Bucs’ Biggest Problem? They Can’t Run The Ball

September 24th, 2012

Joe has read it on Twitter, heard it on sports radio: The Bucs somehow have to overcome the lackluster play of Bucs starting quarterback Josh Freeman and the playcalling of offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan, who some fans believe is as predictable as yesterday’s newspaper, if not sleep-inducing.

But hold up, says Woody Cummings of the Tampa Tribune! Freeman’s struggles and Sullivan’s penchant for running Doug Martin up the middle for three yards on first down is actually masking the true flaw with the Bucs this season:

The Bucs simply cannot run the ball, so Cummings Twittered.

@RCummingsTrib: The biggest problem facing the Bucs: they want to be a running team, but right now they can’t run the ball.

This is an element that Joe believes is very important and should be monitored. There is nothing that opens up a passing game like a running attack and right now, it sure seems like Freeman is petrified.

Trying to run Martin up the middle simply isn’t fooling anyone nor is it getting the job done. Two years ago when the Bucs unleashed LeGarrette Blount (who is now chained to Greg Schiano’s doghouse), Freeman’s passing attack opened up and it proved to be Freeman’s best season to date.

The Bucs, however, went all in on a bruising running attack. It isn’t working as well as planned. Sooner or later, if Martin continues to average three yards a carry, the Bucs will have to open the offense up to score more than a touchdown a game.

23 Responses to “Bucs’ Biggest Problem? They Can’t Run The Ball”

  1. Buddhaboy Says:

    Something is up with Freeman. He is very unsure of himself, Look at his post game presser, he is very insecure….

    My theory is that he has thin skin. Under Coach Rah he was the hailed one. and now he seems to be very insecure, not sure if it is all too much for him, but he is acting like the beatin step child, afraid to talk for fear of beatings….

    [Accuse a Bucs player of illegal activity once more without concrete evidence and you’re gone. Joe is the one responsible for what is on this site. — Joe.]

  2. lightningbuc Says:

    The Bucs can’t run the ball? No, – Doug Martin can’t run the ball. None of the other Bucs are getting a chance to run. Schiano and Dominik have to prove how smart they are for moving up in the draft to get Martin!

  3. Buddhaboy Says:

    [No, we’re not going there. — Joe]

  4. Buddhaboy Says:

    [Goodbye. — Joe]

  5. Adam Says:

    It’s sad to watch other games and see what other teams are doing. I just shake my head and say, “Why can’t WE do that?”

  6. jim Says:

    Ever hear of setting up the run with the pass? Freeman needs to stay in the ‘gun’ and use his leggs on occcasion. It worked well in 2010.

  7. Lion Says:

    This a new offense for Josh, give him some slack. 2 straight weeks on the road to NFC powerhouses most likely got the best of him. Mark my words, look for Josh and the offense to bounce back next week at home against the Redskins.

    About the running game, how much do we miss Davin Joseph now? I can’t figure out why we can’t run the ball, but going back to my first point. I think next week will change things. Brutal schedule fora young team searching for it’s identity at the beginning of the seas, 2 straight road games against the East. I think we will see the true Bucs this week @ home vs Washington. The Bucs have a very favorable schedule for the forseeable future.

  8. Kryq Says:

    It’s not that we can’t run the ball, it’s that we use the same running plays every drive. We should use Blount martin Blount Martin and mix in Smith. Ware’s not great but okay.

  9. bucsfanalltheway Says:

    Joe you have to kill the auto play video ads or I am out of here I click on the ads on your site all the time to help you out but these ads have to go it could get some of us fired. I do not comment on the site much but am on here 6-8 times a day.

  10. Joe Says:


    Mute your computer. Problem solved.

  11. bucfanjeff Says:

    I think we will be ok in the long run, but it is a passing league. What bothers me most is strictly to yesterdays game – we were hell bent on running the ball, with no creativity and stayed in 2 or 3 WR sets. Have a 5 step play called and check to a 3 step or quick throw if you see blitz. Throw a guy in motion and see how the defense reacts. Run a sweep or toss outside the tackles with a lineman pulling.

    I’m pretty tolerant and I was livid in the 3rd quarter after seeing there were NO adjustments coming out after the half.

