Rotten Run Game

November 12th, 2014
Bobby Rainey and the run game have all but vanished. (Photo courtesy of

Bobby Rainey and the run game have all but vanished. (Photo courtesy of

Talk to sober defensive minds and they will tell you the best way to shut down an offense is to make it one-dimensional. That makes a team predictable and often plays right into the hands of a defensive coordinator.

That is part of the problem with the Bucs offense; just one of many, many, many problems. Either Bucs coach Lovie Smith has all but abandoned the run game in the past six quarters, or the Bucs run game is just slightly better than Northeast High School’s.

Pat Yasinskas of notes how the rushing attack of the Bucs has all but vanished.

The latest example of problems in the running game came in Sunday’s 27-17 loss to Atlanta. The Bucs gained only 92 yards on the ground and 39 of those came from quarterback Josh McCown, who ended up as the team’s leading rusher. Bobby Rainey, who got the start at running back in place of injured Doug Martin gained only 14 yards on six carries.

This is not a new issue for the Bucs. In six of their past seven games, they have failed to rush for 100 yards. That has led to an inability to protect leads and helps explain why the Bucs have blown fourth-quarter leads in each of the past three games.

Well, one reason the Bucs didn’t hit 100 yards a week ago was they stopped running. Rainey had 80 yards at halftime and someone (acting offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo?) slammed on the brakes. Even Lovie said the Bucs should have run the ball more — and he is the head coach!

And no, Joe isn’t buying that fullback Luke Stocker getting hurt rendered the run game impotent. If a team literally quits trying to run because of a backup fullback getting hurt, that is the ultimate in tail-between-your-legs football. Frankly, that’s a bigger con than some dudes knocking on your door unannounced trying to sell you new siding.

One reason the run game is gone is that Doug Martin, for reasons unknown, has become virtually useless and Lovie was bound and determined to show off his new toy Sunday, Charles Sims, who in his first game as a pro sure looked mediocre.

16 Responses to “Rotten Run Game”

  1. billy buckaroo Says:

    If you do the same thing the same way that hasn’t worked yet,
    why would you expect it to change?
    Maybe its not the people doing it but the way they are told to do it that needs a look see

  2. SAMCRO Says:

    Let’s put the blame where it’s supposed to be, on the offensive line. You keep piling on Martin but it appears that none of our RB’s can find daylight. It seems you want be happy until they run Martin out of town. Let’s fix the O-line. At least lets wait till our O-line is playing at a college level before we slam our RB’s. If our new rookie with fresh legs can’t find openings, then you know there are none.

  3. Louis Friend Says:

    6 carries, 14 yards for our #1 running back. What more do you need to say?

    This kid Sims may or may not be special. Lets find out. The season is shot, may as well know what he’s got before next season.

  4. Aubpierce Says:

    The only hole produced by the offensive line this year was the run by the fullback.Martin had many holes like that his rookie year.Nothing will change until the line improves or is completely changed.

  5. DB55 Says:

    Mccown was the leading rusher, that speaks volumes on many fronts. The oline is aweful, can’t protect the qb and they can’t run block so they’re just there taking up space and not very well at that.

    Mike James as the 4th string RB is just ridiculous to me. Simms, poor kid, he’ll be on the Herron plan before long. That is to say they’ll talk him up and get our hopes up and then he’ll end up a total bust. He didn’t show outstanding speed or strentgh unlike Rainey who continues to impress me.

    Oline coach should be the first to get canned.

  6. San Francisco Joe Says:


    This is a problem that I’ve been eluding to since week 1. Doug Martin is not useless. Bobby Rainey is not useless; Sims is a rookie who is still getting up to speed.

    We can talk all we want about the RB’s or the O-line being useless. Our RB talent is NOT the problem. It starts with coaching. I’ve never seen any team abandon the running game the way that the Bucs have this season. Say what you want about Greg Schiano (I personally am not a fan) but the reason that Martin had success in 2012 is because the o-coordinator committed to the run game. Martin averaged 20 attempts per game that season.

