Dominik Not Down On Running Game

October 5th, 2010

Over at, the Bucs are being covered by local reporter Scott Purks, a man Joe has had a few chilled beverages with over the years.

Apparently, Purks chatted with Mark Dominik today and the Bucs general manager defended the Bucs’ rushing attack, which is not very good.

It’s too early to say the running game (ranked 20th overall) is below average, general manager Mark Dominik said. “It’s only been three games, and in the Pittsburgh game (a 38-13 loss), we got behind early, which hampered our running,” Dominik said.

Joe appreciates the optimism of the GM, but the Bucs’ running game has been ugly outside of the hope rookie LeGarrette Blount injected against the Steelers last week with his six carries.

Earnest Graham fumbled on the goal line on opening day. Cadillac Williams’ numbers are atrocious (2.5 yards per carry). And the Bucs, as Purks notes, are ranked 20th in the league in rushing. Take away Josh Freeman’s deft scrambles and there’s not much there.

Cincinnati’s run defense is ranked No. 15 after games against Baltimore, Carolina, New England and Cleveland, not exactly a shabby bunch of rushing attacks.

The Bengals will be an excellent test for the Bucs’ offensive line and what looks like a three-headed attack of Cadillac, Blount and a now healthy Kareem Huggins on Sunday.

Joe suspects Freeman and the defense will be who wins this game for the Bucs — if they win.

32 Responses to “Dominik Not Down On Running Game”

  1. Spirit of '76 Says:

    The running game has been ineffective. The Bengals are middle of the road in rushing defense and again will provide us a glimpse of what we are.

    But I have hope. the additions of Blount and Huggins to the backfield will provide some thunder and lightning. The mere thought of adding a Tight End that could be a nasty run blocker (Lorig) gives me chills. Adding a competent Benn at Z receiver with Stroughter in the slot and we have secondaries who would have to defend the pass and not load up the box. As the season gets later into the season, we will see progress on this new offense and I am looking forward to it.

  2. Larry Says:

    Bengals are a fast defense with (arguably) the best corner tandem in the league.

    They have big, slow backers that should be worked in space. Draws, tosses, swings, counters, screens, etc. Get them moving.

    Peyton Hillis got a cool hundy against them, I can’t see why a similar back in LGB can’t do the same.

  3. Larry Says:

    Kind of contradicted myself up there. I meant a fast defense outside of their backers. Safeties kind of blow though.

  4. eric Says:

    I suppose he is also not down on the 28th ranked run defense? Or the lack of pass rush? Or the 28th ranked run defense? Or the 23rd ranked passing offense? or the 26th ranked overall offense?

    Nah, no cause for concern at all. 2.5 yard rushing average is just awesome for our number one back.

    This house of cards ain’t gonna hold up.

  5. safety Says:

    Awesome analysis eric.

  6. Jerrjenn2 Says:

    He must be happy with our RB’s… We just passed on Lynch for a fourth!

  7. bucfanjeff Says:

    We’re not world beaters, that’s obvious, but it’s only been 3 games.

    As for Lynch, he’s one positive test from a year long ban. Sound familiar?

  8. JDouble Says:

    This regime has proven thru it’s actions that it will cut dead weight, no matter the tenure or contract. They will admit thier mistakes immediatly and make moves to fix them. They will start the best player on the roster even if it is a rookie. Their actions say they don’t mess around and get straight to the point.

    Actions speak louder than words, but I wish they’d do less sugar coating and just be direct when making statements. The only thing they should be saying about our run game is that it is not good enough and they will make the changes needed to get better. Period.

  9. oar Says:

    Well at least they pulled off a tie with B-Y-E this past weekend! I was somewhat worried! lol

  10. gitarlvr Says:

    I love the Cadillac Williams feel good story as much as the next guy. But I will reiterate what I said in previous running game story. Graham is better than Caddy. He should be the starter with blount and huggins supplementing him. Caddy needs to find a seat on the bench. I wasn’t sure until last game but watching Blount gash his way through the holes our line made was an epiphany. Its not the O-line guys. Blount made so much more out of what was there than Caddy is capable of at this point. We have yet to see what Kregg Lumpkin and Huggins can do in a regular season game. It doesn’t make me feel good to say this but Caddy may only be the 5th best running back on this team right now.

