Fatal Flaw

April 3rd, 2018

Can Peyton Barber carry the load?

Virtually every team has a hole in its roster. Some bigger than others.

As Matt Harmon of NFL.com scans the NFC, he notices a hole on every team that could come to bite them in the arse. In some teams’ cases, Harmon sees what he deems a “fatal” flaw.

With the Bucs, that is running back.

The Buccaneers’ passing offense didn’t take the leap many expected in 2017, but an ineffective ground game was also a culprit in the team’s disappointing campaign. Doug Martin returned from an early-season suspension as more of an anchor than a lifeboat tossed to a sinking running game. Tampa Bay’s running backs averaged 3.17 yards gained after defenders close within 1 yard last season, ranking 31st in the NFL. No one on the team could evade tacklers. On the other hand, the Bucs’ offensive line posted the 10th-highest average yards gained (0.35) before defenders closed within 1 yard of their backs. Thus, an ecosystem exists for a productive running game in Tampa Bay.

Solution: A long-shot scenario exists where Saquon Barkley is still on the board when the Bucs pick at No. 7. If he’s there, he’d be a near impossibility to pass up and would bring the added benefit of his receiving chops to the team. It’s more likely Tampa finds its man in Round 2 or 3. The top of the second round will still hold a bevy of tempting options in what is a strong class of runners.

You see, Joe has been preaching for months that the Bucs offensive line was not the issue, but rather, it was that Martin was done and had no vision. Harmon saw it too.

The thing that scares Joe is the Bucs may not get a top shelf running back in the draft. Bucs coach Dirk Koetter’s sketchy history with rookie running backs and his potential over-emphasis on pass protection over run production gives Joe the sense that running back may not be a priority for the Bucs.

Think about it: Did anyone ever pick apart Eric Dickerson for his pass protection skills?

Passing on a difference-making running back that could make this offense complete because of a potential flaw in his pass-blocking skills could be a fatal mistake.

50 Responses to “Fatal Flaw”

  1. BigBucFan11 Says:

    I don’t want Barkley (obviously I want the player, just not that high). There’s a reason RB isn’t considered a premier position in the NFL. It’s simply just an easier position to find a serviceable player. There’s a bevy of players that succeed each year at the position. One year a guy can be a stud and the next fail. More than any other position. We may have a “hole” now, but it won’t be difficult to find a guy or guys to fill it. Second round is the highest I’d consider drafting one.

  2. BigBucFan11 Says:

    While I wouldn’t go in with just the stable we have at the moment, I do like Barber. I don’t think he should be counted out for getting a good snap count and all the better for it. The major thing he lacks is explosiveness, but there’s a ton of that in round 2 this draft at the RB position. Love to see him pair up with young legs, hopefully Michel.

  3. Joe Says:


    This sounds good but it’s not been that way for the Bucs whatsoever. The only decent running back the Bucs have had post-Chucky was Doug Martin, a first round pick. Every other running back the Bucs have drafted has been trash.

  4. BigBucFan11 Says:


  5. BigBucFan11 Says:


    Well if I’m right, I think Williams, Blount, and Martin are the only starters we’ve had in the last decade. So we haven’t really given rounds 2-4 a shot for RB. McNichols never had a chance especially since Koetter needs RB’s who can block (don’t we all).

  6. BigBucFan11 Says:

    Plus he was round 6 anyway. I feel that there’s a sweet spot for value. And that’s right in the rounds 2-4.

  7. JA Says:

    Am I to assume that a computer assessed every running play by every team in the league and used a yardstick or magical laser to discern when every running back was exactly one yard away from a blocked or unblocked defender and continue to follow each play when that distance was determined to calculate the resulting yardage?
    Although Hemingway’s brevity meter might have been proud of that last sentence, I find the mathematics of of the article almost impossible to determine with any acceptable degree of accuracy… Go Bucs!

  8. Joe Says:

    So we haven’t really given rounds 2-4 a shot for RB.

    Chucky Sims, who is still unemployed, third round pick.

    Caddy, what a shame. Knees got tore up. What could have been.

