Numbers Tell The Tale

April 27th, 2021

Help in weak areas

It raised eyebrows among some Bucs fans when AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht decided to sign free agent veteran running back Giovani Bernard.

Maybe it shouldn’t have.

In a draft preview on the Bucs, Warren Sharp’s outfit, Sharp Football Analysis, had a graphic on various offensive categories showing where Tampa Bay ranks in each.

As you can imagine for a team that averaged 30 points a game, including the playoffs, the Bucs were one of the better teams in just about every category you can think of except for two. And both involved running backs.

The Bucs were second-to-dead-last in running back pass efficiency and explosive rushing. Bernard and his skillset seem to address both, but is that enough?

Joe has been banging the table for RB Travis Etienne of Clemson who is quick as can be, can run in traffic and can catch. Javonte Williams of North Carolina seems to have these traits, as does his college teammate, Michael Carter.

41 Responses to “Numbers Tell The Tale”

  1. DingleBerry Says:

    They won the Super Bowl with the 28th ranked rushing offense. So it’s preposterous to suggest they need to draft a running back, right Joe?

  2. Medicated Pete Says:

    I say we draft all 3 RB’s so we can carry 7 of them on the roster

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Hasn’t this article run about 37 times….or at least one like it?

    I really like Etienne but I don’t know if he will be there….and I don’t know who else will be there at 32 including a possible trade.

    I think we are very, very good at RB……look at it this way, we won a Super Bowl with our current 3….and we replaced Shady with Gio.

  4. Alanbucsfan Says:

    When you have Bucs’ receivers and TE’s, how much do you need to rely on a RB for receiving? There will be plenty of talented RB’s in next year’s draft.

  5. alaskabuc Says:

    I want to see Etienne wearing a Bucs jersey next season in the worst way, but the more I watch Michael Carter the more I lean toward drafting edge or CB in the first and see if we can snag Carter later.

  6. Teflon Don OG Says:

    one of the Joe’s are beating the drum for this kid! Good on the RB’s we need edge or CB in the first round if we stay and pick. Offense is not the problem

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    Trenches. We need deep trenches.

  8. Buclife91 Says:

    Joe stop!!!! No more of this talk it’s not happening pass rush pass rush pass rush and olineman we not takin no rb in the first

  9. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Let’s see if Ke’Shawn Vaughn has anything to show us this year. We drafted him to be a pass catching RB.

  10. David Says:

    Bernard was a great signing. He will definitely improve the running back position out of the backfield for passing. I see him as the third down back.
    I see Lenny and Rojo splitting carries otherwise. If you want more explosiveness, give Rojo about 65% of the carries because he is a much better runner than Lenny. He cuts quicker and better, has better vision, is more explosive. Two years ago I would’ve never said he had better vision but last year was night and day compared to his first year and a half.

    Vaughn has also shown one cut and then explode through the whole capability.

  11. SB Says:

    LOL I already knew what I wanted to type while reading this article but DR beat me to it!!!
    Trenches! Especially OL. Soon we will have to protect a rookie most likely. Best get ready for it soon enough.
    Guys………we have specialty talent. Time for Big Uglies on both sides of the ball.
    I get that some people are myopic and only care about back to back SBs but I have been with this team for 45 years. I don’t want another “Lost Decade”.
    We have to think about the future. Is what good teams do.

  12. SB Says:

    AlabamaBucsFan Says:
    April 27th, 2021 at 10:33 am
    Let’s see if Ke’Shawn Vaughn has anything to show us this year. We drafted him to be a pass catching RB.


    Awesome point. Don’t know why so many are sleeping on this dynamic. Everyone wants a shiny new toy. What are we just gonna call Ke’Shawn a waste of a pick this soon?

  13. Perimeter Blocker Says:

    I like the idea of Etienne. He could return punts and with 3 of our backs on 1 year deals it could provide stability. He reminds me of Kamera…

  14. K2 Says:

    Agree Joe! The idea is to m make improvements every year. A pass catching RB was a clear need. I don’t think the Bucs will reach for any position. Taking the best on their board makes too much sense.

  15. SlyPirate Says:

    You only draft a RB in the first if they can be elite. The big 3 RBs are good. Not elite.

  16. Capt.Tim Says:

    Ok, then who do we sit?
    Fournette? Jones? Bernard? Vaughn?
    Last year ee had no training camp, or offseason to speak of.
    So we did what we do best. We threw the ball.
    Worked out ok.
    With an offseason, we’ll work on the intricacies of the run game.

