“Pound” With Barber

July 25th, 2019

Bruce Arians explains usage.

For Bucs fans who fondly remember former Bucs fullback Mike Alstott softening up defensive tackles and inside linebackers, Bucco Bruce Arians warmed your hearts this afternoon.

Arians, speaking before the local pen and mic club as the Bucs welcomed back players for the start of training camp today, was asked about the Bucs running backs.

Almost universally, NFL analysts locally and nationally believe running back is by far the weakest position on the team. The Bucs had one of the worst rushing attacks in the game last year and willfully ignored the position this offseason (unless you count pulling ancient Andre Ellington out of mothballs an upgrade).

When hearing the question about running backs, Arians sighed as if he cannot believe the shade folks have thrown on the Bucs for not looking to add to a woeful stable.

“I’m happy with what we have,” Arians said.

Arians added that people may be confused about what he expects from the running backs and that could be why so many have thrown spitballs at the team for not upgrading.

Arians said Barber will “pound” defenses, which is what he wants to set up play-action passes. Arians added that Barber is not a “home run hitter.” In other words, expecting Barber to score on a 70-yard touchdown run is unrealistic.

Joe sure hopes Arians is right. Because in Joe’s eyes, there is nothing about this running attack that offers any degree of confidence this team won’t again be one-dimensional.

37 Responses to ““Pound” With Barber”

  1. Magadude Says:

    “I’m happy with what we have,” Arians said.


    “Yeah, RB squad and O line stink, but I don’t have the money to upgrade it all this year.”

  2. SCBucsFan Says:

    Barber is the perfect back for a team looking for a high pick next year.

  3. pick6 Says:

    having a stud like david johnson was a bit of an anomaly in Arians’ pro coaching career. he’s mostly done it with guys who fans didn’t see coming. even when he first got DJ, the cardinals were probably going into training camp being regarded as having one of the weakest RB groups in the league. after all, you had an past his prime chris johnson, a change of pace type back in ellington, and a second rounder (DJ) nobody thought much of.

    bruce relies on the run game but not on having a stud RB. he’s not worried because his scheme isn’t based on having a Zeke Elliott or Alvin Kamara, and he’s got 3 or 4 weapons to attack the middle of the field

  4. WestChap Says:

    Ajayi cleared to play… Bruce?

  5. Jean Lafitte Says:

    blue in the face …just can’t get through some pretty dense skulls. Fix the O-line. We have a good stable of running backs. Superman is not available.

    Hello????? Dotson can’t run block. We have NO RG. Jensen gets stood up at the line of scrimmage and Smith avoids contact on run plays. Marpet is the only decent run blocker but you can’t run everything behind him.

  6. Buccaroo Says:

    BA has his own Alvin Kamara. It’s Bruce Anderson

  7. miken Says:

    i saw a stat yesterday Barber is the only player in the last 5 years with at least 250 touches and less than 1000 yards and Lict did nothing about it. Better offer a 4 for Duke Johnson.

  8. Isaac haggins Says:

    One thing I have noticed about Barber other than running to upright is that he gets winded extremely quick for a RB ??

  9. teacherman777 Says:

    Its not the RB!

    Its RG!

    Sweazy was weak. Benenoch was slow and weak. Cappa is too tall and slow.

    I called for 2 OG/C the past 3 years.

    I wanted a YOUNG interior line to grow togetger, CHEAPLY, over the early career of Jameis.

    Marpet can play C in an emergency.

    I wanted two other guys, both 2nd rounders, who can play C or RG.

    Imagine if we had 3 young guys, who can all play C or G, and who were all 2nd round picks!

    We wouldnt suck at running if we had great interior lineman!

  10. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    There was a genuine “Home run hitter” available at the 70th pick, the best RB (8.2YPC) in all 100+ years of college football history.

    They traded him for 2 magic beans.

    We will get to see Darrell Henderson in week 4, I believe.

  11. SCBucsFan Says:

    miken Duke Johnson is the 11th highest paid RB. 11th. Yes, that Duke Johnson. Run, don’t walk away from that.

  12. SCBucsFan Says:

    Let it go Ghost. Return when he’s done something that shows we were wrong not drafting him.

  13. Buc4evr Says:

    Would be nice to a real fullback and a RG that could move the D-line on 3rd and 2.

  14. TOM Says:

    I’m sure BA is happy with what he has on the OL. That’s real knee slapper.

  15. Bucnjim Says:

    I’m in the minority here for sure but I don’t believe it was the RB or offensive line as much as it was scheme and play calling. There is no possible way the opposing Defense could be in the backfield so consistently without being tipped off to what play was being called.

  16. stpetebucsfan Says:

    EVERYBODY here has spent countless pixels excoriating our OL.

    IF our OL truly sucked at run blocking shouldn’t Barber be given at least an open mind by we fans. 800+ yards with last years horrible OL play when it came to run blocking.

    I liked Koetter early but he played scared all of last year and a lot of the year before. His play calling and clock management suffered under the pressure. Someone has already pointed out that play calling….AND run play design matched up to OL talent could make a difference.

    And as much as I love BOTH Alstott and Dunn they both benefited from each other on the team. Inside..outside…pounding…flying…the tandem complemented each other perfectly.

    If ROJO can regain some playmaking ability we COULD have a great tandem. I’ve always liked tandems better than all the eggs in one basket and one style of play.

    Let the nicknames begin…I think someone suggested Smash and Dash and that works for me IF ROJO recovers his USC form.

  17. Bucnjim Says:

    If you run the same plays with the same personnel in the game it doesn’t take long for teams to figure it out what the play is and where it’s going.