  9. Piratic Says:

    BigBucFan11 Says:
    April 3rd, 2018 at 12:37 am
    While I wouldn’t go in with just the stable we have at the moment, I do like Barber. I don’t think he should be counted out for getting a good snap count and all the better for it. The major thing he lacks is explosiveness, but there’s a ton of that in round 2 this draft at the RB position. Love to see him pair up with young legs, hopefully Michel.

    Joe Says:
    April 3rd, 2018 at 12:37 am

    This sounds good but it’s not been that way for the Bucs whatsoever. The only decent running back the Bucs have had post-Chucky was Doug Martin, a first round pick. Every other running back the Bucs have drafted has been trash.

    @Joe: In JL’s four years, he’s only drafted two RBs, and he wasn’t willing to give up more than a third round pick to get one.
    This is the year he turns it completely around and drafts two, yes two, RBs in 2018, and one of them will be taken by round two.

    How about a friendly wager, payable the next time you’re in Vegas?

    I’m assuming you’ll take the under?

  10. MrPoopyPants Says:

    I don’t understand this fascination with RBs and the need for them to be good at pass blocking!! If there is an issue, a TE is just as effective!! They need to find a runner who can find the holes and take it to the house!! Obviously, the TE scenario I’m mentioning is on obvious passing downs!! Just use the second pick on a RB and be done with it!! Keep the focus they had in FA, hard nosed, fight to the end, high character guys, they can’t go wrong!!

  11. Tnew Says:

    “Think about it: Did anyone ever pick apart Eric Dickerson for his pass protection skills?”

    Best line on the site in a while. I fear Koetter just might. Koetter has a very unique view of the position. McNichols was never properly evaluated due to his misunderstanding of pass pro.

  12. Rod Munch Says:

    I’m a believer in you can get basic backs anywhere, but while I was more down on Barber than most here, somehow this offseason I seem more up on him. He’s a basic north/south back that the Bucs can plug into the offense and do OK with it. I don’t think you need superstars at every position, this seems more like a Dan Mario type offense where you’d have whatever back each year getting 800 yards or so and the offense moving right along. Getting passing yards isn’t an issue, even with the disaster that this season was the Bucs were 4th in passing in the league, 4th! That’s the highest ranking ever for the team I think, and that came in a season when the starter missed games and was injured for much of the year. The running game, in a passing offense like this, just isn’t important. Yes, Martin and Sims were the top running duo in 2015 but look how Dirk completely wasted both of them once Lovie left – yes Lovie, the guy that told Dirk to run the ball. Once Lovie left we see the results.

    Anywho Barber is fine I think, also post-draft you can see who gets cut and worst case you can probably ship a 2019 6th to the Broncos for CJ Anderson if he isn’t cut, he’d be a fine fit and should come for nearly nothing.

  13. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    Lol @ Joe. Never fail to say, “see I’ve been telling you”. I love it about you and I agree with you on this take. Good luck proving the coaches can’t develop a Corner. Although you used to praise Maxie for “developing” Alterron Verner in Tennesse to a pro bowler.

    If/When we get a pass rush watch this staff suddenly be able to develop a CB. Magic.

    Anywho. Saquan is a freaking beast. No he is a BEAST. Only problem is RB that high is a risk. Its a risk because he may get you 5-7 years. Maybe 4, maybe 10, you just dont know.
    With that being said. YOU DO NOT pass on this dude. I honestly think he is a top 5 RB on his first snap of the NFL, I think he’s that good.

    When Dougie was on his game this offense was a weapon and that was without the WR and TE we have now. Barkley would take this offense to a whole other level and take a lot of heat off Jaboo.

  14. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Bring back Blount. Draft Nelson if he falls to us. Problem solved until we find a long term solution. Blount went undrafted and won two SB rings with two different teams. Love to see three in a row with the team that originally signed him. A rotation of Barber, Blount, and a rookie should be respectable enough to make the passing game dynamic. Schiano was a moron.

  15. I Bleed Pewter and Red Says:

    There are no RB’s besides Barkley that’s worthy of the #7 pick in this draft. If we trade down then maybe the next best RB might be a later first round pick. This draft has plenty young 2nd and 3rd round talent but there are really only 2 possibly 3 worthy of 1st round talent. Even with that there are no sure bets past Barkley.

