Derrick Brooks: Leonard Fournette Is Not Capitalizing On Explosive-Play Opportunities

September 28th, 2022

Joe loves when Buccaneers legend Derrick Brooks gets candid.

TAMPA TWO viewers already know about this, but perhaps they didn’t grasp the full power of Brooks’ words, or the fact that he doesn’t usually hit this hard.

“I’m going to dig a little more into the run game and simply say it like this: the holes are there, but the explosive runs are not there with Fournette,” Brooks said. “I don’t know why the other backs are not being used [because they’re] more explosive. For example, and I shared this with, you know, a couple other football minds that saw the same thing I saw [against the Packers]. There were some holes where, you know, Fournette got five, six, seven yards — good, quality yards, don’t get me wrong. But a different back in the same hole, that’s a 25, 40, maybe 50 yard, one of them possibly could have been a touchdown. That’s where I see know the explosive plays in the run game has to improve.”

Brooks went on to emphasize how much more important the explosive runs now are since the passing game is struggling.

“I would just like to see the option of another more explosive back in terms of speed downfield, could that be the spark in this offense,” Brooks said.

Of course, what makes this very intriguing is Todd Bowles talking today about the lack of holes for Fournette.

25 Responses to “Derrick Brooks: Leonard Fournette Is Not Capitalizing On Explosive-Play Opportunities”

  1. gotbbucs Says:

    He’s not wrong. Fournette balled out in the Dallas game, got a soft tissue injury, and now he’s back to the tippy toe style of running that drives me nuts.

  2. Beeej Says:

    Holes? I didn’t see any of THOSE

  3. FIRE Leftwich Says:

    I feel like the communication out of this team has turned into political talk.
    Meaning, any time a coach is talking, they’re spewing nothing but bull sh*t.

    Really to sad to see this unfold this year. I miss Bruce and his straight shooter approach.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The only hole opened up Sunday was for Brady & that was because of a hold….

    But, I do agree…….White & Vaughn are more explosive……

    White reminds me somewhat of Rojo early on……a bit tentative……

  5. Duane Says:

    The reason we dont see any other backs is because they cant pass block, catch, or hold onto the football. The offense has been very deliberate at protecting the ball while they wait for reinforcements. With razor thin margins for this team so early in the season, no way you put your faith in a rookie rb.

  6. Pewter Power Says:

    Plenty of rookie backs are balling out, one beat out rojo in fact just as white did. If he can’t pass block or catch he shouldn’t be 2nd on the depth chart.

    Excuses won’t get us where we need to go. Give other backs a chance to prove their value like we do Scotty miller and let them put themselves on the bench.

    It’s simple the issue is on leftwich. Maybe he is being given too much freedom because we have a defensive head coach but this was never an issue with BA so figure it out already

  7. Youngbucs Says:

    Rojo was always the better runner.

  8. Smashsquatch Says:

    Agreed, 100%. Lenny playing with one leg and taking all the reps was a sin; and Bowles agrees. We have capable backs, use them!

  9. Redeemer Says:

    What Duane said. They paid Lenny 21 million. If he continues to be ineffective once the recievers get healthy, then you play the kids more. IMO they drafted both white and Vaughn way too early. Unless it’s Barry Sanders, I’d never draft a back before round 4 or 5. The league is littered with good backs who were UDFA, or throw away picks

  10. Hodad Says:

    I think at times Lenny went looking for the big play instead of just taking what’s there. There is no excuse for not having White, or Vaughn getting some looks.

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    Fournette showed great 2nd-effort in the Dallas game, but rarely since then. It was reported that he tweaked a hammy so that may be part of the problem. A bigger part though seems to be that the OLine hasn’t been run-blocking nearly as effectively since the Dallas game. Through in unimaginative play-calling and we just hit the trifecta.

    White hasn’t had many chances, but at least he pretty much wasted those he did get. You don’t write home to mama bragging about a 1.9 YPC rushing average. Not a clue what’s going on with Vaughn.

  12. Youngbucs Says:

    Vaughn also has better vision than Lenny.

  13. ViSyl Says:

    Maybe he is right. Anyway, the other RBs really should be used more.

