Run Him!

September 25th, 2020

Bucs RB Leonard Fournette.

Until the Bucs started feeding Leonard Fournette the ball in the second half last week, if most Bucs fans were like Joe, they just wanted to slam an empty can of Big Storm Brewing beer into their skulls.

Run, run, run on first downs. Running to nowhere. When your team is built to pass — even Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians said it this week — then why continue to run just for the sake of running? Isn’t the goal on offense to score points?

Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report types that if the Bucs must run the ball, as in absolutely, positively have to run the ball, there is no sober reason not to feed Fournette.

In his second game with the franchise, Fournette ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. Head coach Bruce Arians told reporters he isn’t removing Ronald Jones II from the starting lineup, but Fournette will almost surely get the bulk of the carries moving forward, especially late in games.

Arians hinted he will use Fournette more as the season progresses. Only time will tell if those breadcrumbs are gamesmanship or promises.

Meanwhile, if you take away Fournette’s 46-yard thing of beauty last week for a touchdown to seal the win over the Stinking Panthers, the Bucs on first downs this year have run the ball one time more than they have passed the ball.

However, on first down the Bucs’ average three times as many yards when passing the ball. Which begs the question, why the hell are you running so much on first down?

And if Joe can see this stat, why the hell cannot Bucs offensive coordinator Bryon Leftwich?

So if the Bucs must run the ball, feed Fournette. Please.

“There’s nothing balanced about 50% run-50% pass, ’cause that’s 50% stupid. What is balance is when you have five skill positions and all five of them are contributing to the effort in somewhat equal fashion — that’s balance. This notion that if you hand one guy 50% of the time and then you throw it to a combination of two guys the other 50% that you’re really balanced. You probably pat yourself on the back and tell yourself that. People have been doing that for decades. Well, then you’re delusional.”

— Mississippi State coach Mike Leach.

58 Responses to “Run Him!”

  1. danr Says:

    Joe I have reread this twice.
    I know i have bonked my head several times, but I dont get it.

    Bucs run the ball about 50% on first down.

    you say the bucs average 3x as many yards when you run on first down.

    Yet the article seems to indicate you do not like that they run on first down so much.

    Can you explain what I am missing?

  2. Pablo Says:

    Fournette is going to be too 10 at his position similar to. Seldom Davis .. now only if Tyler Johnson gets his ish together Pablo would be happy

  3. Pablo Says:

    —Sorry typo Pablo meant to type Carlton not Seldon

  4. Joe Says:


    Bucs average three times as many yards when they pass.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    This running on first down is not a recent phenomenon……we’ve been doing that for years under several coaches…..and we weren’t any good at it then either.

  6. BucEmUp Says:

    This has to be the one single article I have to agree with the most this season. It questions Byron Leftwich, It questions why the hell he feels the need to always run up the middle on first down until we are down two tis or until the other team is nipping at our heals

  7. Cainishere Says:

    Almost every offensive coach knows “to start ball control you have to start up the clock.” You have to read percentages sometimes. The odds of retaining the ball and starting the clock and gaining yards is to run the ball. Sometimes runners hitting a brick wall is good and wears them down so that they cannot catch the Fournetti confetti

  8. SOEbuc Says:

    Pretty sure I said Fournette would start by week three after he was signed. I’ll have hope for any Buc player, but people were gushing over a RB in RoJo that hadn’t done anything.

  9. SOEbuc Says:


    I’m pretty sure Koetter ran on first down %100 of the time. It was soo awful.

  10. 813bucboi Says:

    what will you say when BL puts up 40+ on DEN?…..

    he didnt run enough trick plays….lol….

    i could care less about what the offense does on 1-3 down as long as it leads to TOUCHDOWNS!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!

  11. El Buco Realisto Says:

    Forget about ” running” the running backs!!!!!!! How about run that bum named Bruce arrogance out of town!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hold the coaches accountable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    go bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    There’s nothing wrong with running the ball on 50% of the 1st downs PROVIDING that you can get at least 3-5 yds CONSISTENTLY on each run. RoJo had 4 runs on 1st down for 21 yds (4,7,4,6) in the Panthers game, averaging 5.3 YPC. Fournette had 8 runs on 1st down for 69 yds (2,5,4,4,-1,6,3,46) in the Panthers game, averaging 8.6 YPC.

