Where’s The Run Game?

September 29th, 2021

Trade bait?

Joe is a huge believer in playing to your strength. And the Bucs’ strength is no doubt in the passing game.

The run game? Worked great in the playoffs last year (490 yards in 4 games), and in spurts at times in the regular season. But this year?

What Bucs run game? writes Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports.

They need the run game. Not always, but sometimes. Just look at what happened against the Rams, with Tom Brady passing aplenty but struggling to match L.A.’s pace with the Rams keying in on Tampa Bay’s one-dimensional attack.

Joe also read a column in the wake of the loss to the Rams where an observer thought the Bucs looked slow compared to the Rams.

Now Joe is not advocating the following but it did make Joe think. A friend of this here website texted Joe last night after it was learned the Colts are shopping Marlon Mack, the former star running back at South Florida and a guy the Bucs thought enough of to work out when he was coming out in the 2017 draft. “Ronald Jones for Marlon Mack, straight up. What do you think?”

As much as Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians has griped about RoJo’s confidence, you wonder if a RoJo-for-Mack trade has crossed his mind? Two guys with about the same speed and only a year apart agewise who have had various degrees of success and similar stats.

If the Colts are trading Mack because they can’t give him snaps, Joe’s not sure why they would take RoJo. Of course, Mack is just 12 months removed from a blown Achilles while it was just seven months ago that RoJo had 12 carries for 61 yards in the Super Bowl.

No, Joe is not trying to run RoJo off. Not at all.

26 Responses to “Where’s The Run Game?”

  1. Vsyl Says:

    The main reason the run game is bad is because of the predictability of the calls made by BL.

  2. Sandman Says:

    I agree that it was an play design issue.
    Also, didn’t see any problem with the one-dimensional attack, it worked just fine. Also, all the attacks that TB faced this year were one-dimensional, and they also worked just fine.
    If the defense can avoid allow 25+ points every game, the offense will work just fine.

  3. Will Says:

    Vsyl hit the nail on the head. Joe go ahead and turn off the comments now. Nothing else needs to said. Time to get creative in the run game.

  4. Alanbucsfan Says:

    No, Joe is not trying to run RoJo off. Not at all.
    – Joe in fantasy denial.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You have to be committed to run in order to have a running game…..all I ask is that we use play action several times on 1st down early in games….that should confuse defenses enough to be successful….

    Nothing really wrong with Rojo….keep handing him the ball….we’ve seen what he can do.

  6. lambeau Says:

    Keep RoJo and trade Leonard, who rarely sees the hole. Vision counts.

  7. jiminPH Says:

    Look back to last season & when the Bucs had success with the run, they set it up with the pass. STOP running ‘up the gut’ on FIRST DOWN. Having 2nd & 9 to go hurts the passing game and kills drives. MIX it up a bit!

  8. Medicated Pete Says:

    Tom will takeover play-calling & coaching just like he did last season & fix things.

  9. Bucsfanman Says:

    OK, yes, play design definitely plays a role. HOWEVER, our backs travel east and west instead of north and south far too often. A competent back should do better than 2 yards per carry.
    So, it’s not ALL BL’s fault.

  10. Kev@Inverness Says:

    BL isn’t the one missing running lanes. Only-in-the-playoffs Lenny and RoJoke are the main culprits for our running game woes.

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    One-dimensional attacks work fine … usually. Against top defenses though, some semblance of run-pass BALANCE becomes more & more important. For instance, that BALANCE sucked in our losses last year (and in our loss against the Rams Sunday).

    The players are the same today as who we had when we won the Super Bowl … with a 52.4% run-pass ratio. Actually better (we added Gio & got Cappa back).

    Agree with Vsyl that it’s a predictability issue (to a large extent), and with Sandman that it’s also a play design issue (to an extent). Play-calling (wrong play, wrong time) has been a factor (rushing results bear that out?), but as much as anything, Bucs just don’t focus enough on the run. It often takes awhile IMO for an offense to ‘get into the groove’ running the ball in any given game. Bucs are impatient, and we thus don’t run enough for our run game to be REALLY productive. We’ve got the OLine & RB talent. We’re just not using it effectively.

