Adapting To A Less Aggressive Offensive Line

November 22nd, 2022

Challenging time ahead for Lombardi Lenny?

A former Buccaneer is pounding the drum for the Bucs to transition to having rookie running back Rachaad White to carry most of the mail.

But the move must be done with great care for the fragile mindset of Leonard “Lombardi Lenny” Fournette.

Retired Bucs and Giants receiver Michael Clayton, Tampa Bay’s first-round pick in 2004, sees a much less aggressive Bucs offensive line this season and should spark a changing of the guard at running back.

“When you don’t have that aggression and you need a running back to kind of find the hole, you need a more patient back,” Clayton told WDAE radio this week. “And Rachaad White has shown that he is that more patient back. So I think that his running style fits the aggressiveness — or lack thereof — right now of our offensive line. We did a tremendous job last week proving that we don’t have to be as aggressive, we just need to get a hat on a hat. But you definitely need a running back who can find the hole, and to me Rachaad White right now gives us the best opportunity to have more yards per carry at this point.”

Enter a challenge for Todd Bowles, Clayton explained. Fournette’s sensitivity combined with the tremendous support and respect Fournette has in the locker room makes cutting his workload a delicate issue, Clayton said.

“Given his history, [Fournette] is not going to handle it well,” Clayton added, noting Fournette is tight with Tom Brady, as well.

Joe isn’t so sure White is the answer to the Bucs’ run game challenges. Fournette played well against Seattle last week but it was overshadowed by White’s breakthrough game. Joe might feel differently if Fournette had struggled while White thrived.

Regardless, it’s time to reward White. And Fournette, hopefully, will be a professional about it.

Clayton is correct. Bucs coaches need to handles this just right.

42 Responses to “Adapting To A Less Aggressive Offensive Line”

  1. Buc4evr Says:

    The answer is simple. The OLine needs to man up and be more aggressive. The RB’s should not have to find extra time for a hole to open. How many decades have the Bucs had great running backs with piss poor O lines? More than I can count. Time for this disgraceful O line to step up and help on third and one.

  2. sasquatch Says:

    White is a better all-around player. End of story. Were it not for Lenny’s unreasonable guaranteed contract, this would not even be a question — White would be the #1 back.

  3. Goatfarmer Says:

    Clayton stands out of bounds in the endzone again . Drop another pass Clayhands. If Brady wants your opinion he’ll give it to you.

  4. Winky Says:

    Both good backs.

    I favor White.

    Just win baby

  5. Casual Observer Says:

    Playoff Lenny for those short 4th and one plunges though.

  6. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I have to say, White has not impressed me (yet).

    Up until the last couple games, he has done very little. And that patience has not been there for the most part. Last game he was only starting to show patience…which is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t mean he’s there yet.

    But let’s be fair here…the offensive line has not been up to par at all. Neither White nor Lenny has been given a fair shake.

    And that makes the RBs look worse than they are.

    I prefer White keep growing and earning his carries. Keep Lenny in…for now. Maybe split the carries a bit more equally…and if one of them seems hot in a game, increase his carries.

    That said…I don’t believe we are going to really see much from the running game unless the run blocking gets better.

  7. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Buc4evr pretty much nailed it with the first comment.

  8. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I agree! The loss of both Marpet and Jensen really hurt us. Marpet was a very very athletic Guard, who could really pull. His blocking is missed.
    And Ryan Jensen is a freaking fearless animal, who brought both physicality and attitude to our Line.
    I also agree with the poster who feels that White gives us our best chance to win, with this line.

  9. gp Says:

    A big part of our running game woes is the fact that the majority of our playbook was designed by someone who believes in a fast paced, high flying, fast scoring, passing attack.
    Very little emphasis in the ground game at all. We don’t even have many, if any, plays designed for a fullback.(PLEASE add some fullback options into the playbook [ Keif or Vea] )
    The ability to score fast is quite important.
    The ability to control the time of possession and give your defense a rest, while keeping the opponents offense off the field is also vitally important.(offense / defense balance)
    Without the run game you must score more points in the first half than the opponent is going to score in the second half against your exhausted defense.

    Four 1st downs per possession almost guarantees points on the board. If that is done with a fairly balanced attack(run v pass) it also serves to exhaust the opposition D. The more exhausted the D is, the easier it is to score.

  10. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    To be fair to Lenny, he’s had no-where to run to, in however many weeks.
    Nothing but a big pile of bodies between the tackles.
    Even those little dump passes to him, he’s been immediately smothered & covered, like Waffle House hash-browns.