    Obviously Leonard’s big run inflated his average nicely; without that 46 yd scamper he still would’ve had 7 runs for 23 yds 3.3 YPC. Even that is respectable on 1st down IMO, and RoJo’s 5.3 YPC is certainly very respectable.

    Brady’s 1st down passing in the Panthers game was respectable also (8-for-13 for 93 yds for a 7.2 yds/attempt average), although it was actually lower than Fournette’s 8.6 YPC average. Interestingly though, Brady had 1 fumbled snap on 1st down & 1 INT included in those numbers. And 2 of those 13 first down passes were big strikes (a 23 yarder and a 36 yarder). Without those, he was 6-for-11 on 1st down for 34 yards or about 3.1 yds per attempt … roughly the same as Fournette had if you excluded his big run.

    I think the only thing numbers like that tell me is that running can be just as effective as passing, but CONSISTENCY in terms of results is key. Getting 3, 4 or 5 yds on a 1st down run is respectable IMO, if done CONSISTENTLY. Negative runs like McCoy’s minus 5 yd run on 1st down in the 2nd qtr are typically hard to overcome (we ended up punting). BTW, RoJo was the most consistent of the 3 RBs on 1st down.

  13. Ndog Says:

    Currently 25th in total offense and outside the top 10 in scoring and that is with a game including a 100 yard rusher.

    Something different what could it be???


  14. JimmyJack Says:

    Defense Rules thanks for the excellent context as always. What i take away from that is getting lots of positive yards on first down…….And people complain i guess they dont like postive gains.

    Those positive runs put us into very managable situations and open up the whole playbook.

    Why make Bradys job harder? Just saying pass on 1st you get more yards that way is narrow minded. Are you even gonna bring up the fact of all the 3rd and 10s you create for yourself when you throw on 1st?

    Theres pro and cons to each side of throwing or passing on 1st down.

  15. JimmyJack Says:

    Ndog currently 1-1…..Your right something is different. We dont hold a losing record for once.

  16. Tnoles Says:

    You run the ball to Set up the pass, or at least try to keep defenses honest. You might not get the productivity but you have at least established that all it takes is one run and touchdown. The same works with the pass to set up the run option which spreads out the defense making it easier to run against. I think Brady will have more say as far who he wants in at r.b., don’t forget B.A. has differed to Brady as the field general and take as choosing his personal groups within the game plan. T.E’s are fine, it’s only game two of a long season and I wouldn’t be surprised if they are downplaying the T.E’s as far as catching production to try and lull teams asleep for later in the year. The T.E’s are good enough to take over a game as far as a featured group I just think it will be highlighted later in the year when teams think they got us figured out.

  17. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    More Like Run Them!

  18. TheBradyBunch Says:

    Lol, why bother Joe. Dan read it three times and still couldn’t figure it out.

  19. Jason Says:

    However, on first down the Bucs’ average three times as many yards when passing the ball. Which begs the question, why the hell are you running so much on first down?

    Isn’t 3x as many yards passing as rushing pretty much the average in football? 300 ypg passing, 100 ypg rushing? I’m curious about the averages for 2nd and 3rd downs.

  20. Buczilla Says:

    It’s so nice to be have an actual threat at running back.

  21. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Almighty Bruce going to get some humble pie

    You MUST start Fournette and turn him to a +20 carry and 5 reception #1 running back

    TB12 is very comfortable with Fournette back there because Brady knows he can catch in emergency

    The Key to the 2020 offense is to get Brady in rhythm and confident


    Kobe Faker

  22. BuucccNASTY Says:

    You run on first down for a couple of reasons:
    1) Lower chance of turnover
    2) Establishes a trend which can help setup play action pass
    3) Keeps brady upright, especially as he’s still adapting to new offense

    I agree that I would like to see more passes on 1st down, similar to what Brady would do in NE. Come out in shotgun even for Pete sake… but even there running on early downs is still an age old style of football that these vet coaches have had imbedded in them since they were in Pop-Warner (or whatever it was called back then lol

  23. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Don’t know why we can’t Use a swing pass, or a wheel route on first down. Like a run with a long hand off.

