The Final Fix

June 8th, 2021

Bucs OC Byron Leftwich.

Would it shock you to learn the Bucs ranked 24th in the NFL last season in yards per carry?

It’s especially shocking when you think of the quality of the Tampa Bay passing game, the quality of the offensive line, the blocking prowess of Rob Gronkowski, and how much Bucco Bruce Arians emphasizes blocking by his wide receivers.

Former NFL Executive of the Year Scott Pioli, the famous Bill Belicheat disciple, was making noise on SiriusXM NFL Radio yesterday about Julio Jones getting traded to the Titans, where Derrick Henry rules the roost as the NFL’s best running back.

Pioli noted the trade for Jones very much is about the Titans’ rushing attack because “the best passing teams have the chance to become the best running teams.”

That got Joe thinking about the Bucs and their historic collection of passing weapons.

Remember last fall when Leonard Fournette arrived and was so excited to not face stacked boxes by defensive opponents ,like he encountered in Jacksonville?

Yes, Ronald Jones averaged 5 yards per carry last season, a new Tampa Bay season record for a full-time running back. But overall, the Bucs should be have been far better than 24th in the NFL in yards per carry. With Jameis Winston slinging the ball all over the field in 2019, the Bucs tied for 27th in the league in yards per carry.

So where is the disconnect? Why is the special aerial attack not opening up the run game more?

If the Bucs figure that out in 2021, then Bucs fans likely will be looking at significantly more time of possession and total points.

23 Responses to “The Final Fix”

  1. Mitch Says:

    Some of it could be attributed to when Ali Marpet was out of the lineup. When he was out with his concussion all tampa running backs reduced their ypc by 1.4 yards. That’s huge!

  2. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Come on now……..

    Pioli ain’t be knowin’ nothin’ from nothin’.

    BL proverb, 12.2

  3. Medicated Pete Says:

    I don’t see Bucs running the ball more than 1 time per set of downs so it’s difficult to get into a rhythm running it and also using 3 different RB’s. And using Gio Bernard, Bucs will be throwing even more now

  4. SOEbuc Says:

    Quite simple. Cus the Bucs are a passing team and ran the ball 30 percent of the time. Myself and probably RoJo were not pleased with Brady and the Bucs not getting his chance for 1,000 yards. Instead, we’ll give the new, crazy guy with a very bad rep small screens to get small incentives to sit upon millions of dollars.

  5. SOEbuc Says:

    And I don’t know if anyone else remembers, but it was Peyton Barber Lenny most of the regular season.

  6. Beeej Says:

    For the first two thirds, maybe 3/4 of the season we always, always, always, ran up the middle on first down for maybe two yards

  7. Buczilla Says:

    We have an elite quarterback, elite receivers, a good offensive line, and decent running backs. The decent running backs are the issue. Not a single one of them is special in any way so far. Maybe Gio with his catching, or Lenny tearing off a surprise long run once in a blue moon, but it’s a stretch. Decent is good enough with everything else we have though.

  8. SlyPirate Says:

    Every opinion/article about how the Bucs underperform should end with:

    “… and they still won the Super Bowl”

  9. Mitch Says:

    Bucs won every game they rushed the ball more than 25 times, and won by more than 7 in any game they rushed more than 30 times. Also every game they lost last year they rushed the ball 20 times or less. I don’t care how great the aerial attack is this year bucs will be balanced and win games on the ground.

  10. ModHairKen Says:

    Who cares. They won.

  11. Duane Says:

    This team has been fascinated with the passing game for quite a while. When you have the weapons that we have, I can understand how the pass attempts are more efficient than the rush attempts. Running the ball eats up the clock, keeps our defense off the field, and reduces the other team’s opportunity to score. There will never be true balance, buy opportunities where Brady does not have to hold onto the ball is a good thing. Tom Brady the game manager likely has a few years left in the tank.

  12. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    BA likes his RB to be pass catchers. Brady likes his RB to be second and third option pass catchers. Now with Giovai Benard on board and Ke’Shawn Vaughn trying to improve his skills as a pass catching RB, I think the Bucs will be more of a passing team than last year. Rojo and Leonard better hope they make the most when given the ball on 1st and 2nd down.

  13. Brandon Says:

    Well…. let’s see here… Jones was amazing when he carried the ball..,Fournette was terrible… Jones got hurt late and Fournette saved his only good games for the playoffs…. so there’s the reason. Then Fournette gets re-signed and people think suddenly he’s going to beat out a guy that had him parked so far down on the bench on early downs that you needed binoculars to see him, is going to somehow do what he couldn’t do all of the year 2020? Prove he’s better than Rojo… not happening. Fournette is an average RB.

  14. stpetebucsfan Says:

    “the new, crazy guy with a very bad rep small screens”

    Don’t know where that is coming from SOEbuc. Perhaps some “expert”?

    The reason I ask is because I grew up right across the Ohio in Newport Ky. and so I was a Bengals fan. I could literally walk across the bridge to Riverfront Stadium. Paul Brown stadium would be a little longer walk but doable.

    Point is my cousins are still back there and they are STILL huge Bengal fans. Two of them have season tkts. They loved Bernard. Just sayin’. Maybe some “expert” got his analysis wrong or because the Bengals have sucked figured so much Bernard.

  15. Beeej Says:

    The people in Dayton Ohio wanted an NFL team, but they said that wasn’t possible because then Cincinnati Cleveland would want one too

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Need to factor out all of the Brady kneel-downs…….at minus 1 yard per kneel…..

  17. PSK Bucs Fan Says:

    I think our run play calling is overly predictable especially the first half of the year. Too many first down runs.

  18. 813bucboi Says:

    ModHairKen Says:
    June 8th, 2021 at 11:47 am
    Who cares. They won.


    GO BUCS!!!!

  19. sgrd0q Says:

    A loaded passing offense does not leave much room for running. Screens also replace running with this offense.

  20. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    It’s called the no riskit no biskit offensive philosophy of Arians. Everybody knew when he got here he loved to pass to his receivers. He had no use of tight ends and he didn’t put a premium on running backs. Contrary to the Joe’s belief the o line was a sieve that’s a big reason why they gave up 50 sacks and a horrible run game. Another problem with Arians is even though RoJo was the better runner the instant he made a mistake he pulled him and put in Fournette who would tip toe thru the line. He is stubborn to a fault and this offense didn’t really begin to humm until he started listening to Brady.

  21. PSL Bob Says:

    When your team’s offense is on the field, you only have two options. You either run the ball or pass the ball. (I know, Capt’n Obvious here.) With the Bucs potent aerial attack that means you’re likely to run the ball less often. I do think the Bucs offense may be a bit more balanced this year, and I suspect the RBs will put up better per-game numbers (overall numbers should go up just because we’re playing an extra game this year). But, as others have said, most RBs need a certain number of carries to get into a rhythm, and our RB by committee approach kind of works to counter that. Derrick Henry isn’t sharing a lot of carries with other RBs.

  22. IrishMist Says:

    A lot of runs came at the end of games when they were trying to run out the clock. YPC wont be much in those cases, which brings down the average a bit.

  23. TSmitty3000 Says:

    I think part of the issue is how Leftwich schemes the running game. One reason the Shanahans always had great rushing attacks is they scheme it. It isn’t just a run up the middle on 1st down.