Running Back Blues

April 29th, 2017

It’s Gil Arcia’s Saturday column! His 12th since joining the team.


Bucs had opportunities to improve their running game on Day 2 of the draft but failed.

Tampa Bay’s running attack, as of right now, remains as one of the worst in the league with no upgrade to the position. Yes, that’s right. It appears Jameis Winston will head into opening day without a standout back who can carry the load each week.

Defenses will continue to dare Winston to throw without any fear of a running game because there will be no play-action to respect.

This is not about Dalvin Cook or Joe Mixon. Those guys were gone, probably before the Bucs made an attempt to acquire them in the second round.

Maybe Jason Licht was playing a game of hope, hoping that one or both would just land on his lap — kind of like O.J. Howard in the first round.

We now enter Day 3 where Alvin Kamara, D’Onta Foreman, and Kareem Hunt are also off the board. They are now left with the bottom of the barrel for running backs.

Samaje Perine, Oklahoma’s all-time leading rusher is available and can be “that guy.” But history suggests a guy who poses nearly a 4.7-second 40 time that won’t be your feature back.

And yes, hometown kid Marlon Mack is still undrafted. However, he is not patient enough to follow the run lanes. The team already has that in Charles Sims.

Tampa Bay and Jason Licht missed a golden opportunity early on in Day 2. They instead now have a safety Licht admits plays overly aggressive at times, and they moved back into the third round for a linebacker coming off a late-season ACL injury.


70 Responses to “Running Back Blues”

  1. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Steelers did well with a back-up deangelo williams. Patriots have done well without a marquee running back. Rb is devalued in today’s nfl. One of the reasobs we had no run game is that teams only had to double evans and could stack the box without anyone else surrounding Evans (I know we had Brate but you didnt have to respect his speed).

  2. Eric Denman Says:

    Keep the flaming butt hurt articles to yourself. I trust Licht and at the end of the day the team that won the Super Bowl doesn’t have a featured back. Getting OJ Howard and Chris Godwin are stellar picks and we will see how much Beckwith can contribute on ST.

  3. Mort Says:

    Perine may very well be the first pick today by the Packers. Unless the Bucs wanna give up a third next year, he won’t be a buc. I’m super sad about that but in the immortal words of every idiot football player ever: “It is what it is”.

    Marlon Mack might take a trade up into late 4th which we would have to give up a 4 next year and our 5 this year. So… there you have it.

  4. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Nah bud, This issue isn’t the lack of running backs available. There are still really good prospects available outside of Mack and Perine (btw Jerome Bettis ran an official 4.7 40), but it’s whether or not JL even wants a running back.

    I will say this, I trust Jason Licht’s judgement mostly. And he knows what good Doug Martin pre 2015 looked like in training camp. It’s a gamble on Doug Martin staying healthy, one I wish he wouldn’t take though.

  5. Andrew Says:

    I have a feeling that having having all these perimeter weapons may actually help the running game. Rodgers and Martin are actually good backs. Last year we were banged up but we are one year off from having one best running attacks in the league (2015).

    I think this website is simply becoming an alarmist site. Typing without thinking.

  6. Kobe Faker Says:

    Quizz is a very good back

    Much better than any of those unproven projects…and martin

    Quizz will be running against 7 man fronts and gain over 1000 yards in 2017

    Martin will BACKUP quizz because quizz will be among nfl leading rushers after game 3

    Quizz patient and cutback ability doesnt look great in underwear practices but they are highly effective in gametime and even WITHOUT a great offensive line

  7. Maxdrumsalot Says:

    Dude focus on the positives! There is still time and the Bucs may have someone they really like already, and there are still some OK FA rbs available. Line could be up this year with additional continuity and sweezy, therefore making it more easily for anyone to be successful. as long as we are falling forward to get positive yards on early downs we have weapons to be at every level of the passing game. It’s all complimentary!

