Will Arians Get A Run Game?

January 9th, 2019

“Dirk, I can’t make any promises about Jacquizz. But he knows where Atlanta is.”

So now the Bucs have arguably the best quarterback guru in the NFL. What next?

Bruce Arians, 66, signed a four-year contract with the Bucs. It’s not a stretch to wonder if he will finish his contract. Not a whole lot of 70-year old men coached in the NFL that weren’t named “Halas” or “Levy.”

Joe was reading a story by Jenna Laine of ESPN on Arians and a paragraph caught Joe’s eye.

While Arians’ high-flying passing game led the Cardinals to a 13-3 record in 2015, in 2016 he switched to a more balanced attack with the emergence of running back David Johnson. The Cardinals still utilized play-action and took their shots downfield, when warranted. Arians initiated the move not because of a change in philosophy, but because the talent was there to do so, suggesting he can adapt to the talent that’s in front of him.

A problem with the Bucs is play-action has been a waste of time. Defenses simply are not biting on the run because defenses do not respect the Bucs’ run game.

And why should defenses respect the run? In the past three years, the rushing attack of the Bucs, starting in 2016, ranked No. 24, No. 27 and No. 29 in the NFL. The Bucs’ running game slowly slipped from bad to awful each season. Jameis had a strong 2018 season scrambling but still the Bucs ranked second-worst in yards per carry (3.9).

Joe wouldn’t be surprised if the Bucs pick up a running back in both free agency (maybe two?) and one in the draft. Perhaps someone on the new coaching staff can bring Ronald Jones back from the dead? And maybe someone on this new staff can help the front office recognize what an NFL running back prospect is in the draft?

(Don’t get Joe going on kickers right now.)

50 Responses to “Will Arians Get A Run Game?”

  1. Pete I Says:


    Where is James Wilder when you need him?

  2. Pete I Says:

    Joe even alabama can’t find a kicker… how do you not have the best kicker in football if your Bama?

  3. Todd Says:

    BA is the King of (giving) Second Chances.

    Any chance of us landing Kareem Hunt?!

  4. OneBucPerson Says:

    A lack of a run game is definitely a concern, we need to be a balanced O to truly be successful. That means being able to run it effectively whenever we want to, despite the fact that this offense will be pass heavy.

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “And maybe someone on this new staff can help the front office recognize what an NFL running back prospect is in the draft? (Don’t get Joe going on kickers right now.)” Hmmm, guess you’re more subtle than I am Joe; you never used the name Lapdog Licht (but Bruce will straighten him out I’m sure). And I sure do hope you’re right about the 2 RBs. Now if we can sway you towards drafting a bonafide LT with our #5 pick & grabbing 1 Guard & 1 RT in FA we’ll be in hog heaven with this offense.

  6. ATrain Says:

    What about The Bell rumor

  7. Pete I Says:


    Where’s James Wilder when you need him!

  8. Alabamabucsfan Says:

    It is not just a running back we need – the whole right side of the line needs an overhaul. Just like passing defense two years ago, without a pass rush our CB and DB were going to fail.

  9. Jonzey Says:

    I think we need to get L. Bell and get CB help in the 1st Rd. Greedy Williams get O-lineman in 2nd because its deep and get a top free agent O-lineman. I wouldn’t mind getting Patrick Peterson to team up with Greedy


    Man…. I’m looking forward to the new mindset.

    Duffman gave us fans a heartbeat again.

    I can’t wait to follow the Joe’s this off-season.

    LeVeon Bell????

    Joe is our DL coach coming back?

  11. Zwak Says:

    Get Hunt the kids young he made a mistake. He may have to sit a year but someone’s going to do it..

  12. Stanglassman Says:

    B. Powell, T. Colman, and TJ Yeldon are all FA do it all backs that shouldn’t cost a fortune. We should draft a back too but can’t count on landing a 3rd round gem like David Johnson in every draft. They almost blew it with David J.. BA and his AZ GM were on the phone with Ameer Abdullah telling him his was there 2nd round pick when Detroit who was on the clock called and got him.

  13. wombat Says:

    He seemed to do alright against the Bucs with an old running back named Peterson who tore us apart in his first game….

  14. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    Gotta fix the O line first

    Donovan Smith has got to go….. He’s a good backup

  15. Bucsfanman Says:

    But aren’t we to believe that we don’t need a run-game? “Passing league”?! You know, Jameis Winston with 40+ attempts per game? Right?!

    You HAVE to have a run-game, or at the very least the threat of a run-game. You don’t have to look far for proof.

  16. Not there yet Says:

    I’m willing to bet the bucs have a running game just had a horrible coach. Gotta get Jacquizz outta here thankfully won’t have to see him anymore and we’ll get a vet maybe a late round back unless we get one of the top backs in the draft. Koetter is one of the worst coaches in history, 5 wins with an offense like this. By far the most talented roster he’d had in Tampa, words that doomed his head coaching career and he knows it was his one and only chance but he blew it being timid

  17. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I agree we need a running back but you simply can’t mention the running game in a post without even suggesting we could use Oline improvement.