  12. bucfanjeff Says:

    I meant to say “Have a 5 step play called with 4 or 5 wide and check to a 3 step or quick throw if you see blitz”

  13. Mike Says:

    Something is up with Josh Freeman, yes of course. I know this because I know the kid can play, I’ve seen it many times. He is being held back, by who? We just don’t know. He looks no better than last year, well actually I can’t say that, he doesn’t seem to stare down receivers anymore. And what kills me is every team allows their QB to throw bombs downfield, but not us, never us. Freeman has a CANNON and the coaches don’t let him use it; and we have the talent in the WR corp to get those bombs turned into receptions. Something is just not clicking, but when it finally does we should be a solid team. And I don’t know the last time I saw a pass over the middle. I really dislike our play calling as of late. Shame on you Mr. Sullivan, get creative, think outside the box. Some sweeps instead of dives? Some streaks instead of slants? Or I know! What about Blount and Martin the backfield, maybe a tight end in motion, the defense won’t know who is getting the ball and you have three options to throw at them! Blount! Martin! Or a pass play! Our coaches shouldn’t be watching film of our game all week, they should be watching everyone else’s game film. Shaking my head.

  14. JBUC24 Says:

    He’s right, we can’t run…….up the gut with Martin every damn play! Blount had some success going to the outside. MIX-IT-UP!!

    It’s not rocket science! You are runnig Martin into the ground and the 3 and outs will continue untill it changes!!!

  15. bucsfanalltheway Says:

    I watched the game again there were many times were we could of won that game the play calling does not get any better watching it but you could see that its not all on free I think everone we threw to had a dropped ball if we cought half of them we win the game with that being said no way does jeff garcia or even no legs brad johonson loose this one. Maybe coach is just going to run that pay untill they get it right. Like the toes on the line. They should just run first 10-15 plays on the game we have scored every time, then go to 2min mode josh does great doing that.

  16. bucsfanalltheway Says:

    @joe VOIP tech support can not mute my pc.

  17. MichiganBucsFan Says:

    All I’ve heard about the last couple years (deservedly so) is about how Raheem Morris was unable to get his team to play good at the start of a game. It’s time we start talking about how this offensive coaching staff has had 3 games and not shown any capability at finishing a game. This is a serious problem, Mike Sullivan is clearly in over his head. We’re in for a long year if something doesn’t change.

  18. 1976Buc Says:

    Joe, I’m not sure at 220 lbs that Martin could be considered a bruising RB. I think eventually he will be a good back, I still maintain he has not shown 1st round talent. I know we are having OL issues so all this is not on him, I think any RB would be having some problems. At times though he looks like a freshman straight out of high school trying to go up against the Alabama defense. There is a huge transistion from high school to college and even more from college to the NFL.

  19. robert Says:

    they can’t run the ball because jfro is no threat to throw it. he looked good with the fake handoofs and throwing the ball pretty well against the pansies….now that he has regress, no one fears the pass and stacks the box.

  20. teacherman777 Says:

    We want BLOUNT! We want Blount!

    We miss Blount! We miss Blount!!

    I love Dougie too. But he has gotten his chance over 3 games.

    Now, lets see what Blount can do next week!

    And if coach is mad that Blount is mad he got benched. Then coach doesnt umderstand the LeGarette just wants to PLAY!!

    We want Blount!

  21. ctord Says:

    learning how to win is an inconsistant process. I agree that freeman looks a touch unsure about making a mistake but who really knows what he is thinking. Remember this is a new system for him as well. I also think Free was at his best with broken plays or rolling to his right. Don’t know if he loves the pocket so much. Also listened to Aikman yesterday and he mentioned that freeman “locks in on a side” and defenses are rolling coverage because he never scans back. If he is seeing it and after taking note and watching it, I see it then the coaches getting paid to see it have and are seeing it as well. Also agree on Blount. coach needs to ride the hot hand. If Martin is getting it done then feed him if Blount is getting it done then feed him. Please can run on Dallas look at Lynch and Bradshaw. That’s right Bradshaw. Big backs kill Dallas because they are small and fast. Could have used Blount a little more.

  22. Derek Says:

    There’s no excuse for us not being able to run with this line and Martin/Blount. Coaches need to get their heads out of their arse and use Blount

  23. MTM Says:

    For the Bucs to run the ball they must first be able to pass the ball. The passing game will open up the running game. With no threat of a passing game the box is stacked and teams are daring the Bucs to throw it. Hell they don’t even run it outside. They make it easier by running straight into the teeth of the defense. I never understood the logic of that play calling.