Not Running Hurts Bucs

December 4th, 2020

Strategy makes no sense.

Terez Paylor is one of the top up-and-coming NFL writers in Joe’s eyes. And he made great points in a recent column on Yahoo! Sports about what drives him mad about the Bucs and park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting, jet ski-losing, handshake-stiffing Bucs quarterback Tom Brady.

First, Paylor noted Brady leads the NFL in dropbacks. Pass pressure bothers him more as a 43-year old quarterback than ever before. So having him drop back so often, Paylor types, makes no sense whatsoever.

Paylor also notes that Brady’s best friend in his old football age is a running game. And the Bucs have two good running backs.

So why are the Bucs so scared to run and, in the process, to help their major investment in Brady (and the team in general)?

Also, there’s another aspect of Brady’s strengths that feels underutilized, and that’s the quick throws to the running backs. Whereas Brady used to torture defenses with throws to James White in New England, he hasn’t been able to sync with Jones and Fournette — who are both tied for fourth in the NFL among backs in drops with five apiece — in the same manner.

That’s something the Bucs could still live with, provided they were committed to getting production from them via the run game. Yet Tampa, whether it’s because game situations dictate it or the coaching staff and/or quarterback’s preference for throwing, doesn’t run it enough to do so.

There’s another reason to run the ball!

Paylor noted there is no reason to close the door on the Bucs’ season so long as they start helping themselves out by running. If the Bucs shut the door on running more, Paylor believes, they are shutting the door on doing anything in the playoffs.

If they get to the playoffs.

19 Responses to “Not Running Hurts Bucs”

  1. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Not sure about Fournette. It does seem like ROJO is on a pitch count. 9 or 10 carries a game after he has 98 yard run, who does that.? Untap the potential,
    Nice catch and run last week. He is showing improvement when he gets the opportunities. Offensive coaches and players need to be more successful early in games to prevent going into to full catchup mode and increased dropbacks.

  2. Architek Says:

    Tip Toe Fournette is very discouraging to watch run (I mean tip toe).

  3. Roy T. Buford Says:

    WTH? We are in the last quarter of the season and there are still many (justifiable) caveats about “if….then” the Bucs will be okay. What leads anyone to believe these coaches are going to change anything? Arians already said it…Brady picks the plays, and they call the plays he picks. If that is not season dead-and-gone statement from a would-be contender’s head coach, I don’t know what is. The curse continues. It’s good we won’t see the Bucs lose this weekend.

    Don’t like the negative comments? Too bad. I refer you to the Bucs and the fact that in Quarter 3, teams with deep playoff potential pulled away from the competition. The Bucs meanwhile….

  4. dmatt Says:

    Will someone explain to me the reason we picked up Fournette. What has he done for the team since his 46 UF td run against the panthers back early September. He’s a +1 or -1 yd n done, oh yeah, don’t forget his toe tapping. Let’s beast mode RoJo into the playoffs. RoJo is hungry n I’m sure he wants the ball more but he’s a team player that shows respect without complaining. I’m sure he gets his discipline n mannerism from his dad who was a former Army Sergeant. Oh, by the way, Fournette is another toe tapping former Bucs early round draft pick, Charles Sims, who was a bust…hint hint.

  5. Topdoggie Says:

    Pull away? What team has done that. The 3 wild cards are neck and neck.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We do need to run more……but we also need to complete short passes early in games…..Brady is uncomfortable early for some reason…..
    Our defense has slow starts that contribute to us being behind early & we abandon the run too soon…..2 scores down in the first quarter is different than in the fourth….

  7. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    That is correct, there is not a reason to close the door on the Bucs season. The weapons are clearly there. I say “clearly”, yet I do NOT understand how everyone sees this except for the Bucs coaches. Is this a repeat of fans seeing Lovie’s ineptness that he never grasped, or will this overstaffed Bucs’ coaches make the necessary adjustments?

    Arians said the offense is a work in progress. While that is partially true, as it is with ALL offenses, can you see the obvious AB/BL and make those changes?! THAT is a very good place to start.

  8. WyldKat Says:

    It feels like they’ve been square-pegging, round-holing on offense and defense for over half a decade at least. Insanity, doing the same thing and expecting different results.

  9. Bradinator Says:

    I’ve always felt it is very difficult for a RB, in particular, to get in any kind of rhythm on just a few carries. Leave Rojo in the game. If you’re more worried about his blitz pick up than his running or catching, just put a back up OL back there and quit wasting our time. He’s a RUNNING BACK, not an offensive tackle!! That’s what he does. Can we make use of that talent, please?

