Bucs Running Backs Last In NFC South

June 12th, 2011

Joe was geeked as anyone that LeGarrette Blount busted onto the scene last year and literally made the offense blow up. One could argue Blount was the Bucs’ MVP.

But Matt Williamson of Scouts, Inc. is not moved. Even with Blount blowing up opposing defenses, Williamson is of the mind the Bucs have the worst set of running backs in the NFC South.

But here is what I think of Blount. I see what everyone else sees in him in that he obviously has tremendous size and power, and also has nimble enough feet to make people miss and even jump over defenders in space. He is impressive. But I also see a wildly inconsistent player, which I will admit is not a huge red flag or uncommon for a rookie at any position. But I would like to see him run with aggression on every carry. He did run for over 1,000 yards in just 13 games. But Blount is also a liability in all phases of the passing game and can help his team only on early downs.

There is very little behind Blount to get overly excited about and I fully expect the Bucs to be players in the free-agent running back market — most likely shopping for a good receiving threat out of the backfield.

Kareem Huggins has some of those third-down back type of traits. But he appeared in only three games last season and ended up on injured reserve. Despite a very impressive preseason, Huggins has just four career NFL carries. Counting on him might be unwise.

Well, Joe thinks Williamson is nitpicking on Blount, but the rest of his argument holds water.

To many Bucs fans ire, Joe wrote early and often last offseason that the Bucs rushing attack was impotent. Joe loves Earnest Graham and Cadillac Williams to ,but as fulltime starters sharing the backfield they certainly weren’t getting the job done.

If anything, the emergence of Blount has shown that Cadillac is most effective and valuable at this point in his career coming off the bench as a third-down, change-of-pace kind of guy.

It was not a coincidence that when Blount starting running like crazy, the entire offense for the Bucs blew up because suddenly defenses had to concern themselves with the run, whereas before, they just worried about the pass and dared the Bucs to run.

16 Responses to “Bucs Running Backs Last In NFC South”

  1. Patrick Says:

    Blount is a very good back already.

    Unfortunately, we’ve probably already seen Cadillac’s best days. But I’m not giving up hope that he could still have a solid season. His yards per carry did increase towards the end of last year i believe. Plus his veteran presence in the locker room is very important.

    As for Graham, we really don’t know what we have in him. He basically hasn’t gotten the ball in over 2 years and he used to be a very good running back for us until we just wasted him at fullback. Sure wish we could’ve taken advantage of his talent while he was younger.

    When the lockout ends, I think the Bucs should sign Noel Devine as an undrafted free agent. He was supposed to be one of the most talented backs in the draft months ago but didn’t get drafted for some reason. I heard some stuff about character issues relating to him. Sound similar to Blount?! Noel could provide the speed our running game needs.

  2. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:

    I don’t think there’s any doubt that we are dead last in the South….I mean just look at the depth charts of the other teams.

    Like Joe I love what Blount did last year, but unlike Joe I’m not ready to sign him to a long term deal or spend my own money on a Blount jersey just yet. I need to see how he looks after an off-season as an NFL stud…..I want to see him do it over consecutive seasons.

    As much as I love what he did last year I really wouldn’t be shocked to see him come out and average 3.0 yards a carry next yr

  3. Hire Greg Olson! Says:

    Chris Johnson is “wildly inconsistent” as well. Don’t believe me? Look at the stats/tape.

  4. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Alan Bradford has very soft hands, and is a monster. It takes running backs awhile to read defenses and blitzes. This is why Caddy stays in Tampa, one more year. But as Blount and Bradford learn to block better, we will rely less and less on Caddy. Looks like Earnest Graham will be odd man out ? I see no way Tampa will find a way to keep both Caddy and Earnest Graham this year. I am sooo not sold on Huggins.

