Why The Bucs Wanted Giovani Bernard

April 13th, 2021

Changing things up?

Joe understands leading up to and during the first few days of free agency season, a number of Bucs fans were heavy-panting about this James White from the Patriots.

These same fans believed this White was the missing piece to the Bucs offense, never mind the team averaged over 30 points a game, including in the playoffs and Super Bowl, which the Bucs won.

So Joe failed to see the issue.

Well, it seemed the Bucs were thinking along those lines, or at least Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians was.

In signing receiving back Giovani Bernard yesterday, the Bucs got one of the best pass-catching running backs in the NFL, so the good people of CBS Sports HQ point out.

We now know Arians jumped at the chance to sign Bernard, who last week was cut by the Bengals.

Both Arians and park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting, handshake-stiffing, jet-ski-losing, biscuit-baking, tequila-shooting, smartphone-phobic, waffle-grilling, trophy-throwing, roller-coaster-scared Bucs-Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady put on the full-court press to lure Bernard back to his home state of Florida.

Will the Bucs incorporate more short passes to the running back? That seems very anti-Arians.

Additionally, why fix something that is not broken, unless one subscribes to the theory NFL defensive coaches have spent the entire offseason hatching a plan to slow down the Bucs’ long-passing offense?

47 Responses to “Why The Bucs Wanted Giovani Bernard”

  1. 813bucboi Says:

    watching a LB try to cover GB out the backfield will be fun….LOL…

    GO BUCS!!!!

  2. Buc 92’ Says:

    So glad we grabbed him, a rb at 32 was never the pick .. Trenches on both sides & a qb will be the targets.. As it should be #GoBucs

  3. Robert Says:

    too many cooks in the kitchen and it will make us predictable on 3rd…….not to mention RB’s need to get into a rythm, which he won’t being put in once in a while

  4. Buc 92’ Says:

    So glad we grabbed him, RB was never the pick at 32… trenches on both sides & a Qb will be the targets, as it should be #Gobucs

  5. Blogtalkfootball.com Says:

    Now defenses will focus on short yardage situations and Brady will burn them deep!

  6. Mitch Says:

    Bucs backs dropped 10% of balls thrown there way (17 out of 118). That’s a lot of drops. Giovanni is coming in to be a sure handed outlet for brady and a fierce pass protector.

  7. Mitch Says:

    over 10%*

  8. SteveK Says:

    Sign AB, and we can sit back and let the draft come to us.

  9. Jonny Says:

    I was never a fan of re-signing Fournette for this reason. He doesn’t bring anything substantial in terms of pass catching ability or pass protection. Him being a smaller liability than RoJo was not a good enough reason to bring him back. I would have preferred the possibility of drafting a RB like Michael Carter in 3rd or Etienne in 1st and have their services and versatility for 4-5 years instead of Fournette who will become a free agent along with RoJo and Giovanni after this season.

  10. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    BAD coaching: have to find players who fit my scheme, ie:
    Lovie Smith – “my defense does not work in college – they run too many 3 WRs”
    (Note to Texans, what idiot would hire this guy?)

    GOOD Coaching: ADJUSTS scheme to fit their players, ie:
    2019 Bucs with JW rank in bottom 5 of NFL in play-action passing
    2020 Bucs with TB rank in TOP 5 of NFL in play-action passing

  11. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    He can catch the ball reliably, and ran a 4.5 40 at 200 plus pounds.
    He is a real threat every time he touches the ball.
    Play us deep, and Brady dumps the ball off to him, and he lights up defenses.
    Keep a Linebacker in to cover him, and Brady burns you deep!
    Pick your Poison !


    How much did they pay him? White signed for $2.5mil if he is equal or more I don’t get it, White is better and Brady and him have been on same page for years. I also do not understand the Fournett signing, Bucs could of got more for less. Doesn’t anyone realize his superman PO’s and SB games were for a larger pay check? He is also a veteran and we’ve heard how Brady, Suh, JPP, Gronk and Brown were veteran leaders in the locker room but nothing about Fournett.

  13. Show Me the TDs Says:

    Winfield and Whitehead better be on next year, cause the Bucs are loaded!!!

  14. Hodad Says:

    Joe, they won’t dial up more short passes to Bernard. They just needed a reliable threat out of the back field for Brady to check down to.

  15. Darin Says:

    Anti Arians and pro Brady. I see where this is going

  16. Swampbuc Says:

    Seriously, he may not make the team. If he’s not good enough for the Bungles……..

  17. August 1976 Buc Says:

    “Will the Bucs incorporate more short passes to the running back? That seems very anti-Arian”.

    Hey Joe
    Brady is a master at QB play. The Bucs did not have a consistent safety valve for Brady when plays are not open. A play call that was not open becomes a 5 to 10 yard gain to a safety valve. Also they will now incorporate more passes to the backs. Brady is always about making a simple play instead of a glaring error. This has always been a part of a Brady offense. Troy Aikmen made comments to the fact that Brady did not have a lot of options early on in BA’s offense and then they started to run more of plays that Brady was used to, giving him options. So it is not anti-Arians, Arians just wants to win. The Bucs just became even better. More drives will continue instead of having to punt.

