The Backs Are Alright

December 11th, 2014

A former Buccaneer says don’t point a finger at the running backs

The Buccaneers’ stable of running backs is just fine.

A former Buccaneer says Tampa Bay is well set at that position and puts this year’s running game failures on the blocking in front of them.

Below, Joe’s linked to current aaudio of ESPN and Buccaneers Radio Network analyst Anthony Becht, the former Bucs, Jets, Rams and Cardinals tight end, breaking the subject down on WDAE-AM 620.

Joe doesn’t feel like the typing all the quotes, but Becht was very clear. The Bucs possess a very solid group with Doug Martin, Bobby Rainey, Charles Sims and Mike James, when it comes to running the football. Becht has been critical of the running backs’ pass blocking skills through this year, but Joe is only talking here about rushing.

It’s an interesting debate.

Last year, Doug Martin was inconsistent through six games, with one great outing among them. And he was never a threat out of the backfield. In came Bobby Rainey and Mike James when Martin got hurt, and they combined for three monster games but little beyond that. Jason Licht and Lovie Smith replaced three O-line starters (Carl Nicks and Jamon Meredith were retained at guard but couldn’t cut it), and everything’s gotten worse.

Martin has taken a significant step backwards. Charles Sims is averaging 2.2 yards a carry. Bobby Rainey’s carries have been cut significantly, despite being the Bucs’ leading rusher. Mike James is buried on the bench and relegated to short yardage.

The Bucs’ running game is ranked 31st in the NFL, but Becht is convinced it’s not the backs.

21 Responses to “The Backs Are Alright”

  1. Brandon Says:

    Having a below average collegiate offensive coordinator doesn’t help either…nor does having two below average QBs…nor does having a poor offensive line…but it call goes back to the OC. Good teams continue to run even when it isn’t working so well to set up the pass… we set up the pass by passing…or trying to pass.

  2. bucrightoff Says:

    Why Sims is getting more carries than Martin right now is pure idiocy. From what we’ve seen Sims is not a great runner and not a great pass protector. Maybe he’s a better receiver but so what? We need a running back who can run and pick up blitzes. Martin and Rainey are clearly superior at those things, but Sims gets more carries. Comes off as trying to justify the pick more than anything.

  3. buc4lyfe Says:

    Every team has a weakness you could actually scheme your running game to attack them like Detroit did to Michael Johnson but our quarterbacks coach knows nothing about coaching or coordinating or game planning so where is the big run game gonna come from?

  4. Buccfan37 Says:

    The opponent’s defense knows when a run is coming most of the time.

  5. Cascade Says:

    We can’t know what the backs can do with such crap blocking.

  6. Hawk Says:

    While I agree that the O-line is to blame for the lack of a running game, I disagree that ALL the RBs are “fine”. They are ALL running behind the same line. They are ALL playing with the same QB. They are ALL playing under the same OC (cough, choke), but they are NOT all providing the same production.
    Rainey 4.3yds per carry and 7.0 yds per catch
    Martin 2.9 yds per carry and 3.3 yds per catch
    It may be interesting, but it’s not much of a debate.

  7. LargoBuc Says:

    I dont get why Sims who has been injured most of the season was inserted into the offense. He’s a rookie third rd pick. He should be fourth on the depth chart and forced to earn his spot instead he is just being put in cause Lovie drafted him. What kind of a message does that send when hes basically given a spot in the rotation while Mike James and Rainey warm the bench. There has to be competition at every position.

  8. OB Says:

    With this OL and our play calling plus QB play, we could have the galloping ghost and he would be plowed under. We have a center that can’t always hike the ball right and guard that forget to start blocking and we almost alway try to run up the middle so I believe only a real honest to goodness tractor, maybe a John Deere, could gain yards with this scene.

  9. port richey george Says:

    I noticed Anthony becht didn’t blame the tight ends. I guess he has a soft spot for the TE’s lack of blocking. Anthony was after all a tight end. the TE’S need to improve their blocking skills along with the o linemen.

  10. Dean Says:

    I get sick of hearing and seeing references to the Bucs getting away from the running game and how this is a mistake. The facts are this:
    The Bucs are rushing at 2-3 yards per attempt. Run the ball 3 times and it’s 3 and out. Run the ball twice and you are left with a 3rd and 5 or 6 yards to go situation.
    Trying to do the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of stupidity. Until we can get linemen that can block worth a damn, there is no way the running game is going to be even slightly effective.

  11. Zam Says:

    When did “alright” become the way you spell “all right”?

  12. mac Says:

    I agree that the line is a major contributor to our horrid running game… However, I don’t think our running backs are very good… Doug Martin is OK but he can’t catch or pass block worth a dam, Rainney has problems fumbling and staying healthy and Sims is a rookie who has looked decent at times, bad at times and also has fumbled a few…

    Overall a pretty unimpressive group…

  13. port richey george Says:

    Iowa left tackle Brandon Scherff should be drafted with the bucs top draft pick. he would help the running game and passing game. this guy is a mean nasty beast. a weight room junky.

  14. Z-BucFan Says:

    The only difference between Martin and Rainey so far, is that Rainey’s one long run wasn’t called back for holding. Basically, all the backs are underperforming because 1) there are no NFL starters on our offensive line, and 2) defenses all know when we’re running because of poor play calling

  15. PanthersSuck! Says:

    Sudam Huseins army thought they were “all right” in 1992. “All right” doesn’t cut it on the field when the big boys come to play…

  16. Lou. Says:

    Does anyone else think Gilkey could be a good prospect? He brought physicality to the center position. Sure he needs to learn technique but he did bring some lumber even though unprepared.

  17. Another J Says:

    Our offensive lineman can’t block, It doesn’t matter who the running back is, If they’re running behind that sorry excuse for a line.
    Even if they did know how to block, Arroyo wouldn’t know how to take advantage of it, because he sucks at calling the right play at the right time!

  18. lion Says:

    I truly am of the same mindset of Becht. Put any of our RB’s on the Patriots, Steelers, Dallas and they would all be 1,000+ yard rushers right now, guaranteed.

  19. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Sims is getting snaps and should….we need to develop all of our younger players at this point in the season…..Pamphile & Herron should also get much needed experience. Simple as that….

  20. BoJim Says:

    Tampabaybucfan Said:

    Sims is getting snaps and should….we need to develop all of our younger players at this point in the season…..Pamphile & Herron should also get much needed experience. Simple as that….


  21. SAMCRO Says:

    If you have a stellar offensive line it doesn’t matter if you choose to run or pass on first down, because chances are, you will be successful at both, which in the end also makes your offense less predictable. I.E. The Packers/ Aaron Rodgers

    I’m sick of all this BS about putting the cart before the horse. Let’s fix and spend money on our offensive line first, then we worry about the rest.

    pick# 1 OT
    pick# 2 OT
    pick# 3 OT

    Do that and let’s see where we are in two years. If you got the BIG NASTIES to block for 4 seconds and longer every snap, any QB in the NFL today could be serviceable.