Rachaad White’s Confidence And Leonard Fournette’s Job Stability

May 10th, 2022

Still the one.

Bucs rookie running back Rachaad White got folks’ attention at One Buc Palace when he made an appearance on the “Jim Rome Show” and said he’s coming to Tampa to be the starter immediately.

Running backs coach Todd McNair said today during a session with media that he sure appreciates White’s confidence. Joe isn’t sure how offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich took those words.

But if White expects to start Week 1, Leftwich had a message for White: Whoa son, hold your horses.

A guy named Playof Lenny is the starter and he has a ring, Leftwich noted. And Leftwich and Brady have developed a pretty strong, unspoken bond on the field.

“What Lenny gives you, why it is tough to get him off the field, he’s a three-down back,” Leftwich said. “He’s a smart guy. And he and Tom can play ball. They can play ball together when [the defense] starts moving on them. As things are changing, things have to happen.

“Lenny can play ball. Lenny and Tom can play ball. They’ve been in these situations. That’s what you see is the connection with them. That’s really why it is hard to get Lenny off the field because of what he brings and the connection that him and Tom have. I think it is unique.”

Leftwich said this is a big reason Playoff Lenny doesn’t come off the field much; Brady and Playoff Lenny can read each other’s minds in the middle of the fire. That chemistry takes time to develop and it is unreasonable for Brady and White to build such a bond this season.

“It is not that we are forcing him out there on the field,” Leftwich said of Playoff Lenny. “We are putting him out there because he is the best at what we are asking him to do.”

As Ric Flair would say while hollering to Tony Schiavone, if you want to be the man, you have to beat the man. And right now, Playoff Lenny is the man. White may be, but it may also take him a while to prove it.

32 Responses to “Rachaad White’s Confidence And Leonard Fournette’s Job Stability”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Watched the Jim Rome interview of Rachaad White…….very informative on White……Joes should tell the “Rachaad White-Jackson He story” where White stepped out of bounds so his Chinese teammate could notch a TD……

    This is the type of character deep dive that the Bucs do with their draft picks…..I’m very impressed with White.

    As far as replacing Lenny…..it’s a long season and RBs get injured quite often.

  2. HC Grover Says:

    Got a bad feel on these coaches.

  3. GOB Says:

    Jesus Joe, you on fire today with these articles. It’s amazing how Lenny and Brady developed. He went for balls bouncing off his head, to one of the most devastating pass catching backs in the league. They take a pounding. Don’t think he was fully healthy for the Rams. Hamstrings can become chronic. Pray he stays healthy.

  4. Bojim Says:

    Yep. Gotta make the team first. Like he won’t. 😁

  5. sasquatch Says:

    Lenny is also guaranteed 7 million this season. If he were sitting in place of a rookie, the front office would look stupid.

    White is going to be a better 3rd down option once he learns the offense and gets used to NFL.

  6. Howard Cosell Says:

    White sounds awesome, but he’s proven nothing yet.
    Lenny has proven everything.

    Howard is really glad to have both of these guys

  7. Caradoc Says:

    Lenny still struggles to catch the ball, he just doesn’t have natural hands or receiving talent.

  8. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Big talk. Let’s see if he can back it up.

  9. GOB Says:

    sasquatch, Lenny had 84 targets and almost 7 yards per reception last year. You can’t take that production off the field. Unless the bucs run a ton of shotgun split back, I wouldn’t expect much for White. Garbage time excluded of course

  10. Dooley Says:

    Lenny is like Legarrette Blount & James White, but just one dude

  11. David Says:

    I was so wrong going in to the Super Bowl year. I thought RoJo would win the job, and he did great that year, but only as a runner. Still can’t catch, run a good route, or block. Lenny just got better and better and better with everything. Love him. What other RB giggles when they get tackled by a D lineman? Hysterical!!!

