2012 May See Return To Ground Game “Big Play”

May 31st, 2012

The Bucs are hoping their ground game this season has more big plays than the popular WD40 days.

Joe knows many Bucs fans still have the fond, vivid memories dancing in their heads of the WD40 days of the Bucs offense: Warrick Dunn and Mike Alstott.

It was a beautiful mesh of two very good backs; the punishing, bruising runs of Alstott and the lightning-quick, shifty moves of Dunn.

Oh, and both could catch out of the backfield.

So by drafting Muscle Hamster Doug Martin in the first round and scatback Michael Smith in the seventh round, added to LeGarrette Blount, the Bucs, per (Scott Smith?) Buccaneers.com, are hoping to replicate not the WD40 years, but 2010.

Why 2010? Because that was the season the Bucs had the most “big plays” from the ground game in franchise history.

Defining “big plays” on the ground as all carries of 10 or more yards, one finds a spike of such occurrences from 1998 to 2000 for the Buccaneers. In those three years, Tampa Bay ranked ninth, eighth and 13th, respectively, in big plays on the ground, creating either 53 or 54 in each campaign. That’s the best stretch of big-play rankings in the running game in team history.

Those are three of the four best years in that category in Buc annals, in fact. However, none of them are at the absolute top of the list. That actually belongs to the 2010 team, which produced 63 big plays on the ground and was the fourth-best team in the entire NFL in that category.

And that’s one reason to hope that some much-needed explosiveness will return to the Buccaneers’ ground attack in 2012 after a tough season in that regard in 2011. The man most responsible for that explosion of explosiveness in 2010 was then-rookie LeGarrette Blount, and he is about to enter his third NFL season, and the first in which he gets to spend an actual offseason learning Tampa Bay’s offense.

The way the Bucs have beefed up the offensive line and the depth at running back, Joe can’t see why the Bucs couldn’t accomplish such a feat.

This information is also why Joe is still floored by how the previous regime underutilized Blount last year to an appalling level. Joe cannot get over the fact that Blount was given just five — FIVE! — touches in the season opener against Detroit.

Then when the season started going south, a certain offensive coordinator, in a shameful, embarrassing attempt to save his own hide, blamed Blount for everything from the Ebola virus to the lousy Florida housing market.

47 Responses to “2012 May See Return To Ground Game “Big Play””

  1. Knucknbuc Says:

    Olson was an idiot and will forever be an idiot about putting an competent offensive gameplan together.he should never be allowed to be an oc in the nfl college, hell even madden he shouldn’t be allowed to play.

  2. Drew Says:

    Joe… are you stating Olie threw Blount under the bus? Not only did he throw him under the bus. He repeatedly ran over him and I think Blount still has the tire tracks to prove it.

  3. Have A Nice Day Says:

    With Benn/Williams, Stocker, Penn, Nicks and Zuttah, the left side runs should be significant. Reminds of the left side blocking line up Adrian Peterson had his first couple years. Run left!

  4. CaliBucFan Says:

    Amazing Olsen got another job so quickly after the 2011 season.

  5. Scott Says:

    Am I the only Bucs fan that didn’t like Alstott? To me, it seemed that he fumbled a lot inside the 5 yard line.

  6. Dini's Biceps Says:

    Here’s why I’m nervous about Doug Martin….. looks like he gained a lot of weight. He also has a tweaked hamstring. Is weight gonna be an issue for him and injuries from it

  7. @eric Says:

    Scott……….I would say pretty much…….A-Train is one of the All Time Bucs to eve put on a Creamsickle / Pewter Uni……….if you didnt like Allstot then you dont like punishing, brusing, tackle breaking football…maybe soccer is a better sport for you to follow……its cute…

  8. Stanglassman Says:

    Eric- You would not say that about soccer if you ever played it at a high level. Cute example but also an ignorant one.

