He Can Pass Block!

April 7th, 2018

Not just a runner.

Call Joe a caveman (among other things) if you wish, but Joe is a simple man.

When Joe looks at football players, he wants them to excel at one thing, and if they can, not only does Joe believe they will be fine football players, but a team full of these guys likely will win more than they lose.

A wide receiver? He should be able to catch the ball. An offensive lineman? Joe hopes he could block. A quarterback? How about throwing the ball? There is no real need to get complicated here.

Anything more than the primary talent for which a player plays his position is just gravy in Joe’s eyes.

Now some seem to believe the most sacrosanct of virtues a running back can have is pass protection. Is it important? Sure. But that should never, ever trump a running back’s ability to, you know, run the ball.

Apparently, this is not an issue with coveted running back Sony Michel of Georgia. Well respected Daniel Jeremiah, a former NFL scout but now living a nice life working for NFL Network, jumped on his Instagram account to tell the world Michel can block as well.

movethesticks: Sony Michel puts on a clinic in pass pro— don’t sit and wait, close the space!

This stuff about how a running back needs to pass protect or he cannot get on the field rubs Joe the wrong way. It reminds Joe of the prattle that former Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik used to spout when he got so much blowback from fans for re-signing Michael Clayton to a huge contract. Dominik constantly touted Clayton’s superior blocking.

While that was all nice and fuzzy, there was one problem. Clayton, a wide receiver, couldn’t catch. So the 2009 re-signing of Clayton for his blocking prowess was sort of like saying (in theory) a team re-signed turnstile left tackle Anthony Collins because he could catch the ball.

Last year, Joe heard one main reason Peyton Barber didn’t see the field much was that he struggled with pass blocking. How did that decision turn out? The Bucs’ offense was pathetically one-dimensional as a result.

For example, Devonta Freeman (drafted after Charles Sims) has had 3,000 yards rushing and 35 touchdowns the past three seasons but he is allergic at times to pass blocking. So he should sit as a result? Of course not.

Joe doesn’t recall anyone wringing their hands about Eric Dickerson’s pass blocking.

Is pass blocking important? Yes it is, but it should not upstage the primary reason you draft a top running back. That is to run the ball.

55 Responses to “He Can Pass Block!”

  1. Bird Says:

    Love to see him as a buccaneer.

    Would be on field immediately since koetter loves him some pass blocking.

  2. Walter Says:

    He closed that gap nice, but that was an easy read.

  3. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    The ability of a running back to pass block kind of depends on the teams offensive scheme.
    The more of a vertical passing game a team has, the longer a QB holds the ball, and the more important the pass blocking of a running back becomes.

  4. Joeypoppems Says:

    “Now some seem to believe the most sacrosanct of virtues a running back can have is pass protection. Is it important? Sure, but that should never, ever trump a running back’s ability to, you know, run the ball.”

    This is the exact reason I’m lower on Saquon Barkley than most people. Sure he is a better athlete. Sure he is a better receiver. But there are other RBs in this draft class that are better at simply running the football than Barkley, imo anyway.

  5. Tnew Says:

    Could not agree more with this Joe!!!!

  6. El_Buc941 Says:

    Joe is that the best highlight of pass protection you have of Michel?!I thought it was a video of him going mano a mano with an edge rusher/DT/LB but he got help from the guard. and to be honest he doesn’t lock up with the player,it’s just a bump up and shove block.

  7. Joeypoppems Says:

    This article makes me wish Damien Harris came out this year 🙁

  8. TDTB Says:

    Michel is the right RB for this team.

  9. Duke Says:


    How you doing?
    Ck out De’lance Turner Alcorn State. I know he can block. An excellent
    UNdrafted free agent pick up. The man is a beast.

  10. JonBuc Says:

    Having watched a lot of Michel at UGA, I get the sense he will be an excellent pro. I believe he will be better than his former teammate Nick Chubb due to his overall playmaking ability.

