The Impact Of Giovani Bernard

June 4th, 2021

Bucs assistant Harold Goodwin.

For those who regularly listen to the “Ira Kaufman Podcast” (and for those that don’t, what’s wrong with you?) you know there is a regular debate between Ira and one of the Joes.

Ira loves throwing to running backs out of the backfield. Maybe more so than he loves backup quarterbacks. 🙂 (Joe kids because Joe cares.)

One Joe regularly points out the Bucs are a downfield passing team that few if any defenses can match up to — an offense that just clobbered the great Kansas City Chiefs to win a Super Bowl. Why on earth would you steer away from not just your strength, not just an area that Team Glazer has significantly invested in, but also something that is proven to win a championship?

Could it be that the Bucs are trying to have the perfect offense for 2021? It seems that way from the words of run game coordinator Harold Goodwin.

Yesterday, Goodwin spoke with the local pen and mic club via Zoom and was asked about new running back Giovani Bernard. Goodwin raved about Bernard’s professionalism and believes Bernard could actually improve the offense.

Bernard, Goodwin said, has “the ability to get out and run routes out in the perimeter and catch the ball out of the backfield. That’s going to be helpful for us to be that much better.”

Mind you the Bucs offense averaged 30 points a game last year. And that was with an old fart quarterback with a bum knee who didn’t know the playbook.

How much better can the offense get?

Unless the goal is perfection?

The Bucs downfield offense is so strong, it reminds Joe of what Al Davis once said (hat tip to Ira for reminding Joe). “They said you had to take what the defense gave you. … No, we are going to take what we want.”

29 Responses to “The Impact Of Giovani Bernard”

  1. Joe in Michigan Says:

    How many points would’ve the Bucs scored if they had a RB with good hands last year? The answer: More. Check downs are simply a part of football, as the other Joe said in the podcast.

  2. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Bernard thinks he has died and gone to Heaven, since he left the Bengals, and arrived here in Tampa.
    He will make our offense even better, by giving Brady another option.
    If I were a defensive coordinator, I sure as heck would not want to face us.
    IMHO, about the only thing the opposing team can do is literally to Blitz Brady on almost every down.
    But now, if you do that, we have Bernard to burn you!

  3. Rico 210 Says:

    Man Joe I’m so ready for the season. Let’s f-ing go!
    20-0 is the mindset
    If ya ain’t first, ya last
    Ricky Bobby
    Go Bucs

  4. PassingThru Says:

    Uh, sure, the team in 2019 emphasized the vertical game with Famous Jameis under center. How did they fare with that offense?

    In 2020, the KC Chiefs featured a vertical game with arguably better receivers. How did they fare?

    That same year, 2020, the Bucs triumphed, mixing a horizontal passing game with new personnel (AB, Gronk) with a vertical passing game. That seemed to work out, didn’t it? In fact, the most dysfunctional moments late season occurred when Fournette and RoJo couldn’t catch the football, frequently with lots of green field ahead of them.

    Here’s the 411: A football field is 100 yards long, 160 feet wide. A smart head coach, offensive coordinator and QB know how to exploit every square foot of that field. Here’s a quick history lesson: What made the SF 49ers under Montana and Walsh so deadly was that West Coast Offense. It wasn’t the mobility of the QB that made it deadly, it was the deadly accuracy of the horizontal passing game. While long bombs and go routes make Sports Center highlights, the game is about controlling the game by moving the sticks and scoring. That’s what Tom Brady excels at, and why the Bucs signed Giovani Bernard. A pass-catching RB is a powerful weapon in the arsenal.

  5. DingleBerry Says:

    If you can’t see the obvious value that Giovani Bernard’s addition brings to this offense, and not only that but you go out of your way to continuously question his value at every turn, then your just flat out, straight up and down do not understand football.

  6. Joe Says:

    How did they fare with that offense?

    Pretty damn good. And they didn’t even have Antonio Brown or Gronk.

  7. Mike Says:

    Goodell being pushed for rule change to allow 15 men on defense when facing the Buccaneers. Opposing coordinators insist you need to double team Evans, Godwin, AB and Gronk.

  8. Coburn Says:

    Honestly I felt like there was a time near mid season when teams were just covering the sidelines and deep part of field and our offense was struggling. They didn’t seem to have to cover the middle of the field or real short stuff and bringing heat in Brady. Kind of like the tent I heard an announcer describe in another teams game. Felt to me like our offense didn’t really make big strides until they started some quick sideline throws and the odd dump off mixed in and the offense near end of season looked a bit more like what Brady was used to. You just can’t be known for only attacking one part of the field. Gotta keep the defense in their toes and mix short, med, long, over the middle, along the sidelines, screens, wheel routes, etc.

  9. Joe Says:

    Goodell being pushed for rule change to allow 15 men on defense when facing the Buccaneers.


  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We are essentially replacing Shady with Givanni Bernard……who among you doesn’t think that’s an upgrade?

    How many times have you seen a screen or a chekdown to a RB turn into big yardage?….Plenty

    And….unfortunately, both Joes get painted with the “opinion of the day” we now know there is a disagreement on this one….and probably is on other issues….but how do we know at the time….

    It really doesn’t matter much because the vast majority of Buc fans would agree….that a 3rd down back is an important piece of the offense.

