Running Backs “Will Need To Be Addressed”

August 16th, 2010
Joes good friend Justin Pawlowski is not overly enamoured with the Bucs rushing attack.

Joe's good friend Justin Pawlowski is not overly enamoured with the Bucs' rushing attack.

While a lot of Bucs fans are jumping up and down with excitement over running back Kareem Huggins more than Joe would be if a scantily-clad Rachel Watson walked into his bedroom unannounced, Joe is of a different opinion.

If Kareem Huggins is the star of the Bucs running backs that doesn’t say much for the running backs (no offense to good guy Huggins whatsoever), which Joe has been harping on all offseason. Sorry, the numbers don’t lie.

Seems as though Joe’s good friend Justin Pawlowski agrees. The “Commissioner” for all things football on WDAE-AM 620, who also hosts “The Blitz” on Saturday afternoons, wrote in his breakdown of the Bucs’ loss to Miami Saturday that he too is underwhelmed with the Bucs rushing attack.

The Running-back position will need to be addressed next off-season. Although the story of Carnell Williams’ comeback is remarkable, he is only the best of a very average group of running-backs on the Bucs roster. Derrick Ward was a monumental disappointment as he was all last season. I’m also going to temper my enthusiasm on Kareem Huggins until we see him running with the starters. At that point, we’ll have a much better understanding as to whether Huggins is a true contributor or just a nice story.

A lot of fans believe the Bucs rushing attack stunk last year because of bad offensive line play. Joe finds it very difficult to believe that Jeremy Trueblood, Davin Joseph, Jeff Faine and Donald Penn all forgot how to run block at the same time.

If any of those four offensive linemen were cut this morning, they’d be on another NFL roster before midnight.

25 Responses to “Running Backs “Will Need To Be Addressed””

  1. Snook Says:

    If Marques Colston is the star of New Orleans’ WRs, that doesn’t say much for the Saints receivers…

    Couldn’t care less that 31 other teams passed on Huggins. Those 31 same teams also passed on Earnest Graham. And #34 is a solid Buccaneer.

    Huggins has the desire to play. Ward clearly does not.

    If we have to roll with Cadillac and Huggins this season, personally, I’m not worried. Both of those guys are HUNGRY to make a statement in the NFL.

  2. McBuc Says:

    I have to agree with Snook. We should at least give him a run with the first string in a preseason game to see what happens. People say he can not carry the load for a whole game, why do they this? Is it his size or something else?

  3. CharlieB Says:;_ylt=AqjlugOLXxETaqIgljhmMWJDubYF?slug=ap-saints-runningbacks

    lets send ward to NO

  4. jfgobucs Says:

    “Sears” was the Bucs Best run Blocker…He was missed…and It showed

  5. Bucfanjeff Says:

    We’ve been begging for Huggins to get a shot. If ANY Bucs FO people, please, give him a shot with the 1’s and let’s see what he can do. Ward has no sense of urgency or attitude necessary to make a difference. He collected his big pay day and is coasting.

  6. Bucfanjeff Says:

    ** ANY Bucs FO people read this** I meant to say.

  7. Gary Says:

    I forgot to get the memo that Caddy became average. I never said he was elite, but has to be above average right? He always runs hard and falls forward.

    But I agree mostly with this post. Lets wait and see what Huggins does on a dry field with a starting D against him, but so far so very very good!

  8. booty traps Says:

    Wasnt out O on a zone block scheme last year for like 10 games. Didnt we then change back to a power run O? Our O is not built for ZB we are more of a power run, down hill offense.

    How were we supposed to get any type of consistancy when we werent any good when we started and then tried to adjust again at the end of the season…BTW did you notice the time #5 was getting in the pocket compared to last year. Yeah, im excited!! I may like Olsen’s offense after all.

    Just from looking at our O in one pre-season game i can tell we are much better and back to our power run game. Which i like. Caddy was running with much purpose against the fish and i for one liked what i saw in him.

    Huggy bear can be the next mr. august i guess…

    GO BUCS!!

  9. TrueBlue Says:

    Why do people say Huggins is little? He’s not, he’s just short.

    Putting up numbers to compare from last year means very little when you consider it was a failed experiment. If the Bucs were running the same scheme this year it might hold water, but their not. The line is back to familiar territory and have had an entire off season to practice it.

    Also consider that Freeman is just oozing leadership and confidence. That too will affect over all offensive play. Throw in an improved defense after an off-season of Rah’s personal attention and the offense will likely get more attempts to push the ball. All good.

    Whether it will be successful only time will tell, but last year has little to do with it at this point. The Bucs are a better team this year. Rookie mistakes will likely hold us back somewhat, but I think we will see a fun team to watch this year.

  10. eric Says:

    I think we have the players to have an improved runing game if:

    1. Our coaching staff sticks with it during games so caddy and co. can get in the groove.

    2. The defense plays well enough to keep the score close so the staff can exercise the aforementioned patience.

    That being said, I doubt anybody in our Division would trade their backs for ours.

    A good blocking tight end should also be on the Christmas list.