    So with that said it seems Joe is still making a case to blow several needed draft picks to move into the 1st round for a normal 2nd or 3rd talent. Also we all can assume that if Jason makes that move and the RB he selects is a bust compared to his draft position he will be literally tarred and feather, and …and what the use of getting a fifth year option if the RB is a dud?

    Trade down, pick up extra picks, take flyer on later 1st round RB and then back it up with 2nd round pick. Or stay pat and take best player available. Maybe Chubbs, Nelson, Davenport, Ward etc… Use early 2nd round pick on RB and have many more picks to find hidden gems. You can’t hit on all but with more picks and Lichts decent draft record if even half pan out we will be in great shape. Not dishing you Joe I just have a different vision.

  16. teacherman777 Says:

    Blount is in Detroit.

    Barkley is a freak but I dont think he runs hard.

    He is not a beast. Peyton Barber is a beast. He runs HARD.

  17. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    Peyton Barber 5’11 225 4.64 (40). 20 reps.

    Saquon Barkley 6’0 233 4.4. 29 reps (not that bench matters)

    I’m sorry but who is a beast. How do you compare a generational talent to a backup to Doug Martin.

    Weak sauce teacherman.

    Ya Adrian Clayborn played hard on every snap but I’d still take Clowney over him all day.

  18. LocalJoker Says:

    Passing on a RB with poor pass blocking skills – obviously we’re talking about Rashaad Penny from SDSU. Big mistake to pass on this guy! Will do for Bucs what Kamara did for the Saints.

  19. Aaron May Says:

    I think the Bucs take Barkley if he’s there, but I’m listening for offers. The Bucs could trade down to the middle of the 1st get some secondary help…then trade back into the 1st to grab their back…

    1) barkley seem to run away from contact maybe it was a scheme issue but he lots of neg yardage.

    2) Can the bucs use him correctly – I’m not sure

    I don’t see a lot of creativity in our O

    Go Bucs should be a fun draft – I do think 1 or 2 of the “big” 3 will be there…4 QBs and a shocker…a team over drafts some one every year

  20. The Buc Realist Says:

    “Joe has been preaching for months that the Bucs offensive line was not the issue”

    So why did the Bucs get the highest paid center in the league and switching spots already and saying we still need another guard????? Get your stories staight Joe!!! and get off the emotional rollercoaster!!!!! The problem has never been just 1 weakness in the roster!!!!! Do the math!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!

  21. lambchop Says:

    If the Bucs want a pass catching RB, it’s gotta be Sony Michel. Chubb and Gruice don’t have the hands that Sony does.

    I can see the sideline banner now at RJS, “Sony’s Play Station”.

  22. Rrsrq Says:

    If possible:
    1. Nelson
    2. Chubb

    1. James
    2. Chubb

    1. Chubb
    2. Chubb

  23. Bucsfanman Says:

    C’mon Joe, stop it already! You keep floating it out there that the line had nothing to do with our struggles in the run-game. Anyone with eyes could see defenders in the backfield at the snap.
    Be fair. Our struggles in the run-game last year do not sit squarely on Doug Martin’s or Peyton Barber’s or Charles Sims shoulders. The offensive line struggled as well. It probably didn’t help that the play-calling was predictable either!
    Absolutely we need a RB! That’s obvious. An improved o-line and better play-calling might get that run going.

  24. Bucballbaby84 Says:

    its not a potential flaw in most of these running backs. It’s a sure thing flaw! The only one who is a good run blocker in this draft is Kerryon Johnson. Some can still be taught and will end up thriving at it and some well, they just won’t be a three down back… Let’s hope whatever running back they do draft is or will end up being a three down back.

  25. Bird Says:

    I just think our secondary is bigger need and can get the top strong safety or top corner at 7 or move back a few spots and still get that guy. People forget there are some elite linebackers (roquon) that a team may want to jump another team a few spots. If we move from 7 to 10 for example and still get our guy , I think it’s a win win.