  11. gotbbucs Says:

    Be careful son, according to the NFL now you led with your helmet. Beautiful block, but that might be a penalty.

  12. Not there yet Says:

    Since koetter doesn’t value three running element of running back maybe he’s watched this film of blocking backs

  13. JR Allen Says:

    With all due respect. I can so tell you never played the position. A RB that cant Pass Pro is like a QB that cant hand the damn ball off. All the great RB can pass pro. Go checkout out Emmitt, Walter Payton, AP just to name a few. It’s important as hell. unless you dont care about your qb getting killed.

  14. Jeagan1999 Says:

    I want this kid! As much as I would love getting Nelson at 7, a trade down with someone like Buffalo might give us enough ammo to get Sony and another good offensive lineman at the bottom of the round. Then get the best Safety still on the board in Round 2.

  15. Skip Says:

    Yes, please!!!

  16. Bobby M. Says:

    When your QB is battling a shoulder injury….AND your line is avg on their best days, you must have a RB that can pass block. I still think we go Nelson in the 1st….DE/DT in the 2nd….RB and CB can be found on the street AND quality line play can make both positions look better.

    On a side note, watch for Denver to trade back…..this might handicap us from moving back if one of the big 3 are no longer on the board.

  17. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    We will have to move back in Rd 1 to get him or Guice imo

  18. ShutTheBucUp Says:

    Lol everyone thought Freeman was a bust and was going to get released bby the birds after Koetter was fired. Buuuuttt Along comes Kyle “I am the complete opposite of Dirk Koetter” Shanahan and BOOM Freeman breaks out. I’ve been saying this since last year, Koetter is too stubborn to be an NFL head coach. He can get away with it as an coordinator but as a HC his stubbornness will be the end of him.

  19. Tackleblockwin Says:

    I wonder what the chances are that the Bucs draft 2 RBs this year?

  20. destinjohnny Says:

    He will be just as good as Barkley. IF we can him Sony then later I=pickup Bo???
    we are turning the corner.

  21. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    Agree completely…sometimes we seem to get obsessed with the icing and forget about the cake.

    IF…we developed a true running game perhaps Koetter would slack off a bit on the blocking stuff. Given that we didn’t really have an RB showing great running skills, and that we are built to be a passing team, Koetter probably felt if he couldn’t get them to run well at least they could block and protect Jameis.

    I also am with Joe conceding that blocking is important but it shouldn’t be the end all be all. Frequently no matter how good the back is depending on where the rush is coming from he may or may not be able to contribute anyway.

  22. Horse Liver Says:

    Good that Joe runs a website and is not a coach or GM.

  23. BetterBuccinBelieveIt Says:

    Okay @Joeypoppems and @DestinJohnny…uh huh.

    This delay before April 26th is just excessive. THIS Bucs fan will keep using his good sense and desire for the Bucs to have a generational effortless talent, the best by far at the position with anyone actually using their eyes, for the Bucs future.

    There are other RB’s in the draft, there are NOT other Saquon Barkley’s.

    Go Bucs! Go Bold! Go Barkley! Go Primetime!

  24. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    I don’t put any stock in to what people think of college running backs pass protection skills.

    After all, wasn’t a certain bust of a 5th round pick supposed to be the best pass blocking back in the league last season?

  25. PleadingBuc Says:

    My primary concern with Michele, is his fumble rate of 54.6, which is twice as high as the AVERAGE for NFL running backs. Maybe he cleans it up at the NFL level, but it has to be a major red flag.

  26. Piratic Says:

    Tackleblockwin Says:
    April 7th, 2018 at 9:34 am
    I wonder what the chances are that the Bucs draft 2 RBs this year?

    Very likely, imo.

  27. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Dang I just viewed that video and one thing stood out to me.

    Yeah the back made a nice block…because he HAD to due to horrible play at LG.

    So draft a powerful LG who doesn’t blow blocks that badly and there is less need to have an RB blocking a DT.

    Football is a TEAM sport.