    Take last game for instance, Rainey (who was supposedly the starter) had a grand total of six rushing attempts. Sims had only nine rush attempts. Before that, Martin averaged only 11 attempts in five games started. This is not a case of our running backs being useless.

    How can we expect the running game (o-line or RB’s) to get in a rhythm if we abandon the run game? We’ve lost 5 games by a touchdown or less this season Joe. Do you honestly think that talent is our problem?

  7. Skyline Crew for Mariota or Winston Says:

    Need to draft a RB.

  8. bucs4lyfe Says:

    all the talk about Charles sims while he was hurt, the guy comes back from an injury that took half of the season to heal, in his first game behind an awful offensive line and you say the guy looks mediocre? only in tampa….we really have some of the worst football talk in the country. it’s ignorant and I guess we should go out and get another running back even though everyone talks about how awful the offensive line is. I just don’t get it. so I could say the offensive line is what made bobby rainey look so good last year and he actually sucks. this team even makes talk radio and joebucsfan suck…they are affecting the entire city with their bad play

  9. BradentuckeyBuc Says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but the uproar a few weeks ago was Lovies insistence on repeatedly running the ball and not utilizing the Dunkaneers! Now we’re complaining about not running the ball!

    Our front lines suck…period! With just average Oline play this team has 3 more wins. Our QBs and RBs are getting killed back there. It’s a lack of talent far more than it is coaching…Though L&L are gravely responsible for their excessive contracts paid to the hacks that need not be named.

  10. DB55 Says:


    You are right 90% of buc fans don’t really know what they’re talking about.

  11. Jeff Diaz Says:


    I take offense to that being that I am one of the coaches at Northeast High School and we had an 1200 yard rusher this year. We also won 4 games and should have won 5 games out of 10 this year.

  12. Skyline Crew for Mariota or Winston Says:

    I don’t know who said we run the ball to much, but that is stupid. We have never run the ball enough. Our problem is running on 1st down every time. Another problem is when your QB is the leading rusher. Something is wrong there. You can blame the o-line all you want, but there has to be blame on the RBs as well. Same for the QBs.

    There is talk of the Eagles looking at Mariota and could trade up. If they would give us some draft picks like the Skins did, then as a GM I would probably take them and then see about trading back up to get Winston. Then use the other picks to grab a RB and some O-Line. You all can talk about Jerry Jones being mad he didn’t take Manziel, but they did the right thing in taking an OL guy. They are doing much better this year because of it.

  13. Dre-Day Says:

    Every single one of our runningbacks are absolutely capable and skilled enough to get the job done. From Mike James all the way up top to Doug Martin, I would be happy to start either one of them if i were coaching a franchise. My simple observation is this….. Earnest Byner. He’s the best runningbacks coach in all of football. When we had him, Doug Martin blew up. Mike James tore it up. Bobby Rainey lit it up. Every starting runningback he coached, had NO LESS than 1,488 yards from scrimmage for the year. That was until last season when Doug Martin went down with his injury. He coached Chris Johnson and Maurice Jones-Drew to rushing titles in just a 3-year span. Why did Lovie Smith let him go? And why is he still unemployed right now? He obviously can get the best out of any runningback he has in his stable.

  14. BoJim Says:

    Skyline. First you say blame RB’s And QB as well. Then you say Dallas did well drafting oline. Make up your mind.

  15. Joseph Mamma Says:

    It’s a typical Buc thing, draft a RB in the first round, of course they’re going to be completely worthless. I would expect nothing else. It’s very Tampa Bay.

  16. iamkingsu Says:

    Who in the hell scraps an entire o line in one off-season?? You plug one new guy in at a time. Do anyone remember Lovie o lines in chit-town? The guy is clueless when it comes it comes to o-line or offense period. And you mix in Arroyo to go with that?? 1+1=2 guys what else did you’ll expect. I’m still want to know what happened to tedford
    @Joe did you do any digging to see what really happened to him yet?