“You Go With Your Ball Security Running Back”

December 21st, 2010

Joe remains ill that the Bucs had LeGarrette Blount on the sideline when the they needed a first down to all but ice the game and kick a short field goal.

Tied at 17, the Bucs had first down on the Detroit 15. Then two handoffs to Cadillac Williams and a quarterback keeper by Josh Freeman led to no first down and the Bucs kicked a field goal before Detroit closed out the game.

The Lions must have been celebrating that the guy they couldn’t stop all day was holding his helmet.

Speaking on The Raheem Morris Show yesterday on WDAE-AM 620, the head coach said fumbling issues was the reason Blount was off the field despite his 110 yards on 15 carries. Joe thinks that’s ridiculous and will explain below.

Here are Morris’ comments:

“The reason LeGarrette Blount wasn’t in the game at that point is at that time in the game you’re in 4-minute mode, a kind of a deal where you go with your ball security running back. Right now, Legarrette Blount has a couple more fumbles than any other running back that carries a ball a lot of the time. That’s a part of being a young player. You gotta know when to protect the ball. You gotta know how to run it when you protect the ball. And we had a lot of belief and a lot of faith in Cadillac right there to be effective. And also leads [the Lions] to believe we’re going to pass, so you get a better shell and a better look at what you run at. …I certainly wanted to go with the ball security running back.”

Unless NFL.com is wrong, Blount has two fumbles this season on 164 carries. Cadillac Williams has one fumble in 120 carries. Earnest Graham has one fumble in 20 carries.

Joe just doesn’t see Blount as such a fumbling risk that the Bucs had to sit him down in favor of Cadillac, who has been a poor runner this season on first and second down. The upside of Blount outweighed the other options.

Despite his consistent production when not in short yardage, for some reason the Bucs don’t have confidence in Blount. His 15 carries Sunday are very telling.

Update 12:12 p.m.: One of Joe’s loyal Facebook friends has documented Blount’s fumbles and it seems as if he should have at least three or four officially, as opposed to the two on NFL.com. Blount’s fumble cost the Bucs a touchdown in Arizona, and he fumbled in Washington and Atlanta. Blount and Freeman had a botched exchange at home against Carolina. …Still Joe turns to Blount on the drive above.

45 Responses to ““You Go With Your Ball Security Running Back””

  1. d-money Says:

    Let me preface this by saying i’m a Raheem supporter and i mean this with all due respect but….

    This is the dumbest thing i’ve heard since Gruden saying Galloway and Bryant couldn’t be on the field at the same time because they play the same position.

    One fumble Blount lost he was almost knocked unconcious and the other was just a great play but Douche’angelo Hall.

    Earnest Grahm is the one who fumbled for no reason on the one yard line.

    Way to build up the rookies confidence Raheem.

  2. buc40 Says:

    Great call d-money…..

  3. mikeck Says:

    Slightly off topic but I am glad to see that they are at least entertaining QB sneaks. On the first one, they got about 2 yards.

    Anyway, Blount has had alot of trouble in short yardage becuase (as you can see on every play) he doesnt accelerate out of the backfiled…he stands there and waits for a hole. Caddy is a good short yardage guy now that he is getting less wear on teh body. I dont disagree with the personnel decision personally.

  4. Pete 422 Says:

    I completely agree with d-money, this was very “Chucky like.”

    1 & 10 at the 15, run Blount, make the Lions use time outs and the way Blount was running on that drive, he very well may have gotten a first down. Then it is simple, run the clock, kick the FG.

  5. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    What a LAME excuse from Raheem! Blount KEPT us in this game, and had the hot hand.
    It was a terrible coaching decision to take out our hottest and best back, with the game on the line!
    W/o Blount back there to worry about, it just made Detroit’s job easier.
    I was at Tampa Stadium, and all the fans were questioning WTF Blount was.

  6. Dave Says:

    I can see the logic: Blount is a rookie who has just lost 2 fumbles recently, one late in the game.
    With Caddy in there Freeman also has more options of calling an audible to just about any pass play. I think that might be a big part of it as well.

    Don’t get me wrong, Blount is on my Fantasy team and has me in the Title game this week (along with P. Manning, Ray Rice, and M. Turner). I want to see him in there as much as possible.
    I can just see the logic.

