Bruce Arians Says He Wants To “Build Around” Peyton Barber

February 27th, 2019

Joe wrote earlier that the Bucs expect a big jump from Ronald Jones this season. (Insert your sarcastic one-liner here.)

But Bucco Bruce Arians offered a lot of clarity about the running back position later in the day.

Arians has watched the film and it’s clear he sees Peyton Barber as a No. 1 running back.

Scary? Perhaps — but not for the head coach.

“I love him, for a man that size. You know, when you watched the tape, you don’t see him as 230 [pounds]. You think he’s a 205-pound running back because he’s got great feet,” Arians said of Barber. “Not every back’s going to be a home run hitter. He gets those 10, 15-yard runs breaking tackles, power runner, punishing runner. When we’re building something, that’s the kind I want to build around.”

Later, Arians was asked to name Buccaneers who surprised him in a positive way while self-scouting the team  — as in he didn’t realize how good they are. Arians named Mike Evans, Lavonte David and Peyton Barber.

“And I can honestly say Peyton Barber. I mean, I’ve watched this guy no and i’m like, whooff. He’s so subtle in some of the things he does for a big man.” Arians added.

Man, as of now, it’s starting to smell like the Bucs might not touch the running back position in the draft until the fourth round.

47 Responses to “Bruce Arians Says He Wants To “Build Around” Peyton Barber”

  1. BetterBucFan Says:

    Draft David Montgomery in the second or third round.

  2. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    This is Barry Melrose 2.0…….

  3. Lord Cornelius Says:

    4th or later is fine. Get a guy like Rodney Anderson from Oklahoma who has 3 down back stud upside but needs to get healthy. Or get a RB who specializes in route running / receiving.

    Barber did pretty well when given his chances but we had no balance on offense or commitment to the run game.

    But the biggest thing is we were a bottom 3 run blocking line. Call it the line or the scheme or the coaching – but bottom line is our RBs were getting hit behind the line of scrimmage WAY more often than the NFL average, to the point that we were basically worst in the league. That stat is not on the RB.

    Even 3 down “elite” backs like Todd Gurley or Melvin Gordon have had seasons with 3.2 or 3.5 YPC because they were on bad teams with bad run blocking. Those guys would have had bad years here last year too.

  4. ncbucsfan Says:

    I trust his eyes within HIS offense so I’m just satisfied to hear him say it. I LOVE Josh Jacobs though! Sounds like the draft WILL center on the trenches from all I’ve heard this morning from BA and Licht. Our draft won’t be sexy in 2019! Free agency will probably focus on the secondary, being that the draft focused on it last year and was still sh*tty!! Focus on the Bucs direction had some light shed on it, contingent on the Cap situation! Now we just need to hope Foles goes to the Dolphins or Redskins and not the Jags so we can keep hope that a trade-down scenario would still be possible. I think that shrinks if the Jags sign him

  5. JGhoti86 Says:

    @ Lord Cornelius

    I love the idea of getting Rodney Anderson in the 3rd or 4th round. Had he not had the injuries he sustained and frequency of those injuries, he would be 1a or 1b right up there w/ Josh Jacobs, imo. As much as I love Josh Jacobs (maybe, my favorite OFFENSIVE player in this draft), getting Rodney Anderson w/o investing as high of a draft pick, makes a lot of sense

  6. destinjohnny Says:

    if this guy can take us the playoff with our current o line and our current running back stable??? we need to name the stadium after him and change the name of the town.

  7. cspann Says:

    Bennie Snell JR

  8. Issaic haggins Says:

    Barber does have great feet as so I stated in 2016 but I must say he is not a power runner !!! He just runs too upright and easily gets handled and even thrown back on straight up one on ones . He does hv good slide and wiggle but is entirely way too high with his pad level , like way way too high !!! He looks like he is 200 lbs on straight up one on one tackles and often gets taken off his feet which is bad when you are 230 !!! Peyton would be great setting up for an NWA body slam On Tues night at the Armory in Tampa !!

    Barber is a good middle of the road back and is a great guy to root for and will be even better w better conditioning, continues to work on pass catching and get your dam pads down ( this alone will add . 5 to his avg )

    Alstott when he got going had some of the best pad level Ever but was terrible at the line of scrimmage on quick hitters but if he got moving he would be 16 inches off the ground ( pad level) at contact and the tackler lost every time .