    Ndog.. Saints averaging 2 pts and 20 yds/g more than us. Must be Jaboo.


  24. Ndog Says:

    Um JimmyJack we were 1-1 last year and would have been 2-1 if our defense didn’t crap the bed vs the Giants.

    FACTS there pal.

  25. JimmyJack Says:

    Yes, well Ndog step aside sonny and let a real man show you how its done. Tom wont need any couldas or wouldas like your doing. Thats weak and pathetic.

    We are gonna be a contender. Have fun trying to spin that.

    And I will be enjoying every little second of it!!!


  26. REDZONE BA Fan Says:

    Ndog Says: September 25th, 2020 at 8:23 pm
    Um JimmyJack we were 1-1 last year and would have been 2-1 if our defense didn’t
    crap the bed vs the Giants.

    FACTS there pal.

    OR – if BA did not choose to extend the kicking distance on last play! YIKES…..

  27. Kobe Faker Says:


    Brady surely dont look comfortable back there waiting for the receivers to get open on those deep vertical routes on 3rd and long

    20 great seasons and 6 superbowl victories and BA and Leftwich wants to change the Goat to curry

    Defenses are coming after Brady because they know stubborn BA/BL twins wont/cant change

    You have been warned”

    Kobe Faker

  28. BigHog Says:

    Oh hell naw KOBE cut that rope up…I can’t let you hang BL with that BS!!!

  29. SOEbuc Says:

    If Fournette can get going on the run Tom has every option on first down.

  30. Ndog Says:

    So JimmyJack you’re on this site actually insiuating even a little bit that Jameis had anything to do with the Giants loss then you have zero creditability, ZERO!

    And BTW of Brady was ever asked to play the same game Jameis was asked to play last year A) he wouldn’t last 10 games and B) he wouldn’t throw for 15 TDs and the sad part is the most intelligence football fans no it. So do you know it?

  31. Greg Says:

    At the end of two games we are where we should be. As the offense gets more acclimated and the d dominates it will be nice as the wins start to stack the naysayers will go back in their hole and to the teams and boards they are really fans of as you surely are not Bucs fans. You know who you are!

  32. JimmyJack Says:

    Ndog I have no idea in the world why you are still arguing about a game that was played a entire year ago……..To be clear Im not talking about that game and have tryed to erase it from my memory.

    Look if you wanna make a point spit ot out. Winstons been argued for six year and now hes gone due to choking. If Brady doesnt choke that makes him a upgrade. And it means we are a winning team.

    Make relevant points. Your nuttin but old news.

  33. NDog is an idiot Says:

    NDog still going thru JayMiss withdrawals!! Must have been some good stuff that JayMiss gave Npuppy! NDog missin the pounding or vice versa!!

  34. Bucsfan951 Says:

    Ndog Says:
    September 25th, 2020 at 5:52 pm
    Currently 25th in total offense and outside the top 10 in scoring and that is with a game including a 100 yard rusher.

    Something different what could it be???

    I guess someone forgot the 121 points scored off of a certain persons turnovers. 7.5 points per game. So take that 28.6 points and subtract 7.5 points and what do you get? 21.1 points which 20 team did better than that!

    Funny how people only tell 1 side of the story to fit their narrative.

    Filet mignon and crown… come get yo self some!

    We don’t dine on the swine out here!

  35. SB Says:

    Ndog Says:
    September 25th, 2020 at 5:52 pm
    Currently 25th in total offense and outside the top 10 in scoring and that is with a game including a 100 yard rusher.

    Something different what could it be???


    The difference is that we are going to go 2 and 1, instead of 1 and 2. 🙁 for you.
    Go be a Saints fan.

  36. REDZONE BA Fan Says:

    I appreciate the “Brady excitement…past 6 rings success etc.” and Brady bringing national attention to Bucs – Cool, ok? I get it and am on the bandwagon for Bucs to be successful, kill the Den of Depression moniker, and make playoffs, SB….

    But agree w @Ndog that this “thrill feeling” is likely short-term. Brady was supposed to arrive on DAY ONE as 20yr Veteran savior who has seen every D known to football, etc, able to adjust right away. Now we are hearing from coaches that it is going to take another 4-5 games for offense to gel. Teddy adjusted pretty quickly to his new team under same Covid circumstances, as did other new QB’s.