    You can draft ten more RBs.
    But if Jensen gets injured, we dont have any decent options as a backup.
    That should frighten every Buc Fan.
    Ole Travis aint going far without a center.
    Or if Shaq or JPP get hurt, they double the other one- and there goes that pass rush, that won us a SuperBowl.

    But at least we’ll lose with a 5 back rotation- and who else can say that?

  17. Joe Says:

    Let’s see if Ke’Shawn Vaughn has anything to show us this year. We drafted him to be a pass catching RB.

    Thing is, Bucs are shooting for a Super Bowl. What you are suggesting is the Bucs should bank on hope as opposed to substance. Hope is such an evil word.

    Awesome point. Don’t know why so many are sleeping on this dynamic.

    Probably because he put people to sleep waiting on him to do something?

    Joe’s not throwing the towel in on the kid. But he made one very sweet play last year. That’s it.

    It’s hard for Joe to see a guy make one (very nice) play and jump to the conclusion he’s the next Alvin Kamara. Hope he balls out. But again — hope. Gotta see a lot more before Joe has confidence in the guy.

  18. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Medicated Pete Says:
    April 27th, 2021 at 10:03 am
    I say we draft all 3 RB’s so we can carry 7 of them on the roster

    lol lol lol BPA GO BUCS!!!!

  19. Anonymous Says:

    I really like the Bernard signing but what Defensive Coach is not going to anticipate a short pass out of the backfield when he is in the game. It’s kinda like when Ditka lined up the Fridge on the goal line plays during the 85 Bears regime. Yeah, I was old back then to.

  20. August 1976 Buc Says:

    When Vaughn was layed out from a big hit in the Bear game and fumbled, he was rarely seen again. The Bucs were up 13-0 and in control when that hit happened and it changed the game. So if the coaches do not call plays for Vaughn, then they must not believe in him. OH hello, Gio. How many snaps will he get now after they signed Gio. GO BUCS!!!!

  21. Joe Says:

    what Defensive Coach is not going to anticipate a short pass out of the backfield when he is in the game.

    That’s a fair point, but that is also a trap. If a defense creeps in anticipating a short pass to Benard, Evans/Godwin/Scooter/AB (?) will fry them deep.

  22. DingleBerry Says:

    “Thing is, Bucs are shooting for a Super Bowl. What you are suggesting is the Bucs should bank on hope as opposed to substance.”

    Joe, the Bucs literally just won the Super Bowl with Vaughn as their #3 running back, now with the addition of Bernard he is the clear #4 back.

    Bank on hope? What on earth are you talking about? You’re literally the guy who was arguing that adding a receiving back wasn’t necessary because the Bucs scored 30 points a game and won a Lombardi without a good one on the roster.

    You may need to see a doctor because these two train of thoughts are so conflicting in nature that it speaks to some kind of troubling cognitive dissonance.

  23. August 1976 Buc Says:

    The same with Rojo, if he is in there, then it is 98% run. I will take Gios production versus Rojo production. It is not good to be the worst in the NFL, when it comes to passes to the RB’s. That changed the moment Gio signed. GO BUCS!!!!

  24. Typhoon Says:

    You already have 90 RBs on the roster but yeah draft another one with your first round pick. Why not use all the picks this year on RBs

  25. Cobraboy Says:

    I have a dream:

    A Bucs offense so talented, so fearsome, so confident that Brady goes to the line, shows the defense a diagram of the upcoming play, and proceed to execute that play right down their throat. No trickeration, no smoke and mirrors, just pure physical dominance.

  26. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Anonymous, but I don’t remember anyone stopping The Fridge. I’m certainly not comparing Bernard to William Perry. Giant apple to little orange.

  27. 813bucboi Says:

    bucs aint keeping 5 RBs on the roster….we’re not drafting an RB….

    Bucs should target DE/OLB, LB, Slot CB, SS, OT, C/G…..

    GO BUCS!!!!

  28. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I think Bernard is gonna be the missing piece to our offense, and is flat gonna burn defenses on passes out of the backfield.
    So much so that when they move a linebacker up to watch him, Brady will burn them deep!

  29. Bucsfanman Says:

    “what Defensive Coach is not going to anticipate a short pass out of the backfield when he is in the game.”

    Um, hello, have you seen this guy RUN the football. He ain’t too shabby!

    As we argue and fuss over a RB at #32, what position at #32 do we take?
    A “project QB”? Who?
    A “project DE or DT”? Who?
    A “project OL”? LB? CB? S? WR? TE?

