Worst In The NFC South?

September 5th, 2017

Scary running game.

As the Bucs prepare for the season opener against Miami, there is only one position on this team that gives Joe the shivers.

That would be running backs.

Joe is confident in the Bucs secondary. Defensive line? Yeah, Joe is queasy over the defensive line, only from the standpoint of a subpar edge rush. If a team is bro-hugging it out, sighing in relief that oft-injured Jacquies Smith is back practicing again, that speaks volumes to Joe.

The one area scaring the hell out of Joe is the running backs. Joe believes the running game could be the downfall of the Bucs. Even if Doug Martin is on the roster, Joe would be very much in a buyer-beware mode with him.

In fact, the Bucs may have the worst ground game in the division. Let’s take a look.

Atlanta has former 2014 fourth round pick Devonta Freeman, who is a Pro Bowl stud. The Stinking Panthers have Jonathan Stewart and Christian McCaffrey. The Saints have Mark Ingram coming off a 1,000-yard season. The Bucs? Well, they have boom-or-bust (more bust than boom) Martin, Jacquizz Rodgers and noted Britney Spears backup dancer Charles Sims.

It’s pretty clear to Joe the Bucs lag behind the rest of their NFC South foes in the running game.

There is no question when the Bucs have a running game, America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston, is a better quarterback.

Joe hopes the beefed up offensive line (Ali Marpet to center, J.R. Sweezy to right guard) will help the running backs. They will need it.

29 Responses to “Worst In The NFC South?”

  1. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Teams like to run to set up the pass, everyone knows that. We might have to pass to set up the run, it will get you wins, but it doesn’t get you deep into the playoffs when the weather turns and opponents are peaking defensivly.

  2. nate_tweetz Says:

    I like Licht, but it still blows my mind he didn’t put make it more of a priority to draft a RB (D. Cook or M. Mack) in an earlier round of the draft, being that is was a glaring weakness on this team. It is a huge gamble by him to remain status quo on our backfield this year. Licht has the potential of being either GM of the year or a fool that I wouldn’t trust with a free fantasy draft.

  3. nate_tweetz Says:

    You can have an offense that passes to set up the run, but for that you need an elite QB (Rogers/Brady)… Hopefully Jameis will be elite this year.

  4. Stud Says:

    So I guess Joe and Ira are backing off the silly notion that Martin isn’t on the team after his suspension…

    Good coaches do their best to hide their weaknesses, pass to set up the run, if the run game struggles try more short passes. Let’s not keep trying to run up the middle like last year when it was getting stuffed consistently.

    Evans, Jackson, Godwin, Humphrey, Brate and Howard should help a lot in the run game. Bucs shouldn’t see many 8 man fronts with all those weapons.

  5. Joe Says:

    So I guess Joe and Ira are backing off the silly notion that Martin isn’t on the team after his suspension…

    Listen to Ira’s podcast that is coming.

  6. stpetebucsfan Says:

    The OL will determine our fate. Ajayi went from 187 yards to over 1200 in a single season.

    There is a reason RB’s have been devalued in the past decade and it’s not just because the league has fallen in love with the pass..although I concede that’s a big part of it.

    But there are sooo many athletics dudes out there that if you block for them they’ll be successful which is why so many can come out of later rounds.

    Doug is an every other year kind of guy who plays with the $$$ on the line. He absolutely has something to prove. If the line blocks Doug will get his 1,000 yards even in a 13 game season. I think Peyton can run if the line blocks…same for Quizz..and if Sims stays healthy our backfield is OK.

    No superstars but solid….IF the OL is as stout as it appears it may be. Pamphile and Ali and Sweezy are a good trio of road graders up the middle. They’ll LOVE run blocking.

  7. Maze Says:

    No no no Martin is 90% gone. Trust me Joe said so.

  8. Casual Observer Says:

    Barber may turn out better than most think. Becoming reliable; and has learned how to protect the QB.

  9. David Says:

    agree with casual observer……..we need to give Barber more touches…Dude runs hard and has burst that the other backs do not have.

  10. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I’ll wait and see. Improved Offensive Line will make our RBs look great, and that’s all that matters.

  11. rrsrq Says:

    I know it is in the past but two years ago, Bucs were #1 in the NFC South. D. Freeman is coming off concussion protocol and just got paid and he has had injuries in the past. Mark Ingram was supposed to be the next big thing, he has been good but not great (you do not know what AP you are going to get), Jonathan Stewart has been a consistent beast, but aging and we have no idea what McCaffrey will be yet. Year to year, schedules change, defenses change, film is more dissected. I am not as worried about the running game as much, I do not think we will be dynamic, but I do think our RB’s will be able to do enough to keep defenses honest. I do worry about our 3rd down defense (3 and outs), I think we are more bend don’t break. We have a punter that can pin a team deep and it would be nice to keep teams deep in their own territory and give the offense a short field.

  12. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Joe Mixon “Yhe Mitigating Factor” we had a shot and we blew it Biggley!!

  13. Fsuking Says:

    Lol you guys have been so negative today. What going on over there? But for real, if you seriously think the Bucs running game is worse than the saints or panthers BEFORE Rookie McCafferey and the Saints historically bad running game even prove something, then you are just pounding keys to stir people up

  14. Tony from Los Angeles Says:

    Look at the Super Bowl champions. Look at the draft capital spent on their hoard of running backs. Look at Green Bay. These a re prime examples of well run organizations who do not spend early picks on RBs. Give this group a chance. Barber is a very talented RB who a lot of the geek-heads really like. Sims is healthy and should look closer to his 2015 form this year. Martin has flashed big time twice before and all signs point to a return to that form. I’m not a huge Rodgers fan.