  11. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    Earl Campbell, would’ve had a hard time.

  12. Crickett Baker Says:

    I hate to see people dissing Lenny. He is not called “Playoff” because of all the great plays he did not make. He got a TD last game and is one of the few players that did. I just can’t agree with playing him less. He may not be as good as White on a few things but White is not as good as Lenny on others.

  13. Goatfarmer Says:

    Crickett – I agree with you and wish the disgraced “check is in the bank” one season wonder Michael Clayhands would muzzle himself. He makes me nauseous.

  14. gotbbucs Says:

    I’ve said it several times, Fournette will get the yards that are manufactured for him, nothing more. If the hole isn’t there immediately he struggles to adlib on the go.

    He’s a 3rd down back at this point. He should be seeing 1/4 – 1/3 of the touches as White. If he can’t handle that like a man then he can always be deactivated. I feel good going out there with White, Vaughn, and Bernard.

  15. Dooley Says:

    Won’t count Lenny out that quickly, but if the hip pointer isn’t right hold on him this weekend and give me the ‘Chaad & Sneak show for 4 quarters. Would love to see a 3 WR set with those two sharing the backfield, but we’ve been heavily leaning on our TE rotation to hold value as 6th blockers on the OL so idk how likely it is to see that outside of a 4-2 min situational package.

  16. gofortheface30 Says:

    Is it a diss if its true. Lenny is mentally fragile and will be a bad, pouty, whiny teammate the very moment things don’t go his way. That is a fact. The fact that they have to walk on egg shells around an extremely AVERAGE runner is mind bending. Yes he had a pretty good post season a few yrs ago. I refuse to toss around the word great. F that, that wasnt some terrell davis level of playoff dominance ok, can we all just chill with the word “great.” Anyway, what he did a few yrs ago should be appreciated but not dilute anyone of the facts of what has happened in 2022

  17. Goatfarmer Says:

    Face must not watch a lot of football. Lenny didn’t give himself the nickname. The people that did wouldn’t know more than face, though. They just do football 24/7.

  18. Buc1987 Says:

    More White.

    Less Lenny.

  19. Erik Hesson | Fine Artist | Founder of Says:

    Casual Observer needs to watch a little more closely if they are recommending that we have the ball off to Lenny on ‘those short 4th & 1 plunges’….. Lol, PLEASE NO MORE OF THAT! HE’S PROVEN THAT HE IS NOT AN EFFECTIVE SHORT YARDAGE RB.

  20. Erik Hesson | Fine Artist | Founder of Says:

    Unless I misunderstood and Casual Observer was refering to Lenny plunging to the ground before the 1st down marker, then oh

  21. Erik Hesson | Fine Artist | Founder of Says:

    *hand the ball off

  22. BucsFanSince76 Says:

    What White has that Lenny lacks is simply better vision , I noticed it a lot in the Rams game , the hole was there , but Lenny could not see it. Concentrate on getting the players on the field necessary to win games , but quit worrying about bruised egos-preesh.

  23. Redeemer Says:

    Screw Lenny’s feelings. This is a results oriented game. Lenny is a full MPH slower at the line of scrimmage this year. It’s fair to blame some of his struggles on the line, but not all. White should get the majority of the snaps from here on out. If Lenny can’t handle it, play better. It’s not like they’re going to outright bench him. He’ll still get some touches. If he can’t handle it, and makes a stink, then he’s a bad teammate. White is clearly faster to the hole, has better vision and is more elusive. They still need LF IMO, because I don’t trust Vaughn.

  24. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    ‘Less Lenny’.
    Pure madness I tell you, pure madness.
    Unlike some posters here, Lenny knows what he is doing, and that is pacing himself for the big enchilada at the end of the season.

  25. captivajim Says:

    If Lenny is really a team guy –he wants the Bucs to win ,,& if that means White is a better match for a less aggressive line–he has realize that as a professional ..

    White has earned his right to play.

    Not unlike getting favorable match-ups with our receivers vs different db’s.. , or whether we’re going against a zone defense vs a man-to-man defense.

  26. David Says:

    I think it’s a combination. Lenny is going to hit a hole and then hit the tackler. White is patient before he hits the hole and alludes tacklers better. From what we’ve seen so far, White has better vision as well.
    Transitioning to utilize White more (and with a little better line play now that they are healthy and have a different left guard) should have the run game getting better.
    The fact that Lenny is so fragile sucks because he is needed. Pretty pathetic really. If anyone else loses their job they suck it up and try harder (except QBs who are also fragile).

