Finding A Running Game

January 20th, 2019

A lot to prove.

The Bucs’ running game in the post-Chucky era has been pretty lousy.

Aside from a couple of seasons from Doug Martin (his rookie year and a contract season), and LeGarrette Blount’s rookie season (2010), the Bucs have stunk at running the ball.

If a running back cannot get 1,000 yards in 16 games, that’s low rung.

In the eyes of Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report, the key area new Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians must turn around to have any success is the rushing attack.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired head coach Bruce Arians, who seems focused on molding Jameis Winston into a more consistent starting quarterback. An upgraded ground attack could help the signal-caller avoid turnovers and improve offensive efficiency.

Tampa Bay ranked 22nd in rush attempts and 29th in yards as a one-dimensional offense heavily reliant on the passing game. Peyton Barber, the team’s leading ball-carrier, averaged 3.7 yards per carry, and rookie second-rounder Ronald Jones logged 23 carries for 44 yards and a touchdown in nine appearances.

The Buccaneers’ aerial attack features multiple quality pass-catchers including Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate. Nonetheless, it’s not necessarily a good idea to allow Winston to go pass-happy. He’s thrown the second-most interceptions (58), along with Bortles, since 2015. More handoffs to a dynamic running back could keep the offense rolling in a balanced approach.

The problem here is, the past two years when seemingly every team in the NFL improved its running game because the drafts were so stocked, the Bucs drafted two stiff running backs in the last two drafts.

Now this may be a chicken-or-the-egg thing. Is it terrible drafting or Bucs coaches who couldn’t develop runners? Let’s just say Joe isn’t banking on Ronald Jones to suddenly become Marcus Allen.

Maybe Arians can help the Bucs personnel department pick out decent backs? Either way, the fact the Bucs can’t even accidentally stumble upon a running back is just downright sad.

51 Responses to “Finding A Running Game”

  1. AlteredEgo Says:

    OL/DL first…too many times on obvious running plays the RB’s were stuffed behind the LOS….yes another equal to Peyton Barber type is needed, maybe it is DO already on the roster I liked him last PS…I’d hate to use a draft pick as the DL-OL-CB/SF are higher priority early and often

  2. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Ronald Jones is the result of when a guy who should be a healthy scratch every week actually plays.

  3. Owlykat Says:

    Draft a LT in the first round and a Guard in the third round and trade off D. Smith to Jax for their 2017 First Round LSU RB who has fallen out of favor there, and your poor running game and lack of protection for Jameis will be a distant memory.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    23 carries in 9 games for Rojo……my math says 2.5 carries a game for 9 games……hardly an adequate sample size.

  5. The Buc Realist Says:

    Easiest way to fix the run game?????? Fire licht!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The plan of “fixing” all the roster mistakes is the recipe for disaster!!!!!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. ghost Says:

    Tampabaybucfan Says:
    January 20th, 2019 at 9:14 am
    23 carries in 9 games for Rojo……my math says 2.5 carries a game for 9 games……hardly an adequate sample size.

    If he sucks at practice, what makes you think he is going to “turn it on” in the game lol

  7. Bird Says:

    “Balance Danielson”

    No question we need to run ball better. Opposing defenses focused on our only strength – throwing the ball.

    Need one upgrade oline man to assist. 2 even better.
    Benenoch should be gonzo

  8. AlteredEgo Says:

    Unless RoJo is truly a retard, BA with an improved OL should be able to get him into the second level which is where RoJo’s game is….I really don’t get a 22 year old RB not being able to catch a football…incomprehensible …

  9. Iron Wombat Says:

    Worst run blocking line in the league.

  10. Bucs Fan #7423 Says:

    Kareem Hunt

  11. Buc15 Says:

    Fix the line. Boom there is your running game.

  12. Pryda..sec147 Says:

    Koetter was the coach I’ll give everyone a second chance BA will clean out the trash in TB.

  13. Marine Buc Says:

    Offensive line is only as strong as the weakest link. We have a bad right guard and two tackles who are below average run blockers. It doesn’t matter who is running the ball. Fix the offensive line and the running game will show…

  14. ben Says:

    why all the support for Licht? He is in charge with the worst losing record..

  15. Lunchbox Says:

    Bucs Fan #7423 Says:
    January 20th, 2019 at 10:02 am

    Kareem Hunt
    What he said.

  16. tbbucs3 Says:

    The problem with Ronald Jones is not that he only got 23 carries…

    Its that he lacks explosiveness and looks SLOW.