  9. Orlandobucfan Says:

    @scott yeah def the only bucs fan not to like the A-train.
    @ Eric don’t put down soccer to make ur point as a born Brazilian I can’t let that slide. Soccer players are probably the most in shape athletes to be able to play for 90 min with no time outs.
    As a naturalized American I love the bucs and the true bucs of old including alstott I still remember seeing that playoff touchdown vs the redskins awesome and the train whistle sounding at ray jay. (sorry went down memory lane for a bit of good times)

  10. ArkansasBucFan Says:

    And JUST LIKE THAT we segued from excitement and anticipation of a hard-pounding running game to a debate about the level of difficulty involved in soccer.

  11. Jrock(mobile) Says:

    One time Alstott lost his hat on a run play, and he kept running. Downhill. With his eyes open. A few fumbles or not, the man is an icon and a great player.

  12. Orlandobucfan Says:

    @ scott def the only bucs fan not to like alstott
    @ Eric as a born Brazilian I can’t let that slide soccer players are some of the best athletes in the world.
    As a naturalized American I love old bucs football and still remember the alstott run vs redskins in the playoffs for a touchdown and the a train whistle going off at ray jay ( sorry a little stroll down memory lane for positive bucs thought)

  13. Orlandobucfan Says:

    Why have my comments not been posting?

  14. Orlandobucfan Says:

    Never mind I guess it’s fixed thanks joe
    @ scott def the only bucs fan not to like alstott
    @ Eric as a born Brazilian I can’t let that slide soccer players are some of the best athletes in the world.
    As a naturalized American I love old bucs football and still remember the alstott run vs redskins in the playoffs for a touchdown and the a train whistle going off at ray jay ( sorry a little stroll down memory lane for positive bucs thought)

  15. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “Am I the only Bucs fan that didn’t like Alstott?”



  16. Thomas2.2 Says:

    Five is more carries than the backup RB Blount will get in the 2012 season opener.

    As for 2011, Blount didn’t know the plays.

  17. Thomas2.2 Says:

    Nervous about Martin?

    Blount is chronically late, complains, doesn’t know the plays, fumbles and can’t pick up the right defender to block.

    Also he stinks in short yardage and is a liability in the passing game. Oh but he jumps over corners!


  18. Joe Says:


    Why have my comments not been posting?

    No idea.

  19. Eric Says:

    How about that run against the vikes? BAM< BAM< BAM< BAM


    A-train was totally awesome.

  20. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    Although I do agree with some of your criticisms of Blount, you are (as usual) making stuff up to exaggerate your point. First of all, what is your source for being “chronically late”? From what I have read, he was late one time, was fined, and it hasn’t happened since. But I guess you’ve got “inside word” being a lawyer, writer, and overall awesome guy, huh? What do you mean complains? Because he answered a question honestly? I didn’t like his answer either, but that doesn’t mean he is a constant complainer. As for him not knowing the plays, that’s a bit of an exaggeration I think. Again, you don’t know jack, but you are making as if you are in One Buc Place everyday. Don’t be such a jack arse, because nobody is buying that you know what you are talking about, and I mean nobody.

    As for him jumping corners, first of all he’s jumped a couple safeties too (and a couple damn good ones too). Not sure if you know the difference, but there is one. Second, I happen to like when he runs over LB’s, which he’s done many many times. I was at the 2010 game in SF when he ran over the SF LB, and I could hear it 30 rows up like I was on the sideline. I believe he ran over a few non-CB’s last year at GB too. He also took Troy Polamalu for a ride on his first NFL carry. That guy is pretty good, FYI. Should I go on?

  21. Thomas2.2 Says:

    [Why do you beg Joe to throw you over the cliff, Thomas? — Joe]


    I tried posting the same stuff re: Blunt and Williams, and it never showed up. Actually, multiple times on different occasions. Never shows up on the screen.

  23. Joe Says:


    Probably because Joe’s spam filter is killing it. Posting links often does that.

  24. Joe Says:


    Here is Joe’s issue with the reports — which Joe doesn’t dismiss — that Blount was late, etc.