    Our Oline is very weak with run-blocking.

  18. rrsrq Says:

    We could see a whole different off nose with the same players put in position to succeed. Consistency on the offensive line, we beat up Caleb, but didn’t he play RT last season. Maybe Bucco Bruce sees how to make ROJO and Barber a successful duo.
    In the draft, is Jonah Williams worth a top 5 pick, he looked weak in the national championship game (though only one game – but that’s every NFL game). So go get Greedy or Quinnie Williams to make that defense hunt.

  19. Bruce Blahak Says:

    a QB,UT,CB,RG,DE & RB away from Worst to First 🙂

  20. Bucsfaninchina Says:

    Really strong RB market this year in FA. Leveon of course, Jay Ajayi, Mark Ingram, TJ Yeldon, CJ Anderson, Tevin Coleman… considering how weak the perception of the RB class in the draft is, we should def be picking up one of these guys.

    Of course, it doesnt matter who is given the rock with our swiss cheese o line. Fix that first.

  21. Tom Edrington Says:

    Running game? That means a really, really improved offensive line, that’s where it all starts, seriously….

  22. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Darius Guice or Kerryon Johnson would have been an NFL leader in the arians offense because he runs it up in there and can catch the ball. Licht drafts a guy who is allergic to catching the football and cannot run it between the tackles. It seems that licht and his 5-11 approach are gone and Arinas is going to want to win now, so go get LEVEON BELL who seems like a perfect fit for this offense and a strong NFL HC.

  23. Ed Says:

    Bucs need offensive linemen worse than a superstar RB. The cash that would go to Bell could go to several offensive linemen that will be an improvement over what the Bucs are trotting out there. Donovan Smith doesn’t deserve a high priced contract. I would use whatever money the Bucs save through attrition of their overpaid vets and re-allocate that money to younger free agents that through better coaching can at least be adequate and move some people on other side of ball.

    Free agent offensive linemen, rookie offensive linemen, running backs and defensive backs are what this team needs to go after. Forget Bell, he’s great but we need get a a couple of veteran backs and draft a back but use the cap to build these lines and the back end of the defense.

  24. Todd Says:


    “I think we need to get L. Bell and get CB help in the 1st Rd. Greedy Williams get O-lineman in 2nd because its deep and get a top free agent O-lineman. I wouldn’t mind getting Patrick Peterson to team up with Greedy.”

    You NAILED it! Good job.

  25. Bucnjim Says:

    We already have a ton of cap money being spent on the offense it will probably have to be addressed through the draft. Need to spend a couple dollars on the D and bring in another game changer like JPP. Hopefully someone in the secondary that will motivate the rest of them.

  26. Alabamabucsfan Says:

    We have greater needs than to spend 14+mil on Leveon Bell. I would rather address the Oline and get another running back via draft.

  27. VaTom Says:

    He’s gonna need a couple yrs to fix this mess. O Line…Secondary…Special Teams. Four yes? Please don’t “Tedford” us BuccoBruce.

  28. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Ed you are right on with the OL help, the bucs need quality OL and need Arians to do the personnel moves and the draft now instead of dunderbox licht. Getting rid of djax and gmc would do wonders for $$ on this team. Definitely do not trust this scouting dept on this team but maybe arians transforms it to tell them EXACTLY the player he is looking for to make the bucs successful.

  29. Destinjohnny Says:

    Okay he now inherited the 28th offensive line
    And 28th running back stable to go with his 23rd ranked qb
    The good news is we have receivers and tight ends

  30. Stu Says:

    Running game…what’s that?

  31. Stanglassman Says:

    AZ FA OL G Mike Iupati, he’s 31 but would be a better bridge than Benonich while Cappa developes. He is a 3 time probowler and with Harold Goodwin as his former position coach he’d probably love to come here.

  32. Stanglassman Says:

    Joes- what’s the deal with everything going to moderation? Having to wait 2-3 hours for your comment to post is a drag.

  33. Kaptain Morgan Says:

    I keep hearing about how National Media members have linked LeVeon Bell to the Bucs. While I like the stats the guy has previously produced, I don’t think he would be a good fit for the Bucs in the locker room nor with his salary demands of wanting a guaranteed contract along with trying to recoup money he lost from sitting out last year. I think the Bucs can find a 3rd or 4th round RB and continue to see what they can get out of Ronald Jones.

    As for a kicker now, I understand Stephen Gostkowski is a free agent. I think the Bucs should aggressively go after him if NE doesn’t pay him/franchise him.

  34. Anonymous Says:

    If this team wants to win it is simple go and get Kareem Hunt and you can get him for cheap. Don’t get a free agent RB why pay out the you know what. Why not get a guy that you know will be trying to do his best and to fit in with the program bc they have him a second chance. This is not rocket science. That’s if the Buccaneers want to win!!!!!