    So glad they brought in white though. They need someone else who can relieve him and not let him get worn down.
    It does not appear Vaughn is that guy but maybe he is. It’s a matter of developing as a receiver and blocker. They can all run

  12. David Says:

    As for White, love the confidence. That’s exactly what his mindset should be. It’s what every NFL players mindset should be except the Vet QB who is hanging on as a back up with experience.

    I’ve watched as much as I could on this kid ever since the draft. Along with Hall, the lineman, and the TE. Every single one of them look real good and real promising.

  13. Rod Munch Says:

    I like a player with confidence, and his tape backs up his talk. Unlike the awful Vaughn pick, where you had to search out tape from years ago to see talent, White’s play makes him look like an NFL runningback. The biggest thing to me is that he has natural hands – he catches the ball and moves, all in one motion, it’s very smooth. If he can pass block, he might have a very good year.

    Of course the job is still Fourentte’s, but we all know Lenny has a history of getting lazy. The best thing to keep that from happening? Some little snot nosed punk coming in saying he’s going to take your job.

    Really, this could end up being a brilliant move if it keeps Lenny’s head in the game, and the kid is pushing him and able to contribute.

  14. steele Says:

    DavidSays, RoJo is a better pure runner than anyone on the roster. The problem is that he never fit what this current offense looks for, which is the other things. Brady loves Lenny, and that is all. Doesn’t matter that Lenny is average in any areas, which he is.

    Lenny and Rachaad have similar styles, and similar issues. I’d love to see the cocky rook take over, it’s doable. As for Vaughn, don’t forget he was very good in the games he started, and may be, like RoJo, the best runner on the roster.

  15. Buc92’ Says:

    So far I don’t like the comments coming from coaching , like clyde Chris saying Trask is slow & not giving him a fair battle as If Blaine gabbert is awesome .. Also Byron saying whoa son ‘ instead of welcoming the competition for Lenny … Nobody should be safe this year … the best should play period regardless of pay & experience…


  16. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    White was a wide receiver at one time, until he converted to running back.
    So, he not only brings natural hands to the party, he also brings SPEED.
    The big question is gonna be, can he pass block and pick up blitzes ?

  17. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    Right on, Rod! Or should I say “Succinct!”? You summed up the situation. A lot of words for me to say that I agree.

  18. Mike Johnson Says:

    I do believe White is going to prove himself as one of our most explosive backs ever. Attitude determines Altitude and White is coming in with a great mindset.

  19. Rod Munch Says:

    steele Says: RoJo is a better pure runner than anyone on the roster.


    This is very true. If Rojo went somewhere, like say the Tennessee Titans, where he was just a pure RB and rarely needed to catch the ball, he’d be at least a 1500 yard rusher. As a pure rusher Rojo is really good, but like you said, he’s a very poor fit for this offense. Also he was a poor fit for Dirk’s offense, which always made the pick make no sense.

    Also, keep in mind that Rojo was just a kid when he got here, only had just turned 20, and even now, after playing for 4-years, is just 24-years old.

    As for Vaughn, who is older than Rojo, I disagree, he didn’t show much. He had a nice game at Carolina, but otherwise averaged like 3.2 yards a carry, and just looks like a deep backup RB to me. I’d love to see him prove me wrong, I don’t want our draft picks to be busts.

  20. Rod Munch Says:

    JimbobBucsFan – I like words, use them a lot myself.

  21. PSL Bob Says:

    No need for White to replace LF. He can be a compliment. Would love to see BL put both White and Fournette in the backfield together. Thunder and Lightning in the style of Larry Csonka and Mercury Morris in the Dolphins’ heyday.

  22. Maniac Buc Says:

    PSL Bob, I don’t want to ever see two RBs on the field together.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    Lenny 4Net does not struggle catching the ball ….of the 84 balls thrown his way he had 69 catches, that’s a team high of 82% of balls caught thrown his way, tho he did have five DROPS, hell GRONK DROPED 6…….there is no struggling!!