  9. Kyle Hoge Says:

    hell yes bennie snell!

  10. Buccaneerscotty Says:

    If he’s planning to draft a running back in the 1st rd. It’s the perfect thing to say

  11. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    I would love to see Barber and Rojo surrounded by a descent offensive line who can RUN BLOCK.

  12. Winepeddler Says:

    My comment can be applied to several (actually quite a few) of the articles that I’ve been reading on this site and that is: why do so many people expect the Bucs management to reveal what their plans are for the draft, who currently under contract do they plan to retain and what free agents they are going to try to acquire.

    It’s not standard operating procedure for very many NFL teams and especially successful NFL teams. I seem to remember the head coach of the most successful team in the NFL stonewalling reporters who asked a question that he didn’t want to answer…sometimes by just shaking his head and walking away.

    I find it refreshing that Bruce Arians, with his track record, still takes the time to try to interact with fans and is as open as he has been with reporters. However, based on what I have seen in the past with other staffs, they occasionally offer misleading or false information until the team is formed.

    Personally, I have no problem giving these guys a chance to do their job without me second guessing their every move.

  13. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Please just 1 time…have not seen it once in 4 years…

    Can Kobe see a successful runningback screenplay on 1st down

    BA needs the defense to respect the short passing game

    we need Barber to learn to catch better and stop shaking too much

    kobe has his fingers crossed”

    Kobe Faker

  14. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “Man, as of now, it’s starting to smell like the Bucs might not touch the running back position in the draft until the fourth round.”

    Is there anyone in Bucsville who would feel totally comfortable with Barber as our #1, RoJo as our #2, and Wilson as our #3? Anyone? Bucs have had years when we got down to the 4th RB because of injuries. Can anyone imagine what our run game would look like if Barber got injured? Ya right.

    If the Bucs don’t bring in a veteran back to complement Peyton Barber’s style then we can kiss off 2019. Drafting a RB late is fine, but don’t expect them to be the lead dog if Barber goes down. In the 4th Rnd and after, Bucs have drafted McNichols (2017), Vitale (2016), Iosefa (2015), James (2013), M Smith (2012), Bradford (2011). Could go back further, but it would seem very clear that we haven’t done very well drafting RBs after the 3rd Rnd for MANY years. Kinda doubt that’s a winning strategy Joe.

  15. JimmyJack Says:

    Oh Baby!!!!! That quote makes my 💓 flutter…….I loved every word of it. I love any quote that I cludes the word…..punishing.

    Barber plays football the way it’s supposted to be played. He also has a great jersey.

    My favorite moment from 2018 was watching Barber plow over the Giants……One of their secondary players in particular Barber ran clean over 2-3 times…………we lost the game but guaranteed Baraber bruised several players. They probably didn’t have a fun time preparing for the next week.

  16. Boogie Nightz Says:

    This is sooooo freaking bad. Can you say Lovie Smith 2.0. I applauded this hire but now, not so much.

  17. Boogie Nightz Says:

    @Defense Rules

    I have already kissed 2019 goodbye.

  18. JimmyJack Says:

    Defense Rules……I will feel totally comfortable with Barber at #1. Barber is a quality starter in this league. He also brings special things to the table…..namely physicality.

    My idea for Barber is to be a 1b back. Finding a 1a is no easy task.

    Small chance you find a legit 1a in FA. Not unless you get Bell.

  19. JimmyJack Says:

    Don’t worry Boogy……The bandwagon is always open. Come and go as you like but remember if you jump off then you lose all access to the deck of the ship.

  20. Tbbucs3 Says:

    There seems to be a lot of throwing Dirk under the bus going on today. I’ll say this, if the Bucs don’t sign quality free agents THIS off-season and try to rely on Jason Lichts draft picks alone, they will not be playing the Houston Texans on wildcard weekend this year.

    I really hope that Bruce Arians and Jason Licht don’t actually think that this current roster is good enough to make a playoff push.

  21. Bucsdelight Says:

    Playing the Houston Texans on wildcard weekend? AFC vs NFC in wildcards now? Must have missed that.

  22. Tbbucs3 Says:

    My bad Bucsdelight. Playing the Packers*.