  8. Tampabayucfan Says:

    Joe and others have obviously missed the mark with their obsession over the RB position. It’s quite obvious by now that the Bucs don’t think they need a RB…..they could have traded up or down or simply picked one and didn’t.
    Licht made it clear that he was happy with this group and that includes Doug Martin.
    We still may pick up another RB in FA or later in the draft or an UDFA or trade before or into the season….but, I doubt it.
    Give it up.

  9. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Jamaal Williams is probably the best available running back left.

    Prolific producer, for what that’s worth. But he compares Favorably to Demarco Murray at 6’0 213, and ran a 4.53 at his proday. I wouldn’t pass on him in the 5th, but the chances he makes it there are slim.

  10. lurker Says:

    Cry me a river, whomever you are.

    Runningbacks are a dime a dozen, until the joes change their mind. Tow the company line.

  11. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    Gil, why did Joe bring you on? Damn your articles suck! Give it a rest… Failure? Really? Fu¢k outta here with that. Go write for TBT clown

  12. Josh Says:

    I agree… this team apparently still has faith in Doug Martin, not sure why.

  13. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Jeremy McNichols is basically Doug Martin lite, but slimmer/ faster with a 4.49 40 at 5’9 214. Good balance, speed, quickness, and escape ability.

    he could be there. but will licht take him?

  14. DBS Says:

    If Martin stays, to bad if you or anyone else does not like it. Once again, you don’t own the team nor run it. We can only trust the people that do.

  15. brian4bucs Says:

    This team is all in on this family thing and with that I think they view Doug as a family member in which they want to get behind…I want to see how this plays out and see Doug bounce back. However i do think its a risk and we should have a backup plan.

  16. Eric Denman Says:


  17. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Brian Hill has comparable measurables to David Johnson, at 6’1 219, and can flash surprising lateral quickness and jukes for his size, shows good leg drive, can catch, and has a devastating stiff arm.

    But can sometimes struggle to stay up right. Would not say he has elite balance, but could maybe grow into his feet through hard work and practice.

  18. USFBUC Says:

    While I have been on the replace DM bandwagon I don’t think our running game is in that bad of shape. Based on career averages, if DM plays in all 13 games he is eligible to play in this year, he still has the potential to be a 1000 yard rusher.

    Being disappointed with not landing any of the RBs that I preferred I started looking into DM some more. DM has missed significant chunks of time but he has still played in 71% of the games he could have played in. His career numbers average out to 18 carries per game, 4.2 yards per carry, 2 catches per game, and 8.3 yards per catch. Those are not bad numbers and the equate to 92 yards per game. With the weapons we added I understand why the team probably didn’t feel the need to add a RB with an early pick.

  19. martinii Says:

    Apparently there are two schools of thought aligning so I guess either you fall in the “Dam we didn’t get a running back,” or “Licht and Koetter determined some time ago that they liked what we have.” I personally like what we have and do not believe that the Buc’s blew an opportunity to get one in the 2nd or 3rd RD, but simply chose to stay with their plan which never intended to choose a back in the first place. I think they brought in a several for pre-draft visits simply to reinforce their no-new-backs philosophy.

  20. Swift Moon Says:

    The Buccaneers were 100 rushing yards short of middle of the league numbers with the first two RBs injured, and so many injuries at WR that defenses could stack the box all the time.

    You don’t fix a running game by installing a new running back. Gurley is a great back but he sucked last year because the Rams suck at running.

    This weird obsession with running backs represents a superficial understanding of football.

  21. Wolfet Says:

    Gil, quit trying to troll the fan base and get everyone riled. I can’t believe the popular narrative is we need a running back when you really need a group of backs now. Still plenty of opportunity to improve there and free agents left too.

