Remembering Ke’Shawn Vaughn

July 19th, 2022

Running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn

Joe senses a lot of Bucs fans are non-believers when it comes to running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn, and it’s not for the typical reasons.

First, Vaughn is basically invisible on social media and a quiet dude. Fans have little bond with him. Coaches have called him an old soul, and he’s just not a chest-thumping, look-at-me personality. Joe thinks that unfairly hurts the general perception of Vaughn as a player.

Second, the Bucs drafted running back Rachaad White in Round 3 this year. It’s easy to say White was picked because the Bucs aren’t too high on Vaughn and wanted an upgrade. But Joe can’t go there.

Just look at the draft. White was taken at No. 91 overall but he was the first running back off the board in Round 3. Twenty-eight picks went by between the Bills drafting RB Jameis Cook out of Georgia in Round 2 before the Bucs jumped on White. He fell in Tampa Bay’s lap, so Joe can’t say the Bucs were hungry to replace Vaughn. If they were, they likely would have traded up to be sure they snagged White.

Joe views Vaughn as a guy who stepped up when called upon last season. He was the Bucs’ leading rusher in Weeks 16 and 17. And he was the bellcow against the Eagles in the playoffs with 17 carries for 53 yards and a touchdown.

Plus, Vaughn caught the two balls Tom Brady threw his way against Philly. Leonard Fournette returned from injury the following week.

White is a confident, big-talking, hard-working, where’s-my-next-interview rookie. And Joe loves that, as do many Bucs fans. But Joe can’t say that means anything to Brady and Byron Leftwich, and certainly not to Vaughn, who Joe has been told is grinding way for his third season.

The call Vaughn “Sneak” in the locker room. Joe has a feeling he might sneak up on some fans and media over the next couple of months.

26 Responses to “Remembering Ke’Shawn Vaughn”

  1. geno711 Says:

    I am ready to give Vaughn a chance but not because of a perceived step up against Philly in the playoffs. Seems there are lots of running backs who could go 17 rushes for 53 yards.

    Can he get a few dependable carries and catches? Yup. Sounds like JAG.

  2. Allbuccedup Says:

    What happened to him did he get into an accident is he ok why are we remembering him?

  3. BigMacAttack Says:

    I like Key. He was much better last year and this could be a break out season for him. Triple threat 22. Save Brady’s Arm Pound the Rock baby!!!

  4. Bojim Says:

    I’ve like Vaughn from the beginning. He’s got the potential but he’s not given enough chances and he deserves them. He’s number 2 as far as I’m concerned and I’ve no problem with him in the game.

  5. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Joe, need to change the title, I thought Ke’Shawn Vaughn had died.

  6. Dooley Says:

    I like Vaughn, I think he’s got an opportunity to earn more reps and think watching White get drafted into the RB room can be a bit of added motivation for him going into camp and the preseason. Vaughn had that one flash in the pan moment vs Carolina at the end of last season and I think building on the potential he should can solidify his roster spot. Like White, Key has to brush up on his pass pro, show he can be a serviceable receiver out of the backfield and show as a pro he can do what he did at Vandy in the open field run/pass.

  7. SB Says:

    We Gators fans remember Sneak all too well.

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    BigMacAttack … I like Ke’Shawn too, but he’s got a tall mountain to climb to get any significant snaps with the Bucs. They just paid Lenny a boatload of money for a reason, and he’ll get the bulk of the touches just like he did last season. And for good reason, he averaged 4.5 YPC last season. And he does a bunch of it through 2nd effort (slightly over 50 rushing yds came after contact).

    The only RB to do better than that (yards after contact) was … tada, Ke-Shawn. He didn’t get many opportunities (36 rushes) but he did gain a total of 180 yards … 5.0 YPC average. And he did it mostly AFTER contact (58 yards before vs 122 yards after contact). THAT impresses me. Probably won’t matter though unless Lenny gets injured. White is poised to get quite a bit of time on the field, providing of course that he can pass protect.

  9. DoooshLaRue Says:

    It’s hard for me to like anyone named KeyShawn (yes, I know the spelling differs) in a Buc’s uniform.

