“I Don’t See This As The Last Piece Of The Puzzle”

September 7th, 2020

So what does the Leonard Fournette signing really mean for Tampa Bay?

A good football and family friend of Bucco Bruce Arians has a strong opinion.

Tiki Barber retired after 3,522 yards rushing over his final two NFL seasons (think about that number for a second). Arians was his childhood babysitter, as well as frequent guest on Barber’s CBS Sports Radio program. Barber also spent time around the Bucs and Arians as a FOX broadcaster last year.

Speaking on CBS last week, Barber was adamant that the Fournette signing is nothing more than the Bucs playing “fantasy football” — stashing a stud running back on the bench and waiting for a problem or issue later in the season to cash in.

“He’s probably not going to play for a couple of weeks,” Barber said. “Leonard Fournette is a luxury. “I don’t see this as the last piece of the puzzle that puts them on this Super Bowl trajectory. And the reason is really just there division.”

Barber went on to laud the Saints and said Carolina will win its share of games (6?). And like many, Barber is high on Atlanta and what Todd Gurley could mean if the Falcons’ defense can stay healthy.

While Barber called Fournette “a damn good player,” he said he believed Arians when the head coach called Ronald Jones the Bucs’ lead running back, and Barber thinks LeSean McCoy is the Bucs’ best third-down back.

“I can’t look at this [Fournette] signing and say it’s a home run. I think it’s an insurance policy,” Barber said. “He’s not going to be in line for heavy carries. He’s not going to be the difference maker that he’s being made out to be.”

Barber continued, noting the Bucs secondary has many question marks and he questions whether the Bucs offensive line will be able to protect an immobile Tom Brady.

“The all-paper champion of the NFC South,” Barber called the Bucs.

He didn’t call a win total, but he sounded to Joe like a guy who thinks the Bucs will win nine games if the Falcons stay healthy.

35 Responses to ““I Don’t See This As The Last Piece Of The Puzzle””

  1. ModHairKen Says:

    Well, Tiki’s a cheating philanderer and boring.

  2. Marine Buc Says:

    Clay Mathews and Earl Thomas.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Fournette was necessary….not a luxury…..Gronk was the luxury.

  4. WhatTheBuc Says:

    Marine, I also see Clay Matthews signing with the Bucs. The restructured Evans to clear cap room for a reason. Earl Thomas on the other hand is not on my wish list.

  5. james west Says:

    i disagree with barber, wholeheartedly

  6. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Where is our shutdown corner

    I dont see one

    Please dont reply with our 3 gullible confused stooges

    All playoff defenses have a capable shutdown corner in this pass happy league”

    Kobe Faker

  7. adam from ny Says:

    tiki was like barry sanders…


    don’t jump to conclusions from that statement…

    he got better and better every year he played…basically…

    check his stats sometime…

    if he stuck around like adrian peterson and some others, he’d have been playing with career numbers in the 15k-20k category…

    he retired at his peak like a barry sanders…basically…

    he didn’t stick around grinding out stats like his brother ronde…

    imagine if he did…???

    he’d have a broken up body and 15k to 20k rushing yards…

    and look at his pass catching numbers as well…

    tiki was not well liked, but was a bad mofo on the field as his career went on and he solved his fumbling issues

  8. Jason Says:

    Who’s available? Perhaps we could interest another team in a slightly used TE?

  9. lambchop Says:

    I agree that Fournette will not be used too much early on, but they don’t sign him for 1 year to sit the bench. Hand ball off, run ball north to south, break tackles, score. They have to east him into the passing and blocking part, but he can run.

    This is not a luxury pick when you have no workhorse back behind Tom. Rojo is still hot and cold. Looking for him to make a leap this year.

    Gronk is a luxury, but Tom and Gronk are the catalyst for a culture and mindset change here.

  10. Pok Says:

    Good price on fournette. Take the option. Didn’t make the team worse.

  11. adam from ny Says:

    gronk was brought in for 2 reasons…

    tom can’t do it alone…no one can…

    gronk is his security blanket and piece of mind…

    also gronk has no reservations of any kind…

    he’s techincally what you would call “a crazy whiteboy”…

    sorta like a goofy go lucky one tho…

    but nevertheless a crazy one…

    so he changes culture just by guys watching and witnessing how he acts, and how he doesn’t give a fugg

  12. Allbuccedup Says:

    I agree with tampabaybucsfan Gronk is the luxury Fournette is a necessity.

  13. m0j0 Says:

    Somebody has to throw shade on the situation. However, I think he will be eating some crow before it’s all said and done.

  14. mark2001 Says:

    Don’t mean to be cruel, but after these years, I think Ronde’s SB ring eats at Tiki, as do all things Bucs. Sorry Tiki. Your brother was a better player. And the Bucs are a better team than you think.