  17. unbelievable Says:

    Worst run blocking in the league but all the blame is placed on the running backs or the coaches…. WHY?


  18. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Just ask Terrell Davis about the importance of a dominating O-line?

  19. Fire Light Says:

    Fire Jason Licht

  20. Jonathan Lipnicki Says:

    Although the run blocking left a lot to be desired…a running back (Jones) with skinny legs and playing scared will never work in the NFL. Chalk it up as another botched ( high ) second round pick.

  21. Bruce Blahak Says:

    Jones was a panic pick…needed speed back to complement Barber….he’s pretty much a bust, still need 3rd down back for 2019 and not Rodgers

  22. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Speed back?….

    So fast they never get touched

    So fast they get around the corner without a hand on them

    What game is that? Football? 1990s?

    Linebackers run 4.5 and corners and safeties fly around

    In modern nfl, runningbacks need to break tackles. They have to be physical and attack initial arm tackles …no matter what size

    In the modern nfl, holes and running lanes are small and quickly close

    The top runningbacks makes there own holes by physically breaking the LOS into the second level

    Our 199lber is no tough guy”

    Kobe Faker

  23. TOM Says:

    Kareem Hunt to me would be a no brainer. Also the kid from Wisconsi who looked pretty good in preseason (Ogenbowle) should be given an extended look. Looked a lot better than R. Jones. Also I know this has nothing to do with RB but I think Adams looked pretty decent at safety.

  24. Tbbucs3 Says:

    I can assure you that not every good runn8ng back in the NFL has a “dominating O-Line”…when are we gonna stop blaming the O line and realize Jason Licht can’t find a good running back? The O line is average…Saquon Barkley has 10x worse the Oline the Bucs have.

  25. firethecannons Says:

    I agree with TOM, Bucs need to get a proven playmaker with fresh legs like Kareem Hunt. R. Jones should be cut if he can’t get going in this new offense in training camp-make another roster spot–along with Noah Spence-wtf are these Jason Licht whiffs doing on next seasons roster.

  26. Jean Lafitte Says:

    ^^^so you question TD?

  27. Dpaxon Says:

    Definitely scheme related as well. Not sure all the blame goes on RB’s and Oline. NO secret Dirk run game play calls were vanilla to say the least!

  28. Tbbucs3 Says:


    Dominating O lines are rare, only a select few teams have them every year. Obviously they are important, but continuing to blame to O line for bad running backs is where I have a problem. It’s lazy analysis.

  29. unbelievable Says:

    Lazy analysis huh?

    Well here are some facts for you (they’re not lazy, but they might be late):

    From 2016 – 2018 The Bucs have ranged from #1 – #3 in terms of the MOST times their running back is hit and/or tackled behind the LOS.

    Now tell me, when defenders are hitting the RB the moment he gets the ball in his hands, several yards behind the line of scrimmage, is that not the fault of the o-line? Who’s fault is it then? Go ahead I’ll wait…

  30. Anonymous Says:

    Rojo is a case of bad coaching. It’s what Dirks M.O. was,force the system on the player. Maybe with a coach that uses him right, he will be successful.

  31. BucfaninMi Says:

    Dirk forced Rojo into a system that wasn’t right for him. BA will get better use of him. We only seen the beginning of what the Buccaneers have been missing in the coaching department.

  32. Defense Rules Says:

    @Owlykat … “Draft a LT in the first round and a Guard in the third round and trade off D. Smith to Jax for their 2017 First Round LSU RB who has fallen out of favor there.” Love the thought Owlykat of drafting a LT in Rnd 1, but you can’t trade a player you don’t own (Donovan Smith is a FA). Only way we could pull that off would be to franchise-tag Donovan & that’d make him HARDER to trade because of the $$$ involved. And although Fournette intrigues me, I think there’ll be plenty of other FA RBs available who could do just as well IF we fix the OLine. If we don’t, no RB will do well back there. Not even RoJo. OK, ESPECIALLY not RoJo. (Drafting him & Sausage McMuffin or whatever his name was still has me shaking my head).

  33. gambelero Says:

    For like the hundredth time. Improve the running game by improving the o-line.

    Other things would help.

    (1) having more creativity in the run. I joked a lot last year that we seemed to have only one running play.

    (2) we need modern running backs; guys that can flex out in an empty set and run routes; guys that can catch the ball; the best running backs are catching tons of passes these days.

    (3) be less predictable. We always ran it on second and short, first play in the red zone, etc.

  34. Tbbucs3 Says:


    So just because the run blocking is not great that automatically makes ROJO good?

