Mixed Reviews For Running Backs Corps

August 14th, 2022

Ke’Shawn Vaughn celebrates his TD run last night with rookie tight end/fullback Ko Kieft.

Bucs fans watching the preseason opener on TV last night heard Bucs legend Rondé Barber compare rookie running back Rachaad White to Hall of Fame back Eric Dickerson, Le’Veon Bell and Alvin Kamara.

It seems head coach Todd Bowles has a different grading system.

Joe loves Barber, but the analogies were getting a little silly. At least Barber admitted on-air, “I have a little bit of a love affair with him.”

Overall, the Bucs’ running backs were nothing special last night. There was a little flash from White and Kenjon Barner and a touchdown plunge from Ke’Shawn Vaughn, but the numbers were poor and backs didn’t get a ton of targets in the passing game.

White failed to squeeze a short throw from Kyle Trask, which led to a fluky interception.

Joe asked Bowles what he saw on film from the running backs, and the head coach gave a mixed review.

“I thought they hit the holes well for the most part. They ran where the open areas were,” Bowles began. “We can do better, a little better in pass protection and route running that we need to work on from a timing standpoint. But hitting the hole well and running the ball is something I thought they did very well.”

Obviously, the Bucs starters sat out last night and that includes the offensive line, which makes it harder to judge the running backs. The backs gained 88 yards on 31 carries.

There is a legitimate battle at that position for the backups to Leonard Fournette. Joe doesn’t think any running back separated himself last night, and Giovani Bernard left the game with an ankle injury.

48 Responses to “Mixed Reviews For Running Backs Corps”

  1. Biff Barker Says:

    Ill advised pass by Trask. OK, stupid.

    Backs had a rough night, hampered by pop warner play calling and shaky OL. It’ll get better.

  2. Sumosam Says:

    I totally agree with

  3. geno711 Says:

    White looked a little LeVeon Bell to me.

  4. Sumosam Says:

    Ronde. White reminds me of LeBron Bell. He’s smooth, follows blocks very well and always falls forward. We have a very good back on our hands.

  5. Sumosam Says:

    I really dislike spell check.

  6. SOEbuc Says:

    How’s Gio? He looked like he had some good plays for the small amount of reps he had.

  7. tampabuscsbro Says:

    Did anyone see that san diego state punter that went after our new UGA guy. He had an 82 yard punt last night and didn’t sail a kick off out of bounds……GOD I LOVE THIS TEAM DRAFTING ST PLAYERS TOO HIGH

  8. WVBuc Says:

    I really like Bernard but he’s made of gingerbread.

    I would like to see the stat that indicates how many yards the RB was able to go for before first contact. I would be surprised if they averaged more than a yard and a half last night.

  9. SB~LV Says:

    Just like all the other positive glimpses, while encouraging it is all very basic talent evaluation and nothing like the game conclusion

  10. WVBuc Says:

    tampabucsbro – in addition to that, the reason given about needing the punter to also hold for place kicks and the Punt god had never held looks to be a further indictment on Licht’s ability to select and judge specialists. In a surprising move (to Jason, apparently), they’ve taught punt god how to hold.

  11. #99 Says:

    Really hard to have a valuation when they were running behind a line that will be unemployed in about 3 weeks. Pre season doesn’t really show us much when all the starters are sitting out.

  12. WVBuc Says:

    Either I’m only allowed one post per article or something weird happened to my first comment.


    I really like Bernard but he is made of gingerbread.

    I would like to know how many yards the RB’s averaged before contact last night. It seemed to be less than a yard and a half, if even a yard. The O-line depth needs work.

  13. WVBuc Says:

    Holy crap, Joe, protecting Bernard’s gingerness is lame, almost as lame as he often has been in Tampa.

  14. Allbuccedup Says:

    Bernard needs to sit out the rest of the pre season before he gets a serious injury.

  15. Joshua porter Says:

    Crazy how gio seems to always be hurt now with the bucs. Part of the game I guess . I thinking this isn’t the year to hurt cuz your probly getting cut.

  16. Gofortheface30 Says:

    WvBuc- touché on that. The reasoning, even at the time seems like massive overthinking, trying to be cute, smartest guy in room, whatever – some things are just straight forward. You take the god damn guy that is called the god damn punt god, and can boom some god damn 80 yard punts. I think you can teach a complete freak of a punter to hold as well as other football 101 things

  17. Cobraboy Says:

    For working behind a 2 & 3rd strong OL, I thought they did semi-OK.

    Same production behind the #1’s would have been ugly.

  18. Cobraboy Says:

    Punt God plays for the Bills, and boomed an 82-yarder ve the Colts.

    Or is he Puntzilla?

  19. Cobraboy Says:

    I think White does, indeed, resemble Bell. Not so sure about Dickerson.

  20. Kody Says:

    Yeah, I was disappointed in Rachaad White. Definitely expected more from him in his debut game.

    Disappointing game overall really. Thought we got outplayed and outhustled by Miami, and that stinks. Not a great way to kick off the season.

  21. Anonymous Says:

    Kody, it seemed like we had lower tier players out there compared to the Dolphins during each stage of last night’s game. I thought White looked pretty good for his debut. I dont think we can expect a whole lot from him running between the tackles, at least this year. He doesn’t seem like that type of back, yet.

  22. SB~LV Says:

    Kody you watch football like my wife
    White looks very very good
    If you know what to look for

  23. Allbuccedup Says:

    Lebron Bell hes that tall running back from LA. HaHa.