    That said, I see Blount being THE MAN next year in the 4th and at goal line. Hopefully Huggins can be healthy and be the change of pace back they need. At this point Caddy provides blocking and leadership, but the burst is gone forever unfortunately.

  7. BigMacAttack Says:

    I didn’t question Morris’ decision at that point. He played the odds. Blount has fumbled more than twice. In ATL when he was stuffed at the 1 yd line, he fumbled the ball. It wasn’t ruled, because ATL stopped him and got the ball back. He clearly fumbled the ball because he never touched the ground. I think he has had a few close calls that could have been fumbles. The bottom line is the defense just didn’t hold up in the end. I don’t necessarily think he used the wrong running back Sunday, but the run plays they called may not have been the best or didn’t net much yardage. Blount needs to learn how and when to run with 2 hands on the ball. He will, it takes time, and Blount like the rest of skill guys has a great future ahead. i still say the refs took this one away, and lay blame where it truly belongs, not with Raheem. He is responsible, but he coached a good game. Just came up a little short. I totally support our coach and team 110%. Too many injuries on defense finally caught up with the Bucs.

  8. Buc You Says:

    That said, Rah is a freaking moron. Listen to the uneducated idiot blabber away aimlessly.

    Thanks Joe for the excerpt quote. It continues to prove just how much of an imbecile he is.

  9. BigMacAttack Says:

    Apple Roof Cleaning, you’re an idiot that spends too much time talking when you should be listening. Too bad you didn’t listen to Steve White the first time. Maybe you should move to New Orleans.

  10. BigMacAttack Says:

    Every time the Bucs lose or something goes wrong, all the Clueless Crowd feel the need to Bash Raheem. Like any of you big 3(a, bu, & t) could do a better job. You guys truly are Galactically Stupid!!!

  11. Buc You Says:

    Whoa macy the racist.

    Apple Roof Cleaner is a true Buc fan. He is a die hard. You call him an idiot because he questioned Raheems stupid ass call to hold back a running back who gains 5 yards per carry??? Raheem is killing his confidence in Blount.

    Raheem is awful.

    Apple was just complaining about his sorry ass move and then explanation, yet you call him an idiot because he doesn’t agree with ya boyyyyeeeee.

  12. HIRE GREG OLSON! Says:

    fumbles and fumbles lost are two different things Joe…

  13. Steve From Oregon Says:

    Man this last one is hard for me to swallow, unlike many fans and critics, I had much higher expectations for the team then most…..agh….so angry!!!!

  14. d-money Says:


    I’m not the “clueless crowd” , I rarely bash Raheem and I in no way think I know more about football than him but this was just a stupid comment.

    Do you honestly think that Cadillac and Graham were the better option over a guy who the Lions hadn’t stopped all day long?

    I just doesn’t make sense. Its one thing to say we wanted to go with such and such package because of the defense the Lions were playing or we thought we’d have success because of blah blah blah But to say you put the hottest hand on the sidelines because he has had two fumbles is crazy. Two fumbles is not a pattern especially when you consider the situations in which the fumbles were lost.

    If he truly was worried that Blount was going to fumble then that sounds like he was playing to not lose instead of playing to win and that rarely works out.

  15. Posey99 Says:

    I agree poor call by raheem. Blount is the brusier back he belongs in the game. i see raheems theory with caddy being in the game to be deceptive, but the fact is it doesnt matter blount can run it even if they stack the box, caddy cant run it if everyone was playing safety. The only thing i do question is joes stat line about blount fumbling. Is that 2 fumbles or 2 fumbles lost. It seems like i remember blount fumble more than twice but we recovered a couple of them- maybe thats what raheem is talking about.

  16. Cannon Says:

    You play to win… not play not to lose.

    Hopefully this is a lesson learned for Coach Morris.