    Brady’s wishes to escape Josh Daniels’ controlled offense and be able to sling it long seems to be challenging for the 43yr old immobile QB. I get he is still learning his new WR tendencies, etc. And in fairness to Brady….he had a perfect long pass BOINK off a WR helmet – ugh. He has the arm strength – no issues there. Yet, the best drives so far this year mirror the NE offense > short throws to RB’s or underneath quick throws to WR’s, which is just fine w me. When Bucs revert to BA/BL offense, we …stall….every…time.

    Maybe Fournette’s emergence will change the dynamic – but the strategy for Fournette seems to be using him as a closer.

    My concern for Brady in BA’s long developing offense? Brady’s immobility is one Donovan Smith missed-block disaster of being pancaked hard into the turf >resulting in a season-ending AC shoulder injury. Hopefully, that will not happen.

    I expect the Bucs to PUMMEL the depleted Broncos on Sunday, and beat Justin Herbert at home the next week to be 3-1. The Bears game will be more challenging with Mack pushing Donovan. We should escape with a road win however, as Trubisky is a disaster waiting to happen against Bucs D. The key for Bucs season is keeping Brady healthy. I know – DUH. But …when BL reverts to his long-developing play calls, Brady’s health will be compromised. Brady cannot scramble, and throw-aways are difficult under extreme duress, as we have seen already.

    ME13/Godwin are amazing rescuers for any QB, and will do wonders for Brady. I love Brady’s pinpoint passing (when in CLEAN pocket) – and there is the key > Clean pocket….which is why I expect to see a lot of NE offense this year, which is just fine.

    Circling back – @Ndog is correct that if the Bucs play BA/BL offense all year, Brady’s availability for the entire year is questionable. And therefore our prospects for playoffs this year, and maybe next year are questionable, and we will have to start over at QB, or roll dice with training Rosen in 2021/2022.

    Go Bucs….Sunday Bet – Bucs 37 Broncos 24.

  37. JimmyJack Says:

    The problem is you cant even compare Winston to Tom.

    Tom has too big of a impact……Like bringing Gronk, I know yall down on him but tell me his blocking arent rubbing off on OJ……We are getting good blocking from our TEs now.

    Tom has too big of an impact…..Fournette would not be here. He had choices. Hes here cause he wants to win with Tom.

    Even look at Shady. He probably arent here. We know Suh was looking to get out of here with out Tom……bye bye Run stop……JPP might be gone too…..bye bye passrush.

    Winston just is not relevant to anything going on in Tampa right now. Its silly to keep bringing him up. He doesnt even hot a job to compare with jeez.

  38. Ndog Says:

    But let’s keep running the same offense as last year cause as we all know and we’re told by the brain surgeons on this site daily “we could win with any QB”.

    Again I ask if that’s the case then why bring 3 running backs?
    Why bring in a new TE?
    Why bring in a new RT?

    I think we all know the answer by now and it’s simple the QB was never the problem. The problem now is you people simply believe what you are told or what you want to believe.

    This is fun educating the masses here daily, thanks for the opportunity fellas.

  39. REDZONE BA Fan Says:

    @Jimmy – based on timing of your post – not sure you were responding to my post. Regardless, I want to be clear – my post was NOT comparing Brady to Winston. My post was all about Brady’s success factors.

  40. Ndog Says:

    Ah the good ole prisoner of the now. Just like the Bucs they can’t see beyond the hype of now enough to see the future and that’s why they always suck.

    Time will tell but I already know what’s going to happen and I’ve been telling y’all all along. Just keep watching.

  41. NDog is an idiot Says:

    JayMiss… America’s 3rd String QB!! 32 NFL teams knows what JayMiss brings to the table!! He’s freakin 3rd string!! It’s awesome to see 99% of the posters on this site Educate the idiot NDOG!! 3rd String!!!

  42. JimmyJack Says:

    Ndog…..Why bring in a RT?…….Thats just silly. Its a poor question thats not well thought out.

    Why bring in Gronk? Because we could. He would never be here without Tom.