  22. Guzzie Says:

    We already went threw this last year with our WR corps, RB is going to ruin our season, how long till we figure out without a strong running game, the vertical offense doesn’t work! It’s gonna be 2 yards, 1 yard, 3rd and long, very depressing if we don’t get a decent RB, Martin and Sims have proven they are not the answer, and give me a break about Quiz, he doesn’t scare anybody. It’s a shame really, we deserve better than this, what a way to ruin our hopes and dreams, I repeat, no running game, no vertical offense!!!

  23. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    Eric Denman Says:
    April 29th, 2017 at 10:08 am

  24. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Wayne Gallman is the forgotten man of Clemson’s championship Offense. Dual threat RB who runs with a LOT of attitude & deciseness. It would not be a stretch to say he runs angry lol. Has decent size at 6’0 210, good balance & elusiveness.

    Disappointing long speed numbers at the combine, but could be a productive back in a committee.

    Again the question is, Does licht want a Rb?

  25. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    Relax Guzzie
    All will be right.
    Trust in the Licht

  26. TeddyTB Says:

    James Conner might be available kid has a good story and seems like a hard worker. But first can we all stop acting like we haven’t seen our rbs rip it up before. If our off-season moves and sweezy work out we Doug might go to his 3rd pro bowl. Let’s be optimistic, hell our pasing game should be prolific and y’all cryings

  27. Guzzie Says:

    And don’t try to tell us a position that only plays 40% of the time,SAM LB, is more valuable than a strong running game.

  28. gotbbucs Says:

    There should be improvement in the running game just based on the improvements that have been made to the passing game. There is no way that defenses can load up the box on us anymore which makes the O-line’s life alot easier.
    Am I going to be upset if they don’t grab one of the later round running backs that I like? Sure, but I also think Peyton Barber is a solid back and I wouldn’t be scared to use him in a committee with the other guys we have. I also think a couple gems are going to be available again this year as UDFA’s at that position.

  29. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    James Conner is gone, he got picked 2 picks before us in the 3rd by Pittsburgh.

  30. Bucfan951 Says:

    Bucs would’ve drafted a rb and Gil and his band of journalist gm’s would’ve still found a reason to complain about something. Can’t fill all of the needs in 1 draft, slick!

  31. flash_kiley Says:

    Joe Williams
    Wayne Gallman
    Marlon Mack
    TJ Logan
    Samaje Perine
    Jeremy McNichols
    Jamaal Williams
    Corey Clement

    All are similar in talent level and competent enough to help tote the rock. The running game will be okay. I would rather the bell cow back, but you can get away with a strength in numbers backfield.

  32. Gencoimports Says:

    You said it WhatdaBucisthis. These articles suck.

    Yes, Doug Martin could get hurt again. So can any running back.

    LeVeon Bell in 4 seasons, has been suspended twice, missed half of one season when his knee got blown up and pulled a hamstring in the AFC championship game and I don’t hear anyone in Pittsburgh wanting to run him out of town.

    Joe had made some good moves bringing in Ira, The Commish, Todd Wright and Rock Riley, but this isn’t one of them.

  33. Bucfan951 Says:

    I like how’s it’s April and the panic button is already being pushed. The draft isn’t even finished yet lol

  34. Mike Johnson Says:

    Show me a great offensive line and I’ll show you an offense with a good running back. Martin is going to be our RB and he will have a stellar year. So deal with it.
    Yes, I would have loved to see what Mixon could have done with us. But he was pick prior to us as was Cook. Still think we need to improve our pass rush though.

  35. darin Says:

    Doug martin 2nd in nfl in rushing a year ago. If he has it together and they are gona give him another chance i see no reason to pick a back. Not sure what the big deal is. Doug has made this another contract year, so its on. If he is off the sauce he will have a big year. Bucs Finalllllly got some speed and weapons to keep the safeties out of the box. Quizz can probably have a huge year this year. The running room will be there. The team had nobody, i mean nobody to scare defenses last year. Watch the games again. Licht n koetter know what theyre doing. Big big year for the offense, and running game. Playoffs baby playoffs. Are we really gona care about the name on the back of the rbs jersey when we finally get back to the playoffs? (Jim mora voice). I wont. Go bucs

  36. LakeLandBuc Says:

    We will find a RB in the 5th,7th Round or maybe as an UDFA that’s better than a 1st team All-Pro…..Florida Dreaming. It’s time to wakeup and accept reality, Doug Martin is our RB!

