Running Game Needs To Pick Up

October 6th, 2014
Bucs RB Bobby Rainey scores in the third quarter. Photo courtesy of

Bucs RB Bobby Rainey scores in the third quarter. Photo courtesy of

Entering the season, the Bucs running game seemed to be a strength. Five games in, the Bucs are still looking for one.

Doug Martin is going on a near one-year rut of underperforming. Bobby Rainey, at times, shows some splash, but there is the ever-present fear of him fumbling.

Yesterday, Joe noticed time and again the Bucs were slamming Martin between the tackles, for little production. Joe figured the Bucs coaching staff saw something on film and figured sooner or later, they were going to break off a 50-yard run, even if it meant slamming Martin 30 times to do so.

Rainey, however, wasn’t so sure when he spoke to Joe after the game.

“I just think as an offense, you keep going at it and keep pushing because we know we have to run the ball, period,’ Rainey said. “We have to keep at it to let [defenses] know we can run the ball. We have to keep trying to run the ball, period. It doesn’t matter if it is not working because you have to make [defenses bite on the run] to free up our receivers.“

Well, that is some twisted philosophy there. If a defense, say, the Saints’, is able to stop the run without putting eight guys in the box, then you are never going to get receivers open because the defense isn’t respecting the run. They don’t need to drop defensive backs in the box to stop it.

Joe understands where Rainey is coming from, but that is simply not a practical philosophy. And if someone can resurrect Martin from 2012, please do so soon.

To hear more from Rainey, click the arrow below. Audio player courtesy of Joe’s friends at WDAE-AM 620.

30 Responses to “Running Game Needs To Pick Up”

  1. Ray Rice Says:

    Lets face it. We are not a run first team. We need to open up the run with the pass. Our O-Line pass protects better than run blocking. And Glennon has shown enough to make teams respect the pass more.

  2. bucrightoff Says:

    We have a running game?

  3. ManzielMadness Says:

    Hopefully sims can provide a spark when he returns

  4. j moné Says:

    Or how about we replace the worst player Leonard Johnson !

  5. HawaiianBuc Says:

    Exactly what Ray Rice said.

    I’m totally okay with running the ball, even if you aren’t being highly successful. That’s not what I have a problem with. What I have a problem with is the consistent running on first down. Every game, all game – run on first down up the middle. It’s ridiculous, and completely unimaginative. It makes it way too easy on the defense. It makes us way to predictable, which I’m no coach, but I’m pretty sure that’s predictable is not what you want to be. I really hope a reporter calls Lovie or Arroyo on it today, because it’s getting out of hand.

  6. Ray Rice Says:

    Leonard Johnson is terrible. It seemed like every time a 3rd down was completed or a penalty was called Johnson was there. Can we get anyone but Leonard in there Lovie? Please!!!!!!!

  7. HawaiianBuc Says:

    Yesterday, Glennon had all day to throw the ball (with the exception of a few plays, namely the safety). That was tremendous pass protection, but we didn’t take full advantage of it because we were too busy banging our head against the wall on first down. When you have that much time on nearly every throw, he is going to pick the defense apart. I remember the first time we threw on first down, we got a 32 yard reception to Jackson. Does anyone think that’s a coincidence?

  8. billy buckaroo Says:

    2nd down and 8 yards to go after most 1st down run plays between the tackles.
    Its almost like a trademark for the team
    I could tell yesterday when they were going to run between the tackles by just watching the defense line because they knew too.

    I am surprised that Glennon isn’t calling an audible out of those when it is so obvious, or maybe he isn’t allowed to??

  9. Buccfan37 Says:

    I know it’s been run into the ground over and over, but the 1st and 10 runs for a yard gained are thouroughly predictable by me and obviously others. You can see the play coming by the way the offense lines up. The defense already knows the play before the ball is hiked and keys on that play to stop it. It’s a waste of a down to keep attempting what is not working. The Bucs are too conservative on 1st down and it’s driving me nuts.

  10. Joe Says:

    Someone help Joe out. Never saw Leonard Johnson at running back, not even in high school.

  11. Ray Rice Says:

    Yeah im starting to think Glennon isn’t allowed to audible out of the run plays. Lovie is so stuck in his old school run first ways that its killing drives along with the penalties. Arroyo is a young new school guy. Its hard to believe he will not have a pass first mentality. Lovie should just let Arroyo do his thing for a game with no interruptions and see what happens.

  12. OB Says:


    Hawaiian Buc is dead on target, even my dog Riley saw it and covered his head on first down.

    What ever happened to the play action pass or even a sweep or, if other teams always work this, the Benn around?

    If the Saints DBs were so bad, why couldn’t our receivers get open when Glennon had all day to pass? Is it the routes, play calling, or the receivers? Something is wrong when we go from four straight TDs to nothing.