  17. flmike Says:

    If you go back and watch Blount throughout the season, he has actually fumbled a lot, he may have lost only 2, but there are many more that he has almost lost or as in the Atl game, it was a COP so it didn’t count. He’s young and will learn, just like the rest of the Bucs, was I disappointed that he was not out on the field? Yes, but I understand why, Caddy gives you more options, screens and swing passes come into play, next season Blount will be out there, this season, not so much. Please lets put this all into a little perspective. We were 3-13 last season, we were 9-7 the season before and that 9-7 was an embarrassment the way it happened, you want the definition of loosing a team and a locker room, that was it. Please, this team is 1 probably more likely 2 years ahead of the curve, be patient. Next season we have a tougher schedule but I’m sure we’ll be even more competitive, but I don’t expect miracles. The playoffs this year was a pipe dream in August, a long shot in Nov, and a possibility in early Dec. Accept this season for what it was and is, a preview of a very young and dynamic team built to win for many years to come. I love these Bucs, and Morris is one helluva coach, we are lucky to have him and Dominick, take a look at some of the other teams and where they are at coach and gm wise.

  18. DCBUCSFAN Says:

    Hindsight is always 20/20! Good move Coach Rah! Ball Security is Paramount!

  19. James Pearls Says:

    I don’t mind giving Caddy the nod – he is likely to run into the wall and get stuck in that kinda situation like blount may

    it was the coaches fault (olson) really – showed no guts

    i woulda like to see a freeman rollout or maybe even a lil trick play

    when we REALLY needed to score a TD this year we have most of the time e.g. against the rams, the TD to winslow against the skins

    what pains me more is the first two plays of OT i believe it was – letting their no name RB gash us up the middle

  20. d-money Says:

    “Hindsight is always 20/20”

    That is usually correct except in this case I was screaming at the television to use Blount when it was happening so its not hind sight.

    If you can’t trust him to not fumble then why not just cut him?

    If he can’t be used when you need him then why waste a roster spot on him?

    If Blount had lost some ridiculous amount of fumbles I could buy this but he hasn’t. You don’t take your biggest weapon out of the game in a situation like this you just don’t. Make no mistake the only reason the Bucs were even in that position late in the game was because of Blount. He deserved the chance to finish it off.

    And for those of you saying that he has “almost” lost a bunch of fumbles thats ridiculous. Freeman “almost” threw a couple of INT’s so should we have benched him?

  21. McBuc Says:

    D-Money is right. I agree, and I too was screaming to put Blount back in. Now I think there was only three guys BigMac was referring to, so D-Money, I do not think you were one of them. He typed their initials.

  22. Common Sense Says:

    Did Alstott ever fumble? Yep!

  23. Playoffs? U talking Playoffs??? Says:

    Tony Dungy would have ran Blount.

  24. lakeland bob Says:

    Blount never saw the field on the final drive against Atlanta a few weeks ago.How can your biggest weapon not be on the field when the game on the line?Another issue that burns my a$$ is why are we not blitzing on 3rd on long against a 3rd string QB.Just letting him stand in the pocket with no pressure makes absolutely no sense.I am a Rah supporter,but he has lost some credibility the last few games.

  25. Dave Says:

    To the morons calling Raheem a moron…

    LOL.. some of you are pathetic.

  26. BigMacAttack Says:

    Look guys, Blount is doing great, but he has a lot to learn. His fumble trouble are most likely just inexperience. He will learn but he is not quite there yet. Since this is all Tuesday morning Quarterbacking, what if Rah put Blount in, he runs for 10 yds and fumbles in the end zone? What would the conversation have been about then? I like What Rah said yesterday, that he was too conservative and should have let Josh pass for the win. The two choices Rah has played or said he should have played are about 6’s. Remember that our Coach is young and inexperienced too, but he is learning and growing like the rest of the team. Think of all of the calls Rah has made this year and how many have come back to bite him? A handful, maybe? How many calls have the refs cost the Bucs? More than the Coach’s blunders. Rah is doing a fantastic job. Look at all these other “GREAT” coaches in the NFL, Shanahan, Kubiac, Fox, Singleminded, Carroll, Children, Lewis, Mangenious, the list goes on. Raheem is doing better than ALL of them and working with less. C’mon Man, give credit where credit is do. The Bucs are becoming the new Patriots, just like they wanted. Raheem would have been criticized whatever call he made, if the team lost. It all goes with the territory, and at least he is smart enough to realize he could have played it differently. Most Coaches would have just told everyone to go to hell, where as Rah said he might have played it differently.

  27. Playoffs? U talking Playoffs??? Says:

    This raheem fellow just screwed our chances of making the playoffs.

    A coach isn’t supposed to LOSE games for the team. Come on Now!

