Running Game Nonexistent

August 29th, 2010

Like every Bucs fan, Joe knows the Bucs absolutely have to be able to run the ball successfully to have a prayer for a decent season.

Young quarterback + young receivers + crappy running game = a long, ugly season.

Minus an 18-yard Josh Johnson scramble, the Bucs’ rushing attack was just 14 carries for 24 yards on Saturday night. The Bucs’ defensive mastermind/head coach was about as depressed as Joe.

The Jaguars allowed more than 600 rushing yards in their last four games of 2009.

“The only thing that was discouraging was the lack of ability to run the football in the first half with that first crew. And there’s really no excuse with who was in there,” Raheem Morris said. “You know, we missed Davin [Joseph] today with the hip flexor. He was out today. But we really gotta be able to  go in there and run the football against anybody.”

Joe was hoping to see Keydrick Vincent mashing the opposition. That wasn’t happening. And Jeff Faine appeared to be getting blown up too many times. And, of course, Jeremy Zuttah is no Davin Joseph. Zuttah filled in at right guard.

Joe’s not seeing how the Bucs just flick the running game switch in two weeks without a big-time back.

29 Responses to “Running Game Nonexistent”


    And, of course, Jeremy Zuttah is no Davin Joseph. Zuttah filled in at right tackle.


    I’m guessing you meant right guard??

  2. Larry Says:

    Watching Zutt against Pot Roast Knighton was ugly.

  3. YearOBucsfan Says:

    Not many holes in the line. Caddy didn’t have much of a chance. It looked similar to last year when the backs were hit in the backfield or at the line. The Jags looked to be set up on D to stop the run because they didn’t think Josh J. could beat them in the air. Freeman at QB should help that issue. Hopefully, they respect Freeman’s passing ability and can’t stack the line.

  4. Pruritis Ani Says:

    “The Bucs’ defensive mastermind/head coach” good one.. hahahahaha I’ve been trying to figure out what to call him for over a year now.

  5. topdoggie Says:

    Ward was looking good for a few runs.

  6. BamBamBuc Says:

    YeaOBucsfan… there are plenty of holes in the line… the opposing defense is finding them and filling them very easily. These guys are getting no drive off the ball, not pushing the D-line, not getting to the second level, and there is no depth behind them to step in and do any better.

  7. RastaMon Says:

    “Running Game Nonexistent”……which protends this years passing game…..
    even NFL football isn not that hard to comprehend…..but so so hard on fans

  8. JimBuc Says:

    The running game is more dependent on QB play than on the line play. With JJ at the helm (and same goes with Freeman until he proves himself), every team will do to the Bucs just what the Jags did last night, which is to jam “the box” so as to clog all the running lanes. It does not matter if you have an all Pro Bowl line, if you are always outnumbered and if the linebackers are running downhill without any fear, there is no way to run successfully in the NFL. The key to the Bucs running game is getting some good tape of their QB beating that kind of jam the box defense. Not sure if JJ is up to that. Freeman, maybe. Also, key ingredient to keep those linebackers off — Winslow — was missing most of the night.

  9. eric Says:

    Dang good analysis Mr. Jimbuc.

  10. eric Says:

    From what i saw vs. Detroit, Cleveland is not a world beater defensively. Good chance for the bucs to move the ball in the opener, I think.

    If they can pressure old man Jake, they got a good chance in that one.

  11. Javier n Wimauma Says:

    The Browns also score many more points than the Bucs do.

    Even last night they put up 24 in the first half.

    I tell you what, the Browns aren’t going to be push overs at all.

    I am starting to think, again, thatthe ONLY way Tampa wins any games this year, is by sheer luck of the draw. And by that I mean, the prefect storm of field position, mistakes, turnovers and penalties by the other team, as a gift to us. Then we may have a chance.

    Much like our ONLY touchdown last night. Thanks to the gift of an INT (nice splash play Ruud) and him running it back to the 20, gave our offense the only TD of the night. All they had to do was go 20 yds.

    The Mike Williams pass (Mo Will is a beast BTW)… thanks for the Jags defender falling down we got a big play.

    The only way for Tampa to win will be through sheer luck.

    Because the coaching isn’t doing a DAMN thing to help this team execute.

  12. JimBuc Says:

    I am not very confident that the Bucs can beat the Browns with JJ at the helm. I don’t think he converts the key third downs like Freeman probably would, so the Browns will stack the box against him, which will kill the running game and leave our D out there too long. Last year all over again. Hope I am wrong.

