Bruce Arians, The Scouting Staff & Running Backs

January 29th, 2019

“Jason, lotta warm biscuits out there.”

The Buccaneers’ chief of college scouting has been talking.

And perhaps the first clue of the Buccaneers’ draft focus has emerged publicly.

Buried in a feature story on the official team website, Tampa Bay director of college scouting Mike Biehl talked about working with the new sheriff in town, Bruce Arians. And it appears Biehl also told team reporter Carmen Vitali that the Bucs are leaning running back, in part lured by a healthy draft crop.

“I think any time you have change on the coaching side, you’re going to be dealing with tweaks and different schemes and things like that,” Biehl said. “They’ll be involved in it, just like it has been in the past. Meeting with Bruce [Arians] the times we have, he’s very emphatic in saying that we are all one. It’s not going to be coaches and personnel, it’s going to be all as one. We’re all pulling the same direction and we’re just trying to find the best players that help the Bucs win.”

Biehl alluded to what some of those inevitable tweaks might be. It’s a good year for running back talent, by his account, and Coach Arians has already stated how integral a solid run game will be to his offense. Whether or not that can be accomplished with the players already on the Bucs’ roster remains to be seen.

Joe gave the story 24-hours on the team website and nothing appeared to be edited or deleted. So mark this down on the clue chart: the Bucs are putting a lot of scouting muscle and energy into running backs.

Man, Joe sure hopes Arians gets his fingerprints all over the internal running backs evaluation — for painfully obvious reasons.

63 Responses to “Bruce Arians, The Scouting Staff & Running Backs”

  1. AlteredEgo Says:

    Well we have a Barber type…solid size and all around ability…I am counting on Shaun Wilson…smaller shifty good hands… that leaves the cupboard bare in the big punishing ,back breaking bruiser….I’ll have to go look myself

  2. AlteredEgo Says:

    and this is who I found …
    Qadree Ollison

  3. Andrew Says:

    I’d like to believe a mid round back, possible resurgence of rojo, and barber would be a great group for us. But that just puts too much emphasis on the rookie being good and rojo not being terrible again.

    Do you risk going into next season with the possibility of barber as the bell cow again? I’m not sure you can in a Jameis make or break season. Love barber though. He’s our E Graham.

  4. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    Darrell Henderson in the 3rd or 4th.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Good crop?……..Jacobs and Harris from Alabama are the only two who might go in the first round and no where near the top 15…..
    Maybe……maybe, we go RB in the 3rd or 4th……maybe.

  6. Wausa Says:

    Barber is a running back that deserves to be in the league, but he should be a #2 at best or perhaps a #3.
    Throw in a terrible offensive line and you get one of the worst if not the worst running games in the NFL.

  7. TDTB Says:

    Take a look at kid from Iowa State in 3rd and the FAU kid in 4th

  8. Jean Lafitte Says:

    well he never did say what round

  9. dokbucsfan Says:

    I think they should look at a veteran RB in FA

  10. stpetebucsfan Says:

    The draft experts are all saying this year is better for defensive picks than offense. Almost all mocks have DL’s going in the top 5. I haven’t seen any RB’s getting pub like Barkley and Guice did last year or even any Sony Michels or Chubbs.

    I’ve read nothing proclaiming this draft full of RB’s at least high in the draft.

    Likewise there are no OT’s high in the draft but four or five who should be good players…Jonah Williams is generally near the top….Bama will do that for you…Juwaan Taylor is also rated pretty highly in fact one of the sites had him going to us at 5…that’s a bit hard to believe…I like Taylor a lot but not at five.

    QB’s are starting to move up at last and they could present a trade down opportunity for us. Make the trade and grab the two best OT’s available…rest of picks go defense.

  11. AlteredEgo Says:

    Kareem Hunt….I don’t think the NFL investigation is going to show that he deserves a severe suspension based on my recall of the video and circumstances…of course he should not have laid a hand on the women

  12. Tbbucs3 Says:

    I agree Dokbucsfan that the Bucs have got to get a running back in free agency, not a high priced guy but someone who can play that is not named Jacques Rodgers. We should’ve done this before.

    And find a potential superstar RB in the draft.

    I have a good feeling that Arians and Friends will be calling the personnel shots around here moving forward….they know how to actually build a team.

  13. 813bucboi Says:

    i like henderson from memphis…..devin singletary from FAU….jordan scarlett as well….

    top pick is josh jacobs but he’ll be gone in a hurry….


  14. tmaxcon Says:

    if all these mediocre players you people fall in love with were solid and had talent the bucs would not have spent the better part of 16 years in the NFC South basement… not many keepers on this minor league roster people. clean house BA can’t be any worse.