    I suggest all you Ronald Jones apologists turn on the tape and actually watch him play instead of blaming other people, he sucks. It’s as simple as that.

    He’s slow, has no vision, doesn’t even look remotely athletic because he trips over himself everytime he gets the ball.

    None of you ROJO supporters can explain why Peyton Barber (an average NFL running back) looked decent behind the same exact Oline.

  35. BucEmUp Says:

    Rojo was poorly coached along with the rest of the team. Keep barber and jones and pickup two more rbs. One draft one FA.

  36. Larry Says:

    As Owlykat posted draft a LT & a guard and trade Smith to Jax for Fournette. The most sensible thing I’ve seen posted in awhile….providing Fournette passes a physical.

  37. catcard202 Says:

    Barber is an RFA…So, no sure thing to come back…Bucs have right of 1st refusal, should he find a offer they don’t want to match.

    I’m all for jumping today to sign Kareem Hunt & allow BA to give him the 2nd chance we’d want for our on sons…Then spend a 2nd/3rd rnd pick on Benny Snell Jr to complete the RB room.. (Hunt/Snell/RoJo 2.0/Wilson = a pretty big upgrade from 2018…Combined yrly contracts would cost Bucs less than half what LeVeon Bell wants per yr!)

  38. JimmyJack Says:

    The one thing that gets overlooked here is scheme. In 2015 we were a top five rushing team. We ran the ball out of pro formation. With Simms being a pass threat it caused a lot of deception and our OL had the advantage of misdirection. We opened a lot of holes because of this.

    Then Dirk took charge and got away from those formations so he could use Simms as a slot receiver(where he barely contributed). He even featured Simms which was an evaluation mistake. He moved all of our lineman around and has kept moving them around since. The result has been a bottom-league rushing attack for all of Dirk’s tenure.

    We lost one player between 2015-16, Logan Mankins. That hurts but doesn’t explain going from top 5 all the way to the bottom.

    For the most part is was the same players Dirk had to work with. Pushing blame to scouting and developement doesn’t tell the entire story. The scheme did not fit our players. Just like with the passing game and our cushion defense.

    IMO Dirk is the worst coach the team has seen in this century. He and Raheem are neck and neck.

  39. rrsrq Says:

    Did Joe say post Chucky, who ran the ball consitently with Chucky, Mark Alstott, Michael “hedgehog” Pittman, Charlie Garner, the return of Warrick Dunn or Cadillac on three tires Williams. Chucky never had a consistent running game, so can we say, post Dungy when WD-40 was in the backfield

  40. Zwak Says:

    Go get Hunt the kid is doing all the right things sense his epic mistakes.

  41. unbelievable Says:

    I never said I thought Rojo was good. Don’t put words in my mouth. He played scared and would fall over from a defender just breathing on him.

    But the run game has sucked for 3 years, not just this season. Rojo wasn’t here in 2016 or 2017 last time I checked.

    This has been a problem for years. The common element over that time period is the o-line (and playcalling).

    Again, when you’re running back gets hit or tackled bunked the LOS more than anyone else in the league (or is too 3), your run blocking sucks.

  42. unbelievable Says:

    Joe why do my posts from my mobile phone never appear anymore?

  43. ToesOnTheLine!!! Says:

    I say give ROJO a chance with “the new boss”. I’m not sure what the issue was last season, but I do know that the kid did not at all look like the player that was a USC standout. Blocking? Injury? Coaching? Confidence?…maybe a little of each? Tough to say, but if you look at this young man coming out of college I don’t know how anyone could call this guy slow or not explosive? Maybe the new staff will help him add a little more muscle and work on catching? I’ll give him a pass for last season, but year two better be 1,000+ yards for ROJO or else I’m off the bandwagon too 🙂

  44. Lewis Says:

    I have no faith in barber his second level runs were pathetic

  45. Lewis Says:

    rojo had no chance here Dirt was the worst coach in franchise history his lack of being evolved in the entire team / defense stuck with smith to the teams demise and barber was a back up at best and keeping the little guy just to block was criminal

  46. Mike10 Says:

    Fix the trenches!

  47. Destinjohnny Says:

    bA I inherited the worst running back stable in the nfl

  48. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    Rojo does not have a large enough sample size to warrant being called a bust.

  49. Oneilbucs Says:

    When you can run the ball you win .

  50. Joeypoppems Says:

    Pay Tevin Coleman.

  51. Patrick Says:

    Traveon Williams from Texas A&M please