    I am excited to see how the D plays. I don’t know that they will be that much better against the run (not good) but the Jags game gives some hope that they might improve on the pass rush. Two interceptions last night, at least one of which was the result of pressure. If Allen Iverson (Stylze White) actually plays like he is in a contract year maybe we will have a little pass rush.

  13. Javier n Wimauma Says:

    Come on Jimbuc…. “I don’t think he converts the key third downs like Freeman probably would..”

    That was Josh Freeman’s signature move. Jeez!

    With our team being not ready for NFL competition at the extreme level it actually is, our coaching staff has basically failed to prepare our players to execute at an NFL level. Period.

    I am on board with the youth movement now (since i have no choice). I am on board with the fact that we have some, SOME, nice, young promising players… however, I see nothing that leads me to believe that the coaching staff is capable of turning these young taleneted players into any kind of cohesive chemistry. Not eneough coordination (offense and defense) to be able to win at the NFL level.

    It’s the coaching.

  14. Javier n Wimauma Says:

    As in, Freeman was king at NOT converting on 3rd down. look at his completion percentage.

    See Jim, your problem is you always look for excuses to protect your head coach Raheem. Always.

    So long as you can build a case of insulation for Raheem, another layer of excuses, the rationalization that Raheem stays another year stays in tact.

    The day you come out and speak the truth about Raheem Morris, although a nice guy you’d take a bullet for, not being acceptable to be your Buccaneer head coach, will be the day I finally show you an inkling of respect. And that day is coming. That day is coming.

  15. eric Says:

    No excuse at all for not beating Cleveland. They are in a re-building plan too, their coach is in his second year with them, new QB, new GM etc. Lots of young players like us.

    If Rah can coach em up they should win at home with either Freeman or Johnson at QB.

    I mean were talking about the freaking Browns in our home opener! Chalk up a W Rah.

  16. BamBamBuc Says:

    Javier, I don’t know what you’re talking about regarding Freeman not converting 3rd downs. Last year he was up and down, but he had several games completing 40+%, which is pretty good. He had one REALLY bad game against the #1 defense in the NFL (the Jets), where they didn’t complete any 3rd downs. Also, don’t forget that completion percentage for a QB doesn’t take into account WR drops, and we all know how well Clayton caught the ball last year.

    That said, I won’t make excuses. This is not 2009, it’s not his rookie year. The team needs to come out and play hard. Freeman has better targets in Williams and Stroughter than he had in Bryant/Clayton. The O-line is key, they have to pass protect (which they haven’t been stellar at by any means) and they need to punch holes in the D for the RBs (which they also haven’t been stellar at). Doesn’t matter if we run to pass or pass to run, what matters is the O-line handles the D, then we can set up whatever we choose any way we want.

    The players are there at the skill positions, I’m not sure about the line. As for coaching, I’m most concerned about play calls than what they do on the practice field. I’m not sure Olsen is finding ways to utilize the guys he has, he’s pushing forward with the plan whether it’s suited to the guys or not. I’m also not sold on the Tampa 2.1. The blitzing I’ve seen has been reckless and ineffective. They aren’t getting to the QB, they aren’t stopping the run (on run blitzes), they’re leaving the 2nd and 3rd levels exposed. I like the blitz idea, but it needs to be implemented better (and probably less often).

  17. eric Says:

    Excellent post Mr. BamBambucs. Good summary of our strengths and weaknesses.

    Personally, I am not completely sold on Freeman and the west coast offense. His attributes are getting the ball downfield in the vertical passing game. By contrast Johnson is an exact fit for west coast, which is why he ws drafted in the first place. I know Freeman is better and our guy, but not so sure our OC is the best system for him.

    Gonna be fun watching him sling it to Williams/Winslow when the bullets start to fly though. Hope his thumb is a-ok for week one.

  18. sensiblefan Says:


    Concerning the West Coast Offense, I’d say that it’s a good fit for the players we have at the skill positions. Freeman could be effective in any system. None of our receivers are blazing fast and our running game is inconsistent at best so I’d say that the short passing game is the most effective way to control the clock.

    Regarding this newest iteration of Tampa 2, I like the aggressiveness. I like multiple fronts, blitzes, and stunts. Until our young d-line develops into a more disruptive force on its own we have to “recklessly” get after the QB.

    Sure, it wasn’t overly effective against the Jags in terms of sacks and yardage given up but looking at the points allowed (13 over 3 games by the 1st team D) and big plays allowed (none that I saw) during the preseason, the defense has vastly improved over last year and should continue to improve as our young players amass more experience.

  19. JimBuc Says:

    RahDom — (aka Javier) — not even going to waste my time . . . weak.

  20. JimBuc Says:

    Did the Rams play the West Coast Offense under Martz and Linehan?