    “Additionally, why fix something that is not broken”

    (Not Broken? It certainly was not an area that Brady could count on)
    If Brady trusted ROJO, and really also Fournette to catch the ball consistently, Bernard would not have signed with the Bucs. It was not just the coaches why Rojo played less late down the stretch, it was the fact that he was not trusted by Brady to counted on. You do not get in Brady’s huddle if he does not trust you The offense will be more consistent this year with Bernard, not just because of year 2 of the Brady Bucs offense. This offense was a nightmare already, and this will cause many more headaches for opposing teams to try and stop. This Bucs offense will average 32-35 in 2021

    “unless one subscribes to the theory NFL defensive coaches have
    spent the entire offseason hatching a plan to slow down the Bucs’ long-passing offense?”

    GO BUCS!!!!

  18. Bucsfanman Says:

    It’s really simple folks. He’s another weapon out of the backfield. We thought we were stacked last year with Rojo, Fournette and Shady. Shady contributed very little, probably less than they had hoped.

    I don’t understand the kvetching over other players, especially ones that were productive for us on our SB run.

  19. Defense Rules Says:

    August 1976 Buc … Excellent analysis. BA has already shown that he’s a lot more flexible in his offensive attack than many had given him credit for (and especially with Tom Brady at the helm). You do what it takes to win; that’s all there is.

    I’m becoming more & more convinced that BL has been given a much bigger hand in how this offense attacks. He’s working very nicely with Brady now, and I think the two of them complement each other quite well. I don’t personally think that BA was nearly as hands-on with the offense last year as he was in 2019 with Jameis as our QB. When you’re riding a thoroughbred, it’s usually best not to hold him back; just to let him run.

  20. Cobraboy Says:

    Brady wants a reliable check-down and did not have confidence in the three backs currently on on the roster.

    Now he has one of the best.

    “Simple as that.”

  21. DingleBerry Says:

    “These same fans believed this White was the missing piece to the Bucs offense, never mind the team averaged over 30 points a game, including in the playoffs and Super Bowl, which the Bucs won.

    So Joe failed to see the issue.”

    Not surprising at all really when you say you failed to see the issue. This is precisely the kind of thing people are talking about when they question the collective football IQ and definitively say you don’t have any ability whatsoever to break down tape or make assertions about football at anything beyond a surface level understanding of the game.

    So you really don’t remember just how badly the Bucs running back room was at catching the ball last season? I’m almost positive that we led the league in drops for that position group. Our offense probably could have averaged close to 35 points a game if not for that.

    And it doesn’t have anything to do with actively attempting to throw more short passes to the RB, every offensive scheme in the league incorporates passing plays that have the RB leak out of the backfield as a check down option. And Brady has long since been the best there is at identifying when there’s nothing available downfield and dumping it off to the RB.

    Something that again, he attempted doing many times last year, and would have resulted in big gains if not for all the drops and quite frankly an inability for our backs to make people miss when they did catch the ball. Adding a legit receiving option out of the backfield will indeed take this offense to the next level.

  22. PSL Bob Says:

    Agree with Robert. Unless you can use him as a 3-down back, defenses will key on him whenever you put him in, particularly on 3rd-and-short. Of course, you can always use him as a decoy, but I’d rather have a RB that can be used on any down and can consistently catch when coming out of the backfield. I would imagine that Arians and Leftwich will work heavily with both Rojo and Fournette to improve their catching skills during the preseason.

  23. DingleBerry Says:

    … when they question the collective football IQ *of the Joes*

  24. Irishmist Says:

    Swampbuc- The owners of the Bengals are notoriously cheap. They might have just not wanted to pay him. I feel so bad that a talent like Burrow will be wasted there.

  25. theodore Says:

    “Will the Bucs incorporate more short passes to the running back? That seems very anti-Arians.”

    … and very pro-Brady.

  26. The Red Mirage Says:

    He’s supposed to be really good at picking up the blitz which our current RB’s aren’t stellar at doing to say the least.

  27. Pewter941 Says:

    And he has a sweet mustache.

  28. Durango 95 Says:

    The key to GB success on this team will be dependent on how frequently he will actually be on the field. I just can’t see him being much involved. Hopefully he can contribute on ST. He’s a role player for sure. How big of a role we will just have to wait and see. And he will be better than Shady, so there is that. FWIW.

  29. lambeau Says:

    August–I agree Brady needed a reliable safety valve; I think when Romo and Aikman do games they’ve talked with Brady beforehand, and you hear a lot of his thinking (that he’d never say in a press conference) through them. Bernard is a better version of James White. With him and Gronk (and one hopes AB) Brady is building himself a short game to add to BA’s vertical attack. Of couse, David Johnson led the league in receptions under BA, so this not new to him.


    White could of been 1st choice but did not want for Bucs to straighten out cap issue. No matter what the offense has just became far more unpredictable and a receiving back is the cheese to Brady’s onion soup. Now we need AB to be the baguette.

  31. Joe Says:

    So you really don’t remember just how badly the Bucs running back room was at catching the ball last season?