  11. Pete Dutcher Says:

    I agree with you, Joe, although I think (hope) the addition of Pressley (sp) and Blount work out for the better. Certainly, this week we won’t be expected to have an effective running game, so it’s possible if we stick in the new blood, we could see something actually work.

    And who knows? Maybe we’ll find a diamond in the running game. Blount looked good in his one game, at least I felt so. I’m not totally sold on him yet, but I am convinced he needs more touches. And at the very least, he cannot do worse than our current starters unless he end up a fumbling machine.

  12. Paul Says:

    I hope they coached up Blount during the by-week instead of putting him on vacation time and wasting the off week.

  13. Gatorbuc15 Says:

    One can only hope Paul.

  14. Jamie Says:

    I think this is all a bit of an over reaction. No one gets anything on the ground against the Steelers.

    The other backs that have played them have all been the best of the best (Chris Johnson, Micheal Turner, Ray Rice) and NONE of them had even 50 yards on the ground.

    Give Cadillac a break, people, like he’s said it’s only been three games.

  15. eric Says:

    So under the “only three games” theory i suppose the two wins are also meaningless?

  16. Patrick Says:


    I know this is a little off topic, but I’ve read today about some trades going on around the NFL. The Seahawks just got Marshawn Lynch and the Vikings are trying to bring back Moss from the Patriots.

    Just wondering, do you think there’s any trades we could make before the deadline that could improve this team? We could use a good defensive end.

  17. BamBamBuc Says:


    Yes, the two wins go under the “it’s only three games” theory. Just as we can’t say the team will finish the season with a 2.5 yard per carry average, we can’t say that the team will win 2/3 of the games. I’m not thinking we’ll win 10 or 11 of 16 games. It’s possible, but we only have a small sampling of what our team is like this year, and also only a small sampling of what our opponents will be like this year. I mean really, do you honestly think the Chiefs will go undefeated this year based on their 3-0 start? Of course not. So, it’s reasonable to assume that things will change as the season goes on. Yards per carry as well as win/loss records.

  18. Joe Says:


    The Bucs aren’t going to trade for older veterans and very few young decent players are on the trading block.

    In short, don’t hold your breath.

  19. jEsTer Says:

    I’m still hoping they make a trade for Logan Mankins.I just noticed that the Bengals kicker is Mike Nugent. What a mess that was!Really happy to see Bryant doing well, he is still clutch!Caddy still got some gas in the tank they just need to watch the miles they put on him,a big locomotive like Blount and a Jet plane like Huggins really should help!!!Planes,Trains and Automobiles!!!

  20. gitarlvr Says:


    Thats the thing tho dude, it hasnt been just three games!!! Caddy started all of last season and had a WHOPPING ONE 100 yard rushing performance. And ONLY 4 rushing TD’s. So far this year- 139 yards TOTAL for 3 games and ZERO rushing TD’s. So in the last 19 games Caddy has one 100 yard game and 4 rushing TD’s. In what bizarro universe are those even remotely acceptable stats for a starting running back? Oh by the way, Caddy has not had a single run of 40+ yards since his rookie season also. We all love Caddy as a person but anyone still supporting him as viable option to run the ball at all let alone be a starter is like a drunk in denial. The stats don’t lie.

  21. BamBamBuc Says:


    I get what you’re saying, but don’t forget the O-line has been pretty much the same for all 19 of those games. With the exception of an injury to Faine last year, it’s the same group the whole time. They now have Vincent, but Zuttah is still getting time. Derrick Ward had a decent game in a reserve role for the Texans this week, yet he was here for 16 games last year as well and didn’t do anything. When do we start saying the O-line isn’t doing their job?