  15. rrsrq Says:

    Silly season, no RB at #5, no Zekes, Gurley or Barkley, so it must be Kareem Hunt

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    Right now all we have is Barber, RoJo & Wilson. I’ve already given up on RoJo (why they carried him on the roster for a year when he should’ve been on the PS at best baffles me). Shaun Wilson might be a useful #4 RB or return specialist, but that’s about it. Jacquizz is a UFA (I seriously doubt Bucs will re-sign him). So that leaves us with Peyton Barber … an excellent change-of-pace & very durable back but he can’t do it by himself (plus injuries do happen).

    So right now we need to find TWO RBs. Wouldn’t mind drafting a RB in the 4th Rnd (or later) but there’s no reason we can’t fill one of those RB needs in FA. Several decent RBs will probably be available who shouldn’t cost an arm & a leg. RBs like Yeldon (JAX), Murray (MIN), or Ajayi (PHI). Market value for any of them should easily be less than $5 mil. IF we can fix our OLine (via the draft & FA) a RB stable of Barber, Yeldon (my preferred FA) plus a quality 4th rounder should provide us a pretty RB stable to improve our run game.

  17. The Coroner Says:

    So, Mr. Biehl, was there a good crop of running backs last year when you took Ronald Jones III?
    Maybe you should draft for Madden Football.

  18. The Coroner Says:

    KAREEM HUNT!!!!!!!!
    Jameis will straighten up.

  19. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Keep in mind, Peyton Barber is not under contract for next year……neither is our LT, MLB, Slot Receiver or Backup Quarterback….

    We are in need at a lot of positions…..

  20. Josh Groover Says:

    Barber is a solid starter in my opinion. Fix the problem at RG and LT and I promise he’ll look even better. The guy had nearly 1000 yards without hardly any holes made. He did it all himself. The Bucs better resign the guy. Quizz ain’t gonna get it done for another season as our 3rd down back. So unless Shaun Wilson or Rojo can prove to be that guy we have to bring someone else in that can fill that roll. But I believe Barber gets the nod again this season, I’m a big fan of him.

  21. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Hey DR – not sure if you saw this but interesting stat on Rojo:

    He gained more yards after contact than yards in general on his 23 carries.

    It was like 47 yards to 43. Basically that meant that he was hit behind the line of scrimmage on basically every run he had. It at least averaged out to that. I can’t recall a single play where he got 5 yards without being hit for example.

    Couldn’t believe he wasn’t getting more looks once we were eliminated but that’s Koetter coaching to win meaningless games instead of thinking of the future IMO.

    His first preseason carry he made a guy miss at the LOS and got 5 yards. Then he got hit about 10 times hard behind the line of scrimmage in preseason and coaches decided he sucked and never made any effort to get his confidence going or get him in space. He had 7 catches on 9 attempts. 1 bad drop i recall.

    Not sure I’ve seen a team spend such a high pick on a RB and then basically act like they have no idea how to use him at all and give him 2-3 touches per game at most.

  22. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Also in general I want a pass catching RB in this draft who can run great routes and get big YAC. We don’t have a RB that’s special in that area

  23. AlteredEgo Says:

    TBBF…. Peyton Barber is under contract 2019

  24. King Says:


  25. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Also whenever Rojo came into the game we basically handed it off to him immediately lol. The defense always knew. He wasn’t involved in enough series to even become any sort of unpredictable element.

    Koetter might as well have said

    “Ok Rojo. We know that we were getting you killed in preseason behind the backups and you typically got hit about 2-3 yards behind the line. We thought that’d be best for your confidence and getting a feel for the game going forward. Now our plan is to only give you a few touches a game because you suck so you better be ready. Also – the defense will know that we are going to do this because everytime I put you in I am going to get you the ball. Get ready to get destroyed behind the LOS. You will have a beautiful career”

  26. catcard202 Says:

    Benny Snell Jr (Kentucky) & David Montgomery (Iowa State) are the 2 best backs in this draft. Jacobs & Harris (both from ALA) are not far behind.

    IMO, NONE are 1st Rd guys in this draft class, due to the amount of DEF talent around them & the way the NFL has valued the RB position….However, All should be graded in the 2nd/ 3rd round range.

    Darrel Henderson(MEM) / Bryce Love(STAN) / Dexter Williams(ND) / Tayveon Williams (TaM) are ideal for 3rd down packages..(ie..the Jaquizz Rodgers role)..Smaller faster & seem to get dinged often – But also have the potential to put up big game changing plays, when healthy. (4th-5th round grades)

    But my SLEEPERS are Jalin Moore (App St)…He seems to be staying well under the radar, but will get a ton more buzz after pre-draft workout #’s filter out…. I’m betting someone grabs him late day 2 / early day 3 & gets an immediate starter/major contributor.