    But point remains the same. Current roster is not good enough

  23. Tony LA Says:

    Arians is smart. While every fan and wannabe is screaming for a new RB, Arians realizes that the Bucs already have talent at the skill positions and need to improve in the… wait for it…


    Build the offensive line and everyone else improves with it.


  24. SOEbuc Says:

    I love PB and been saying it for a while. Get him some blockers and he’s 1,000+ yard season (871 yards in 2018 with one of the worst run blocking guards in the league).

  25. Bucsdelight Says:

    I don’t know, we have a top 5 offense (granted that was with Fitzmagic going loco), but the defense was bottom 5. If Bruce can change the scheme up a bit, I could see the defense easily being top 15. I think just putting more pressure on receivers and not giving 7 yd cushions, will go a long ways.

  26. JimmyJack Says:

    Our roster has talent on it but is is improperly built.

    It is a direct reflection of the “Weapons for Winston” campaign. It was cute coming from the fans but focused on skill players. The results were a nonphysical softass football team.

    Our softness was at it’s peak and embarrassingly shown to a national audience on our own Field on Monday Night. We were proven to be so soft that we could not even muster up a tackle vs NFL players.

    Softness has lost us 11 games per year and is a direct result for Weapons on Winston.

  27. Rod Munch Says:

    Barber is fine as a RB – and the need for a RB is fake news. The team has an all-star passing game and you can’t have all-stars at every position when you have a salary cap. Last year the dopes yelling and screaming we had to draft a RB got what they wanted, Ronald Jones. Meanwhile the ones with common sense, like myself of course, said not to waste a draft pick on a RB when you’re still starting garbage like Chris Conte at safety.

    I was, of course, correct.

  28. Pickgrin Says:

    Barber will get the job done. He’s a 1000+ yard back behind even decent run blocking.

    No RBs – until we’ve drafted solid OG and OT prospects.

    Taking a shot at one you like in the 5th or 6th rd is fine – but the whole top of this draft – first 4 picks at least – need to be about bolstering the trenches.

    Its the strength of the draft – and our biggest need.

    The Bucs first four picks need to be OT, DE, OG, DE – in whatever order makes sense based on who falls to our picks.

    Ideally – we trade down a few spots and can still get a player like the LSU MLB at 7 or 8 – and then just proceed back to above plan with extra 2nd and/or 3rd rd picks to work with.

  29. Eric Says:

    gotta have a home run threat to compliment Barber.

    Jones aint it unless the worst coaching job in history was done last year. I doubt that as Koetter made good use of running backs in past seasons here and elsewhere.

    Arians isn’t going to say what he really thinks. Most good coaches don’t.

  30. Pickgrin Says:

    meant to have a DT in there instead of DE twice

    First 4 picks should be OT, DE, OG, DT

  31. 813bucboi Says:

    DR says: Is there anyone in Bucsville who would feel totally comfortable with Barber as our #1, RoJo as our #2, and Wilson as our #3?

    with BA as our new HC, i do….different offense…different scheme….

    imo, wilson deserved more touches….

    with that said, i still think we add another RB in the draft…..i guess the “massive turnover” is on hold….BA sees the pieces, and likes them….


  32. 813bucboi Says:

    Tony LA Says:
    February 27th, 2019 at 2:11 pm
    Arians is smart. While every fan and wannabe is screaming for a new RB, Arians realizes that the Bucs already have talent at the skill positions and need to improve in the… wait for it…



    focus on the lines….

    like @pickgrin said… first 4 picks need to be OT, DE, OG, DT in any order hopefully after we trade down….


  33. Rod Munch Says:

    Barber is the generic runningback in the Miami Dolphins offense under Marino. Meaning you get 700-900 yards a year, maybe 5-7 TDs, and someone who is a solid pass blocker.

    Now I know Arians used his RB’s a lot different than Dirk did so Barber should play a bigger role – but this is still first and foremost a passing team, and Barber is fine. The team has to get starters and depth all over the place, and RB shouldn’t be high on that list. The last thing the Bucs should be thinking is that they need to throw yet more resources at the RB issue. If they can get an affordable vet FA then by all means, go ahead. If they want to draft a RB with the 6th round pick, well, I think it’s a waste but go ahead. If they’re looking at a RB again in the 2nd round then someone should get fired.

