Giovani Bernard, The Rushing Back

April 13th, 2021

Former Bucs’ third-down back LeSean “Shady” McCoy hasn’t gotten more than a dozen carries in a football game since early December of 2018.

It’s a very different story for the guy that just replaced him on the roster.

Yes, the Bucs signed 29-year-old veteran running back Giovani Bernard yesterday, the first significant free-agency play of 2021 outside the walls of One Buc Palace by general manager Jason Licht (unless you count letting Joe Haeg, Antony Auclair and Ryan Smith walk to new teams).

Bernard is known as a third-down, pass-catching back, but unlike McCoy he can still carry the mail. The bungling Bengals handed the rock to Bernard 15 times or more in three games last season. And guess what happened? The Bengals won all three games (and that really stands out since they won four all season).

In those games, Bernard racked up 56 carries for 210 yards and two touchdowns. That’s a very respectable 3.75 yards per carry considering the Bengals started Ryan Finley and Brandon Allen at quarterback in those games. Opposing defenses weren’t exactly keying on the stopping the pass.

The point here is that Bernard is replacing McCoy and Joe believes that’s a big upgrade on their depth chart when it comes to running the football. McCoy was washed out as a ball carrier; Bernard is not.

It’s likely that Bernard will be the fourth option running the ball, behind Ronald Jones, Leonard Fournette and Ke’Shawn Vaughn. And if Bernard is your No. 4, you’ve got one hell of a running backs room.

29 Responses to “Giovani Bernard, The Rushing Back”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We are likely set at RB……even if Harris & Etienne are on the board at 32, I don’t think we would pick them.
    WR, however is another story….If we don’t sign AB…..that would be a need and the draft is pretty deep at WR…..

  2. Bird Says:

    Mccoy got here with two blown out tires
    Mccoy was a zero factor

    He was nothing like his former self


    And dont forget ..Bernard may find the fountain of youth here
    Fl beaches and warm weather and chicks in bikinis compared to cincinatti snow
    Oh and this is a winning team

    It would suck playing for a dumpster fire of a team your whole career. It would be hard getting up for some of those games which would be another loss

    And Being able to run too makes a big difference. Not such a tell when its 3rd and 2 and you can run it and not pass when he is in the game

  3. gotbbucs Says:

    Anybody seen the contract numbers yet?

  4. BucBrady Says:

    I’m not buying that Gio is 4th. I think this moves Vaughn to 4th–and Gio likely becomes our first pass catching back option. Arians and Brady don’t personally recruit Gio for him to be 4th and play the non-existent McCoy role.

  5. Iamabuc Says:

    I don’t know about that No. 4WR crap for this guy. He can easily go up the ladder in the current Bucs “stable”. Imho

  6. ClodHopper Says:

    I’m not saying this guy is going to be a savior but I’m darn stoked about this signing. He fills a hole we need filled and one had that Brady excels in. This is a great pick up!

  7. Bradinator Says:

    Always liked Bernard. He’s a versatile back. Good signing as far as I can see. Of course we were all stoked when we signed Shady last year too. He just didn’t have the wheels left. Bernard is a little younger and doesn’t have the wear and tear Shady did either.

  8. SB~LV Says:

    Excellent ….this makes the draft a luxury

  9. Darin Says:

    Not sure why so many think wr is a need. Salary cap will always mean a certain percentage of money goes into each position group. Bucs are over right now even without ab. Gota get Godwin signed long term first to free up space. Unless he does before draft cant see a wr taken in first two rounds at least. TJ and beam me up are ready.

  10. Bellingham Bucs Fan Says:

    #4? Not sure about that. This is an indictment on the stone hands of both Rojo and Fournette, and Vaughan is unproven. This guy adds a lethal element to the O. Get ready to see this guy.

  11. TOM Says:

    The Bucs are definitely set at RB. Gio a really good signing. Maybe better than Lenny. No need to sign a RB in draft. Maybe after draft.

  12. Show Me the TDs Says:

    This should make the preseason games more interesting.

  13. Robert Says:

    I hate the signing only because it probably means no AB. We already have 2 stud RBs and one in the stable…….and you only play one at a time. Meanwhile we have 2 very good WRs but you can put 4 on the field and are an injury away from looking like NE wr room. And to think a rook OR anyone can be as reliable and a game changer as AB is insane…….and we are supposed to be in win now mode.

