“Everybody Know Who We Are In The Running Game”

August 20th, 2021

Multiple times yesterday, Buccaneers savior linebacker Devin White talked about the greatness of the Bucs’ run defense.

In 2019 and 2020, the average yards per carry against the Bucs was the lowest in the NFL.

“Everybody know who we are in the running game,” White said.

He’s correct. The Bucs are completely dominant against the run. The numbers say this Bucs defense is significantly better against the run than the glory days defense of the last Super Bowl team.

Greg Schiano’s Bucs were No. 1 against the run in 2012. Lovie Smith got the Bucs to No. 2 against the run in 2015. But the current team is at a very different level over two years.

White acknowledged that a goal of the team is to get better against the run, and he noted that the Titans exposed them on Wednesday. That was a little disturbing considering Tennessee was missing Derrick Henry and multiple offensive linemen, but the defense fixed the issues and was dominant on Thursday, per White.

Joe wonders whether this is the year teams give up on running against the Bucs, or at least completely change their approach to attacking Tampa Bay.

Offensive coordinators are always trying to adapt, and things could look very different for the Bucs defense this season after two years of dominance against the run. Would you try again to run against this group?

29 Responses to ““Everybody Know Who We Are In The Running Game””

  1. Casual Observer Says:

    As I recall (could be wrong, the short quick passes seem to work well against the Bucs. So – probably see a lot of that strategy.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    There is no reason the Bucs don’t continue to dominate with their run defense…..teams will give up on the run for two reasons.

    !. They’ll find out it doesn’t work.
    2. They’ll be behind 2 scores very quickly.

  3. Robert Says:

    one word. Suh.

  4. zzbuc Says:

    two words. Vea and Suh.

  5. Robert Says:

    Vea no doubt……..but they held there own while he was out.

  6. Mike Says:

    It’s pick your poison against the Bucs D. If you don’t run, or don’t run well, you will be in a lot of long down and distance situations, and the Bucs will hunt your QB.

  7. August 1976 Buc Says:

    2 words…. Front 7
    Maybe they can match, or surpass their historic run defense of 2019. 2020 was good but 2019 was a whole different level.
    1-2-3 Dominate. GO BUCS!!!!

  8. Gofortheface30 Says:

    Casual observer – yes, agree. We all remember their Super Bowl dominance for example and I understand that ultimately if they win it all then that’s the only thing that matters. But if I were to nitpick: the bend but don’t break tendency DRIVES ME CRAZY. The Vikings game is the perfect example, I think the Bucs had like 18 minutes of possession. Vikings had the ball the entire game. People can try to justify it all they want and try to surmise that yards somehow don’t matter (actually it does) – because truly great defenses get off the field. And I think that’s the next step for this defense. GET OFF THE FIELD on third down. Give the ball back to offense as much as possible. Yards matter because it is the ultimate metric that illustrates an ability to stop someone. See, some fans want it both ways. They take pride in that we’re the number one run defense (which is predicated on yards and punching people in mouth) but want to justify giving up passing yards and first downs and time of possession. Again nitpicking because they’re the champs but the next step is forcing more incompletions and getting off the field on 3rd and 8

  9. Beeej Says:

    I remember in our glory days 20 years ago, any team with an Earl Campbell type running back….we literally could not stop them

  10. JGhotier Says:

    Nice to say that in the last 9 years we’ve pretty much been the #1 (or once #2) ranked run defense almost 1/2 of it. A #1 or 2 finish this year and that’s the top rated run defense for HALF of the last DECADE

    Stopping the run is a want to and effort and heart, etc.

    You can’t question our effort and work ethic….now just stop the Bucs beating Bucs (like we did the last 1/2 of last year and we got a darn good shot)!

  11. PSL Bob Says:

    You’re not going to run against the interior of our line, and our speed at inside linebacker is too much to run outside. How many times did you see White or David come knifing in against an outside run and make a TFL? Its the power inside and the speed outside that makes this team so difficult to run against.

  12. geno711 Says:

    What I loved was how many times on 3rd and 2 and 3rd and 1 or 4th and 1, teams did not even try to run against us as the last two seasons went on.

    Loved us making them one dimensional.

  13. BradyBucs Says:

    It’s hard to say how dominant this Defense really is against the run…

    We gave up nearly 4,000 yards passing last season and were within about 100 yards of being of the TEN WORST defenses based on passing yards given up.