    But I think this Key deserves a real chance.
    Hold on to the ball!

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    Oops, make that ‘slightly over 50 PERCENT of his rushing yards came after contact’.

  11. Marine Buc Says:

    Vaughn was a little disappointing his rookie season. He got limited chances but he dropped a few easy passes and he fumbled… He improved last season averaging 5.0 yards per carry and didn’t fumble.

    I hope he makes another leap this year and earns the #2 RB spot behind Fatty McRunningBack… lol

  12. Casual Observer Says:

    I think Vaughn is a very decent RB. Glad we have him.

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The last time I checked, you need more than 2 RBs…..I place little significance on the drafting of Rachaad White…..I think he was a very good pick and will play a big role for us going forward……

  14. FirstTimePoster Says:

    Got a soft spot for anybody from Vanderbilt, even though I’m a Tide fan. That school needs some athletes to do good in the NFL.

  15. Nick2 Says:

    53 yards against Philly and he was their “bellcow” that day.

  16. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I did not like it when we drafted him, and he has done little to change my mind.
    IMHO, he is a run of the mill running back.
    53 yards on 17 carries ? I rest my case.

  17. ClwJB Says:

    4 RB make the roster – nice stable of backs – all can catch, most can pass block also

  18. steele Says:

    Ke is a decent back who has a shot to prove that he’s more. He did a good job in limited opps last season, and pretty clearly showed improvement. Look at the film.

    I am not a huge fan of any of the backs on the roster right now. It’s a committee without a feature back, just like the TE corps is without a TE1. (No, Lenny is not, and he’s overweight right now).

    This is what we’re stuck with. Pray that Ke becomes Adrian Peterson.

  19. DaBux Says:

    I just remember him as some training camp meat so far. Playoff Lenny is the proven one.

  20. Smashsquatch Says:

    Don’t sleep on Sneak! KV is a baller, he just needs more reps. I hope White’s running chops match up with his receiving; if so we may finally have a stable of three down backs.

  21. Biff Barker Says:

    Like most everyone else, I’d like to see the guy get some playing time.

    Hope he makes us all wish we dealt RoJo earlier.

  22. Goatfarmer Says:

    Vaughn has proven himself as a reliable pro.

    White will be lucky to be active on game days. He’s Madu Skidoo with the CFL lurking.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    This was a “sneaky” good article. Hats off to you Joe(s) Thanks for all of your hard work!

  24. Anthony Says:

    I’m a fan of Vaughn. I believe he can change a game and pit pressure on the D. I think if he’s used more he will produce and take some pressure off the Offense

  25. Anonymous Says:

    Vaughn and the entire offense and team have suffered from the same ailment: an anemic, unimaginative and unspirited effort on overall play design and play-calling. BA made Tom Brady and his offense two-dimensional and too predictable by stubbornly vetoing Brady’s most comfotable offensive scheme based on the Play Action and a commitment to the Patriots-style running game featuring 1 and 2 back sets (Rachaad White FB?), behind a pulling G, Jensen, Shaq Mason, Wirfs and a blocking/chipping TE. Lacking a top end receiving corps, the Brady andJosh McDaniels cobbled together the punishing ground game, which opened up the passing game, which all led them to three SB appearances and two Lombardis in three consecutive years (2016, 17, 18).

    No, the Bucs haven’t a Mike Devlin, and Gronk is looking like a 2022 no show, but a mix of this running scheme with high percentage screen and pass plays would enable the Bucs to stay ahead on downs, stay on the field and score while confusing and wearing down defenses. Watch the Packers. They haven’t relied exclusively on Aaron Rodgers the last few seasons (for good reason as their playoff record indicates). But the Packers offensive brain trust has been very effective in mixing up the play-calling and confusing defenses during the regular season. Keeping defenses so off-balanced has led to Aaron invariably tossing up the long ball for Devonte Adams to run under and pull in.

  26. Eddie Marz Says:

    If The Bucs decide to run the ball more having Vaughn is great. If they pass 719 times like last year he’ll sit on the bench waiting for his opportunity. Either way I like him, but it’s a pass first league. Have to be able to make catches to give yourself more touches with the ball. GOBUCS!