    If all of these things were so dire…

    1) then why the hell was he on the active roster?

    2) Joe may be naive, but Joe’s of the belief coaches are hired to actually teach and mentor players. Rather than coaches fingering Blount for the ills of the team, how about, you know, how about doing your job and coach the players up?

    Coaching players in order for them to improve: What a novel concept!

  25. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Citing unnamed sources is hardly “FACT” Thomas. I’m surprised that a regular guy like me has to tell an alleged lawyer like you this. Perhaps Martin was drafted to be the starter because he’s a more complete back, but for you to speculate it’s because he’s always late to meetings is not right. I looked it up as you suggested, and didn’t see that he was always late or is a complainer. Maybe you just pulled that out of your arse, which you have been known to do.

  26. Brad Says:

    Thomas.., wrong about Blount. You are determined to get everyone on your arse.. If watching that run against Green Bay last year doesn’t convince you he is and will be a great back , and the starter, then your a total moron. Everything you’ve ever said has zero merit. Just because you disliked a coach that got fired doesn’t make you some expert on football. Quit showing your stupidity with every post.

  27. BraveBuc Says:

    “2) Joe may be naive, but Joe’s of the belief coaches are hired to actually teach and mentor players. Rather than coaches fingering Blount for the ills of the team, how about, you know, how about doing your job and coach the players up?”

    I totally agree. That sure is a quick way to lose your team. I think players want coaches to stand up for them to the media, not the other way around.

  28. Joe Says:


    I totally agree. That sure is a quick way to lose your team. I think players want coaches to stand up for them to the media, not the other way around.

    Joe isn’t against a coach calling out a player but Joe thought this (Olson/Blount) was BS. Joe has seen Blount catch passes. Hell, didn’t he have a massive gain on a pass play against San Francisco (one of the best defenses in the NFL)?

    So Blount couldn’t block? Wow. Joe doesn’t have the time to rattle off good running backs that couldn’t block.

    Blount was simply made out to be a scapegoat in order for an inferior offensive coordinator who didn’t know how to use him to try to save his job.

    If Blount was as bad as Olson made him out to be, then Blount shouldn’t have been on the active roster, simple as that.

  29. eric Says:

    As long as we dont fall behind 42-0 in 2nd quarter.

    What a total disgrace to the game.

    Sorry just felt like saying that. Off topic.

  30. BraveBuc Says:

    Sure there’s nothing wrong with publicly calling out a player as a motivational tactic from time to time. However, deflecting media/public pressure from yourself down to players is not going to help anyone. I feel that kind of activity like what was a big reason for the coaching staff losing the team last year. I think Rah is guilty too. It’s just the players he targeted weren’t nearly as talented or productive as Blount.

    And yeah, Olson is a moron lol.

  31. Thomas2.2 Says:

    I love how you idiots put this all on Olson. Do you really and truly believe that if Rah or Dom didn’t agree that Blount couldn’t play in the passing game that Lumpy would have been out there?

    Dom was wearing a head set telling Rah who to play at times!

    That is idiotic. Everyone in the building knew that Blount didn’t know the plays – which is why Lumpy saw key down action.

    A few highlight runs does not make a NFL running back, those guys are a dime a dozen. The starting NFL RB must read and pick up blitzes, run routes etc – Blount can’t do it.

    Which is why they traded up to draft Martin.

    Joe: what was possibly wrong with my post, people asked for support for my statement. On multiple occasions I tried to provide cites but I could not get them to appear – what is wrong with telling these guys that. There are at least 3 different sources who have written about Blount’s issues.

    Campbell said his source was a former coach.

  32. Thomas2.2 Says:

    Art Valero, Alstott’s former coach states very definitively that it is generally accepted (meaning the league in general believes) that Blount is not an every down NFL back.

    Which is why the Bucs traded up to get one. Valero predicted this pre-draft – meaning that if they didn’t get Richardson that they would shoot for Martin.

    Sounds like he knew what he was talking about.