  34. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Agree with 813 / others who actually could live with the current RBs starting; assuming we

    A) upgrade the O-line (RG & depth at a minimum) and
    B) upgrade the design/play calling

    I personally wasn’t seeing games and thinking “man Peyton Barber is holding this team back”.

    I was thinking “Oh there’s another run where we were tackled 3 yards behind the LOS”

    And we have ranked bottom 3 in that stat too often the last few years.

    The film wasn’t RBs missing holes or opportunities for bigger gains. The film shows a line and play calls that got the RBs lit up early.

    Look at Kansas City last year. They were down to their 3rd/4th string backs late in the year in two guys named Damien Williams that I’d never heard of in my life. Both those guys had success and the team kept rolling because of the system & O-line.

  35. The Coroner Says:

    If that is the case, Joe, they must be planning on a 2nd round guard or a tackle who can be able to play both positions.

  36. Rod Munch Says:

    Lord Cornelius – The film also shows teams stacking the line on 1st and 10 when the Bucs came out under center and run blitzing up the gut since they knew Dirk was going to run it straight up the gut. Dirk, who did such a great job in the running game under Lovie, when he was up in the coaching box, did a terrible job calling run plays from the sideline. I still think he just didn’t see the field well, was ultra predictable, and didn’t give his line or the RB’s a chance to succeed.

  37. Doctor_berto Says:

    This is a joke right?

  38. 813bucboi Says:


    i think Rodney Anderson last to the 4th?….idk….he’s nice….didnt realize he got injured tho….


  39. MadMax Says:

    R OT/G Dalton Risner, 2nd or high 3rd.

  40. Pryda30.... sec 147 Says:

    4th/5th I’m fine with a RB then. Fix the line (O and D) fix the Bucs !!!

  41. Lord Cornelius Says:

    @Rod Munch

    Agree and guess that’d be point B.

    It’s kind of insane to have that much passing success but somehow the D always seemed to know with certainty when the run was coming.

    Part of me wonders if Koetter’s offensive scheme or playcalling tendency is somehow a huge tip pre-snap to the defense. I don’t know how else to explain them shooting our run gaps consistently like that.

  42. Owlykat Says:

    BA needs a new third down back who can do it all and actually diagnose the blitz and has the weight and power to block it for Jameis and who also has good hands for catching outlet passes and then breaking tackles and getting first downs. That RB is Snell, Jr., and he won’t be gone in the first round because he is not on the top ten RB list by NFL Channel in TV and very few teams use their first pick on RBs and many teams already have good RBs. We should be able to get him in the third round. He was selected by the AP as the top RB in the tough SEC. He ran all over Florida who had a tough defense and showed it whipping Michigan in the Peach Bowl, was beating Ga. at the start of the fourth quarter, and even beating LSU when they were ranked 5th.

  43. Rod Munch Says:

    Lord Cornelius – I know that during the game threads here I could successful predict what was coming on 1st down about 95% of the time – and if I can do that then NFL defensive coordinators can do it at an even higher percentage. Dirk was ultra predictable, in particular in the 1st half of games, in that he would just run it up the gut on 1st down if they came out under center, or if he wanted to throw he’d go to shotgun, thus removing the threat of the play action pass. If you go back to weeks 1 and 2, when Monken was calling the plays, how did the Bucs come out in those games? On the 1st play, they came out under center, and did a play action pass. Both times the defense bit on it, getting a nice gain in NO and the TD to D-Jax against the Eagles. Those two plays stand out because they were completely different than what Dirk would have called. Then, after the Eagles game, Dirk said we “must run the ball more” and they came out against the Steelers with a run up the gut for no gain, and that was pretty much it for any type of unpredictability for the rest of the season.

  44. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    I am somewhat surprised that more of you don’t like Peyton Barber.

    The kid ran behind some of the worst run blocking and scheme that I have ever seen…. and yet he really shows something.

    He plows and works and works and works. Gives you every ounce that he has got, for every single yard.

    Imagine some decent run blocking for him.

    And then YES, a change of pace game breaker, now and then.

  45. BucEmUp 7 Says:

    lj scott

  46. MadMax Says:

    Nice find Owly.

  47. MadMax Says:

    With you on that Demon….he just needs better blocking and play calling…coach k was just too predictable…thats why im glad hes atlanta oc, we’ll know whats coming….doesnt take too high of an iq to figure it out.