1980s Lenny

September 20th, 2022

Old-ass Bucs fans remember James Wilder amassing 772 carries for 2,844 yards through the 1984 and 1985 seasons.

That kind of running back punishment is unheard of in today’s NFL.

Wilder played another five seasons and was never the same healthy player and never got more than 190 carries in a season. That’s no surprise. That kind of workload is an invitation to a body breakdown.

In his 2017 rookie season, Leonard Fournette was an old school workhorse with 268 carries in 13 games, the highest single-season total of his career.

This year? Fournette is on pace to carry the rock 384 times. That’s no typo.

If that happens, well, it won’t happen because Lombardi Lenny’s body would be shot before he hit that total.

Joe is not calling Fournette soft; Joe’s just being realistic. At some point the Bucs must ease up on Fournette’s workload, or they’ll be forced to.

There are only a few freaks in the modern era who have carried the rock more than 350 times in a season. And Joe’s not comparing Fournette to Adrian Peterson and Derrick Henry.

That’s why teams have a committee or a 1-and-1a approach to running the football.

Joe is very curious to see what the Bucs do Sunday against Green Bay. Confidence in rookie backup RB Rachaad White seems flimsy at best. He was at three yards per carry in the preseason and has just 15 yards on 8 carries in the regular season.

Ke’Shawn Vaughn is a capable runner but he’s been deactivated on gamedays. Giovani Bernard is hurt — again.

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27 Responses to “1980s Lenny”

  1. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Has Gio played 10 plays since he’s been here?

  2. KingLDavid54 Says:

    It’s like the great Ben Franklin once said, nothing is certain but death, taxes, and the Bucs running on 1st down!

  3. Irishmist Says:

    Either Vaughn or Laird needs to be activated on Sunday.

  4. steele Says:

    The problem is, Lenny IS soft. As in, he has always been more finesse than power. He has never been, and is not, a true power back, even though he’s doing some tougher work so far this season (but let’s see if it continues). He’s dinged up now, and the committee has no feature back. They need to get Vaughn going. Gio is constantly gimpy. Rachaad is green, making mistakes, but here is his chance to live up to his boasting. What next? Kenjon Barner?

  5. Casual Observer Says:

    Give Vaughn a chance. He is a tough cookie.

  6. JP Says:

    what’s with this Laird, sorry but white RB , give me a break.

  7. David Says:

    They absolutely need to get White more carries. They Needed to run Lenny in these first few games but they cannot wear him out, it’s a long season.
    It seemed like they tried to get White in the third and give Lenny some relief.

    Watching the Green Bay defense the first two weeks, I think White will have more success against them

  8. Daryl Green Says:

    Hell David, if there’s any game that I want to see Vaughn,
    It’s this one. Watch Montgomery run against the pack. I need some vision,some shakes.

    That’s Vaughan!!!👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾🤙🏾


  9. ModHairKen Says:

    Why do you think he enjoyed the off season?

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I think we’ll see Vaughn Sunday……..they’ll deactivate Gio…..

    I agree that White needs more carries ……how bout sending him up the middle on 1st downs…..

  11. OrlandoBucsFan Says:

    I remember watching Wilder’s big game in 1983 against the Vikings when he gained 219 yards. It was epic (for the Bucs). Too bad his career didn’t last longer, but the Bucs rode the hell out of him. Great back!!!

  12. Goatfarmer Says:

    Calling Lenny soft is simply a very ignorant take based on some weird old narrative. And right now he’s running on one leg and he still rain over guys and through guys with little blocking.

    Vaughn has to be active Sunday and should get a lot of playing time.

  13. EA Says:

    1980 ? Oh, hey boomer !!!!

  14. George Says:

    Wilder was fun to watch in his prime

  15. Miller5252 Says:

    There’s gotta be more of a story about Vaughn that anyone is letting on. Arians would talk about that guy non stop last year and about how great he was and how he continues to grow. Then out of nowhere he can’t even get suited up?!?! He’s either had some sort of injury or pissed off the wrong person. Bernard is suited up, but Vaughn can’t??? The Joe’s and Ira need to break out their shovels and start digging away into it. Let’s hope he’s not like Rojo and has the mental strength on a 5 year old.

  16. Bob in valrico Says:

    ADD in all the carries Fournette had at LSU where he was one if not the main focus of the offense. agree with joe on this one.

  17. Rod Munch Says:

    “Joe is very curious to see what the Bucs do Sunday against Green Bay. Confidence in rookie backup RB Rachaad White seems flimsy at best. He was at three yards per carry in the preseason and has just 15 yards on 8 carries in the regular season.”


    Joe, can you show me any run this season where White screw up or didn’t make a play? When he’s been in the game, Leftwich just has him run up the middle where he’s being hit behind the LOS. Short of the 2nd coming of Barry Sanders, what exactly is he supposed to do there to get yards, when there literally aren’t any.

  18. Mr. Editor Says:

    James Wilder was my favorite running back of all time!

  19. Outsider Says:

    They need to mix it up again by having Brady throw short passes to him. When they do that the offense gets more in rhythm and becomes less predictable. With most of the starting wrs out last week I thought we were going to see him get at least 8 targets and 6 receptions.

  20. Dooley Says:

    Leisure suit Lenny

  21. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Wilder is still the best running back in team history. I remember that 75 yard TD running student body left in his breakout game against the Vikings.
    Meanwhile Fournette took a lot of punishment without getting very far last Sunday. Would like to see more help and maybe this week we will.

  22. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Let Sneak cook!! He’s earned it. He worked really hard to improve the problems in his game, which was pass pro and catching the ball. He finally realized Brady reads the defense quickly and he should turn his head around quickly to look for the ball.

    White has done nothing, and Lenny is already lumbering around. Let Sneak cook!!

  23. orlbucfan Says:

    James Wilder was a great runner on some very bad as in stinky teams. Fournette is hurt and he needs a break.

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    Noticed something very interesting from the Dallas game: Lenny was awesome running outside. He had 8 total left end/right end runs, and got a total of 77 yards on those (9.6 YPC). On the day he totaled 21 rushes for 121 yds (5.8 YPC average), meaning that ‘inside’ he had 13 runs for 44 yards (3.4 YPC). That seems like a pretty significant difference.

    In the New Orleans game, Lenny only ran outside 4 times, and got a total of 9 yards on those (2.3 YPC). On the day he totaled 25 rushes for 65 yards (2.6 PC average), meaning that ‘inside’ he had 21 runs for 56 yards (2.7 YPC). So essentially it made no difference whether Lenny ran inside or outside against the Saints. Seems likely that Lenny’s hamstring was hurting or the Saints just do a great job of sealing the edges. Or both?

  25. Defense Rules Says:

    Oh and BTW, of Lenny’s 8 rushes around the ends in the Dallas game, SEVEN of them were around LEFT end. I’m thinking Bucs found a weakness out there.

  26. Duane Says:

    Lenny gets all the touches and plays because there is NO ONE ELSE able to do what he does at this time. None of the other backs can run, catch, or block better than Lenny, and our best receivers are out. He is likely one of the few guys TB12 trusts. When you sign players that are often hurt, AND OLD, this is a common occurrence. The MVP of this team this season is likely the medical crew that has to put all these tin men back together. Lenny should get a break once the walking injured start playing again. Our logo should be the red cross this season.

  27. Denny Gay Says:

    Love James Wilder.
    As a kid, I caught a hand pad that he used in the game against the Jets at the sombrero. This is the game where he set the season record for most yards from scrimmage. They had Wilder returning kicks, so he could get more yards and set the record.