  27. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Check out Ronald Jones preseason “highlights”:
    Is there a RB in the world who could be successful with the O-Line in front of him? It was the same thing in the regular season, from the carries I saw him get. Yes, we need another RB, but I’m not giving up hope of Jones being a decent NFL RB just yet.

  28. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Obviously they looked at the running backs first. Surely they haven’t evaluated the stinch of an OL as yet.

  29. AlteredEgo Says:

    All these needs… ideally a crazy trade down deal.. or even a good trade down deal…. other than the DT from Bama none of the top 4 are that much better than others ranked behind them… even Bosa I’m not coveting… hopefully BA will flirt with the QBs mocked just after the Bucs pick

  30. JP_09 Says:

    My opinion for what it’s worth, I wouldn’t draft a running back this year. I’d try to bring in Latavius Murray via FA, and focus on the two lines this year in the draft. Then next year draft LJ Scott and more lineman. But I’ll trust whatever decisions BA makes until proven wrong.

  31. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    This scouting staff wouldnt know what a good RB was if there was one wearing a 34 at auburn or georgia. This scouting dept and licht are just bad. They wasted a 2 on a crappy player passing on very good legit nfl RBs and doing the same thing 2-3 years in a row….i really hope arians in in this 100% so far with what I have read and heard he doesnt seem to be 100% hands on but time will tell from this skeptical bucs fan

  32. StoutGospel Says:

    Neah…never been an early smoke screen before a draft, has there been?!!? Neah. Because sure, this Biehl guy will keep his job by tipping the Bucs 1st or 2nd round draft hand. Right. Thus…it’s completely hogwash, or not in the first 2 rounds even with tradedowns.

    And if not (which is accurate)…..then WHO CARES.

    Any team, does anything, in later rounds.

  33. Defense Rules Says:

    Lord C … I admit that I didn’t see that about RoJo. What I did see was RoJo being used far too often attempting to run inside (much like they tried to use Charles Sims in 2017?). He averaged a woeful 1.9 YPC running behind the same line that Barber averaged 3.7 YPC behind & Shaun Wilson averaged 4.8 YPC behind.

    What I also saw though was a rookie RB with very minimal pass blocking skills, as well as marginal receiving skills (I recognize that he went 7-for-9 receiving, BUT almost all of those as I remember were very short out-of-the-backfield passes (his 7 receptions netted 33 yards). Sorry Lord C, but I just can’t get excited about numbers like that from our SECOND ROUND PICK. I expect 2nd rounders to either start or at the very least to be key rotational players. I’d bet that if RoJo performs like that in this year’s preseason for Coach Arians, he’ll be looking for employment elsewhere.

    I’ll readily admit though that your closing line … “You will have a beautiful career” … sounds like something taken straight from a Presidential Tweet. Nice touch.

  34. tbbucs3 Says:

    Man the Bucs run blocking was pretty bad but some of you guys act like the entire defense was in the backfield every single play, that is simply not the case. It wasnt perfect but here were opportunities created for the running backs. You should see what Saquan Barkley is working with I dont hear him making excuses.

  35. down in the dirt doug Says:

    Look for the Bucs to release a large number of popular players.We need the money to make dramatic moves in free agency.Ba has the guts to make these moves.

  36. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    AlteredEgo Says:
    January 29th, 2019 at 6:17 pm
    TBBF…. Peyton Barber is under contract 2019

    Peyton Barber is not under contract…..he is listed as a RFA…….if he is under contract, provide the details…..because I can’t find them anywhere.

  37. Bobby M. Says:

    Hoping Arians is involved because Licht cant scout much of anything. We need to rebuild the line….upgrade the RBs…and the entire secondary. Awesome.

  38. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Barber is a RFA……not under contract for 2019

  39. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I repeat…Peyton Barber is NOT under contract….he is a RFA in 2019

  40. ManzielMadness Says:

    Benny Snell Jr llooks like a stud… however we have too many needs on on the OLine… and front seven… and secondary…

  41. stpetebucsfan Says:


    If you’re out there I need some help on cap issues.

    I’m looking at Spotrac

    According to them we have just around 7 million left right now.

    So help me out here Luv or any other capologist. If we start with 7 million and the NFL raises the cap ten million do we really only have 17 million?