    Caddy may not have had any runs over 40 yards since his rookie season, but he’s been injured for 2 full seasons with those injuries. When he comes back, the offense is horrible and we are behind in every game and passing to catch up. Almost everyone on offense was horrible last year for 16 games. Being in closer games (except Pittsburgh) this year, the team has more opportunity to run the ball. It hasn’t been effective yet. That’s not saying it won’t be, just that they haven’t got it going yet. Maybe working 3 backs in will jump start things, but Caddy might show some ability yet.

    We’ve got 13 more to go. If Caddy isn’t effective as a feature back or a rotational back, his contract is up at the end of the year. If he is effective, that’s a bonus. But I’m not sure any back will be effective until we get better blocking up front and start spreading the field with effective passing to push the safeties out of the box.

  22. gitarlvr Says:

    The O-line is not the problem. Errict Rhett posted back to back 1000+ yard seasons, with 7 and 11 TD’s respectively, for the bucs back in the day behind a worse O-line and with no passing game to speak of. You don’t need a world beating O-line to have a 100 yard game now and again. Its not just the stats either. Watch the way he runs closely next game. Before he was hurt his game was predicated on those crazy jump cuts he would make and pushing the pile when he was being gangtackled. He almost never does either of those things anymore because he knows his knees wont hold up. He gets the bare minimum out of every opportunity. It’s SO OBVIOUS at this point.

  23. BamBamBuc Says:

    Actually, I’ve watched Caddy make that exact “jump cut” you speak of this year. He’s also had some nice runs, maybe not 40+, but some solid 10-20 yard runs…. which were called back on penalties. I think 3 O-line penalties and 1 on K2 have eliminated 4 good Caddy runs. I’ll admit, even 40 more yards on 4 carries wouldn’t make him the top back in the league, but it would improve that YPC average, and why didn’t he get credit for those? Yep, the O-line (and K2, who we all know can’t block).

  24. FIRE GREG OLSON! Says:

    Hey BamBamBuc, are you dumb? If a run gets called back for holding, it doesn’t count…

  25. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Besides a couple of our legends, Caddy is one of my favorites Bucs of all time. His heart and determination are remarkable. That being said, it doesn’t look good for him lately. He just seems to lack explosion this year. I’m shocked by this because I thought he would be better than last year because he is almost 2 years removed from his last knee injury. It kind of seems as if he always runs right into the teeth of the defense. I don’t even recall a play this year where he “almost” busted a big run. I really really hope that it’s because he needs that change of pace back to mix things up and give him some rest. I want to see Huggins get on the damn field and use that speed of his and live up to the hype. As much as I hate to say it, what we are doing with an exclusive Cadillac backfield just aint working!

  26. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Only 2 more days before Tampa plays at Cincy. I can’t wait to see Blount play a whole game.

  27. What a bunch of... Says:

    I’m so tired of hearing how Caddie had nice runs BUT they were called back due to holding. All of those runs, with the exception of Trueblood lining up wrong, were only made because of a hold that gave Caddie extra time to get out of the backfield. The only way he can run the ball effectively is if someone holds.

    We’ll find out for sure this weekend. You can bet Caddie will give 110% and be his best self in Cincy. :p

  28. BamBamBuc Says:


    You’re right, it doesn’t count. And who’s fault is that? Caddy’s? No, he made the right cut, found the hole, ran for yardage. It was the O-line that got the play called back and made it not count. That’s the point. You can blame Caddy for having a low YPC average, but the O-line has killed it for him.

    What a bunch…. If the only way the O-line can open holes for RBs is to hold, then we have a SERIOUS problem with our O-line.

  29. Derf Says:

    How about trading Caddy for a 5th or 6th round pick ….anyone….anyone…..

  30. Derf Says:

    Sorry but it’s time to trade the Caddy for a Hummer and knock over some silly Tigers this weekend!

  31. McBuc Says:

    Derf, no one is going to give up a pick for a 30 year old running back with knee damage.

    BamBam, I usually agree with you, but sometimes the RB makes the line look bad as well. I know you are an advanced stats guy, but the play of everyone around them will hurt those stats as well.

    Joe has been saying it since January, and I have become a beleiver, we need a change at running back. The line will be fine, get Blount in there!

  32. McBuc Says:

    Apple..2 Days, you made me think the week was coming to an end…thanks allot!