    Why bring in Fournette and Shady? Because we could. They would never consider coming to Tampa in 2019. Not for cheap.

    They only players were are getting otherwise is players chasing money or scaping through the bottom of the barell for guys like Shaq……And Shaq would probably be trying to get out of here too if JPP was out and Suh was out.

  43. JimmyJack Says:

    Mike Evans would probably be getting about tired of playing with this yeam too. Hed be gone i bet ASAP

    So when your talking about the future realize you are looking at it in a very very narrow way and considering one position only.

    Just use Fournette as one teny tiny example you refuse to consider. We will have a chanse to retain him and if we choose to do so its a major upgrade………What you wanna keep drafting guys and crossing your fingers? Crappy future plan. This ones better with Fournette currently in a Bucs uniform.

  44. REDZONE BA Fan Says:

    @Jimmy – beg to differ. Money and a job in NFL matter.

    -Shady did not have many options that I’m aware of this year – he was inactive during SB last year. Lucky to be on ANY roster. And of course he is jacked to play with Brady. But sure he would have signed no matter who was Bucs QB for a paycheck.
    – Gronk > agree — he is here as Brady’s muse.
    -Fournette > who is to say he would not have signed with Bucs upon his release, and passing waiver wire, if JW was QB? Not sure about that one.
    -Shaq – he was going to sign with Bucs no matter what.
    -JPP — Who knows? Hopefully he does not have a Halloween incident based on his off-field stupidity. But he likes his money….
    -RT – Duh – JL should have signed a RT years ago…

  45. JimmyJack Says:

    Redzone yes its all just theory. But there is obvisously a different way of recruiting players now then how the Bucs usually go.

    The difference likely is that you have free agents every year that choose their new team based on winning. Some chase money some decide for personal reasons.

    The Bucs have always been on the short end of that stick. We never attract players that wanna win. Never. And thats because we never win. And thats a big reason why we see our players succeed elsewhere while we flop with guys like Sweezy and Swaggy.

    Tom Brady changed the way free agents look at us……No certainty but my guess is the guys we signed this year came here cause they wanna win.

  46. D1 Says:


    “Almost every offensive coach knows “to start ball control you have to start up the clock.” You have to read percentages sometimes. The odds of retaining the ball and starting the clock and gaining yards is to run the ball. Sometimes runners hitting a brick wall is good and wears them down so that they cannot catch the Fournetti confetti”


    Cain, with all due respect , you are looking at 2 separate things and combining them into a single item. Ball control is just that, controlling the ball. The clock is a byproduct of this philosophy not the philosophy itself.

    Additionally, the odds of success in completing a 20 play drive is substantially lower than the alternative. The numbers couldn’t be clearer and more persuasive than they are in this comparison.

    Wearing down a team by pounding the rock into a wall for no to little gains intially with the goal to be able to run effectively late in the game is foolish in concept and flawed from the start.

    I have read more than a few comments that don’t reflect today’s NFL. It’s like there’s a group of fans watching the games but not understanding or able to accept that the game today is different from the past.

    Sure there’s games that play into the old school mindset and this allows fans to hold on to their antiquated ideas. The reason is simple, old school nfl coaches who refuse to innovation and rely on what’s worked for the last 50yrs….personally when Bucs fans were overwhelming in support of hiring BA
    I viewed the situation as a missed opportunity to hire someone who is ahead of the curve , innovative, and flexible in the way they see the college game impacting the pro game.

    Example, old school coaches believe running the ball sets up play action passes. New forward thinking coaches know this to be completely false and they have the metrics to prove it.

    Therefore, pounding a running back into the line on 1st down to set up another down is something that you see as normal and expected. As long as guys like BA are coaching this is what we will see and rationalize that it’s part of the bigger picture. Fans cling to these notions because change is not the reason why people love the NFL . Tradition is and change threatens the games appeal.

    Your comments are almost completely wrong but the reality is that your opinion is in the majority.

  47. REDZONE BA Fan Says:

    @Jimmy – appreciate your response. As it relates to Swaggy/Sweezy – I blame JL, not JW. Bad decision.

  48. REDZONE BA Fan Says:

    For all the “JW is a 3rd string QB” Bucs fans – Wow, you really care? Why???