    The point being, Etienne could supplant any one of our current “starters” THIS season. Why would we think that it’s a problem?
    Most everyone else would be “depth” or projects. Again, why is picking Etienne such a problem for a franchise that wants to win NOW?
    In any other year, we’d be foaming at the mouth for a guy like Etienne at a MUCH higher draft position.
    Of course, this is all my opinion!

  30. Bucsfanman Says:

    Cobra- LOVE it!

  31. SB~LV Says:

    I would be happy as a clam with one of those RB’s @32

  32. martinii Says:

    See what old age can do. I forget to fill in my name and e-mail. I still think coaches will change their defenses as soon as Bernard checks in, not that it won’t open other opportunities for the the big guns down field, but for the fact that he comes to us as a highly advertised short pass weapon in short down situations. I don’t think we would have taken him for his running skills.

  33. JL Says:

    I don’t understand this fascination with Rb’s. It’s the single least important position in football. You win with 3 great position groups period. QB, OL to protect the qb and DL/OL to hit the qb. Tom Brady won 6sbs and lost 3 prior to Tampa. Goes to 50% of all sbs in seasons he plays in. Pats never once had a dominate run game. Closest was downside of career Corey Dillion. They won with smart backs who he could check down to and who could block. Wood head, Faulk, vereen and white. When they won 6 Super Bowls ol protected great.. when he lost two to the giants ol got dominated. Against eagles he threw for 505 yards with no edelman, cooks injured in first quarter. Lost on a sack fumble..So Gronk amendola and hogan sb record passing yards.
    Bucs have two interior lineman in last year of contract..need a guard/center in first three rounds and a guard/tackle and u need a edge player. After that draft corners and linebackers and dline.
    Brady can win 80% of games with a stout defense, strong o line. Rbs mean nothing for Brady. Heck wideouts mean very little. Protect him and hit the other qb.

  34. JL Says:

    If you want to add anything else to equation it’s a dominate corner. Ie ty law, revis and Gilmore as corner #1 for all his sb’s prior to Tampa. Last year sb.. wr’s did little. OL and defense carried team. Strengthen that!! Brady carries skill positions period. Been proven for 21 years.

    Rb’s are a dime a dozen. Brady gets them all paid, white,vereen, dion lewis, woodhead. He can win if they block and don’t drop 6 yard check downs.. hence Bernard signing.

  35. Erick Says:

    It’s time for Joe to put Etienne in the Rachel Watson-Johnny Manziel fantasy zone. It’s not happening.

  36. Hodad Says:

    If Najee Harris is the best player on the board when we pick so be it. Tom Brady would make him offensive rookie of the year. He’s better then what we got combined. Do we need him, probably not. However, there’s no doubt in my mind he’d make us better day one. That’s all you can ask of any draft pick.

  37. Mike28277 Says:

    He has been “ compared” to Kamara. If his skill set is anything like AK and he is available, I am in.

  38. Ash Says:

    Yes they definitely should have and did sign gio it is a great addition and no we don’t need to draft a rb in the first we have four we don’t need a fifth there will be rbs in the next draft I promise you

  39. Hope springs eternal Says:

    If you can win 8 straight games and the super bowl with the backs you have and you add an all purpose pass catching back how can running back be a huge Need? The offense is loaded already except for a quality back up for Brady. Bulk up the big horses in the trenches, both O and D lines. Get deeper on the lines. The offense is already one of the best. Get quality line players who can step in immediately if need. Center and tackle on offense. End and interior line on defense. 17 game schedule with everybody maxing out against the Super Bowl Champs will make quality backups especially important next season. Injuries are gonna happen.

  40. Kyle Says:

    Bobabouey says Joe is recycling content..

  41. Ddogg Says:

    Mr Joe Bucc must be a little bored waiting on today’s draft. Love his articles no matter what keep it up Joe. But I think the Buccs are in a luxurious spot of drafting whoever they feel is the best player at 32. They got by with that running game last year and killed with it in the playoffs maybe they didn’t drastically improve it but it’s been improved since last year. We have (close to) the exact same team with a few good additions really can’t go wrong in this draft even have the opportunity to pick a quarterback to sit and study the game from one of the best over next couple seasons then again could add a good defensive tackle, or edge rusher , linebacker, or secondary the luxury is they can pick whoever they feel they want. With no pressing needs they can improve the present and build the future in this talent laden draft class