  37. Tackleblockwin Says:

    @ swift moon

    Agree 100%.

  38. pete Says:

    Blount is available

  39. briandorry55 Says:

    We agree wholeheartedly. Good honest write-up. Glad to see somebody point out the flaw of guys like Perine and Mack rather than simply drooling over highlights tape. Two guys I still like that could probably be had in the 5th are Jamaal Williams and Brian Hill. Obviously still flawed, but I like their upside.

  40. Alanbucsfan Says:

    The Bucs draft so far has upgraded the offensive line, secondary, receivers and special teams. Joe, your (and many fans) obsession with running back is without merit. True , Martin will be out the first 3 games, but if history plays out, he will have a good year (every other year a pro bowler). Rodgers and Barber and whoever late pick or FA will do fine til Martin returns.
    Late picks focused on line depth and special teams will round out a solid draft.
    Excited for next season!

  41. uckinator Says:

    Wow, I have been a vocal critic of Doug Martin, since the drug revelation. Gave up his support system of his fans and teammates to get high. How can you count on a guy like that. Great year, piss poor year, great year, piss poor year. Kick him to the curb I said. But… I’ve altered my opinion. Would suggest to sign him to an incentive laden contract. Good for him; stays with the team and it’s system and good for the Bucs; Motivated veteran with a prior track record. Bring him back.

  42. uckinator Says:

    Yes, I can live with DM being dragged down at the 2; as long as he just gained 40 yards.

  43. NYCBucsDave Says:

    I have to defend this article and say I agree. I normally sit back and just enjoy reading the posts from everyone on JBF but the comments here are idiotic.

    Martin has been hurt far too often in his career to make me feel comfortable in him 100%. Add to the fact that it is now known that he has popped pills before, I think you fanboys need to take the shades off. A quarterback’s best friend is a good running game. While i absolutely LOVE the offensive additions, I think we missed on getting an RB and improving that aspect of the game.

    We can only hope we draft a Mack now and work on his flaws for the future. And despite what Koetter has said about having a hard=on for his backs, they were still at the bottom of the league. That needs to change and it won’t be changing with Martin.

  44. ISH Says:

    #FireGil +1

  45. Tony from Los Angeles Says:

    I really like this site. But you guys don’t seem to follow history and trends. Sry much. The consistently good teams just do not invest premium picks into the RB position.

    Plus – did the Bucs just not draft one of the best, if not THE best, run blocking TEs in the draft? Did the Bucs not sign a premium speed WR and a big play TE threat to keep teams from ever playing 8 man fronts (which they were able to do a ton last season vs. the Bucs)? Does this not have a lrofpund effect on the running game?

    Come on guys. Paint the whole picture. The Bucs have done more work to make their offense explosive that will ultimately help the ground game than I ever envisioned possible at the beginning of the offseason.

  46. Maze Says:

    Cook fanboys still in Tears

  47. Buccfan37 Says:

    Always expected the Muscle Hamster to play for the Bucs this year. YAY

  48. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Can we ever get past mediocrity in the backfield? Doug Martin is NOT the answer. He scares NOBODY. He cannot take it to the house….3TD’s year over his five years means he’s not bulling it in on the goaline either.

    We can build a great Oline and make any RB look better that’s true and that’s what it would absolutely take for Martio succeed. I’m not burnt over the drugs athough he did cosst his team and I understand those who are….I’m even sanguine about the 60% of his career that Martin did not show up…it’s the 40% he played where he was good not great….he’s just not exciting….No sweat…we have an exciting QB…Two exciting WR’s…and a kid who could turn out to be the best TED in the league and will certainly be exciting….a little boredom at RB is OK

  49. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Stpete, Are you really gonna deny how good Doug was in 2015 and 2012?