    You guys need to move on from the hate.

    Any player drafted at the #1 position, especially QB, is going to the WORST team in NFL. AND – No one on this board should be fans of JL’s sorry draft history in last few years, especially round 2 wasters, who should have been contributors but were busts. Not to mention entire draft class busts, i.e. 2016? But that was the QB’s fault? And having Mike Smith sieve D for many years? Wowza…. I do give kudos to JL for finally bouncing back this year with Wirfs and Antoine.

    (My opinion -not fact) JW intentionally signed w Saints as learning opportunity that he never had in Tampa and hopefully will not see the field this year so he can sit and learn. Who knows what happens later – no predictions. But his chances for success are far improved…

  49. JimmyJack Says:

    Redzone…The point Im trying to make is that we make different moves during the offseason if we go in a different direction then Brady.

    Fans wanna play this game of make pretend like Jameis is on this roster and everythings the same…..Its just not accurate.

  50. REDZONE BA Fan Says:

    Jimmy – no argument. Brady is a magnet for FA’s – for all the right reasons – potential to win now. I get it.

    I am in Ndog’s corner of the square that the win-now strategy is super risky with a 43 yr old immobile QB, and if/when Brady gets hurt – we mortgaged our future for the Now that will not happen.

    I hated seeing the Bucs not give JW a YR2 in BA’s offense. I get that BA was flipping out on the TO’s. Just my opinion…I expected a better result in YR 2 w JW, had he been given a chance. Especially with a better supporting cast in RB and RT.

    I am a Bucs fan and wear my Jersey on Sundays. So –Brady >it is.

    I am rooting for success. I honestly do not expect Brady to be lined up as QB for the entire year, due to injury. Which may impact his decision to return in 2021. JMHO.

  51. D1 Says:


    I wish the best for winston. I hope that you are correct and he has decided or discovered the ability to actually learn. 5yrs of playing in Tampa didn’t succeed and a another year wasn’t likely to change that fact. It’s best for winston to move on and the bucs.

    This idiotic debate that sees this situation as a zero sum gain is embarrassing on many levels least of them intellectually.

    Bad franchises destroy many more promising young careers than capitalize on them. Winston is no different than the majority of higher picks at the position. They fail because the odds for them to succeed where never high to begin with. Yet, when it plays out in front of our eyes we act surprised and blame the player, the coach, the GM, the hot dog vendor, no one is safe except the owner who is the only correct one to hold accountable.

  52. REDZONE BA Fan Says:

    Signing off for the night – and applaud the civil discussions w @Jimmy and @D1. Great points! Go Bucs!

  53. D1 Says:


    The idea that you have proposed could have been solved another way. Sign Cam Newton. However, I don’t recall anyone who thought that idea was a good one. In fact, everyone seemed to have the opinion that winston was already better than newton, less risky, and cam was washed up.

    Cam is starting for the smartest head coach in football and with the best run franchise. Meanwhile, Winston is dangerously close to forced retirement.

  54. D1 Says:


    I appreciate your opinions and posts. I may not agree but that’s immaterial to the fact you bring solid takes on a consistent basis. Nothing but love for a fellow bucs faithful fan.

    Have a good evening,

    Go Bucs.

  55. Rod Munch Says:

    It’s 2020, almost no one uses a 3-down back, pretty much everyone has different runners depending on the situation.

  56. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Red Zone

    People who say JW is a third stringer for another team HAVE moved on.

    Those same people don’t care if he signed with the Montreal Alouettes, or anywhere else.

    People who lament his departure, nearly every day, are the ones that need to move on. If we suck in two years , so what. No fan base is more experienced in that area. We will go on.

    He wasn’t a good QB here, if he turns out to be one good for him. Personally I think that’s a stretch.

  57. NDog is an idiot Says:

    Jmarkbuc…. EXACTLY!!! Bravo!

  58. unbelievable Says:

    Defense Rules-

    Thank you for so eloquently explaining what I had tried to say earlier this week! We are getting good production from both backs (RoJo and Fournette) in first down when the o-line is able to hold their blocks. Not a bad problem to have!

    I look forward to seeing this 2-headed Monster improve as the year continues.