    Would be surprised that licht would pass on Barkley if there at 7 though. I think 3 qbs go but wouldn’t it be great if some desperate team wanted the 4th

  26. Bucballbaby84 Says:

    I don’t trust our coaches to develope a cornerback. History has shown they can’t do it. I’d rather them get a safety and cornerback in free agency still. Then use the draft for running back, defensive end, and offensive guard.

  27. Oxycondoms Says:

    Say the Bucs draft a rb aren’t we still lacking depth. Seems like we need to pick up a player like Alfred Morris for insurance since we lost martin and Simms

  28. BetterBuccinBelieveIt Says:

    Hopefully Licht still has multiple plans up his draft sleeve…

    Sa-quon, Sa-quon. 22 days and counting till our offense is complete.

    Go Bucs!

  29. GhostofSchiano Says:

    alfred Morris. DeMarco Murray?

  30. gotbbucs Says:

    Joe also wanted Trent Richardson….really bad.
    Joe also wanted Johnny Football….really bad.
    ……the list goes on and on.

    They can miss on Barkley and still get a really good RB in the top of the 2nd round. You can’t say that about some of the other positions in this draft.
    They won’t get the same value at Safety in the 2nd round as Fitzpatrick and James give you in the 1st. They won’t get the same value at Guard in the 2nd as they get with Nelson in the 1st (he is a guaranteed perennial All-Pro for the next decade). There will be a run on interior O-linemen at the end if the 1st and the next best 3 or 4 will all go.

    Draft great players at great value. Sure, Barkley will be impossible to pass on at 7, but thebalmoat 100% consensus is that he won’t be there, so let’s be realistic about our options and make the best of it. A great player will be there at 7. Ideally if what’s left is only the two top safeties, you trade back and replace that 3rd round pick+ and still get one of them.

  31. Bucnjim Says:

    Draft Nelson to go with Jensen and Marpet and I’d bet a RB in a with two bad knees could average 4 yards per carry.

  32. Reality_43 Says:

    The good news is that Buffalo is in this draft. Almost assures us of either getting one of the big three or an extra 1st round pick to make up for the 3rd rounder we lost.

    Simply put if the big 3 are gone, Buffalo comes calling for that 4th QB Guaranteed.
    The only downside would be if they trade with Cleveland, Denver or Indy, which would then net us one of the big 3.

    And all it takes is for 1…..1 team to go out on a limb and we get Chubb or Barkley.

    We are in a true WIN WIN situation.

    And don’t think for one second that if Barkley or Chubb are still on the board at 5 or 6 the Bucs don’t trade up a couple spots for them possibly. I think a 4th rounder and next years 2nd rounder would suffice for 1 spot.

    If Buffalo does come calling, we might truly get Minka, James or Ward at 12 and Guice at 21. Then we could double up in the 2nd with Oliver or Alexander or go best OL available.

    I’m gonna truly enjoy this draft whatever happens.

  33. 813bucboi Says:

    I think barber could work out but we have no quality depth behind him…..that’s why I want the bucs to draft 2 backs this year…..1 early 1 late…..

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!!….GO BUCS!!!!!

  34. SOEbuc Says:


    That’s exactly what I was about to say. What if Barber goes down in game 1 for the rest of the season? Is Jauqizz Rogers gonna be our number 1 for the rest of the year? Good RB depth.

  35. Alan T Barlow Says:

    1st: Dickerson’s natural ability to run over, around and through defenses didn’t need to worry about blocking (IMO).
    2nd: I don’t see a running back that has Dickerson’s ability to run like he did
    3rd: Blocking is a requirement based on the fact that no RB can run like he did, so in the run pass option (RPO) a RB is in need of this blocking ability when the run cannot be executed and the QB has to pass
    4th: Using the RPO sets up the defense and allows exposure for either the pass or the run to be executed
    5th: All this is to say that I DO AGREE WITH YOU on getting a high level RB FIRST but DISAGREE about there is a need to have that blocking (and pass catching) ability because ‘there is’ a lack of that Dickerson running ability availability in this draft (unless you have example (you didn’t give a preference of who you prefer))
    6th: A guard like Nelson could make a mediocre RB look good but not likely to be there to get picked by us
    7th: Recommendations (IMO) (a) Romarius (Ito) Smith; Regardless of his frame, he will lay into Blitzer’s. Runner, pass catcher, blocker-ok (b) Rashaad Penny has legitimate professional ‘potential’, has the body to handle a full workload, an elite return man, go slow, patience need to teach him!-ok