  5. MichiganBucsFan Says:

    last I saw Carolina had a running back on the free agent market as well (Deangello Williams I think), I don’t see how their RB corp is any better

  6. BigMacAttack Says:

    First of all, this is another prime example of a writer that has NEVER seen a single Buc game. He picked up a stat sheet, watched a few highlights and started writing the standard Buc hate. Well, phuck this guy, he doesn’t know jack about this team. He never once mentioned Blount’s two biggest issues. One he fumbled, and in some key situations. Two, he had difficulty in some short yardage plays. That’s why I say this guy/clown doesn’t know $h!t about the Bucs. C’mon, we’ve seen all the games and every play the Bucs made. Blount was a rookie, and a FA rookie at that, and as stated, only played 13 games. WTF? do you want from the guy. He did a phenominal job overall. Cadi was arguably the best 3’rd down protection back in the league. He also made the catch to beat the Rams. When he did run, he did well and a helluva lot better than Derrick Ward when he was here. I totally disagree with this guy’s assumption, after his lack of film study, because he sure as hell didn’t see any Buc games.

    Williams and Stewart didn’t do jack last season, but we know what they are capable of. The Saints were pretty pathetic until Ivory came to town, but his production tapered off drastically (injury). That leaves the Falcons with Turner and he was a handfull, but Blount was better and far more explosive. Last my @$$. Why did the Saints go after Ingram if they were so great? Get real, and the reality as many pointed out before (cause I liked Ingram) is his knee, and he has yet to play a down in the NFL. I don’t think the Bucs are that worried about him though.

    We’ll see what happens this year. Last year the Bucs kicked @$$ at running and they stayed healthy. If your backs can’t play (cough, cough, Saints) you can’t rank them as top players, unless they produce top results. The only 2 NFC South teams with top running results were the Falcons and Bucs.

    Any one of us on this blog could write a far better evaluation of the Bucs and even the NFC South than this Hack, whoever he is, wherever he’s from. Suck it Dude, and quit hating on our team. Call Adam Schein, he’ll tell you, Moron

  7. BigMacAttack Says:

    Am I a total homer or what? And I’m not even drunk. Go figure.

  8. gotbbucs Says:

    i can live with the last place critique right now because i know it wont be the case at the end of the next season. blount thus far has only shown flashes of what i believe he’s capable of. consistency is his biggest challenge going forward.

  9. Jonny Says:

    Well, there is not much difference between 3rd place and last people. There is no doubt however that Falcons and Panthers have better proven RBs on their roster.

  10. Mauha Deeb Says:

    What has happened to Yasinskas? He hasn’t posted anything in over a week. Vacation?

  11. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    Add Cam’s rushing ability to the Panthers’s offense and they become scary from that perspective. We are fourth. Cam’s raw and undeveloped passing skills will make Carolina 1 dimensional next year, but look out in two years. Unfortunately, our horrendous front 7 is zero dimensional and we will probably struggle to beat the Panthers this year.

  12. BigMacAttack Says:

    from Yahoo’s “Shutdown Corner”:

    #1 on 3’rd down efficiency in the League
    “Cadillac Williams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: — 74.9% DVOA (16 carries, 166 yards, 63% Success Rate)
    Not bad for a guy who’s gone through more than his share of injuries in recent years; the combination of Williams and rookie LeGarrette Blount(notes) was one of the reasons the Bucs were the NFC’s surprise team in 2010. But as much as Blount was touted as the power back, and thus more conversant with short-yardage situations, it was Williams who led the way, and Blount had a third-down DVOA of minus-27.9%, and 14 yards and a 33% Success Rate on just nine carries.

    So as previously stated: “Suck it Bitches”

  13. Bucnjim Says:

    Big Mac’s on a roll! I like the passion!

  14. Capt.Tim Says:

    BigMacAttack- righteous, as always!
    How many other NFC South backs ram for a 1000 yards? Blount, Williams, and our newback will be fine

  15. k1ngAdroc Says:

    nice work bigmac! what he said

  16. adam from ny Says:

    we are going with big backs this year to add a nasty edge to this rising team..a young nastier line followed by beasting backs……blount, bradford, graham, and caddy to spell 3rd downs and change the pace a bit…question will be who’s the other back….lumpkin, huggy, or someone else…adam from ny

    ps this will be caddy’s and e.g.’s last as bucs,,,but they will remain for 2011…e.g. is my favorite…

    both graham and alstott have gotten screwed…rah is doing to earnest what chucky did to the a-train…same dam thing