Backups Shine Once More?

January 1st, 2022

Won’t “Sneak” up again.

With a team full of high-profile names, Pro Bowl players past and present, and future Hall of Famers, it sort of surprised Joe last week that dudes hanging onto the fringes of the Bucs roster (like Matt Rhule is hanging on to his job) rose up and made huge plays at Carolina.

Mike Tanier of Football Outsiders wouldn’t be surprised if it happened again.

Tanier, with good reason, seems to think the immortal Cyril Grayson will replace Chris Godwin in the starting slot receiver role, not Tyler Johnson, who Joe believed was the planned starter.

And Ke’Shawn Vaughn? Tanier likes his explosiveness, missing from Bucs’ running backs previously.

Cyril Grayson, a low-center-of-gravity speedster who has hung around the Buccaneers practice squad for three seasons, has temporarily taken over the Chris Godwin role in the Bucs offense. Grayson caught a 62-yard bomb against the Panthers in Week 16 and a 50-yard touchdown against the Saints in Week 8, and he’s also a threat on screens and end arounds.

Ke’Shawn Vaughn, a third-round pick in 2020, has taken over Leonard Fournette’s role as the rusher who provides occasional splash highlights and makes lots of mistakes as a receiver but still gets opportunities. Vaughn is more explosive than Fournette, but a firecracker fished out of the bottom of a lake would also be more explosive than Fournette.

The Jets have played with a lot of pride in the last two weeks, but if pride did them any good against Tom Brady when playoff seedings are on the line, they wouldn’t be the Jets. Buccaneers 27, Jets 16.

Yes, yes, yes, Joe can predict people are screaming at their screens, “But Joe, what about Ronald Jones?” What about him? His 98-yard touchdown run last year at Carolina was awesome.

Feel free to do further research. That 98-yard piece of art by RoJo is his only career rushing touchdown beyond the opponent’s 8-yard line. One explosive touchdown run through four seasons is more fluke than trend.

(RoJo has two eight-yard TD runs and three seven-yard touchdown runs in his career. If Joe knows this, surely NFL defensive coordinators know this.)

RoJo may be the most efficient Bucs runner. He is solid if not strong between the tackles, but it seems Vaughn may be more dangerous. Playoff Lenny certainly is. Farther than 10 yards from the goal line, RoJo simply is not a threat to punch the ball in for six.

15 Responses to “Backups Shine Once More?”

  1. HC Grover Says:

    Note to Vaughn…Catch football first, then run with football.

  2. Ed Says:

    Next 2 games will determine Vaughn’s future role in offense. I’m rooting for some more explosive plays and better focus on catching the ball.

    Jones is great depth, not a full time back.

    Fournette, best pass catching back. He’s a keeper, a touchdown maker. Brady’s safety blanket. Maybe had Bernard played more he could have taken some of that role.

  3. Tackleblockwin Says:

    Could this be the third week in a row our D does not allow a TD? That would be nice. Bucs 31- Jets 9.

  4. Casual Observer Says:

    HC – Exactly.

  5. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I’d like to see the backup edge rushers go off, please and thank you!

  6. Eddie Marz Says:

    Gotta go with the players that produce. As far as RoJo, he still has some games to hit his stride. I still think he’s a keeper. GOBUCS! SUPER BOWL

  7. Eddie Marz Says:

    Ps Let’s kick the jets butts this weekend. Nothing would make me happier.

  8. Alanbucsfan Says:

    RoJo is better than Vaughn. Doesn’t mean Vaughn isn’t a good player, but RoJo has equivalent speed and more burst.
    Also not mentioned was RoJo’s long td vs Chiefs last year via reception.
    Vaughn is 0 for 3 in receiving targets this year.
    Both will contribute in remaining games.

  9. allbuccedup Says:

    Vaughn just needs to catch a couple of passes and he would be a complete back. He could catch the ball at Vandy he still should be able to.

  10. adam from ny Says:

    he needs to relax…

    even in his pressers

  11. SOEbuc Says:

    Slow down on the RoJo hate. He chews up serious yardage for Brady and the Bucs. Eating up that yardage only makes more opportunities for the receivers.

  12. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Wow, two games ago against the Saints the same fair weather fans wanted to kick him to the curb. One bad and one good game is a very small sample set of what these guys can do. Cross your fingers they are the real deal Sunday because if they fail these same fans will be calling for blood.

  13. David Says:

    Oh I expect domination. I think they have 24 to 28 points in the first half with Brady going off. Second half they pull it back a little bit and run a lot.

    Defense missing all the pass rushing linebackers and LVD… Nelson and Tryon need to bring it.
    I’m saying 38 -17

  14. Mikejp Says:

    No hate on Rojo, it is what it is. He cannot catches the ball, he has many chances with TB. If Vaughn is better at catching, he will take over. TB12 needs a RB catcher to get SB. You can see it last year and the SBs with Patriots.

  15. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    No td runs past opponents 8 yard line? Coulda sworn he had a 10 yard walk in last week.