    So badly they couldn’t win a Super Bowl? Or score 30+ points a game?

    Who exactly can’t watch games? 🤔

  32. ocala Says:

    I do not agree with Joe at all on this one. This will make the Bucs offense much more dangerous. He has great hands and is explosive after the catch. He is also fantastic in the return game if the Bucs want to use him there.

  33. DingleBerry Says:

    So because they won the Super Bowl that means they shouldnt have tried to improve the team? Yeah sure makes a ton of sense… Not!

    By the way I never questioned your ability to “watch” games. Because that’s just silly. I did however question your ability to analyze and make an informed opinion on football games at anything more than the most basic of levels.

  34. No Risk It No Biscuit Says:

    Going for ✌️

  35. 6throundpick Says:

    Strategy. Change ’em up. Make ’em guess. How many more (key) conversions? How many games will this effect for a win? Remember: need a playoff bye this year- very important! No teams will take the Brady Bucs lightly this year.

  36. August 1976 Buc Says:

    We all saw the spit and sputter offense for really the first 9.5 games and then the 2nd half against the Falcons the Bucs exploded. Yes, they scored 30+ a game for the season, but only 3 against the Saints, 19 against the Bears in the first part of the year. This move is going to cause the offense to run smoother, and I believe 32-35 points a game. Again, this move was made because the Bucs thought it was something they needed to be better at. We can analyze all we want about this move, But the Bucs Brass and Brady believed it was something that needed to be done. I posted here 2 months ago that someone was going to be brought in to fill the role of a check down back. This means less punting and more points ultimately. Nothing wrong with that. GO BUCS!!!!

  37. windbaggery Says:

    Yep, another reason we don’t need to draft RB at #32 — RB has become the most fungible position in the league.

  38. adam from ny Says:

    yes joe…

    bucs are so good they’re gonna balance out their attack with a full offseason with tom…

    stop us one way, we go the other….and vice versa…

    barring unforeseen injuries, this team’s trajectory is right back at bud bowl 56

  39. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Robert Says
    “too many cooks in the kitchen and it will make us predictable on 3rd…”

    I’m not so sure that is the case, but even if the Bucs were to be predictable…it won’t matter if they still can’t stop us.

  40. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist - City of St Pete Says:

    GB is a good solid signing, but Keyshawn Vaugn is better. Watch….

    Rojo #1, Lombardi Lenny #2, Keyshawn Vaughn/GB battling it out for #3 RB and I see Keyshawn as more of everything than Bernard is, except for: a proven commodity over a sustained period of time.

  41. Defense Rules Says:

    @Erik Hesson … “GB is a good solid signing, but Keyshawn Vaughn is better.”

    Not sure what you’re basing Ke’Shawn Vaughn being ‘better’ than Bernard on, but past performances don’t bear that out at all. GB has been a decent rusher over his 8-year career (4.0 YPC average), but that was never his primary strength, nor was he ever really ‘the Alpha dog’. His real strength since his rookie year (2013) has been as a receiving back, where he’s averaged 8.4 YPR over his career. His catch percentage is middle 70’s (74.8%) and he’s been very consistent at that in his whole 8 years with Cincy.

    Interestingly, GB has averaged 34 offensive snaps per game over his 8 years (right around 50% per game), yet he’s only averaged 8.0 rushes & 4.0 targets per game. I’m guessing that he probably did more than his share of pass blocking in those other 22 offensive snaps per game.

    Ke’Shawn Vaughn on the other hand has a grand total of 1 season worth of performance behind him, in which he averaged 4.2 YPC (on 26 rushes) and 6.8 YPR (based on catching 50% of the 10 balls thrown to him). He only got 99 offensive snaps in his 10 games, and was only on the field for 37 S/Ts plays. That’s not much of a body of work to base future performance on unfortunately.

    My expectation is that the Bucs will carry 4 RBs this season, and that 3 of them will be pretty much ‘role players’ (they each have different ‘strengths’). Ke’Shawn probably more closely resembles the ‘Swiss Army knife’ of the group, but I doubt that he’ll see much time on the field unless someone gets hurt.

  42. Mike Says:

    Kinda like a Darren Sproles type, a mismatch out of the backfield as a receiver that the defense has to account for.


    As seen by SB, Brady does not rely on one receiver unless the others suck and Bucs receivers do NOT suck. The problem with this is Brady cares about winning not stats. I’m hoping guys like Evan’s who has been used to the lime light understand this because the more weapons Brady has the less chance ME has to get another 1000 yds.

  44. OneBucc55 Says:

    Fournette, Rojo, Vaughn, and Bernard makes for some amazing depth a RB…Good Job Jason!

    “Trenches” should be the Bucs theme for this upcoming draft…

  45. Ash Says:

    Hopefully that great pass protection gio does rubs off on rojo and lenny because they are terrible at it so glad that this signing happened go bucs

  46. Hope springs eternal Says:

    Last season the bucs sucked at screens and throws to running backs. That weakness just got filled.

  47. Anonymous Says:

    I wonder has anybody in the upstairs offices of the TB BUCS has ever thought of using AB as a third down running back!! Pay That Man!!