Strong Weakness

July 18th, 2021

Bucs RB Playoff Lenny.

If one were to point to a Bucs weakness, Joe guesses many readers here would single out the secondary (Joe doesn’t believe this).

Now Joe isn’t suggesting the Bucs don’t have strong  defensive backs. However, it’s the lone position group that either has never had a Pro Bowl player or a player considered a top-five player in the league.

(The Bucs’ offensive line hasn’t had anyone make the Pro Bowl, either, but Ryan Jensen is considered one of the best centers by many, and Tristan Wirfs was selected second-team All-Pro last year. No Bucs running back has made a Pro Bowl, but Ronald Jones should have had 1,000 yards last year and Playoff Lenny, who has two 1,000-yard seasons to his name, was beastly in the postseason.)

Despite this, Ben Linsey of BSPN, while examining the rosters of all 32 NFL teams, seems to think the Bucs’ running backs are the team’s weak link.

Biggest weakness: Running back Leonard Fournette’s stretch of success last postseason doesn’t change the fact that 19.1% of his carries have gone for first downs or touchdowns since entering the NFL (third lowest among 30 running backs with 500-plus attempts). Ronald Jones II was an effective runner last season, but he can’t be relied upon on passing downs. Jones tallied just 165 receiving yards on 41 targets in 2020. It’s difficult to find a true weakness on this roster, but the running back position is the closest thing to it in the starting lineup.

Well, Linsey is sort of onto something. If this is a weak link, then the Bucs are loaded. And this just in: The Bucs are loaded.

RoJo had that fabulous 98-yard run against the Stinking Panthers last season. Do you know that’s his lone touchdown run of over 10 yards since being drafted by the Bucs? It’s true.

Just last year alone, Playoff Lenny had four touchdowns of 10 yards or more. For that reason, Joe would lean more on Playoff Lenny, specifically inside the 40.

Joe has a hangup about points.

18 Responses to “Strong Weakness”

  1. Medicated Pete Says:

    The 4 runningbacks we have brings rapture & goosebumps. Plug & Play

  2. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    Disagree Joe. Is snifing glue still a thing? RoJo and Lenny are solid. Vaughn showed flashes but does fumble. Factor in Gio and we are set at RB. You want our biggest weakness. Depth – the front seven is THIN. And if you want it to be about a position group – then the front four depth.

  3. Alanbucsfan Says:

    The Bucs 4 RB’s are less than $8 million against the cap this year.
    The Falcons have a similar cap situation but their RB’s are Mike Davis and a transitioning Cordarelle Patterson???
    In comparison, the Panthers RB cap hit is $9.5 million and they have McCaffrey and that’s about it- plus they have $42 million in Dead Cap this year.
    The Saints RB cap hit is a little more than $11 million, but they have $33 million in Dead cap,
    The Bucs have only a little more than $2 million in Dead cap this year.
    I think I’ll take the Bucs RB situation , thank you.

  4. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Giovanni is the missing piece to our backfield. Brady now has his multifaceted RB with great hands and the route running ability of a WR.

    BTW Bernard is underrated between the tackles. He’s not playoff Lennie but he does run hard and behind our OL he can be effective running it as well as catching it.

    This Buc offense really is going to wear out the cliche for DC’s..”Pick your poison!”

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    @Linsey … “It’s difficult to find a true weakness on this roster, but the running back position is the closest thing to it in the starting lineup.”

    I admittedly have trouble deciphering what Linsey is trying to get at with that statement. For starters, it makes no sense to compare our offensive starting lineup to our defensive starting lineup; realistically, how do you compare a RB to a DT or to a CB for instance? So I assume that he’s focusing on the offensive side of the house with his statement.

    Which leads to an even bigger issue: Who’s our starting RB? Personally I don’t think we truly have one. RoJo, Lenny & Gio are each potential starters, depending on the situation AND what BA & BL are trying to accomplish in that situation. Each of our RBs have some very unique strengths … and THAT’S what make our RB position group very special. Where one might be a little weak, the others often compensate for that weakness, giving BA & BL tremendous flexibility. It’s not that they’re interchangeable; that’s not really the case. It’s just that they’re each extremely competent in more than 1 aspect, and as a group they complement each other very well.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Don’t sleep on Gio…..

  7. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Agree SPBF.
    Bernard is gonna be that dependable outlet for TB.

  8. Bucnut2 Says:

    Hi Joe wondering where my earlier post is.

  9. Rod Munch Says:

    Fournette made the most of his chances after benched, and to my eye Ronnie was clearly still not anywhere close to 100% in the playoffs. Jones is still going to be the lead back, but basically in a 50/50 split. Still, the team can just ride whoever is healthy and/or hot. Also, remember that everyone on this board wrote off Jones after his rookie year (except me of course). Vaughn is a complete afterthought at this point, and while I thought he was way overdrafted, the Bucs spent a 3rd on him, so I don’t think they’re ready to throw him away quite yet. Vaughn wasn’t bad when he had a chance to play last year, and I’d fully expect a big leap for him in year 2.

  10. Joe Says:

    Don’t sleep on Gio…..


  11. B Says:

    What’s the last Super Bowl winning team that even featured a top 5 rusher? Terrel Davis and the Broncos? It just doesn’t matter anymore. These role players are more than adequate.

  12. SOEbuc Says:

    Rod Munch

    Actually Vaughn is a prime pass blocking RB on a team that throws the ball 70 percent of the time.

  13. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Most wrote off Rojo.
    Not all.
    I didn’t think he got a fair shake and was hoping for improvement.

  14. webster Says:

    Rod you tripping thinking all wrote off jones after his rookie year. I wont think about writing off a player until he has played at least 3 years. Im old school and just assume ALL rookies will suck just because they are rookies. I rather be plesantly suprised when they are actually good ie evans, winfield, david, wirfs etc then be disappointed if they suck because i go into the season thinking ALL rookies will suck.

  15. Georger Says:

    Each year ROJO has gotten better. If he continues to progress Tampa will have one of the best RB rooms in the league

  16. BillyBucoff Says:

    Just because a lot of people wrote off Rojo doesn’t mean you were the only one who didn’t.

    He has progressed nicely and Koetter had no clue.
    Really year 3 now after good coaching.

    Our backfield is set even with injury.

  17. Buczilla Says:

    A national writer that isn’t a complete moron?!? Perhaps there is hope for this world afterall. The backs are fine, but if I had to pick a weakness, it would be between them and the db’s.

  18. Wild Bill Says:

    With Brady and his plethora of outstanding receivers, a pass first offense should open up the running game. Both line backers and dbs will have to think pass first . Line backers and safeties will have to take deeper drops. Featuring the pass game should open the run game for either RJ or Lenny. Or both in rotation. Neither maybe a true “bell cow” back, but both are talented enough for the Bucs to have a dominate offense.