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    For those of you ragging on Fournette, consider that MAYBE it’s not him who’s totally at fault here. I think there’s something much deeper going on that noen of us are privy to.

    In 36 games with Jacksonville, he gained 2902 yds rushing on 666 carries … a 4.0 YPC average. Not bad but not superstar status either. But then again, Jags did have the #1 rushing team in 2017 with Fournette leading their RB group by a bunch (1,040 yds rushing, as well as 302 yds receiving). They beat the Bills & the Steelers in the playoffs that year, but lost 24-20 to the Pats in the Conference Championship.

    He was hurt in 2018 (only got 8 games), but still got more rushing yds than any of their other RBs. Came back strong in 2019, gaining 1152 yds rushing on 265 carries … a 4.3 YPC average … plus an additional 522 yds receiving on 76 receptions. I’d take those numbers any day.

    At 6′ & 228 lbs, there was a reason he was selected as the 4th pick in the 1st Rnd of the 2017 draft: he’s got talent. That talent is being misused by the Bucs right now IMO. Same with RoJo. Fournette’s only gotten a chance to show what he can do in THREE games this year:

    o Game 2 – Panthers (win): In 12 rushes he gained 103 yds (8.58 YPC) & caught 4 out of 5 passes thrown to him (for 13 yds). And oh ya, scored 2 TDs.
    o Game 5 – Raiders (win): in 11 rushes he gained 50 yds (4.55 YPC) & caught 6 out of 7 passes thrown to him (for 47 yds).
    o Game 6 – Giants (win): in 15 rushes he gained 52 yds (3.47 YPC) & caught 3 out of 6 passes thrown to him (for 19 yds).

    Those were the only games in which Fournette got over 8 carries in the game this year. But with those 38 rushes for 205 yds (5.4 YPC) and 13 out of 18 passing (72%) for 79 yds he showed me that he’s got plenty left in the tank. This coaching staff isn’t using him properly IMO. Neither is Tom Brady for that matter.

  11. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Agree with your assessment of Fournette. In fairness we really haven’t had a large enough sample base to judge Fournette as a Buc. He OBVIOUSLY has talent and it’s hard to believe it simply disappeared overnight. Perhaps he just needs some more carries to get some kind of groove or rhythm going.

    I see a clear consensus here and a rare time when the JBFer’s agree with the “experts”. Pundits and posters alike are saying run it more..throw more possession passes…move the chains and ease off the bombs.

    I agree with that consensus. Having said that…unlike most of my fellow Americans I still believe in expertise…that is to say…BA and Brady have forgotten more football than I’ll ever know. They both have great records…one is the freaking GOAT.

    They have two weeks to figure it out. They are in GREAT shape thanks to the schedule gods. We are literally more talented than every team left on our schedule…we have the KILLER teams of the NFL…New Orleans…KC behind us…there’s three of our losses there…the only shame coming from our inability to even compete with New Orleans…we’ll get one last shot at them in the playoffs.

    If we are all right…the Bucs offense will come out running that possession move the chains offense featuring more running game…if we do come out with that game we can all have even more respect for BA and TB12 for their ability to adjust…if they stick to old AFL bombs away and it does not work it’s on them….if it DOES work it’s on us.

  12. gp Says:

    Maybe it’s just a frustrated rationalization, but maybe BA is trying to go into the play-offs with a secret weapon (running game) in his back pocket?

  13. Pewter Power Says:

    No chance In the playoffs if you can’t or don’t run the ball or run well.

  14. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    Pretty messed up that not even making the playoffs is now a viable option because of the ever increasing poor play and decision making in all aspectsof the team after a pretty good start. Whether we’re 5-7 or 7-5 missing the playoffs is always there waiting right around the corner!

  15. PSL Bob Says:

    Damn, wish I’d thought of that.

  16. unbelievable Says:

    Brady has the most yards per completion on play action, yet we run play action less than anybody in the league.

    1. Run the ball.
    2. Slants
    4. Deep shots here and there (especially from play action)


  17. UKBuccaneer Says:

    A run first offense isn’t going to win the super bowl. It just isn’t. However that doesn’t mean that we don’t need the threat of a run game.

  18. teacherman777 Says:

    “Pound the rock!!!”

    It was won us a Super Bowl!

    Rojo looks like a freak!

    Give him the ball 20-30 times a game.

    Let him challenge Derrick Henry for the rushing title.

    We need first downs!

    Run the ball!!

  19. Sumosam Says:

    Fournette needs touches to be effective. He hasn’t gotten them. Arians knows he has to run the ball down the stretch. These guys will begin to get their touches now. They are healthy and we need them that way now.