  27. PewterStiffArm Says:

    Ok, so they just released the Offensive line depth chart. I know athletes don’t loose their standing via injury. I just noticed that Luke Goedeke is ahead of Nick Leverett already. Are you kidding me! If the run game suffers this Sunday because of this, Bowles is to blame.

  28. Texas Bucs Fan Says:

    There is no fair in sports. You either produce or you are gone! It matters very little what you did yesterday, only today counts..

  29. BucsFanSince1996 Says:

    Neither RB did well the entire season except each of them has had ONE good game out of 10. White did great last week and Lenny did great in the first game of the season.

    White was very impressive last week but having just ONE great game out of ten isn’t enough to justify anointing him as the #1 back. He needs to earn it and he hasn’t don’t that yet. Play both RBs and whoever is doing better give them most of the touches. It could change from week to week and we need both of them if we are to get to the promised land.

    Lombardi Lenny played an important role in winning the Super Bowl two years ago. And if we are to have a chance to get back there this year we’ll need him again.

  30. captivajim Says:

    PweterSA–thanx for update–that would be huge mistake for Bowls/leftworst to make …. Leverett has earned his position — but i suspect that Goedeke is Licht/Arians pet -they seem determined to prove their expertise in drafting

  31. steele Says:

    “Less aggressive”. Just say it: Ryan Jensen out. (And Marpet, Cappa.)

    “Less aggressive”. Just say it: Hainsey. Technical, diligent, beloved by coaches, but not a tone setter and not Ryan Jensen.

    “Less aggressive”. Goedeke, because he’s a rookie, and simply trying to learn the position.

    “Less aggressive”. Lenny has never been aggressive. Never explosive or decisive, tip toes, goes down if the “less aggressive” line doesn’t open up obvious lanes for him. Rachaad does a lot of those same things, only a slightly better version of it.

  32. Destinjohnny Says:

    Need to draft better lineman
    Not real complicated
    We passed on some badasses to take Robert and Luke
    They are below average

  33. Bob in valrico Says:

    I looked it up after the last game. Lenny had made 27 first downs, while White had 17. The percentage made was 20 % for Lenny and 25% for White by my calculations. Lenny also had 3 Td’s and more carries. Imo Lenny’s best game at Dallas was aided by Bo Keif work as lead blocker. The best comparison would come if they both get equal opportunities to see how they both respond.

  34. PassingThru Says:

    Not only is Goedeke attempting to transition to a new position, he isn’t strong enough to play that position. OGs and OTs are not simply interchangeable positions.

  35. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    If it was easy, I’d get up off the couch and do it.

  36. Goatfarmer Says:

    Tom needs to quietly hit Bowelswich in their faces and demand Nick keep his starting LG spot. But, stupid is as stupid does.

    No surprise if the Tardly Twosome trots Goedonkey out there after the offense finally played well.

    Goedonkey is not ready and has made it obvious.

  37. adam from ny Says:

    hopefully lenny and the new kid on the block can coexist and get the ground attack rolling right into the playoffs…

    it’s up to lenny tho, he’s still the boss back in the room…

    he’s just gotta handle it like the mack, and run hard af on his touches – like in munich 2 sundays ago…

    also things change in a heartbeat in the nfl, so no need to pout or shout…just stay motivated and navigate the maze in front of you

  38. Kentucky Buc Says:

    You guys are hilarious. Players that JBF posters wanted benched in 2022. Brady-Lenny-D White-Vita-Hicks-JTS-Julio-Gage. Hell there’s guys on here throwing shade at Evans and Godwin at different times this year. Everybody gets frustrated but some of you people are ridiculous. Lenny has proven himself in big games. Hell the biggest of games. Good teams work through their issues not make knee jerk decisions .

  39. garro Says:

    I undertand that the game has changed. But Clayon is correct about “we just need to get a hat on a hat. But you definitely need a running back who can find the hole”. Fragile ego Lenny has missed a few too many holes looking for the home run and being to slow and to patient instead of lowering his shoulder and hitting it! He showed last week he can be more effective when he does this.
    If Lenny can just continue as he did last week. Start either one it does’nt matter. Use them the same as we did in Germany.

    And a message to the OL. Some of you should be embarrassed at your run blocking technique. To many guys standing up after the snap. You dont get any push that way guys. Lower your pads!

  40. garro Says:

    umm BTW
    Less aggressive = Not gettin it done!

  41. Statguy Says:

    I’d rather be paying Tony Pollard than Lenny

  42. OLDE pfart Says:

    Should not also have to make the holes….a superior O line should make the hole and let the runners do their job….make yards….