  24. Biff Barker Says:

    White sounds a bit cocky. That’s OK to a point. We dont need Lenny pissed off. Motivation is one thing. Being a dork is another.

    It’s possible White may have different plays anyway. Thought I saw somewhere that H back or slot may be possible.

  25. Defense Rules Says:

    I love players with attitude, but as I used to tell student pilots, ‘A cocky pilot THINKS he’s good; a confident pilot KNOWS he’s good’. Agree with Biff, ‘White sounds a bit cocky’. Prove it on the field … like Lenny has … THEN run your mouth.

    White will get his opportunities, assuming he earns them, despite what BL says about Lenny not coming off the field. Fournette had more offensive snaps than the rest of our RBs COMBINED, and more touches than the others COMBINED. BUT … he was still only out there a little over half the time.

    o Lenny: 623 snaps (54.7%); 264 opportunities (runs&targets)
    o RoJo: 219 snaps (19.2%); 114 opportunities
    o Gio: 146 snaps (12.8%); 37 opportunities
    o Ke’Shawn: 111 snaps (9.7%); 44 opportunities
    o Bell: 52 snaps (4.6%); 12 opportunities
    o Barner: 9 snaps (0.8%); 4 opportunities

    So yes, Lenny’s on the field more than all the rest, but there are still plenty of opportunities for the other RBs to not just run the ball and get targeted in the passing game, but also for getting on the field for pass protecting, safety valve, decoy et al. Just have to earn your way onto the field, rookie. Talk doesn’t count.

  26. SB~LV Says:

    One of the positions that can easily have instant success in a rookie season.
    Why is statement is surprising I have no idea, that is exactly how a RB with his skills should think and project. He will be just one of the skill positions a defense will have to prepare for and that makes success even easier. I think the offense will be the best perhaps ever!

  27. Bucsfan13 Says:

    This guy biggest issue is pass protection. Lenny struggled with pass pro but eventually improved and earned Brady’s trust. Leftwich is correct. You don’t mess with that chemistry. On the last play of the Bills game, Lenny picked up an exotic blitz that allowed Tom to hit Perriman. Aaron Rodgers and Brady are the last of a dying breed where TRUST is everything and must be earned. These new kids don’t care. They don’t care if their receivers run the wrong routes constantly. They are gonna keep throwing to them, even if it’s to the detriment of the team. Aaron’s lack of trust in his receivers was evident in the playoff game. They will freeze you out if you constantly make mistakes. Professionalism is also important. I’m a big Gio fan. He was a much better runner than Lenny. He had better vision and burst. Lenny will not get lazy. Brady won’t allow it and the team won’t allow it. We have a different standard now in Tampa.

  28. GOB Says:

    You RoJo apologists really crack me up. Did you forget that he nearly put Brady in the hospital on a simple man blitz pickup? Not to mention running out of bounds on a screen pass when he easily could’ve picked up the first down. Brady has no time for guys that aren’t all in. Call it a mental mistake or whatever other excuse. He’s still a free agent for a reason. Guys like him are a dime a dozen.

  29. TDTB Says:

    ROJO signed with the Chiefs.

  30. Brandon Says:

    Fournette knows the plays and what to do… what he isn’t exceptional at is the physical part. He’s plenty big but not quite fast enough, definitely not quick enough, almost always stops moving his legs on first contact, he falls forward, catches the ball reasonably well, blocks well… but he is far from a great RB.

  31. Steve Gaudreau Says:

    What’s that? I heard something, uh oh, Brady to Fournette! TOUCHDOWN! WOOOOOO!!!!

  32. Rod Munch Says:

    GOB – gee, so what you’re saying is that Rojo, when he was catching the ball, or pass blocking, wasn’t very good. That’s literally exactly what the Rojo ‘apologists’ said, that if all he had to do was run the ball, not catch it, not pass block, which, BTW is the role that Adrian Peterson had with the Vikings, he’d be a good back.