  11. Mitch Says:

    Bucs offense have three above average to elite players at every skill position, and a top 10 O-line (top 5 if they stay healthy), AND the best QB to ever play the game. As long as they are healthy, and father time, and complacency stay away there is a good chance that records could be broken.

    Not to mention the top 21 defenders by snap count are coming back. The depth on this team is remarkable.

  12. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Coburn: If they had a “like” button on the comments, you’d get a 👍🏿 from me.

  13. PassingThru Says:

    Pretty damn good.

    Then you must have enjoyed mediocrity. The Bucs led the NFL with 30 interceptions in 2019, leading to a 7-9 season.

    And they didnt even have Antonio Brown or Gronk.

    Exactly my point. AB are both excellent route runners, deadly with the horizontal passing game. That’s what made the Bucs a force late in the season and during the playoffs.

  14. Coburn Says:

    Come to think of it I think the way our offense stumbled a little mid season.. I think other teams essentially tried to do same as what we did to chiefs, two deep safety and bring the heat. What they failed to do, that we did better near end of year was having shorter dump off options and screens

  15. Coburn Says:

    That and we managed to get the heat with mostly front four and we have some beasts at lber..

  16. PSL Bob Says:

    You know, I have a feeling defensive coaches not in the NFC South who the Bucs will face this year are dealing with their own rosters and installing defenses that work best against teams in their divisions. They’re planning for training and pre-season. However, come the week of the Bucs match up during the regular season, they’re going to start watching film and realize they’re in for a long day. Rut roh! Invest heavily in tums and rolaids this year, because there’s going to be a run on the market!

  17. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Bernard is an upgrade from McCoy. He’s a quality backup veteran RB.
    He’s a decent situational player – much like Tyler Johnson or Anthony Nelson.
    He’s not a nuclear weapon.

  18. Mitch Says:

    @Alanbucsfan Gio is much more proven than both Tyler Johnson or Anthony Nelson. Since being drafted in 2013 he is 3rd in the league in receptions as a RB with 342. He is behind only James White and Leveon Bell. The other two were on good teams most of their career. Imagine his impact with an oline that will actually block for him.

  19. Darin Says:

    It’s fairly simple. Nobody said they’re gona call more passes to the third down rb. This one just wont drop it when it does come. Extends drives and yes more points scored. Defense gives up less since the opposing offense has less time. Brady and the 100 coaches know the importance of every third down conversion.

  20. Ron says Says:

    Being able to make short passes allows Brady to get the ball out quickly on blitzes and makes the defense less likely to blitz if they are to getting good gains on a short screen. In turn this opens up the longer plays which will take a little longer to develop so this gives Brady the ability to control the defense. We will see more of our receivers getting to exploit their advantages over their defender if Brady has more time in the pocket. So we should have a more even attack this year which is much more effective and get to see our receivers getting more yardage after the catch. Brady gets labelled as wanting to throw short to the back but in New England he had to offset the rush because he did not have the receivers he has here so he had to keep them from bull rushing every time. Bernard will give us a great back for that in that he catches well but also blocks really well so we should see more developed plays and more of our receivers getting more separation, it should be a fun year.

  21. Alanbucsfan Says:

    The last time Bernard rushed for over 500 yards was 2015. He’s averaged 3.5 yards per carry the last 3 years. His yards per catch average is less than RoJo and Fournette the last 3 years.
    Granted, he’s played for Bengals.
    Not knocking Bernard, I think he’ll contribute and play well, just tapping the brakes on the over enthusiasm.

  22. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You’ve got to believe that Brady will make Gio a much better player than he’s ever been……welcome to Bradyworld…..

  23. David Says:

    If the line stays healthy, they have so many weapons that are now two years into this offense, I fully expect them to average 35+ a game

  24. Mitch Says:

    @Alanbucsfan I understand your point of view. I just happen to believe offensive lines make running backs (unless you’re Barry Sanders). Cincy offensive line ranked 27, 28, 30, 30 since 2017 (dont have time to look up the rest).

  25. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Alanbucsfan Says:
    June 4th, 2021 at 4:28 pm
    Bernard is an upgrade from McCoy. He’s a quality backup veteran RB.
    Not when Shady McCoy was in his prime! Shady McCoy was better then Bernard ever was. But the game has passed Shady McCoy by, he is but a shell of his former self, so you are correct, Bernard is an Upgrade from the current Shady McCoy.

  26. BucEmUp Says:

    Again its about balance….in case the joe who doesnt lime throwing ro rbs didnt notice, the offense improved not only as a whole, but became dramatically better at the deep ball when they started to incoorporate the short game. If all you domis throw deep it gives the defense a tremendous advantage knowing they dont have to cover the short routes and dump offs to the rbs.

    This is such a common sense observation I cant believe anyone would even debate it.


  27. Pickgrin Says:

    Gio is a top 3 receiving RB in the league. Also a VERY good pass protector.

    The perfect 3rd down back.

    Bucs didn’t have one of those last year…….

    So yea – the offense will be better. Duh.

  28. 2021 Year of the GOAT Says:

    PassingThru Says:
    June 4th, 2021 at 3:28 pm ….Well said, PassingThru Says

    the game is about controlling the game (clock) by moving the sticks and scoring. That’s what Tom Brady excels at

  29. SlyPirate Says:

    Rojo and 4Net dropped so many passes.

    The offense would have been TNT with a legit RB who could catch and run.

    That element ties up LB and S which means more 1-1 for the WR.