    I will say this, at least we were in the game.

  13. Skyline Crew Says:

    Glennon played better than Brees did yesterday. The Saints RBs played better than our RBs. Our defense was awful. We got beat when we should have won.

  14. Macabee Says:

    Too many smurfs! Need to get a big back ala DeMarco Murray. Todd Gurley or Melvin Gordon comes to mind.

  15. nate_tweetz Says:

    The offensive line is the main problem in the running game. They get no push whatsoever. The linebackers are just flying downhill and hitting the gaps. The

    RB’s aren’t entirely free and clear either though. Especially Martin. It looks like he has forgotten how to find the holes. He makes up his mind on where he’s going to run and takes the ball and goes 100 mph to his spot no matter what. He’s looking impatient back there.

    Coaching is bad because the run plays being called are almost all the same. When was the last time our running backs have had the opportunity to try to cut back on a stretch play? Or a counter? Haven’t seen it.

  16. BirdDoggers Says:

    The run blocking is horrible. Lovie wants to run the ball and play great defense. So far, the plan isn’t working. It’s still early on in the Lovie regime and he likely doesn’t have all his pieces in place but running the ball is fundamental football. They should be able to figure it out sooner than later.

  17. Buck Rogers Says:

    The running game is not there. The Saints gave the Bucs a blue print on how to move the ball on the ground with screen passes. Spread the defense out, because running up the middle is a big pile of sh**! For me Glennon has looked good enough to throw the ball 35-40 times a game. The Ravens are beatable if our defense gets there heads out of their a**es!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. RCH Says:

    The Bucs ran the ball on first down all but three plays by my count. Kinda hard to run the ball when your that predictable. I’m sure Rob Ryan was licking his chops every time a first down came around yesterday.

  19. JK Says:

    Don’t sleep on Charles Sims when he returns from IR. When they drafted him everyone said his style is tailor made for this offense.

    He showed flashes before the injury. Even with a new O-Line, Martin and Rainey have underperformed, and Mike James has been nonexistent.

    Adding Sims to the game plan might be a difference maker.

  20. BoJim Says:

    Ya think?

  21. BoJim Says:

    Give James another chance or give to are FB once in a while.

  22. Mr. Mudge Says:

    ^^ How in the h3ll is handing it to the fullback supposed to get the running game going?

  23. Skyline Crew Says:

    With the way Glennon has been playing you might as well open up the play book and let him throw it more.

  24. JustDave Says:

    If you want to run the ball in the NFL, you have to throw on first down (60% passes 1st down) and get your running yardage on 2nd down where you can also be balanced.

    Running 85% of first downs from the power I is not going to work in the NFL in the first 3 quarters of games. It’s just not. If you can run a lot of plays by making first downs early in the game, sure, crank up that running game in the 4th quarter (look at the Saints yesterday).

    Also, when you run the ball on 1st down, with establishing a balanced pattern, you need to balance your run plays with misdirection. A successful offense on first down will throw the ball 60% of the time, run power/stretch plays 15%, misdirection runs 15%, and sweeps 10%. Now the defense can’t load 8 in the box on first down, and they can’t cheat on the times you do run.

    This should be offensive strategy 101, but it seems beyond the Bucs coaches at this time.

  25. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Rainey drops passes too…it’s frustrating. He had a key first down drop early in the Atlanta game that was overshadowed by his fumble, and another one yesterday.

  26. ItsDookie87 Says:

    One of our best runs yesterday was a play that Glennon checked to. You could tell he saw something he liked and checked to the run that went for roughly 10 yards.

    Side note: If Glennon was a 1st rounder last year we would only be talking about how bright the future is.

  27. sho nuff Says:

    note to Bucs…draft grown MEN….these boys cant make it through 4 games with out getting hurt…other teams do it…why cant we?

  28. AnotherJ Says:

    The Bucs should try more zone blocking in the running game.

  29. Rob in Land O Lakes Says:

    I’m not getting all the Martin hate. There were numerous times both this game and Pitt, that I counted 8 and sometimes 9 guys in the box. 6 or 7 can rarely block 8 or 9. It’s difficult if not impossible to run with defenders in the backfield when our RB’s get the ball. To Glennon’s credit, he looked to check out of the run a few times when defenses showed this.

    Let’s get a lead, let Martin run out of the I for at least 20 carries before we collectively bury him. Martin, like most good RB’s becomes most effective on carries 16 thru 25.

  30. Dorian Says:

    I don’t think the pass protection is as good as other people seem to think. That is why most of the passing plays come from the shotgun. The consequence? When Glennon is under center it is almost always a run and the D is ready for it.