  28. Bucworld Says:

    I’m starting to believe that it is in the game plan to go with the 2 min personnel late in games. I have noticed that we do not give carries to Blount in the 4th quarter, which is an advantage to other team. They can primarily focus on Freeman when Blount is out of the game. Sunday’s results were simple. Detroit played to win and we played it safe.

  29. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    He also fumbled once in San Francisco, but it wasn’t lost. He also fumbled twice against Carolina, but the second one was ruled down because there wasn’t a conclusive angle on replay. At that point, you are talking about quite a few fumbles, so I understand the hesitation to pull him out. I think the majority of his fumbles have occurred as he is dragging and fighting defenders all over the field, and you know in that situation they would be going for the ball. I’m not saying I agree with it, but I understand it. In my opinion, we weren’t going to score a TD no matter who was running the ball, because it looked as if the Lions were playing run all the way.

  30. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Buc You calling Raheem a moron is like Michael Vick calling someone a dog killer.

  31. oar Says:

    “fumbles and fumbles lost are two different things Joe”
    Yeah right, like lucky and unlucky! Niether one is good to have Hire, since either can go the other way very easily! Fumbles are fumbles!

  32. d-money Says:

    I’ve said it before. You win and lose as a team. You put the ball in the hands of the person who gives you the best chance and if he doesn’t get it done the at least you went down firing.

    You can’t leave the guy who has had the hottest hand on the sidelines at the end of the game because you’re afraid of what “might” happen. If you trust him in the 1st quarter then you should trust him in the 4th.

    Playing scared is a sure fire way to lose a game.

  33. gitarlvr Says:

    The fumble thing is B.S. Raheems explanation only makes sense if your “ball security” running back is capable of gaining more than 1 yard per carry. IF the coaches had handed off to Ernest Graham in those situations on Sunday I would not have a beef. Handing off to Caddy in all but situations where the defense is selling out against the pass is tantamount to admitting your not looking for a first down. You can’t play that way unless you have a comfortable lead in a game. If you abandoned your kids the way Olson and Raheem abandoned Legarrette you would be in prison. A more accurate name for Cadillac Williams is the “settling for a field goal” back.

  34. gotbbucs Says:

    There’s a time and a place to be tricky and with less then 2 minutes left in the game on the 15 yard line is not the time or the place. Caddy has been terrible running the ball when he’s going against a heavy front and everybody knows that Olsen is running Gruden’s offense so of course it would be the most predictable play calling, which is fine, IF YOU HAVE YOUR BEST PLAYER ON THE FIELD. Like somebody said, Alstott had a fumbling problem but they still gave him the ball in that situation. If nothing else, grab Blount on the side line before he goes in and say “hold on to the damn ball kid”, I’m sure he’d make sure to keep both hands on it.
    Olsen has been trying to get way too cute in crutial situations and it’s killing us. LET YOUR BEST PLAYERS PLAY, and by the way, NONE OF THOSE ARE ON OUR DEFENSIVE SIDE OF THE BALL ANYMORE.

  35. gitarlvr Says:

    I just cant get over this. That was the worst coaching decision I have seen in a Bucs game all year. Considering how many opposing coaches have failed to put the bucs away with their running games in crunch time thats saying a lot. I understand ball security but you have to coach within the context of each particular situation. Fumbles usually happen during times when a running back is more focused a busting a big one than ball security. Your telling me that Raheem cant get in Blounts ear on that sequence and say “keep that ball wrapped up at all times. Ball security is number one here.”? The Lions hadn’t stuffed Blount on consecutive running plays ALL DAY LONG. Hand off to him three times in a row instead of Caddy, Caddy, QB draw and I imagine he gets a first down if not all the way into the end zone. The playoffs were on the line man!!!!! Do the the Vikings bench Adrian Peterson in key situations just because he fumbles here and there? Legarrette Blount is developing into a Peterson type playmaker at running back and his positive impact FAR outweighs a few fumbles. Raheem or whoever made that decision to run Caddy failed epically. No excuses. I dont ever want to see that crap again or I will have to reconsider my support for this staff.