  28. Blake_Bucsfan Says:



    I don’t necessarily totally agree with this guys comp, but please, watch the plays that this guy breaks down. And I truly believe that you will come away with a greater appreciation of Barkley’s vision and ability to assess gaps and run between the tackles. In addition to being the all-world athlete that he is.

  29. Shane Says:

    He would be a perfect fit for the Bucs offense. Perfect!

  30. BetterBuccinBelieveIt Says:


    Well done sir! Good to have another jedi on the insurgency to obtain Saquon, Say-gone Barkley. My hunch is that Licht certainly has some draft maneuvering up his sleeve fir sure, and as quiet as he’s been, the better of it all goes down. Just like the JPP trade, and his explanation that it took over 3 weeks back and forth with Gettleman.

    Go Bucs! Go Licht! Go Bold! Go Barkley!

  31. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    Well don’t consider me completely in your corner because in no way ever, under any circumstances would I trade away picks for Barkley. But if he’s there for us at 7 I’d take him without hesitation.

  32. Jason Mclaurin Says:

    I was thinking a couple of Safeties or a couple of offensive lineman in the first if we can trade down but with this recent evaluation of Michel I think we take this guy and get Kerryon Johnson as well. Those two would be nice as a duo. Yesterday I propose that we traded Djax and a second round pick to the Patriots for their two first round picks. I also proposed that we trade our #7 pick in the first with Buffalo and maybe add the Giants so the Bills can move up further and so the Giants would not have to drop to #12 instead the Bucs drop to #12 and get #21 from Buffalo as well. If we pull it off which is highly possible at this point that this can happen especially if we include our two sixth round selections in a deal with New England to get their two first round picks.
    Here’s how I got it if we pull the heist off:
    Rd 1 #12( from Buffalo): S/CB Minkah Fitzpatrick( versatile secondary player)
    Rd 1 #21( from Buffalo): S Derwin James( versatile secondary player)
    Rd 1 #23 ( from New England): OG Will Hernandez
    Rd 1 # 31 ( from New England): LT Mike Mcglinchey
    Rd #3(possibly from a trade to get back using the fourth and fifth round pick) RB Kerryon Johnson
    Rd 7 # 7: RB/KR Nyheim Himes
    Undrafted studs: T Rick Leonard, RB Ito Smith

  33. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    That draft is a mess. Why on earth would New England just give us their 1st rounders for our 6th rounder? Also this is not the NBA, rarely do you ever see multi team trades. And even in this fantasy, why the heck would we take 2 safeties in the first round instead of Corners or Running backs?

  34. BetterBuccinBelieveIt Says:

    Fine then…I have absolutely NO problem trading away GMC (to a DT needy team like CLE and INDY, along with this years 1st, 4th, 6th, DJAX, 2019’s 1st rounder (lower in 20’s with better record this year), 2019’s 3rd rounder, and 2020’s second rounder.

    To move up to #2, or #4. Absolutely no hesitation!

    What no one is really..truly looking at, is after the full impact of Saquon on the entire offense, Bucs franchise, NFL media, and Bucs defense… has fully taken hold, no one WISE that is will be looking back saying man, we should have gotten that “X” regular player with that pick, plus that other player.

    Its a personality problem with MOST people. Ankkebiters, penny-pinchers…..OR DIFFERENCE-MAKERS. Both in GM makeup and player makeup, and fan makeup. Personality/DNA problems.

    Go Bucs!

  35. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    Regardless of how good I feel Saquon is, this team is not one player away from being a true Super Bowl contender.

  36. Pickgrin Says:

    Sony should be our pick at #15 if we trade down with Cardinals. Also should be our pick if we trade down w/ Buffalo and wind up with their #22 pick (if he’s still on the board at 22 which seems iffy to me.)

    Josh Jackson and Vita Vea are the other two very good possibilities if we wind up drafting in those spots.

  37. Jmarkbuc Says:


    what you smokin man? NE aint gonna give you two 1’s for Djax and a 2.

    they just traded away their speed burner as ineffective to their scheme. Pretty sure Belichick doesnt do the prima donna thing.