  24. Beeej Says:

    Bernard wasn’t signed for his running ability, more for his ability to catch passes in the James White mold

  25. Beeej Says:

    (heh, looked at KC box score–R. Jones: 4 carries, 1 yard, longest was 2)

  26. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Nobody can run well with our obligatory 1st down runs up the middle…..series after series……what’s up with that…..several stuffed behind the line of scrimmage….

    And….our punter did OK….44 yard average and forced a fair catch on the 5…..give him some time…..

    Also…..Borregales 55 yards…..Succop couldn’t do that….so, give him a bit more time also.

  27. cgmaster27 Says:

    Hard to run the ball when your predictable play caller is calling for runs up the A gap 90% of the time on first down.

  28. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I thought Rasheed White looked pretty good.

  29. Bucamania Says:

    Really liked what I saw from White. He’s going to b a factor this year,

  30. Ed Kerber Says:

    I prefer the Bucs loss close in pre-season. I’d like the wake up call to happen when it doesn’t count. They 0-16 lions went 4-0 in the preseason.

  31. Bojim Says:

    They all hit their holes. But they closed real fast. Running and run blocking sucked.

  32. Jerry R Jones Says:

    I agree with Barber and thought White looked great running and catching the ball, not sure what game you were watching.

  33. GOB Says:

    We’ll see how it looks in the dress rehearsal, if they even have one.

  34. Anonymous Says:

    @Ed Kerber, I don’t think anyone got a wake-up call. It’s the ore season. Wins and losses are irrelevant.

  35. Lakeland Steve Says:

    We shall see what happens in the next two exhibitions but I thought White looked really good for his first game. I thought the play calling left a little to be desired. There was a 3’rd and less than 4 and Leftwhich called a long pass play which was baffling. I thought he could have helped Trask a little bit. Too much run on first down and throw on 2’nd and 3’rd. Way too predictable.

  36. Buc50 Says:

    White looked really good. I don’t see what the problem is. None of the RBs had holes and I didn’t expect much when our starters didn’t play.

  37. Rod Munch Says:

    When you predictably just run up the middle on every 1st down – this is what happens. Hey Leftwich, stop being an idiot and just mix it up. No one is saying you can’t run it up the middle, but then you literally do it 5 times in a row, and 8 of 9 times on a single drive in a row, and the one time you don’t run it up the middle you go to shotgun, gee, I wonder why the lack of success. It certainly couldn’t be other teams just sitting on the call, knowing it’s coming.

    Also that goes beyond preseason, Leftwich does this same stupid stuff during the year. Literally all he needs to do is change the order of plays, just once in a while. Take your playsheet, which is going to have you in 2nd and 9 anyways after your 1 yard call for a run up the middle, and run that same play on 1st and 10, then when you pass and get 9 yards on 1st down, not it’s 2nd and 1, that’s when you can run up the middle for a yard and it’s productive.

  38. Rod Munch Says:

    Terrible play calling aside, White looked great last night. He was clearly the best player on the field when he was out there in the 2nd half – which is why he shouldn’t have still been out there.

    I really hope they’re just wanting to get him reps because they expect him to play a lot of snaps, since he looks NFL ready. I’m really quite excited to see what he can do this season, I expect big things, something similar to the role Charles Sims had in 2015 where he went over 1000-yards combined rushing and receiving.

  39. Nprbuc Says:

    It’s a PRE season game! I don’t think Bowles is as interested in how our backs will shake out until they are seen running behind the 1’s. Most of the eyes were on the OL.We need to find some of those guys to back up our 1’s on the line. I believe the number of calls between the tackles was to evaluate those 1 on 1s in the blocking scheme. Who can win their battles and who can’t. I think the coaches already know who is going to be backing up who in the backfield. The OL was on the spot last night. Not the RBs.

  40. steele Says:

    Is the playcalling for the entire preaseason going to be vanilla? Or is Leftwich really this predictable and limited?

  41. PassingThru Says:

    I was thinking White was more like a mix. He has the power of Earl Campbell, the elusiveness of Barry Sanders, and the slashing ability of OJ Simpson.

    Actually, I do get the Le’Veon Bell comparisons. He’s patient and has good vision with the tracking skills to find a crease. Like Bell, he might be much better with a capable offensive line.

  42. Cobraboy Says:

    Of course, the playcalling is vanilla.

    It’s pre-season!

    The staff is more concerned about how the Big Uglies are handling their assignments than yards gained.

  43. steele Says:

    Campbell/OJ/Sanders? LeVeon? None of the above.

    Rachaad is a not-explosive upright linear long strider. Not quick, poor lateral movement, finesse glider who needs good blocking and open field. Always looking to skip and jump, instead of lowering pad level and running through. At best, a watered down David Johnson/Demarco Murray but 10 lbs lighter and far less capable between tackles.

    He’s also not Eric Dickerson, who was 6-3 220 something, a much bigger load with superior skills.

  44. Jerry R Jones Says:

    If White isn’t explosive then rain isn’t wet.

  45. Power of Pewter Says:

    FWIW, the radio commentators (Dave Moore and Gene Deckeroff) were very complimentary of White. OLine was pretty spotty, and Berner had one long run called back by a holding call on a WR. For preseason game #1 it wasn’t bad. Clean up a few things, put the 1st team in, and the gunning game will be OK. Not great, but good enough.

  46. Crunchbuc Says:

    I understand the man crush on White. I think by next season he will show people what Ronde means when he says he reminds him of Dickerson. I saw the dudes entire college and pro career and White does resemble him.

  47. Goatfarmer Says:

    I’d be more excited with Damien Pierce.

  48. Anonymous Says:

    This just doesn’t feel all in!