    Teams know our secondary is a liability and often chose to pass instead of run. Chargers, Rams, Chiefs, and even the Falcons LIT US UP passing.

    When teams know it’s easier to pass against us, they favor the pass more than the run. It’s just simple strategy.

  14. Buczilla Says:

    Vita/Nacho and especially Suh are the heart of our run defense. Licht needs to start yesterday looking for a worthy replacement for Suh and even Vita in case he continues to be injury prone.

  15. JGhotier Says:


    While almost everything you said has some validity to it no doubt, the 4,000 yards thing you can throw out the window. Giving up 4,000 yards passing when the opposing team abandons the run before the first 1/2 (quarter or a couple series in some cases) most of the time and being one dimensional while throwing the ball almost every time (giving yourself exponentially greater chances at racking up passing yards) is much different than giving up 4,000 passing yards to an opposing team who has a balanced attack and their passing attempts compared to run attempts aren’t so majorly skewed….then it might have some credence to it

    Also of note, the secondary did play their best when it mattered most. Let’s not forget their much improved play through the Brees, Rodgers and Mahomes 4-game road trip gauntlet with everything on the line on the biggest stage.

    With rightful criticism comes deserved praise as well…it’s usually not a one lane road!

  16. Crickett Baker Says:

    Barry Sanders always made monkeys out of the Bucs. If you look at his highlight films almost all of them are against us. G-D, how I used to hate him..

  17. Joe in Michigan Says:

    BradyBucs: That averages out to 246.5 yards per game. If you know much about the NFL, you know that’s not that big of a deal.

  18. BradyBucs Says:

    JGhotier – no doubt they played better in the playoffs, but so did the pass rush. In games where Shaq & JPP didn’t do much last season that secondary got torched. They work together for sure, but I really hope the secondary has ‘turned the corner’ in their improvement. We’ll see. I’m still doubtful.

    Joe in Michigan – for sure, but I was just saying how we were ranked towards the bottom 10 in the league for passing given up. Not a good stat no matter how you look at it. There were many games last year when our secondary couldn’t stop a team from driving at will.

  19. Joe in Michigan Says:

    BradyBucs: The Bucs pass defense was bad at times, I’m not denying that. I saw improvement, though, by the end of the year.
    Also, some of the passing stats in the NFL comes at “garbage time”. For instance, 4 of the top 11 in passing yards given up made the playoffs:

    31) Seattle, 285 yards per game
    29) Titans, 278 “ “
    22) Browns, 247 “ “
    21) Bucs, 246 “ “

  20. kaimaru Says:


    That isn’t our defense (bend don’t break). 2019 under Bowles were were 4th best on 3rd down in the NFL. We lost Vita for most of the season, so we dropped down to 17th.

  21. Stanglassman Says:

    Against the run would have been more accurate. D. White is a good interview his post Super Bowl was one of the best I’ve ever seen. Raw stuff.

  22. Runrunpassray Says:

    Ranked 32nd against the pass in 2019, that’s why nobody ran against us thus securing 3rd against the rush.IMO

  23. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Vernon Hargreaves started 9 games for the Bucs in 2019. He’s no longer on the squad, thank God.

  24. Stanglassman Says:

    We’re probably going to see a lot of VH3 on next Thursdays game.

  25. teacherman777 Says:

    3 words.

    Gholston, Vea, Suh.

    Baddest trio in the NFL.

  26. Mike Says:

    Joe, can you make a weekly poll on the confidence level of your web followers?
    Do you guy believe which scenario the Bucs can win the SB this year?

    1) with a so so offense
    2) with a good offense
    3) with an elite offense

    4) with a so so defense
    5) with a good defense
    6) with an elite defense

    I don’t believe the Bucs can win with a so so offense but it can win with a so so defense. That means I trust the offense more than the defense.

  27. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Mike: Both sides of the ball have to be “good” or better for the Bucs to win another Super Bowl. We know the offense will be good or better (barring catastrophic injury), the defense was good down the stretch, hopefully that’ll be the case all of this year.

  28. orlbucfan Says:

    Barry Sanders played against the Bucs back during the Dark Ages when Tampa was setting records for losing. I was at one of those jokes called games. Bet the Lions would kill to look respectable like they did back then.

  29. Mike Says:

    Thanks Joe,

    But one elite coupled with the average one has a good chance to win SB this year. So which side will win the SB if the other is just so so?
    I side with the offense now!