no future with any of the backs on the roster with the exception of huggins, and thats only because nobodies seen him play yet. we’ve got guys with alot of heart but that only gets a guy so far. they’ll be drafting a rb in this next draft

  13. gotbbucs Says:

    mark ingram, anybody?

  14. MichiganBucsFan Says:

    I still think the offensive line is partially to blame for the poor running stats Joe. I mean first of all, how could they not be? If they played perfect than you could stick me back there and get 5 yards a carry. I figure I’d last two plays before I was killed though.

    Anyway, the second reason is the zone blocking scheme. Not that it’s necessarily a bad scheme but it was certainly new to the offensive line. And sometimes new schemes take awhile to grasp. Or maybe our players really aren’t suited for that scheme? I don’t know enough about zone blocking to make any judgment call there, but just throwing it out as a possibility.

    The fact remains however I think they played poorly last year.

    BTW, does anyone know if we are still running the zone blocking scheme this season? I haven’t heard anything about that.

  15. gotbbucs Says:

    MichiganBucsFan, from everything I’ve read it sounds like they’re going to be running more power block schemes but they’re not going to completely abandon the zone blocking.

  16. RastaMon Says:

    What is this the first in a series…starting @ RB….
    the Bucs are not merely before average….the are bottom of the barrel
    It is very easy to tell…..Google… Bucs recent draft selection order

  17. BigMacAttack Says:

    I sure would like to see these guys run a few times and play a few downs before I throw in the towel. I don’t want to worry about next year until we get through this year. I hope Kareem makes the team, and if they cut Peanut, i won’t be upset. Hopefully Parker, Peanut and Huggins all make the team. I would prefer to see CCClayton and Sabbithia both get cut.

  18. King Says:

    “Don’t pin this on the offensive line either. If Donald Penn, Jeff Faine, Davin Joseph and Jeremy Trueblood were somehow cut, they’d be on another team before nightfall.”

    Quoted for truth!

    There were many things that went wrong with our run offense last year. From the coaching, the passing game, the inability to get an early lead, and to the defense unable to get off of the field. I guess coaching would be the number one cause of it all as we do have some offensive weaponry scattered though out the team. Hopefully this year with a more stable coaching situation going into this season we can see improvements across the board.

  19. The White Tiger Says:

    Could not agree more Joe – spot on. Caddy has the heart of Earl Campbell, but the Tyler Rose didn’t last very long and he had a few inches and about 30 pounds (?) pounds on Caddy. I think if we don’t sign Penn…Freeman is going to be battered this year. The lack of a viable running attack insures it.

  20. Pete Dutcher Says:

    “Next year in Joe’s eyes, Mark Dominik has two positions that need upgrading for the Bucs to jump to the next level: Defensive end and running back.”

    Assuming the picks from this year and last mostly work out, I agree. Even with servicable RBs, they are aging now.

    I think Peanut has more potential as a RB than people realize, but we’d still need someone else in the mix.

    I was hoping to get John Conner in the later rounds this year. I thought at FB he would have added a key element, perhaps even reminding us of the WD-40 days.

    As to DE, even if the DTs improve their play, and Kyle Morre does well, we’ll need the other side bolstered. It’s possible that with the imrpoved DT position, we’ll see more production from our existing ends…but I think we should address the DE position in the next draft anyway, to get some more youth in there…even if the player doesn’t start right away.