  14. Buczilla Says:

    I thought that the purpose of training camp and preseason was to evaluate your players and make adjustments to the roster as necessary? Why did we wait until the fourth game of the season to “bite the bullet” as Bowles said and maybe play one of the young running backs? Is this a deal where Licht said to play who’s on the roster because no help is incoming and either Bowles or Byron refuse to play the young dudes? Any way you look at it, it’s freaking weird and speaks to some disfunction somewhere. Stay safe everyone! Off to make some empanadas and drink lots of beer. 😜

  15. Don Eladio Says:

    “Lenny playing on one leg.” Man gdamnit I don’t wanna hear it. Let’s not act like Lenny ever gashed people on the regular to begin with. He is not a Nick Chubb where you are essentially guaranteed 100 or more yards rushing if you give it to him 20 times. Lenny is a big strong guy, very strong in the weight room, nice hang clean and all that – cool. But it doesn’t translate much to the field. He doesn’t break tackles or have balance like a LeGarret Blount, can’t house a run like a Saquon Barkley or a Chubb. He is average in every conceivable capacity. Derrick brooks is probably right. Coaches probably even agree. But Rachaad White ain’t that guy, and neither is Vaughn. If we had a true blue chipper at running back – they’d be playing, no matter Fournette contract or the fact that he’d whine about it. Our running game is average, unexceptional personified. It shouldn’t matter tho because we’re a team that is merely supposed to run occasionally to set up the pass. And now that we’re playing with receivers that are ALSO mediocre, well, NOW you have a problem until guys get healthy. But will they. Can Godwin STAY healthy. Can jones stay healthy

  16. DBS Says:

    They gave Brooks a chance to run a team in a front office. Look what happened. That is probably why he is not in the Bucs organization. I listen to nothing he says. I saw no big holes. They can’t open holes to get 1 yard on 3rd down. He fights for what he can get and gets hit behind the line. This is not the line we had the last couple years.

  17. gotbbucs Says:

    I think a HOF linebacker like Brooks knows what a hole that a running back can get through looks like.

  18. Goatfarmer Says:

    Lenny said himself, he’s playing on one leg. DB55 apparently missed that. But definitely get Vaughn a bunch of carries, he broke off a 52 yarder last year and has had quality carries when handed the ball. On the other hand Rachel can be a nice decoy.

  19. ModHairKen Says:

    I like DB 55, but that is BS. Fournette is running hard, and he is not getting big spaces to run through.

    Brooks also said Dallas would win.

    Don’t be an Ian Beckles.

  20. David Says:

    I completely agree. I saw several times where it seemed like Fournette could have broke a big run but took a wrong angle or broke out of the hole in the wrong direction etc.
    I was really hoping to see White utilized more.
    1. To give playoff Lenny a breather
    2. White could break longer runs

  21. David Says:


    Lenny running hard has nothing to do with it. There were at least 5 or 6 times during that game when he hit a hole and then could have broke a tackle to turn a 5 yard gain in to 20 yard or came out of a hole and went in the wrong direction and got 7 yards instead of 20 +.
    If you recorded it, watch the game.

    Love Lenny but he explodes and looks for contact to lower his shoulder. He is a workhorse. White and Vaughn have much more potential to bust one for 20+ yards

  22. Anonymous Says:

    Boron Leftwurst gets a D for his work in the last two games.

  23. Wild Bill Says:

    Hey Lenny ran great against Dallas. More line injuries and tougher defenses are not his fault. He will look much better in the softer games coming up soon. Meanwhile, the line needs to get healthy and the new guys
    need to get better. Next the bitching will be Brady looks old, or heart broken.

  24. The Big Bucs Says:

    Why people keep convincing themselves that Lenny is a good running back is beyond me. He has always been over hyped since college, which I think stems from the fact that he really is straight line fast and 240 lb. He has never played like he is big and strong, he plays like hey 180 lb. and scared of contact, he rarely if ever breaks a tackle. If someone grabs his leg he is down, and he tiptoes in the backfield. I think most of the weight he carries is upper body strength, his legs just kinda suck and don’t generate much drive.

  25. TampabayDJ82 Says:

    While I will agree that I seen Lenny get tackled with a one hand to the ankle a few times last week , which he should obviously not go down from a CB grabbing his ankle , but I will not listen to ALL the ‘ Lenny is terrible ‘ talk coming from the same people who just a few weeks ago were saying he looked better than ever !! Same people who said ” Bucs need to re-sign Lenny” and give him what he wants !! I think Lenny is going to be just fine. As will our passing game as soon as this week ! All we need is Evans on the field and either Jones or Godwin or BOTH and we are back to a high powered offense. I will say I don’t agree with the way the coaches are trying to change the playbook that has given us the best offense in the NFL the last few years ! What’s with the flea flicker turned fumble turned loss of points ?? And in general they have just been calling the crappiest plays at an even crappier time ! Go back to what works and don’t fix what was never broken .. I mean we just watched Brady put together the best year of his career and we’re trying to change that ? Why cuz the Oline ? Oline looks way better than expected and definitely not bad. Go Bucs