  35. 813bucboi Says:

    i hope bruce brings a run and a defense….thats what will help winston…not another “high flying passing attack”…..


  36. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Anonymous: im with you on the kareem hunt get, but Id only do that if you knew Exactly the time he will be suspended and it would have to be 6 games or less, no since in grabbing the guy if 2019 is a wash

  37. kyle Says:

    @ pete, i with you! How the hell cant alabama find a kicker??? I hate the tide and love seeing them lose but its mind boggling how they always have a sh..ty kicker…haha go dawgs!

  38. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Agree with your take and I’m hoping we do draft Greedy Williams.

    I love Patrick Peterson as well but I believe we’ll have to change OUR names to “greedy” if we think we’re going to line up PP and Greedy in our defensive backfield. Fun to dream about it tho for sure.

    As for our running game…remember Bucco Bruce found David Johnson in the 3rd round at that football factory Northern Iowa.
    Perhaps Arians has an eye for RB talent.

  39. Pickgrin Says:

    Fix the OLine and the “running game” fixes itself.

    Could we use a more dynamic RB? Sure.

    But Peyton Barber can easily put up 1100 or 1200 yards in a full season as the primary back if the OLine is regularly opening holes for him to run through.

    I’m not ready to give up on 21 year old ROJO yet either and hope BA and Oline coach/running game coordinator Goodwin figure out how to tap into that talent that got Jones drafted high in the 2nd rd.

  40. The Coroner Says:

    Kareem Hunt.
    He can room with crotch grabbing, formerly suspended and benched Jameis Winston.
    Maybe Jameis has learned a few things he can pass on to Kareem.

  41. martinii Says:

    Now that the dust is beginning to settle and it is certain we are going to get Arians and apparently some of his entourage it seems like a splash move by the Glazers although I see Licht losing a lot of his influence regarding personnel. I spent most of the morning reading Bio articles on Arians and the coaching philosophies he has developed. Culture is important. With the current players on our roster and the cap space we have IMO it will take a few years and a lot of restructuring to create a product capable of winning on Sunday. I am cautiously optimistic and more curious than elated by the hire. Other than a few articles I know nothing about this transition, only that for the last 10+ years with few exceptions and no playoffs the Buc’s have been a total disappointment. I hope by getting the band back together he plans to Win games and not just enjoy a farewell tour at Tampa’s expense. I’m not a hater and never have been and certainly hope I live to see a football team with a winning culture and playoff games to prove it. Nonetheless with this team I have at best learned to control my enthusiasm and occasionally enjoy a well played performance.

  42. rrsrq Says:

    Stop playing the Cupid shuffle on the o-line

  43. ToesOnTheLine!!! Says:

    Still holding out optimism for ROJO to put his rookie season in the rear view mirror while year two hopefully has him putting DB’s in his rear view mirror once that “ass rocket” fires off past the line of scrimmage. OL run blocking help is desperately needed and, depending on type of blocking scheme the Bucs go with, bringing in a lower priced vet RB who excels at the particular scheme couldn’t hurt. No offense to Peyton Barber intended.

  44. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    Pete I Says:
    “Where is James Wilder when you need him?”


    I can DEFINITELY feel ya on that one, Pete. Good memories there.

  45. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Sign a FA and draft 2 IMO – in the mid to later rounds.

    First pick needs to be All Pro player potential. LIkely DT/CB/OT looking at this draft. Or trade back and still hit the lines.

    2nd pick won’t have good value at RB. That’s where there should still be good talent on both lines.

    3rd maybe RB then.

  46. Lord Cornelius Says:

    In general this draft seems to have no consensus top talent beyond Bosa…

    I’ve seen Rashan Gary / Josh Allen / Quennen Williams / and others all in the mix as the other top prospects.

    I’ve seen Brian Burns mocked at 3 and also in the 2nd round.

    Then I see a mock that has the OTHER LSU CB not named Greedy Williams going to us at 5.

    I see Ed Oliver consistently later for whatever reasons. Supposedly not nearly as strong as an aaron donald but he still intrigues me with that pass rush.

    Basically the combine is going to mean a lot this year IMO. I can’t remember seeing mocks so wildly different from eachother even in just the top 3-4 or top 10.

  47. ChipBuc Says:

    How about a trade with Arizona for Jonhson, he might be available for a 3rd rounder. He had a off year at rb for Arizona last year, mabey they would be interested.

  48. joestang Says:

    you all are dreaming if you think l bell is coming here. As long as Licht is pulling the trigger we will end up with maybe 1 starter from this draft if lucky and bottom feeder free agents as usual. FIRE LICHT BEFORE DRAFT.

  49. EARL BEDFORD Says:

    I know it won’t happen, but would love to see if he can swing a deal for David Johnson!

  50. denjoe Says:

    “Dirk, I can’t make any promises about Jacquizz. But he knows where Atlanta is.”