  15. adam from ny Says:

    the truth is peyton barber and dare both had their shots…and didn’t exactly pan out…so they’re gone…

    rojo will get his shot in year 3 to be the man…the pressure is on him to produce because the line will not be stacked…

    if he falters. then fournette is waiting in the wings to grab his spot…

    and so the story goes…

    the team is not playing around – while in win now mode…

    “produce or be gone” should be the motto…

    “like seize the day” or “a bucs life”


  16. AlteredEgo Say: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Forget this Clay Mathews crap!
    Keep some powder dry !

  17. Buc1987 Says:

    Yeah they brought him in to sit on the bench as a luxury….

    Dumbass jock.

  18. AlteredEgo Say: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    A passing game at long last, not to be mistaken for passing stats, will go a LONG way helping the passing game!

  19. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    Finally an analyst making sense of the Fournette signing. He is an average back who benefited from volume. He was not elusive or efficient in Jacksonville. RoJo is an ascending player, and now with Brady calling the shots, I believe our running game will benefit greatly. Fournette is here to spell RoJo and provide depth should something happen to him.

  20. All lives matter Says:

    Brady will find a way. Brady will make it happen. Brady is the general and will not allow the Bucs to be a failure. We will have a double digit winning season.

  21. Frankinthe813 Says:

    That’s not the Barber I would be listening to….

  22. adam from ny Says:

    watch ronde be the next head coach or gm here in tampa…or some big front office gig…

    he’s lining up for it

  23. BUC CHEEKS Says:

    I LOVE this signing!!! 4th quarter anvil smash!!! Pound the rock!!! This team is going to be soooooo much fun to watch. I’m a HUGE fan of this signing! Go get em big fella!!!

  24. Ndog Says:

    The Bucs play in 6 days and this COULD’VE been the beginning of something special for a long time. Instead because of POS, backstabbing, liar coach we have to hope we can pull it all together for “one final run” at a championship.

    This could have been so exciting, instead it is just a feeling of inevitably that we are going to be a complete dumpster fire when this season ends. This feels very much like the end of the Bulls run in basketball, but you know without any of the success.

    This week is supposed to be the most exciting time of each year for all football fans but for most of the real fans of this football team this year it’s just depressing to know that we have to watch a coach who is all about himself and a player we have all grown to hate over the years play for OUR team.

    They have truly sucked the joy out of football for me and I can assure you many many others as well.

  25. Brandon Says:

    Kobe, there you go again proving your ignorance. Davis and Dean were only combo in the league to both be in top 5 in passes defensed. They are also the only duo to both limit opposition QBs to complete 50% of their passes or less. Then there’s SMB, the playmaker of the bunch. You’re clueless as usual.

  26. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    Okay Ndog then stop watching the bucs and go away?

    Why is that so hard?

  27. SOEbuc Says:

    Earl Thomas and Clay Mathews. Two more FHOF to teach young and prime players.

  28. Youngbucs Says:

    Man speak for yourself real buc fans not hung up on 1 player!!!!!!! You sounding dumber by the day🤡

  29. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Fournette is a 3 down back, that will stick his face in there and stone an on coming rusher. I googled L McCoys blocking and it was not good. So he can be a liability, unless he has changed. So I do not know why Barber is taking this tack. Maybe something gives him cause to pause, I do not know what it is. L Fournette may not be the last piece in the secondary but he is on offense. We all know he has had personal issues. But lets not just ignore the reality of Fournette lining up in a Bucs jersey when they play the Saints. It became pick your poison for a deffense the moment Fournette signed. ROJO may turn out to be good, but the offense went to a different level the moment Fournette signed. They can run and throw. They have the best offense they have ever had in the history of the team, and they better than most now in the NFL. Maybe when the season is done and all is said and done they will, time will tell.

  30. RioDeJaneiro Bucs Fan Says:

    Clay Matthews is reliable and affordable. We really need proven depth at OLB. Go and sign him right now.
    Earl Thomas is a luxury and comes with off-field concerns, not sure we need him.
    Fournette is the best RB that the BUCS have in a decade. I like RoJo and I expect another improvement this season. But Fournette can get those tough yards and he’s a far better pass catcher. Not an easy task to produce when he was the only star in that crappy Jaguars offense – and he still managed to get +1.100 rush yards and +500 pass yards against stacked boxes all the time.

  31. David Says:

    How do you even watch football when you are so completely ignorant to it?
    Like all sports, it’s a league where players change teams and trades are made. They got rid of the biggest turnover machine in the NFL over the last five years and brought in the greatest quarterback in NFL history.
    But somehow you think it was a bad move. Unbelievable how idiotic you sound.

  32. adam from ny Says:

    remember tjmaxxcon-man ???

    n-dog is his replacement


  33. Bucsfanman Says:

    Fournette is not here to “ride the bench”! And what the heck is he supposed to get acclimated to? He’s a RB, not a QB. His touches will increase with his knowledge of the playbook and the coach’s trust in him. He’s a “franchise” back. I doubt it will take long.

    I don’t know why you guys feed that poster above. Less is better.

  34. Colonel_mp Says:

    I see RoJo as the starter and Fournette closing games out.

  35. Bucs-Hoops Says:

    “Their” not “there”. Grammatical errors are as irksome as the Bucs’ kicking game