  14. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I like this signing. Bernard played on a terrible team of losers.
    He will think he died and went to Heaven playing for us.
    He has glue on his hands, and can also break big runs.
    I see him as our number 3, ahead of Vaughn.

  15. 813bucboi Says:

    im cool with the signing….

    but we still need AB just as much as he needs the bucs…

    he’ll be a buc in 2021…

    GO BUCS!!!!

  16. Gofortheface30 Says:

    “The idea that a rook, can be as reliable is insane.” I get your logic, and specific to someone like AB perhaps you’re right, but on a macro level – Wide receivers nowadays are as pro ready as you can possibly be. There is little ramp up time for most, and I’m not saying this as some annoying Gen z’er that hasn’t experienced anything else. Whether it’s Brandon Aiyuk, Jerry Jeudy, Jefferson or even Tyler Johnson (remember how good Godwin was first yr?). Kids nowadays are absolute studs and run far crisper routes than at any point, ever. Furthermore a guy like Ja’Marr Chase and Kyle pitts (face it, he’s a WR Hybrid) are greater physical specimens than even Evans and Godwin and would be studs from day freaking one. If the Bucs drafted Kadarius Toney it would surprise me none that by Week one he’d be slotted over Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson. Candidly the idea that a rookie won’t make a huge impact has become silly, antiquated thinking

  17. No Risk It No Biscuit Says:

    Good Job Joe!

    May this continue to be your new approach in replacing your doom and gloom articles. Brady is eclipsing your old negative articles.

    I appreciate the effort on this one. Did Ira give you hints? You got to love the Rah man.

    Go Bucs!!!!
    Go for ✌🏻

  18. DoooshLaRue Says:

    So we’re not drafting a RB.
    That hopefully means we’re drafting trenches which is what we need to do.

    Win now?
    Yes of course, but solid OL and DL in the draft only enforces the win now mantra.
    Ya know…… injuries.
    That way we have depth AND future team needs covered.

    Trade back and stock the cupboards unless a blue chip plug and play OT tackle is there.
    Then make my dream come true JL.

    Move Wirfs to LT and trade Durable Donnie for draft picks in 2022.


  19. Swampbuc Says:

    It will be interesting to see what the Bucs do at 32 if Travis Etienne happens to be there, or Najee Harris. This Bernard might not make the final cut.

  20. sauron's eye Says:

    I am jacked about thus signing. This guy will be a factor because he can run and catch. He will make plays. No way should we commit to a RB in the first round. Get the best player on the board remaining at #32.

  21. Bucsfanman Says:

    This signing sure makes the draft intriguing. We will truly be drafting for our future (a.k.a. “depth”).
    Oh, how the tables have turned.

  22. adam from ny Says:

    i’m going to watch that game later…

    bengals vs falcons 2018 season…

    gio “stashe” bernard got the start at rb, as per the joes…

    should be a cool watch on the new guy in town

  23. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I don’t see how WR would be a big need if we don’t re-sigh Brown.

    We have Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Scott Miller. I mean…I agree we need to fill some depth, but we are not exactly horrible at the position.

  24. rrsrq Says:

    Funny how people on this site are all over the terrible Bengals not realizing that G. Bernard has 2 more playoff seasons than most of the Bucs (I didn’t say playoff games)

  25. Ericb Says:

    He might be the RB2 he can run and CATCH….were def good on rb and lets draft WR and stock up in D

  26. Mike28277 Says:

    Three out of four RB’s on literally 1 year contracts? I see us drafting a RB in the first 2-3 rounds.

  27. bucsince79 aka bumaneer Says:

    Nice upgrade he can catch passes, run & catch screens… Another weapon…

  28. Buczilla Says:

    I’m happy about our running back situation for the first time
    in years and I would not be shocked if Gio becomes first string by week two.

  29. Brandon Says:

    Nice spin on a RB that is toast. 3.75 YPC in a couple games…. what about the 3.2 YPC for the whole season… or 3.4 in 2019… 3.8 in 2018? Dude is done and is brought in to be veteran camp meat. McCoy shouldn’t have made the team last season and Bernard shouldn’t make it this season. Getting cut by one of the worst teams and offenses in the league shouldn’t be something that excites anyone except those that don’t know he is finished.