    Looks like GMC and DJAX are goners I do not see Grimes…is that because his contract is over? GMC and DJAX represent 23 million…that would at least bump us up to 40 million more.

    So Luv are my calculations correct and if they are is 40 million enough?

  42. AlteredEgo Says:

    TBBF…I stand corrected

  43. SOEbuc Says:

    If you can put an oline together that can open holes, Darrell Henderson round 3.

  44. ElioT Says:

    If Arians & Co. can turn Jones and that offensive line into dudes who are “going to whoop somebody’s a** today (D. Smith questionable & Barber is already there) they need a good solid Jonathan Stewart type RB to complete the set.

    Let’s go!

  45. ElioT Says:

    What about this Jacques Patrick kid from FSU?

    6’2” 235lbs.

  46. Dom is gone ... Licht Says:

    Bucs leaning RB after drafty one in the 2nd rd last year… Licht you suck!

  47. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Kobe likes Barber but his limited pass catching ability hurts the offense. the ability for Leftwich to call screens on 1st and 2nd down is huge for our overall explosiveness of the offense

    barber just takes too long to gather the pass and look up and run. 99% of the time he is tackled immediately. yes koetters screen play design was putrid but Barbers stop and go awareness and quickness is terrible…never will be fluid and natural

    *Trade 3rd/4th round pick to 49ers for Matt Brieda”

    Kobe Faker

  48. DB55 Says:

    David Johnson was an UDFA.


    The End

  49. Stanglassman Says:

    Arians and his staff in 2015 loved Rb Ameer Abdullah in the (2nd round) draft and had to settle for David Johnson. I wouldn’t be surprised if they sign or bring in Ameer in FA.

  50. WalkdaPlank Says:

    Kareem Hunt

  51. Bucs Guy Says:

    I don’t care if the next Jim Brown is available. Need help in blocking for him first.

  52. firethecannons Says:


    do not waste a high draft pick–buy a back in free agency

  53. tnew Says:

    RoJo will be given every chance to succeed. Why? Dead cap space of 3.2 million. That is a HUGE chunk to throw out considering his base is only 800k. Next season that number cuts in half. For those numbers, hope he can at least return kicks.

  54. Jameis Almighty! Says:

    Team Kareem Hunt

  55. Darin Says:

    Taylor is the best LT in the draft(imo). Look back at past drafts and see where the top LT was taken. Pick 5 is not too high. Qb, DE and LT are the 3 highest paid positions and alot of that is draft position. If you find a plug and play LT and you need one you take him, even at 1. Not to mention it’d still save money over giving smith 12+ mil per. Wouldnt surprise me if all the picks are O and D line.

  56. Phil Says:

    I don’t understand why the Bucs haven’t signed Kareem Hunt. He’s there for any team to sign. Sounds like he will get a 4 game suspension and then he’s good to go. The Bucs should be all over him like a hobo on a hot dog.

  57. AfroBuc Says:

    Did any of you consider that this is just subterfuge to throw you and others off of what their real intentions are? I mean why would they reveal their hand so early about just one position? Or maybe if they create a discussion about RB now, it helps their leverage with other teams looking to trade or negotiate later?

  58. StoutGospel Says:


    Not sure what planet you were circling when you wrote that above about David Johnson and Kareem Hunt….but you’re dead wrong killer. Google, can indeed be your friend, to ya know, be accurate… before trying to make a point.

    David Johnson–2015–Round 3 pick 86
    Kareem Hunt–2017–Round 3 pick 86

    Ironically both picked at #86 overall in BOTH drafts. NEITHER was an UDFA.

  59. Joeypoppems Says:

    If his medicals check out Rodney Anderson could be worth a gamble in the mid rounds if he falls.

    But pay Tevin Coleman.

  60. TBUC North Carolina Says:

    DB55 = idiot!!!
    THE END…..!!!!

  61. Pistol Pete Says:

    DE 1st round
    RG 2nd Round
    RT 3rd Round

  62. TOM Says:

    I’m all in with Hunt. Also Jonah Williams at #5. Risner Kan. St. 2nd rd. Day 3 Armstead RB Temple

  63. RODNEY J ALLEN Says:

    Tom did u see the video of hunt kicking that girl? The shove was pretty hard she kept trying to come into that room but the kick looked more like he shoved her back down with his foot than a actual kick. He should of never put his hands on her locked the door n called security or the police but it sure looked like she was the instigator of the situation. Like I said he was wrong but so was she. A man should never hit a woman but a woman should never hit a man either. I just think its ba that a woman can keep coming at or even hitting a man n that’s ok but as soon as he shoves her off him he’s the woman beating pos🤦‍♂️