  38. RustyRhinos Says:

    So we get a RB who can run well and not so well pass protect, what will the headlines read here if the “franchise QB” gets hit and hurt because of it. Will we still be hearing about the non concerns of a RB’s blocking abilities? Or will it be the head coach/ GM’s head on the spike on these pages? Hmm

  39. Joe Says:

    So we get a RB who can run well and not so well pass protect, what will the headlines read here if the “franchise QB” gets hit and hurt because of it.

    Probably the same type of headlines you see in Atlanta where its feature back can’t pass block, yet the RB in question is one of the game’s best and has already played in a Super Bowl.

    (Just an aside, Freeman blossomed into one of the NFL’s best backs after Dirk Koetter left Atlanta.)

  40. Joeypoppems Says:


    Keep using your good sense. Like thinking Arizona would trade away their best offensive player lol.

  41. Joeypoppems Says:


    For the record, I dont hate Saquon Barkley. I just dont see the “generational” hype. He is RB2 for me behind Guice. Its not like I think he will bust or anything like that.

  42. cgmaster Says:

    BetterBuccinBelieveIt You’re willing ot give up an entire draft for Barkely?! my goodness that’s a stupid as when Mike Ditka did it years ago. Barkely is Vastly overrated in terms of his impact. He’ll be a solid running back, but this generational talk is just laughable. We don’t even need to look at last years stats. He’s a freak in the gym , no doubt but there is not nearly the separation between him and these other backs as they state.

  43. Bird Says:


    Great. Excited about draft. Bucs need to backs so I will check him out.

  44. Joe Says:

    Barkley porn.


  45. BetterBuccinBelieveIt Says:

    I think you all have mistakenly thought somehow, that I was seeking anyone’s approval …or agreement on mt takes on Saquon and his value to the entire organization. I am by no means seeking approval, or seeking agreement from you all on Saquon. Forest through the trees.

    And for those who made it past the 7th grade, I mentioned parts of each next 3 drafts and players and salary cap management.

    Forest through the trees b*tches.

    Confidence in Jason.

    Go Bucs!

  46. Das yhard Says:

    I think this is our guy!! Licht. Make it happen
    Obviously he’s a better candidate that mccnicholes

  47. OneBuC55 Says:

    If we’re able to snag Nelson in the 1st and the Sony Michel in the future 2nd I’d be a happy camper

  48. Jeffbuc Says:

    You my friend have lost your mind. Let’s trade Gerald Mcoy Desean Jackson a 1,2,3,4,and 6 all for a running back. Yeah please stop smoking synthetic weed. It is really messing with your common sense. To think you would even type that thinking it could happen and that it is a good idea in your head is downright scary. Please just don’t comment until after the draft. Just trying to save you from looking anymore insane.

  49. John meeks Says:

    LMAO jeffbuc!that was funny as heck!😅

  50. BigMacAttack Says:

    This is RB I want them to draft. Baller

  51. Dave Says:

    Chubb in rd 1 or minkah

    been saying it for weeks.
    He can do it all and is a game changer

  52. celly Says:

    While I would love to get Michel in the 2nd round (don’t think he lasts that long), i really just want a RB that will NOT get caught from behind once he gets to the third level.

  53. NFLNut Says:



  54. BetterBuccinBelieveIt Says:

    Awww..@JeffBuc…its so nice to have you as part of my fan club. Clearly you have mattered in the past on this site. Been a focal point of such rigorous conversation and memorable debate. Thank you for the kind words. 🙂

    I guess the 6th grade graduation must have been a challenging one for you, as my commentary on draft and player capital to trade away was a mixture, a combination of all the pieces listed based on what the acquiring team would like, but all are eligible.

    But keep up your studies…there might be hope for you yet 🙂

    Go Bucs!

  55. Owlykat Says:

    Yes Michel can alter the game when he fumbles. Stick with Penny who gained the most yardage of any back last year and also can return kicks for TDS.