  36. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    Wish I could disagree with you, but I can’t. It’s funny, I’ve been a Bucs fan forever, and no matter who is coaching them, they ALWAYS go into ultra-conservative mode in those situations. That’s the one thing I am a little disappointed in Raheem about. I wish he would have a little less Gruden and a litttle more Bellicheat in those situations. It would be nice if we had a little more killer instinct and we put that ball in the end zone.

  37. Brad Says:

    How bout your friend at 620 Joe who every week says hes not a Blount fan at all. WTF? How can that be?. This guy is going to be one of the best backs we’ve ever had. Last time I checked Petterson fumbled a ton last year but they kept feeding him the ball. That’s the only way this rookie will learn. I’m sure the Dog is worried everyone might forget Alstott or that Blount might beat all his stats.

  38. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    BucWorld said “”They can primarily focus on Freeman when Blount is out of the game.””
    I was at Tampa Stadium, and the fans in my section could clearly see Detroit change their Defense to TRY and contain Blount. Blount HURT them badly, all game long. When Blount was removed, we could almost see Detroit dance an Irish Jig. Tampa took it’s best weapon out of the game. W/O Blount to worry about anymore, they teed off on Freeman. We all saw the result Sunday. A power back like Blount who hurt the Lions all game also acts to considerably slow down the blitz. Heaven forbid he gets through the D Line, and runs over their secondary for a TD. We put in Caddy, Detroit showed Blitz, and we all KNOW what happens then ? Caddy is stuck picking up the blitz, removing another of our weapons. IMHO, it is no wonder why we lost this game. If we don’t have faith in Blount, then cut him, vs giving him 20 plus carries a game.
    Tell me any other winning NFL Team that takes out their stud running back completely, with the game on the line ?
    Us Tampa Stadium fans were thinking we were only giving Blount a little rest.
    We expected the stadium to erupt when Blount came back into the game.
    It never happened, and the rest is history.

    The crowd at Tampa Stadium was small, but extremely vocal. Us fans were screaming and on our feet until the very sudden end. It freaking hurt to lose this game.

  39. gitarlvr Says:

    @Hawaiian-Yeah I fully understand why Dungy and Gruden were conservative seeing as how they always had better defenses than offenses. This is most certainly not the case with the current Bucs. These Bucs aren’t beating anyone unless they score TD’s and not field goals. Maybe the answer is a new offensive coordinator because with these kinds of weapons this offense should be a threat to put up 30 points every week. When the Bucs get in the redzone it seems like Greg Olson turns into Mike Shula. Hell, If Shula had these weapons to work with I think he could have found a way to be more effective in the red zone. Blount, Williams, Benn, Winslow. This is as dangerous a quartet of playmakers as there is on any offense in the league. Josh Freeman is an aggresive playmaker. Why is this offense stalling in the red zone? Why does Greg Olson get teams on their heels with big plays and then sputter out in the red zone? It seems to me that Olson is pretty good at going vertical with his playcalling when out of scoring range but that he just doesn’t have good plays drawn up for when the field shrinks in the red zone.

  40. gotbbucs Says:

    I think this offensive line is also severely hindering what they can do on offense. Ask yourself this, how could the Patriots offense continue to be potent even after the loss of thier big play threat? Because they’ve had the best O-line in the league for the last 10 years, so it doesn’t really matter who they have in at WR or RB. If the Bucs O-line can ever get close to that level the offense will be unstoppable, but until then they will struggle the closer they get to the endzone.

  41. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    I’m not really sold on Olsen either, but I don’t think we should get rid of him unless we find someone who is proven to be considerably better. Changing systems could make us take a step backwards next year, and I think we should be much better offensively next year off of continuity and experience. I don’t know if you want to throw that away. What frustrates me the most with our offense is that it seems we wait for the other team to score before we decide to score ourselves. It would be great to drive the ball 80 yards on our first possession, but I don’t think we’ve done that once this year. We seem to only attack when we are down. Hopefully that will change in 2011.

  42. Architek Says:

    Olsen is a decent coordinator, not elite or good but he show some flashes of goodness but he is not consistent in attacking defenses. Hopefully he gets better because hes not much to write home about.

  43. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    That’s pretty much exactly how I feel Architek.

  44. eric Says:

    Imagine what the defense back in the day would have done to that stanton guy?

  45. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    That’s totally true Eric. It would have been ugly. I would settle for what our defense back in the middle of the season would have done to him.