    He was 60 yards away from getting the rushing title just 2 years ago.

    You’re really gonna say he wasn’t good those seasons because he gets dragged down at the 5?

  50. Dooshlarue Says:

    @USFBUC and genco

    Both of you seem to be of sound mind and logic with your posts.

    I agree 100% and am not a huge DM fan.

  51. Cobraboy Says:

    Doug Martin will be the bellcow.

  52. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    Stpete, Are you really gonna deny how good Doug was in 2015 and 2012?

    You’re not reading me Blake. I said he was “good” in those two years especially his rookie year behind a good performance from the OLINE..

    I said he was “good” not great. He was not a gamechanger…just a competent professional for 40% of his career.

    #3= excitement!!!! 13….DITTO….is there any doubt that OJ is going to be exciting? That he can maybe even take agame over as he did that national championship a couple years ago?

    Doug Martin MEH. I get more excited by Quizz because I can at least imagine him staying healthy and perhaps playing like Maurice Jones Drew….Martin…again MEH…do you really see him changing any games…other than perhaps costing us the first three because he can’t even show up?

  53. Fred E. Buc Says:

    I don’t consider 24th of 32 one of the worst, but it isn’t good either. Gil and others are wetting their pants over nothing. They are the ones who fail to look at the overall needs (where RB is not a major need in the whole picture context) and full picture on Martin. Gil is just all butt hurt, which is normal…but he fails to look at the logic of a healthy Martin, healthy Quizz, healthy Sims, and Barber with a bit of experience. We did better by taking a S and WR…and LB last night. Maybe some guys were just in a drunken stupor during the years where Martin showed how dangerous he is. The shear logic…Jason and Lovie knowing that have to win now, means they are not taking RB lightly. Fear not.

  54. BucsFanFromSaintsLand Says:

    Marlon Mack or Tarik Cohen in the 5th. They are true change of pace backs that we can use.

  55. Fred E. Buc Says:

    No Gil, Jason is not rethinking his draft pick as you are trying to imply. He just stated where his new S needs some work. Just like Jameis, Mike Evans, and others who aren’t perfect. As for Beckwith…his injury was in mid November…I’m sure he’s running full in a straight line now and likely on track to return by camp…the Bucs need depth at LB and S (if not a starter) more than at RB. JoeBucsFan pretty much blew all the “feels” about the Bucs draft…and you want to take it out on Jason? Sorry gents…I think the picks are great…many do.

  56. Fred E. Buc Says:

    Same guy that ribs Jason about drafting a guy coming off ACL injury in Round 3 wanted to draft a woman beater and another guy with several shoulder and leg surguries/injuries in the first round? LOL. So glad Gil isn’t doing the draft picks for the Bucs. We’d have a roster full of warlord, battle bruised thugs…

  57. Capt.Tim Says:

    I think That Licht believes Barber can handle a lot more this year.
    Me Too!
    Or, Licht thinks he’ll be able to find a great back, after camp cuts, or as UFA
    Me too!
    Running back is still being waaaay over valued.
    Personally- I loved Blount when he was here- and would love to him back!
    That hurdle thing was off the hook!.

    Plenty more Vets gonna be job shopping.
    Rookies suck- they cant pass block
    And we are gonna pass alot

  58. Howard Returns Says:

    This running back hysteria is getting to be like the Great Manziel Crush of 2014.

  59. Fred E. Bucs Says:

    Capt Tim…very good points. Maybe you have talked Gil off the ledge.

  60. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    I’m saying though Stpete, he was great in 2015. How are you going to deny that bud? Didn’t he lead the league that season in forced missed tackles and yards after contact?

    He was an exceptional player in 2015.

