“I Think Coach Schiano Knows How To Use Me”

July 11th, 2013

Like every running back, Bucs veteran running back Brian Leonard wants the rock. And yesterday he told his rural New York hometown newspaper that he expects to get it in Tampa Bay after four seasons on the Bengals.

For weeks, Joe’s been trying to alert fans that Leonard will play a huge role if healthy come opening day, and Leonard revealed a little of what that role might be.

“I’m excited. I had a great time in Cincinnati and have some good friends there, and the fans are great. But I needed a change and I think Coach Schiano knows how to use me. Hopefully I’ll progress throughout camp and show my skills, and my role with the team will get bigger and bigger. …

“Tampa Bay was in a lot of close games last year, and we’ve been working a lot on the two-minute drill,” Leonard said. “Coach has brought me in to help relieve Doug Martin when needed. I’ll be all right as long as I can prove myself in camp.”

Hmmm, well, Leonard was a third-down back for the Bengals, who were frequent visitors to the playoffs during his time there. So Leonard says he thinks Schiano knows how to use him and he’s talking about coming to Tampa to spell Doug Martin, then Joe’s going to make a not-so-wild leap and say the Bucs are planning for Leonard to be a lot busier than D.J. Ware was last season.

Joe’s confident Doug Martin will get even more work in 2013, especially on third down, but there still should be plenty of touches for Leonard. The veteran also plays fullback, which could give the Bucs more versatility and unpredictability in the backfield.

13 Responses to ““I Think Coach Schiano Knows How To Use Me””

  1. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    I just really hope they the give Doug Martin third downs. Since Blount arrived in 2010 we have seen our starting running back pulled off the field on third downs. This has frustrated me to no end from day one. With Blount it was semi-understandable because of his ineptness as a blocker but Doug Martin was touted as this “all around” and “three down” back. With all this praise we still saw way more of DJ Ware on third downs than Martin. I really hope this nonsense is gone for good.

    As for Leonard, I don’t mind his role as long as he isn’t dubbed the new “third down specialist”.

  2. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    ^^Its still fairly early on the West coast, cut me some slack on the very obvious typo in the first sentence. lol

  3. stevek Says:

    ^ Excuses, WCBF, excuses. 😉

    Do you think the poor pass defense from 2012 is effecting your typing skills?

  4. BamBamBuc Says:

    I think Leonard will be a more than adequate replacement fore Ware. I have no problem with the team giving Martin a breather every now and then, and if that breather is called 3rd downs, I’m fine with that. I also think Leonard will be more of a single back guy, while Martin will have Lorig in front more often. This should play to the strengths of each. I’m curious if we see even more of Lorig as a receiver this year, he was actually pretty good at that last season.

  5. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    I think we’re going to see a lot of receiver motion including the FB and TE’s. Leonard will get his share of reception yards. I’m also under the impression that Mike James was a good receiving RB for Miami. We may see multiple RB sets.

    This offense IMO closely resembles that of some sort of hybrid run and shoot type offense. This offense is balanced with the perfect skill players because if they try to crowd the line, we’ll beat them up top. When they backoff, we’ll pound the rock. If their too aggressive and try to blitz a lot, we can play the dink and dunk game with Martin, Leonard or Crabtree, Stocker.

    I’m stoked!… This team just looks explosive on paper! I can’t wait to see it in action!

  6. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    I just wanted to add, Freeman needs to make those short throws.

    Of course, if I were the enemies defense, that is how I would attack the Bucs. Play zone, safety high, and blitz, force Freeman into short and intermediate throws where he struggles the most with accuracy. We’ve got the skill players we just need Josh to deliver the ball.

  7. Biff Barker Says:

    A jumbo package with Lorig please. Both have soft hands too.

  8. Macabee Says:

    Brian Leonard was pick #20 in the 2nd round of the 2007 draft by the Rams. He is 6-11/2 and weighs 226lbs. At the 2007 combine, he ran a 4.49/40 which is fast for a FB and above average for a RB (Doug Martin ran a 4.46/40). He also benched 225lbs 28 times which is 4 more than McCoy (I’m sure McCoy wasn’t really trying that day). Let’s hope that he still has something left in the tank in 2013.

    Traded to the Bengals in 2009, he has made the team every year for some reason even though he hasn’t been called on to run the ball very often. From what I was able to find, he has never had a rushing TD and only 1 receiving TD.

    He obviously has had enough value to earn a roster spot since 2007, so maybe Schiano sees something in Leonard that will help the Bucs. As someone else said, without question, he is an improvement over D.J. Ware. I like the pick up!

  9. Macabee Says:

    For anybody who missed this back in May!


  10. Andrew 1 Says:

    I expect to see Leonard spell both the RB and FB positions from time to time or whenever needed. I also think the better of the two blockers between Mike James and Leonard will get the majority of 3rd down reps, when the need to spell Doug arises. other than that… its all about # 22.

  11. Biff Barker Says:

    @ macabee
    Thanks for posting up the stats. I didn’t realize he was that fast or strong.
    i was reading up after we signed him. Bungles fans thought he was underutilized and had a knack for making big plays at critical times.
    Ghosts of Joe Jerivicious? Glad Schiano is not afraid to sign some seasoned vets.

  12. clafollett Says:

    I don’t know anything about Brian other than what I’ve read here. He reads like a good pick up. I’m like most everyone else…. Stoked! This offense is poised to be one for the ages. The stats mostly say this is an elite caliber team. We saw glimpses of it last year and man was it like a drug. Hopefully this year we can all get higher than a kite from watching them play this year.

    I think our running back core is deceptively good. The Martin/Lorig combo was quite good at times. Lorig is no running bulldozer like Alstot but he proved to be an effective bulldozer while blocking. He created several holes for Doug last year.

    I most curious to see James play. I hope he can bring it like in college. I’m hoping he turns into a nice tandem to Martin.

    The season can’t start soon enough! Go BUCS!

  13. teacherman777 Says:

    He is the perfect replacement for Blount.

    @joe I dont think you have rewatched the Bucs season yet! Go rewatch the Oakland game! Blount was given a series and he fumbled on purpose to mess with Dougie’s career game! Go watch the game and watch Blounts reaction on the sideline after the fumble! He smiles! He didnt care at all! Blount was pissed all season about ebing benched.

    And what about Blount losing the game for us against New Orleans? 4 carries from the one yard line? And he didnt get in for us!

    Welcome to Tampa Bay Leonard!

    He is a true short yardage bruiser with 4.5 speed. He is a hybrid fullback/running back.

    Perfect signing for the Bucs!

    Blount was a punk! Get over him @joe!