  11. Capt.Tim Says:

    Huggins is small. I agree that our backs need an upgrade. I think Caddy will be an elite back this year. No doubts-bout that ! The concern is, of course, injury! Huggins looks to be a great “change of pace” back! I hope I’m wrong, but looks to me like Ward got the Big check, and now is just mailing it in on the field. No worries, there will be some talented Backs getting cut during the next three weeks. We can find a good backup for Caddy!

  12. Mr. Lucky Says:

    My thoughts are on parr with Eric on this, it all comes down to the coaches and the plays they call. The Bucs need to make a committment to run the darn ball and stick to it. Last season the Bucs got behind so often and so early that they wanted their QB’s to throw the ball 40+ times.

    Caddy – I won’t question his heart of drive. Will he return to his rookie year form? I’ve been waiting for Clayton to do that….

    Ward – he looked terrible. But wait isn’t this a preseason game? It doesn’t really matter right?

    Huggin looked good and I thought he looked like a reincaration of Warren

    Unfortunately unless you cut Ward you can’t bring anyone into camp – too many backs and too much on the line ($)

  13. FIRE GREG OLSON! Says:

    Anyone who thinks Cadillac is an above average RB has no clue what they’re talking about….

  14. Rican Says:

    Olsen you have no clue what your talking about.
    Also, there are many many quality and even star players in the NFL that were passed on by teams before a team plucked em up only for them to realize their potential.

  15. eric Says:

    One caveat to this Huggins mania.

    I caught a couple of preseason games over the weekend, and saw a couple of “Huggins type” performances by unknowns in the second half. Some dude from cinci was tearing off long runs against Denver.

    Might want to exercise some caution before replacing Ward with Huggins.

    BTW Tebow sucked!

  16. Capt.Tim Says:

    FGO- you remain clueless.

  17. MVPFreeman Says:

    Seeing Caddy run in the Miami game brought back some memories from his rookie season. Obviosly not AS good, but a step in the right direction. I have a hunch he is going to suprise a lot of people this season what with the full off-season to train on playing football as opposed to rehabbing his knee.

    We will find out in about a month or so.

  18. MVPFreeman Says:

    …..Huggins looked pretty good too, hell, even Carlos Brown looked better than Ward.

  19. MVPFreeman Says:


    That is a good point, I would like to see Huggins run with the starters for one of these four pre-season games. However, don’t forget that Ward was getting reps with the SAME team Huggins was getting reps with so IMO, based from what I saw saturday, I would have to say Huggins is an upgrade over Ward.

  20. Patrick Says:

    OK, seriously will you guys calm the f*** down about the running backs. Yes, Ward had a bad game on Saturday night, but it’s a freaking pre-season game!!! And some of you guys already want him cut or traded?? Not defending his performance or anything, but seriously, calm down. And yes, Kareem Huggins did play well, but still quit getting so DAMN excited about him. It’s getting kind of annoying. The guy really hasn’t done anything yet and it’s pretty laughable actually that we’re this desperate right now. No offense to Kareem. I want to see him rise.

    Caddy is going to be fine. He’s a very good running back when he’s healthy.

    Earnest Graham is our running back. If Raheem moved him back to running back today, we would be in good hands!! But no, he’s stuck at fullback forever. Still, he can run and is another option that we can turn too. He’s a 1,000 yard caliber rusher and can break off long runs and touchdowns.

    As for Ward, he’s been disappointing, but still it’s crazy to throw him under the bus right after a damn preseason game. Let’s give him some time to get it together and we can start the bashing if he doesn’t produce.

    I’m really not worried about the running back position and don’t see it as a pressing need. We have good talent and depth at this area of the offense, unlike other positions on the team.

  21. Patrick Says:

    Correction: Earnest Graham is our *best* running back.

  22. TrueBlue Says:

    I don’t think we do need to commit to the running the ball so much as we need to commit to Freeman running the offense on the field. The faster he develops the skills to look over the field and sense (not think) how he wants to guide the play, the sooner the Bucs are going beat some people no one expects us to beat. The plan needs to come from the coaching staff, but Freeman needs to know it’s his to implement and then to see his way to the best execution.

    Freeman has the physical assets he needs, but it’s his innate leadership skills and field recognition that will make him great. I think the coaching staff sees it. I think Rah saw it back at K State and is why he pushed to draft him. Coaches need to teach him in class, and let him play on the field.

  23. MVPFreeman Says:


    Its more than one pre-season, game. All of last year this guy (Ward) stunck up the joint, the other backs were not much better but then, when off-season rolls around he wants to go sit on his ass with the Kardashian twin instead of busting his ass at one Buc (like caddy has been).

    Obviously we wont be cutting Ward before the final pre-season game, that would be sensless. People are only expressing their frusturation.

  24. Rican Says:

    Eric good point about KH running with back ups. I would love to see him play with the starters as well to see exactly what he’s made of. However they say he runs the same way when given the chance with the starters in camp. Patrick preseason or not Ward simply gave up on runs and didn’t even try for crying out loud.

  25. McBuc Says:

    Patrick…Also, Do not forget Garhm was in the same boat as Huggins…undrafted, practice squad, fans raved about him, and all he needed was a chance. Gryden’s dad convinced him if I remember right.