  12. Aaron Says:

    We did this last year – I feel like we are basketball team with a bunch of 3 point shooters and we refuse to get the ball inside. We’ve got to mix it up and get creative.

    Same for our D – lack of communication in the secondary – with the Bucs playing so much off zone…I think Sherman would at least get everyone on the same page…but in the end it doesn’t matter if you don’t have a pass rush.

    Go Bucs!

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    And….we are told that the first 15 plays are scripted…..so, it’s an absolute intent to run the ball on 1st downs……

    I’d rather have an incomplete on 1st down than 2nd & 9 from a run. At least with the incomplete, you have a chance of big yardage.

    We’d get better yardage on 2nd & 10 because defenses would expect the pass.

  14. Ash Says:

    It isn’t a great scheme for sure but Lennys vision sucks he misses running lanes far too often runs into his blockers at a ridiculous rate and rojo definitely has better vision but right now he is in his own head would love them to run more often in spread formations to create better angles and make the running lanes more visiable for Lenny and rojo and make them less predictable than constantly bringing everyone in making it far too predictable

  15. Rads Says:

    Richard Sherman officially signed with us.

  16. zzbuc Says:

    I am not sure about the talent on Rojo….and I think the running game is very predictable…..But what I do know is that we aren´t going anywhere if TB12 throws 55 times per game, we dont get to the qb and our secondary is lost……I also know we only play three games and we have to wait to make final judgments……Last season wasn´t different, we started the season full of doubts and everybody knows the end…….

  17. CChead Says:

    You can get Mack for a 6 or 7th round pick. Make the deal.

  18. TOM Says:

    Right now both Rojo & Lenny suck. So BA decides to call out Vea. What about Shaq? Seriously! Give me a break. Someone tell me why Desir and /or Robinson wasn’t playing instead of Delaney. Need the super bowl defense back.

  19. heyitsadam Says:

    Fournette proved in the playoffs he excels when he is the bell cow. Let him moo.

  20. Buc92’ Says:

    Child please , Lenny has proven he’s the softest back over 220 in the league .. all that tip toeing he does . Get Lenny out our locker room . Rojo the clear cut guy . Also Bernard better than Lenny for what he does . Eyes never lie joe


  21. Listnfrmafar Says:

    This is a play calling issue period. Bucs backs don’t run East to West they run into stuffed hiles because D knows it’s coming. I’ve seen Pop Warner coaches with better running plays. This is exactly why Baltimore, KC & Tenn are getting predictable. Bucs need to change this. BA & BL are the difference, pick a #1 back neither of these guys can get in a rhythm. Minn, LV & GB have a good mix just not better over all teams. BL is NOT a good OC.

  22. unbelievable Says:

    Playcalling and blocking are the issue. Not the RBs lol

  23. heyitsadam Says:


    In the words of Uncle Junior “who is that? Is someone speaking?”

    Show me tape of LF ducking out of bounds to avoid a hit before the sticks or having to go to the bench because he needed a safe space like a college kid listening to Ben Shapiro and then you MAY have a point.

    I have pillows harder than Rojo.

  24. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    Not one person talked about the o line. They’re weak when it comes to run blocking our guys are pretty soft. They get no push. No real lanes are open. Since they pretty much know where Brady is going to be they must like pass blocking more then run blocking. Right it was supposed to be the other way around

  25. BerrickDrooks Says:

    I would rather have Adrian Peterson

  26. MOK Says:

    RoJo is actually a good player. He missed a block and got benched. He runs much harder than Lenny. I can’t believe how big Lenny is and how easily he goes down when hit. BA loves to bench RoJo if he makes any mistakes at all. It’s hard to get over a mistake if your coach benches you after each one. Let him get out on the field, let him make and get over his mistakes. Only way to get better is to play. He is by far our best runner on the team.