  33. Miguel Grande Says:

    I was never impressed with the total success of WD40, on paper it looked great but maybe it never quite worked behind the poor offensive line. I always thought that Warrick should catch more swing passes in the flats where he could elude one on one tackles. Instead they seemed to run Dunn between the tackles and throw to Alstott in the flat.

    I am surprised and impressed that 2010 was the most prolific running attack in Buc history. Must be why I am such a Lagarette Blount fan.

  34. Joe Says:


    Joe: what was possibly wrong with my post, people asked for support for my statement.

    Dunno. Joe didn’t write the code for the WordPress spam filter.

  35. Colorado Buc Says:

    @scott- Yes not only are you the only fan in History to not like Alstott, but you are also the only football fan in history to not like Alstott…

    @Thomas- You generally spew negative drivel. One has to wonder why you keep coming back. You must thrive on the attention. It seems you are a knowledgable, but angry little man. Please don’t respond, I won’t.

    @Joe- I to hope that the Bucs run game can return to WD40, and can’t wait to see how they use the stable this year!

  36. sharkcoasttactical.com Says:

    What a great problem we have. Blunt or Martin? Oh my! I commend you Joe for being the only person in the media who hasn’t turned against him. Our running game is gonna melt faces this year. Go Bucs!

  37. 1976Buc Says:

    Me thinks Thomas is the janitor and takes the trash out of the bucs locker room. At the very least the plumber that plunges the toilets at Raymond James.

  38. Thomas2.2 Says:

    It is not negative to say that Martin will be a solid NFL starter and was a great acquisition, and Blount will be adequate as his backup.

    Unless, you have a ridiculous agenda to present Blount as something that he is not.

    if that is the case, you are a Blount fan not a Buc fan.

    If Blount was a complete back of starting NFL quality I would be his biggest fan – he isn’t.
    I understand that hurdling corners (and a safety) doesn’t make you an upper echelon back – you uninformed fanatics don’t.

  39. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “It is not negative to say that Martin will be a solid NFL starter and was a great acquisition, and Blount will be adequate as his backup.”


    See Thomas, this is what you just don’t get. That sentence is perfect, and gets no argument from me. I agree 100%. However, it’s all the other stuff you say. It’s all the blind assumptions you make about him (and others), when you really don’t know. It’s as if you have to make stuff up to prove your point (which in this case, is probably right to begin with). You don’t have to ridicule Blount, make stuff up about him (or at least exaggerate) in order to say you like picking up Martin. How can a grown arse man not know this simple thing? I tend to believe you know exactly what you are doing and you just love the attention (my guess is that you don’t get much at home – see how I did that, I just made a blind assumption). But go ahead, make up some more excuses, which no one will believe, just so you get the attention you so desperately want and need.

  40. BamBamBuc Says:

    Not buying in, Thomas. Blount has done what he’s been asked to do, and probably more. He hasn’t been a target in the passing game, but when he has been, he’s caught the ball. He’s a running back, and he’s run the ball, sometimes extremely well, sometimes not. Given the number of starts, carries, yards, etc that he’s had, he’s done pretty well. 5.0 ypc in 2010, 4.2 in 2011. He upped his reception total from 5 in 2010 to 15 in 2011. Not good enough? Let’s compare.

    Frank Gore – 17 catches, 114 yards, 6.7 ypc
    Michael Turner – 17, 168, 9.9
    Adrian Peterson – 18, 139, 7.7
    DeAngelo Williams – 16, 135, 8.4

    LeGarrette Blount – 15 catches, 148 yards, 9.9 ypc

    And that’s just a few other starters in the NFL, but his numbers are in line with some pretty good running backs in the league for receptions and yards. It’s not like he drops a lot of passes either. He’s just not given much opportunity, like so many RBs in the league.