    When healthy and motivated, Doug martin is easily a top 12 RB in the league.

  61. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Boo hoo! Martin will be back with a vengence!

    I understand how you can be down on Martin. I get it, i do. But you also have to realize that Martin has come back from a bad year. He has the talent to be dangerous. We all have first hand experience watching Martin gashing defenses and breaking tackles with that monster stiff arm. Maybe you have forgetten what Martin can be. I know it is hard to forgive and forget. But martin is our guy, get over or it or find your safe place, i hear minnesota has a decent RB you guys can drool over. Lol

  62. Rich Says:

    What a joke, the one glaring problem facing the Bucs despite all the crazies who think we don’t need a better rb and they didn’t even address it? Wow, guess we’ll work on one part of offense this year. Hope it works out.

  63. Broy34 Says:

    Did I want perine? Yeah. But stop crying and acting like you know more than these guys. You do not. Our problem was our line last year. Quizz is a very talented back and in this spread style offense you’re gonna see…Evans one side Jackson another. Godwin and hump in the slot(btw Joe claimed they’re so in love with Rudy they won’t draft receiver. Safety isn’t a need. Wrong on all counts including tight end not a need. ) Evans jackson Godwin hump brate howard. Truly an unstoppable force of an offense. This offense is gonna be spreading the ball around and looking like Koetters Atlanta offenses. We were a run first team because we had few weapons. They’re not gonna draft howard and Godwin to be run first then not draft a running back. This has been a fantastic draft and I think we got the best offensive player available. With quizz and a motivated Martin were gonna light it up

  64. CarolinaBucFan Says:

    Bravo Gil, you just cemented yourself as a man who cares more about an FSU player and being right about his uneducated guess to further his idiotic agenda, than about improving “his team”!

  65. BUC55 Says:

    One of the worst articles I’ve seen. Wow

  66. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    They didn’t want them or they would have them ! Dumb ass!!!

  67. Mike Johnson Says:

    Joe..Your article should have been titled…Pass Rush Blues!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Where the pass rush Beef at?

  68. TheShaz Says:

    Eh, right now it is all SPECULATION on if this 2017 Draft was a success or not.

    Ask me in two years, not even one year is enough to evaluate.

    Running Back: I tend to agree with some when they point to New England able to go deep into the playoffs year after year without a marquee RB. And I cannot see defense stacking the box with the downfield threats we now have. If you have no passing attack or if it was dependent on one WR because the other old guy got hurt, again. What do you expect.

    I dunno, I see depth @ WR and RB, I see a young OL still on the rise and Winston going into his 3rd year.

    I see a very interesting season and yes……I see PLAYOFFS or at worst in a fight for a playoff berth in December, you have to face the fact we are in the toughest division in the NFL.

    I want the Bucs to be “BAD ASS”, I want them to have a swagger, but that sh!t is earned and not given away for free. IMHO the only thing that can derail us is the Injury Bug.

  69. Steven007 Says:

    Echoes from the cave? More like echoes from the myopic space between your ears. Not your best work Gil. Obviously Licht had a plan and stuck to it. McNichols was great value when we got him. Kind of like Howard was for the Bears last year.


    The draft went well. At the time of this article’s posting, we did not yet draft a RB. Perhaps had the spelunker waited till after the draft to “contribute” this article, it could have been more of a silver-lining approach to a draft that should be more so looked at as a glass half full. I am in the belief that every one of our picks will contribute in some way this year. Some for a few years. This guy just appears to be sad that Dalvin Cook isn’t a Buc. It would have been nice to get him in the second round, but it didn’t happen. I’d much rather go into next year with all of our picks rather than have moved up to the top of the 2nd. It will be interesting to see how those RBs taken in the 2nd do. One thing is for certain, Joe, your apprenticeship offering that you have with this guy’s articles is too kind. We understand. It’s kind of like in Little League, every player gets 1 at bat and 3 innings.