  18. Bnice Says:

    There’s a f*cking stat out that said we ran on first down somewhere in the 60-80%.. THAT IS INSANE.. That’s play calling at its finest for all you haters who don’t watch the games and just look at stats!

  19. Bnice Says:

    There’s a freaking stat out that said we ran on first down somewhere in the 60-80%.. THAT IS INSANE.. That’s play calling at its finest for all you haters who don’t watch the games and just look at stats!

  20. miken Says:

    @scbucfan… overthecap has his salary at 3million (22nd in the nfl)

  21. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Kobe Faker is really interested in this new man run blocking scheme

    Will we see the old marpet poundcake with less zone blocking scheme”

    Kobe Faker

  22. Heilan Laddie Says:

    I have 3 Alstott] shirts and came across from Scotland for his induction at RJ. Watching Mike play are still my favourite memories from the past 30 years of coming over to Tampa.

    If he is half as brave and half as good as mike we are OK pounding the rock

  23. JimmyJack Says:

    Bruce has it exactly right. Y’all wanna look up stats with Barber but that don’t tell the whole story.

    The comparison to the A-Train is a good one because they both Impact games the same way…………..Alstott didn’t get huge yards per carry but if you try to tell any Bucs fan he did effect games they will tell you you are a ass!

    But Alstott didn’t need to tear up the stat sheet because he had a really good running mate with Dunn for a lot of his career. You give Barber the same thing and the script flips the Bucs having a great tandem of RBs.

    The key is Ronald Jones. If he can give us some gash plays we are legitimately talking about the Bucs having the top offense in football………Give Ronald a heavy workload in the preseason and see if he looks ready…..If he don’t you pick up somebody off the street. Ajaiy, Jeremy Hill, kick the tires on Sporles…….or maybe even a guy like Bruce Anderson busts on to the scene.

    Just let these guys play a game before hollar to the heavens.

  24. 813bucboi Says:

    gotta trust BA!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!

  25. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    No point in upgrading the running position if you do not upgrade the right Guard or right tackle.

  26. SCBucsFan Says:

    miken my overthecap has him at $5,203,333

  27. PriMech54 Says:

    Dirk’s lack of creativity and a poorly coached offensive line was what made the offense one dimensional.

    Barber is a serviceable back who’s best attribute is getting to the second level and absolutely crushing defenders. That’s good enough. Relieve him with a quick screen game through Anderson and RoJo. Play action. Less zone and stretch concepts that get you caught with your pants down because you don’t have the horses to run it.

    You don’t need a superstar. You need to move the chains.

    It’s not that complicated Joe.

  28. 74 Bucs fan Says:

    Better play designs. It’s not rocket surgery or brain science.

  29. Bojim Says:

    Maybe the coach knows what he’s doing?

  30. TampaBayAllTheWay Says:


    @Miken is correct. Duke Johnson has a CAP NUMBER of $3.05 million for 2019, even using your OTC which I use also. What you were citing up above in Duke’s “annual contract value” of $5,203,333 is…just that. The total amount of every dollar in the contract divided by the number of years in the contract.

    NOT…what Duke is actually making THIS year. Prior signing and other bonuses paid out by CLE.

    Besides as far as acquiring players in trade or salary cap management purposes, ALL that ever matters is the cap number, from the team’s perpective.

    $3.05 million total in 2019 for Duke.

  31. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Ellington is healthy and is an upgrade over Rodgers.
    Rojo will be better, not great, but useful
    There’s 500-600 more yards right there.

  32. Defense Rules Says:

    @AlabamaBucsFan … “No point in upgrading the running position if you do not upgrade the right Guard or right tackle.” Bama, why is it so difficult for folks to understand that great OLines make great RBs, not the other way around? Watching all the great Bama running teams over the years, they had some very good rushing stats but why? Mostly because Bama has built some great OLines through the years. LOTS of Bama RBs did great in college but were just so-so in the NFL.

    Donovan Smith, Ali Marpet & Ryan Jensen are all ‘serviceable’ IMO. Personally don’t believe that the trio is worth what they’re being paid, but that’s not my problem. Our RG position has been a joke since they moved Ali to Center then to LG. Cappa isn’t the answer IMO. Dotson could be classified as ‘serviceable’ also except for his age & injury history. Nope, Bucs NEED to pick up at least one quality veteran OLineman (preferably 2) before Sept 8th. THEN worry about the RBs.

  33. BA FAN Says:

    That is the point Bojim. Below are the stats for BA as both a Head Coach and as an OC in his first year:

    Bruce Bruce Arians Teams
    First Season as OC or Head Coach

                                                   Record       Win Increase*
    2013 Cardinals              10-6             +5
    2012 Colts                     11-5             +9
    2007 Steelers                10-6              +2
    2001 Browns                  7-9               +4

    * Increase from previous season

    You can Trust BA knows all aspects of NFL Football.

  34. Buczilla Says:

    I’d give up beer and pizza for 6 months to have Alstott in his prime on this team.

  35. Gerald McBezos Says:

    “There’s a f*cking stat out that said we ran on first down somewhere in the 60-80%.. THAT IS INSANE.. That’s play calling at its finest for all you haters who don’t watch the games and just look at stats!”

    We attempted 272 passes and ran the ball 227 times on first down last year.

    That’s 56% pass, 44% run.

    For comparison under Arians…

    2017 Cardinals attempted 213 passes and 236 runs on 1st down.
    2016 Cardinals, 253 passes 233 runs.

  36. Snook Says:

    It’s funny that so many assumptions are made about an offense that hasn’t even played a down yet.

  37. German Buc Says:

    Whar Defens said! Improve the Oline and the running game will be fine. Until then just send VV as FB in if you need one yard or two let the big boy take care of moving seven defenders five yards deep.