    He also doesn’t LOSE a lot of fumbles. He had 5 last year and only lost 3 of those. That’s a lost fumble about every 60 or so carries. At the rate of 5 carries a game (like Olsen LOVED to do), it would take him a few seasons to rack up 3 lost fumbles, but fortunately we aren’t subject to that anymore, and with an actual off-season of real coaching he may be able to correct any fumbling issues (although most big backs that fight for extra yardage tend to have a few extra fumbles just fighting for yardage), teach him any blitz pickup and blocking assignments, and realize that he can catch the ball too, with decent yards per catch for a RB.

    I’m not a Blount fan, I’m a Bucs fan. I’m also not blind to comparable numbers across the NFL by higher profile players that saw more action than Blount did last year. Frank Gore didn’t catch more passes? He was on a playoff team, played every game, got 282 carries…. but not a better receiving mark for the runner? Hmmm…. maybe he should be benched in favor of a more “All-Purpose” type back.

    Don’t be a fool, LeGarrette Blount has performed very well for this team with minimal off-season coaching to help in any deficient area. He AND Martin will team to make a pretty formidable duo in the backfield.

  41. Thomas2.2 Says:

    I found 4 of 32 starting RBs with NEARLy as bad receiving stats, and 1,

    Peterson, missed 4+ games. Turner has never been a receiving threat and had better receiving numbers (slightly) but he blocks well.

    Blount has 9 fumbles with 6 lost in 27 career games – that is terrible. Ask Schiano (see his statements to media)

    RB responsibility in passing game has a lot to do with blocking, Blount doesn’t know where to go and who to block.

  42. biglebowdki Says:

    may I chime in for a second, chaps, and say that I miss Alstott. Terribly. 🙁

  43. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Ok Thomas, then what is the solution? Should we cut Blount? I’m guessing you would say no, so why spend so much time out of your wonderful life to bash him? I agree with you there is very little chance he will start, and I would guess the overwhelming majority would as well. However, why do you feel the need to bash him, as well as bash others for disagreeing. Fact is, the season hasn’t started yet, and in football there are too many variables to know for sure. Hell, they could both get hurt and we could have 2 new backs not even on the team yet. You just never know. Regardless, crazier things have happened than a late first round back not starting in his first year, especially to another back that averages over 4.5 yards per carry in his career. I know that Blount isn’t a great all-around back, and I have serious doubts that he ever will be, but I could very easily be wrong. I’m not there every day. I don’t know Blount, his work ethic, or his attitude. Neither do you.

    I cheer for everyone wearing red and pewter. That includes Talib, Blount, Williams, EJ Biggers, etc. I may not always think they are very good or deserve to be on the team, but as long as they are I will cheer for them. I want them to do well. I won’t spend hours arguing with people on a message board as to how bad they are. I don’t understand how you can get off on doing something like that, but to each his own I guess. You simply don’t get it that you take things too far, or you just do it to get a rise out of people. Either way, sucks to be you.

  44. Drew Says:

    Love all the speculation. No news about the OTA days, training camp hasn’t started and already people like Thomas throw players under the bus. LMAO

    The best 53 players will be there on opening day. The bullets will fly and the cannons will fire.

  45. bucyea Says:

    Hey 2.2, guess the FACT that Blount has rushed for more yards than ANY other back to enter the league when he did means nothing to you. Wow..talk about being oblivious to reality or just plain stupid.

  46. BigMacAttack Says:

    I believe the Bucs may have 3 very good backs now, and it should sort itself out in regards to playing time. Smith may return kicks and punts. Blount and Martin should share the major duty, with Smith as a situational back. Blount is still young without much experience, and was stunted by Olson last season. This is his 3’rd year, like McCoy and a few others which should be make it or break it time. I believe the future is bright on both sides of the ball, and I hope Schiano has taken Talib aside and slapped the $h!t out of him to wake up. He can be great if he gives max effort and stops loafing on plays.

  47. The Dutcher Journal (Pete Dutcher) Says:

    I am so tired of reading the ” Blount was given just five — FIVE! — touches in the season opener against Detroit” comments.

    Blount was under utilized all season long…not in just the first game.