  36. Tony G. Says:

    I bleed Pewter and red nailed it for me …great comment I hope that’s what they do. I would love to see them trade down if they can find willing partner if Barkley or Chubb isn’t there at 7

  37. Frank Pillow Says:

    File this with all the other pre-draft nonsense, but I live in DC and there’s some local radio scuttlebutt here that the Skins like Guice a lot and would consider pulling the trigger with their 1st rd pick. Their RB situation is every bit as bad as ours.

    I’m really curious how the top of the 1st plays out- Giants holding all the cards. If Nelson, Barkley and Chubb are all gone, where do you thinks the Bucs have Guice on their board? How far fetched would it be to reverse many of the scenarios we’ve been reading about and nab him at or about 7, while eye-balling DB, DL help down the board and moving back up to nab Davenport or one of the DTs?

  38. BigBucFan11 Says:

    Somehow I completely forgot about Charles Sims. Haha

  39. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Frank P- Perine? I thought he was playing well.

  40. ndog Says:

    So Joe loves to get on here and talk about how no team wants to sign any of our DB’s but yet when the best our starting LG gets is a one year prove it deal as a backup he thinks our line was great. You know it is possible both Martin AND our Oline sucked. How about us taking Nelson at 7 then the best RB available in round 2 then boom both problems solved.

  41. Dave Says:

    No he can’t

  42. webster Says:

    So a computer told joe that the offensive line performed well. Is this the same computer that told us that ej biggers was better than ronde barber? Stop it joe.

  43. Joe Says:

    So a computer told joe that the offensive line performed well. Is this the same computer that told us that ej biggers was better than ronde barber?

    Pretty sure this was based on NextGen stats from the NFL which uses computer chips in shoulder pads for their data. Takes all the guesswork out of it.

  44. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Dimitri Flowers. Period.

  45. webster Says:

    Again a computer? Cmon man

  46. webster Says:

    One other thing to ponder. Our gm made a player with one year of starting experience the highest paid center in the league. If the oline was good last year, our gm does not make a move like that. Guess who else was interested in Jensen? Indy, a team who’s oline is just as bad if not worst. No coincedence that the teams with two of the worst lines in the nfl would back up the brinks truck for a 1 year starter. Very telling what the front offices truly thought of their oline product in 2017.

  47. Mike Johnson Says:

    Good quality running backs can be had all the way into the 3rd round. There are at least 7 good running backs in this draft who will make an impact in this league.
    Get that trade down Bucs. Recoup your 3rd rd loss.

  48. Jjones Says:

    You take Barkley if he’s there. If he’s not there trade back and pick up Chubb, Michel or Guice for which I believe Michel is the safest of those three personally then go balls out on the secondary.

  49. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    All this talk about drafting by position seems a bit of a stretch to me.

    Tom Brady went in the 6th round…Johnny Unitas even later but I do not believe that means you can hold out if you really want an NFL QB.

    Same for all the positions including RB. Can you get a good RB later…sure…but if you’re looking for a Marshall Faulk…or Eric Dickerson. That Dickerson draft was pretty much what happens…John Elway first…the QB…Eric Dickerson 2nd..the RB.

    So if you believe Barkley is as good as one of those two guy you grab him…if he’s only going to be really good…meh.

  50. Issic haggins Says:

    Guice actually appears to have decent hands ,can’t be worse than Martin !! I literally believe he would drop fly paper or alligator arm a Cage Ball and oh how Koetter loved him some Martin !!!!🧐

    It just doesn’t add up and while I like Koetter , it just doesn’t add up and that’s scary !! It’s also when the GM must step in and help clear and or adjust the vision !!!

    After trading down , They will Def have offers to p up another 2 Nd Or third Guice would be the target on a trade up after about pick 25 .