A Comfort Season

May 11th, 2022

Playoff Lenny

Running backs coach Todd McNair made an interesting point yesterday.

The Bucs do not have a veteran running back on the roster that benefited from a comfortable entry into a season in the Tampa Bay offense. So all of three of them should benefit greatly from a normal spring and summer program this year at One Buc Palace.

Leonard Fournette was signed just before opening day of the 2020 season. Ke’Shawn Vaughn was a rookie handicapped by no spring practices that season thanks to COVID, and an abbreviated training camp.

Giovani Bernard was a 2021 signing who sort of split time working at Tom Brady’s private workouts for veterans and official team activities at One Buc Palace — sessions without the veterans working alongside Brady.

NFL life is finally back to normal and McNair thinks Vaughn, Fournette and Bernard will all “really get comfortable” for the first time because of it.

Joe won’t go overboard here. Obviously, Fournette and Vaughn adjusted well enough to help the Bucs win a Super Bowl. But McNair’s point is fair and Joe is happy to embrace any possible edge coming the Bucs’ way.

It’s likely Vaughn is the guy who stands to benefit most from the normal offseason, and hopefully he’ll be pushed by big-talking rookie Rachaad White, Tampa Bay’s third-round pick.

13 Responses to “A Comfort Season”

  1. Casual Observer Says:

    Pretty deep at RB. Nice situation since injuries do occur. I think Fournette is one of the best in the NFL. And he (now) works smoothly with TB. Good future for our running game.

  2. SlyPirate Says:

    Rachaad White wants to be the lead back. He’s fast, confident, and he can catch. He’ll push all the RBs. Should be interesting.

  3. GOB Says:

    I suspect the bucs will try to lighten Lenny’s load. You don’t pick a back at 90, to sit around and play garbage time. If this kid is as advertised and can pick up the offense, he should contribute quite a bit. Of course they’ll be growing pains. Brady isn’t easy to please. He’ll need to earn his trust

  4. SB Says:

    Still wishing we had taken Dameon Pierce. I admit I didn’t watch White but a couple of times so I hope I am wrong. Pierce will be the lead back by halfway through the season for the Texans

  5. Allbuccedup Says:

    The best backfield since Alstott and Dunn.

  6. Upstate NY BUC Says:

    Real nice mix… should be exciting year from these backs.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We are deep at RB……Deep at WR……Deep on the Oline…..and with Gronk will be deep at TE…..

    We are a little thin at Long Snapper with only 1…..

  8. GOB Says:

    Deep at reciever? I beg to differ. Godwin won’t be Godwin this year, and AB ain’t coming back. Better pray Evans doesn’t get injured.

  9. Goatfarmer Says:

    I really like our RB room. Really really like it. Best of luck to Rojo but it was time to move on from him and his running out of bound a yard before the first down stick ways.

  10. Duane Says:

    I hope this is an indication that we will feature the run more, and particularly early in the season while Godwin rehabs. Not buying the hype on the rookie. He is just a needed insurance policy if our workhorse goes down. White is going to need that confidence and enthusiasm for all the times this season that he will be holding on to Lenny’s jockstrap for him.

  11. Steven007 Says:

    SB, please don’t inadvertently emulate the old lovable conspiracy spewing Ghost who was obsessed with middling JAG mid round pick Darrell Henderson. Maybe Pierce will be good but let’s not act like we missed out on Derrick Henry.

  12. BillyBucco Says:

    I think everything this team has done since Marpet retired, has leaned towards a more successful run game this year.

    Much more mobile guards and blocking TEs will be awesome to see again.
    White could be part of a 2,000 yd running campaign.

    Then Brady’s play action works a ton.

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    BillyBucco … ‘White could be part of a 2,000 yd running campaign. Then Brady’s play action works a ton.’

    Since 2000, Bucs have run for 2000 or more yards only 3 times. Did it in 2000, but our run-pass ratio was 50%. Did it again in 2010, and our run-pass ratio was 45% that year. Plus again in 2015, with our run-pass ratio again being 45%.

    It’s hard to have a 2000 yd rushing season unless you’re really willing to commit to the run. That hasn’t been the Bucs for many years. Lots of patience involved too, and that certainly hasn’t been the Bucs these last several years. Personally I think we’ll run considerably more with Bowles as our HC, but we’re starting with a very low bar (Bucs ran on 33.8% of our plays in 2021, down from 36.3% in 2020, which was further down from the 37.7% we ran in 2019).