    But this is not a dire group that will lose the Bucs games. What the Bucs added to the passing game in Howard, Djax, and Godwin will do more to open up the running game and prevent stacked boxes than anything the Bucs could have drafted at the RB position. That’s why teams like GB and NE are successful without spending big on the position – they have passing attacks that disallow 8 man fronts.

  15. Guzzie Says:

    Licht needed an excuse for the poor run game this year, its Dougs fault, but seriously relying on UDFA Barber, street FA/undersized Quizz, and injury prone Sims and Martin, what could go wrong….same old Bucs always chasing to fix problems (WR/weapons in pass game last year) instead of staying ahead (OT, DE, RB), using 2nd round picks on 4th a string Safety, unemployed kickers, and a moronic TE will definitely put other positions in jeopardy of subpar play

  16. Bucs fan in NC Says:

    What Tony said is spot on! The Patriots do it every year with a crappy stable of running backs and Green Bay took a damn WR and put him at RB. We’ll be fine, especially when Martin is back…… And he will be!

  17. D-Rome Says:

    Guys, don’t be so sure about Doug Martin being back. Unlike all of you the Joes, Ira, Big Dog, et al have a far better pulse at the happenings at One Buc. The team has *yet* to make a statement either way. When there is a lack of such a statement one has to wonder how the team really feels about him.

    I won’t be surprised either way and I’m sure the Bucs will make the right decision.

  18. BucfanInCa Says:

    Relax people real football starts Thursday.

  19. Cobraboy Says:

    The fun game will be as good as the OK is. Like 2016 when the OK almost got Winston killed.

    The running game needs to be good enough to keep DC’s honest at a minimum, and I think it will.

  20. Cobraboy Says:

    I hate tablet keyboards.

  21. westernbuc Says:

    Bucs arguably have the worst QB in the division too. The fact is that the NFC South is the best division in football, I’m still more concerned about sacking those other 3 quarterbacks

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    Cobraboy … virtual keyboards drive me crazy too. Lots of nice Bluetooth keyboards on the market though & quite inexpensive. My favorite for my iPad is the iClever Portable Folding Keyboard … really cool & works great with other tablets & with my iPhone too.

  23. Rod Munch Says:

    The Bucs have a 1st team All-Pro runningback that was 2nd in the league in 2015 and they have both pieces of the top backfield in the game in 2015. The idea that the Bucs have issues at runningback is like the Hillary backers who thought they’d win the election after the election by doing recounts…

    BTW those recounts, the only one completed which was in Wisconsin, actually increased Trump’s victory margin. LOL!

    That is what will be the outcome of this Martin bashing Joe, and even if Martin is an all-pro this year again I can see the day the season ends you starting up the non-stop news saying the Bucs MUST have a RB right now. Although, in fairness, next year is an even numbered year so Martin will probably turn into a pumpkin. But this year – give it a rest – Martin has looked fantastic so far and if Dirk does more than run it up the middle on every single first down like he did last year, if Dirk bothered to look at his 2015 tape, the Bucs should be set.

  24. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Not sure what Ira’s podcast is going to say, but at this point if Koetter and Licht release Martin they should be fired. Doug had an excellent camp and proved that he is by far our best option at RB. It seems you are suggesting that he believes Martin could still be released. I really don’t think anyone outside of the Joe’s really believes that anymore. Maybe Ira is the third though.

  25. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    So you’re happy with having an a$$ clown as president Rod?

  26. Rod Munch Says:

    TouchDownTampaBay – Triggered! LOL!

    Oh chill out lady, I was just using an example that fit.

  27. Max Says:

    If Sweezy and Smith don’t work out and Marpet muddles along slowly learning center then I would say the worst position group will be O-line. Pretty sure the rest of the division has better players at O-line across the board than us.

  28. Rod Munch Says:

    Here’s the ESPN rankings for offensive lines, it has the Bucs at 31…

    31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Overall grade: D-

    Pass blocking: D-
    Run blocking: D-
    Stability/consistency: C
    Schedule: D+

    Tampa Bay has been rightfully lauded for adding DeSean Jackson and O.J. Howard to this offense, but maybe they should have done more to help the offensive line. The Buccaneers ranked tied for 29th in both PPM (45.4 percent) and pressure rate allowed (34.6 percent). Tampa Bay also placed last in yards per rush before first defensive contact (1.7) and 29th in GBR (33.7 percent). All of those metrics hinder the value of returning four offensive line starters and add significant risk to fantasy owners looking to this team for upside plays.

    GBR – measures how often a ball carrier is given good run blocking, roughly defined as the offense not allowing the defense to disrupt a rush attempt.

    PPM – measures how often an offense controls the line of scrimmage on a dropback

  29. BringBucsBack Says:

    If Licht’s plan was to draft a RB in the 5th just to let McWeapon AND Hansbough (sp.) walk and THEN let Dougie go, than he is duplicating the logic that lead him to believe that a kicker in the second was a sound move.

    Doug is coming back! Stop this.

    Tanking the season for the Penn State RB makes more sense.