  21. BamBamBuc Says:

    Part of the problem with the new D and the blitzes so far is the players getting caught showing the blitz too early. They are coming up and showing blitz, then no one is dropping out when the ball is snapped. I understand showing blitz to get the QB to release the ball quickly, setting up your DBs for a pick 6, but you either have to show blitz and drop back, or blitz with guys not “showing”. If you always blitz the guys showing blitz, the offense picks it up, and you lose out, giving up first downs and maybe more. I saw multiple occasions where the Bucs showed blitz, the Jags paused to reassign protection before the snap, and then successfully picked it up when it was exactly what they saw. The team will have to learn how to disguise blitzes better in order to be successful.

    As for the offense, there are too many 5 and 7 step drops to be effective in the short passing game. They are allowing the pressure too much time to get in before getting the ball out. To be effective, they either need more shotgun sets (which detracts from a power run game) or more 3 step drops. West coast offense is reliant upon a quick release, and they are taking too long to get the ball out.

  22. BamBamBuc Says:


    I believe Olson’s experience in the “west coast” offense was in San Francisco, Detroit, and then under Gruden in Tampa. The offense in St. Louis was not “west coast”. It was a more vertical, down the field, type offense and he has said he wants to incorporate both together.

    Problem with the vertical game is protection. The QB simply needs more time for the WRs to run their routes, so the O-line must maintain blocks longer. That would require successful play-action or fantastic O-line play. I don’t know if this team can do either. Which gets us back to quick, west-coast style passes.

  23. eric Says:

    I also heard that about Olson’s offense being more vertical.

    But, I have also heard he is pretty much using Gruden’s style of West Coast Offense.

    Not expert enough to decipher it.

    Good point on the O-line having to hold em off longer for the vertical game though.

  24. sensiblefan Says:


    I blame the preseason for the recklessness of the design/execution of our blitzes.

    First, much like offenses are pretty vanilla in the preseason, defenses don’t show all the cards either. I’m sure the plan is to test our base blitzes in-game, make sure our gap fits are sound going full speed and trash them if they prove to be ineffective. Second, the recklessness could be a preemptive strike against Cleveland’s offensive staff. Make them believe we’ll come out super aggressive, they gameplan accordingly and we spend the whole game in Cover 2 and 3.

    Further, I’m sure Rah has audibles out of those blitzes into a zone blitz or perhaps a straight zone. Did you see the defense call any audibles? (I have no idea just thinking our loud). My point is, I’m taking everything I see (good and bad) with a grain of salt because it’s the preseason.

  25. JimBuc Says:

    In the same comments section we have a statement that JJ is more suited to be the starter because the Bucs offense is a “West Coast offense” AND we have a comment about too many 5 and 7 step drops, which is the antithesis of the West Coast offense. 🙂

    We’ve got it covered boys . . .

  26. BamBamBuc Says:

    sensiblefan: No, I didn’t see them audible out of any of the blitzes, which is why the didn’t tend to work. They’ll need to correct that before week 1 if that’s the plan.

    JimBuc: Exactly my point. If this is some sort of “hybrid” west coast offense with a vertical game, they’re either taking too long to get the ball out on the shorter “west coast” type passes, or they’re taking 5-7 step drops on the vertical game. Both are taking too long, the O-line is not protecting well. I think they should probably work more 3 step drop passes and shotgun formations to help protect the QB. That will, however, hurt the power run game as shotgun formation is not suited to power run well. The angles are different, counter plays are eliminated. You are left with sweeps and iso’s with no FB lead blocking (no one to take on the LB at the second level).

    Most of that could be fixed with improved O-line play. You can drop 5 to 7 steps with good protection. You can run an iso inside when the guard or center can chip off and move upfield.

  27. BamBamBuc Says:

    And, in no way would I ever say JJ is a better QB for this team than Freeman.

  28. Tampa2 Says:

    eric Says:

    August 29th, 2010 at 6:17 pm
    “No excuse at all for not beating Cleveland. They are in a re-building plan too, their coach is in his second year with them, new QB, new GM etc. Lots of young players like us.

    If Rah can coach em up they should win at home with either Freeman or Johnson at QB.”

    Mangini V Morris. Yes, we have some really good young players. But I give Cleveland the edge in that game because I’d bet that Cleveland’s young players are better developed & trained. Morris is no head coach and this game will show that! Cleveland by 3

  29. Rebecca Jill Says:

    Seeing that we know Cadillac Williams can find the holes and run, I’m going to chalk up “the crappy running game” to the offensive line. A lot of times that blocking is not just there. Hopefully, this year unlike last year, everyone is on the same page as to what blocking scheme they’re using.