“We Just Started Out With That Package”

November 14th, 2022

Rookie running back Rachaad White.

Todd Bowles is not ready to declare Rachaad White a starting running back and the head coach did an entertaining job explaining why White was the starter yesterday in place of Leonard “Lombardi Lenny” Fournette.

When asked about the starter switch from Fournette to White against the Seahawks, Bowles didn’t talk about White being a starter. He said the move was made against the Seahawks because “we just started out with that package,” referring to the script for the opening series.

That made Joe laugh. Hey Coach, everyone knows you picked plays and called on White to execute them out of the gate in a critical game. He was the starter because coaches wanted him to start.

Bowles said White was tapped to start because the Bucs were going with “a change-of-pace package,” which was amusing considering the opening drive sets the pace.

Regardless, Joe enjoyed the word chatter. It’s obvious Bowles wants to avoid any controversy among his running backs. White sure seems like a 100 percent team-first guy. But Fournette might become unglued if he goes to the bench for a stretch like he did in 2020.

As JoeBucsFan.com columnist Ira Kaufman wrote last week, the Bucs have been frustrated with Fournette’s effort. So Joe wasn’t surprised White got the call to start.

Fournette had a solid day — 14 carries for 57 yards and a touchdown — before leaving with a hip injury. White had career highs of 22 carries and 105 yards, and he left several yards on the field when he chose to slide on his final carry to set up Bucs’ kneel-downs rather than risk a turnover.

The stretch run for the Super Bowl arrives in 13 days following the Bucs’ bye week. Joe expects the team will put the best player on the field.

As for Fournette’s injury, Joe was intrigued to read ESPN insider Adam Schefter’s Tweet that Lenny will be just fine for the next game. Joe took that as a signal from Fournette to the Bucs that he’s 100 percent ready to get back his starting job.

49 Responses to ““We Just Started Out With That Package””

  1. Beej Says:

    Very different runners, I liken them to Alstott vs Dunn

  2. Dooley Says:


    Agreed, you could see White make a cut & get skinny behind the LOS where Lenny would just drop a shoulder and trudge forward. Totally different styles at the same position, but we should turn those two loose (Sneak too) heading into this 7 game stretch to end the season.

  3. Rod Munch Says:

    Both guys bring different things. I think Fournette is still going to be your guy on most passing downs just because he can block (at least more proven at the moment) – although White is the more natural pass catcher. Regardless it’s a good issue to have at the moment. But once they’re off that super soft field where the big guys didn’t have traction, we’re going to see the return to normal. The Bucs would be very stupid to take away from this game that they magically fixed their run game.

    With that said, there’s a simple fix for the run game. STOP BEING SO PREDICTABLE. You can literally take the awful Leftwich playbook and make it work by just reordering the plays. Run on 1st down, what you had ready for 3rd down, then on 2nd down, run your 1st down run up the middle, etc. MIX IT UP. And then shockingly, same plays, begin to work when the defense doesn’t know what is coming.

  4. SKBucsFan Says:

    Mixing it up would mean that Leftwich thinks something is wrong with his play calling. One of these times a first down run is going to break for more than 3 yards and he’s going to strut around the field like he’s a genius. The law of averages has to work eventually. Right???

  5. Dew Says:

    Lennny`s weight is slowing him down.

  6. gp Says:

    Hey Joe,
    Have you been able to obtain a good stillshot of White throwing Diggs to the turf yet?
    That kind of “attitude” play can spark the attitude of the entire team. Something we haven’t seen much of this year. Hope this re-sparks team attitude for the rest of the season.

  7. sasquatch Says:

    Fournette would not even have a place on this team next year if it weren’t for 7 million guaranteed. No one believes Fournette is our best option at RB. Licht made a lot of “all-in” investments this offseason and they have almost all failed. Paying Lenny 7 million per year guaranteed is one of them. I don’t blame him for trying to keep the window open. It’s just been a lot of bad luck, but also predictable — Julio hurt a lot, Rudolph being done, Hicks out with injury. Fournette just isn’t a very good player anymore. He just looks slow and stiff.

  8. WillieG Says:

    Maybe it’s time for some two back sets?

  9. BucsFanSince76 Says:

    Fournette does not see the holes as well as White, does not have the burst of White, nor does he have the YAC capability of White, but other than those 3 things Fournette is probably better…..

  10. JD Says:

    even when toilet bowles does somthing good, he screws it up by lying!

  11. Redeemer Says:

    We just started out with that package. Bologna. White is clearly the better ball carrier right now. You can see it in his burst and vision, and the coaches know it. It’s no coincidence the best rushing day they’ve had since week one, also was a season high in attempts for White. I was never a fan of resigning LF to that number. Another excuse I heard was Lenny’s passport issue. He made the flight, so that’s bull too.

  12. Buccos Says:

    Lasagna Lenny is the back up. You heard it here first

  13. unbelievable Says:

    He’s trying to manage Lenny’s feelings…

    Let’s just hope they continue to ‘start with that package’ lol

  14. Ash Says:

    Lenny’s vision is very suspect if the hole isnt obvious he will miss it you can clearly see white has better vision.

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    Looking at the play-calls, Bucs ran it a bunch on 1st downs: 11 runs to 6 passes on 1st down in the 1st half (plus 1 kneeldown), and 12 runs to 3 passes in the 2nd half (plus 1 kneeldown). IOW we ran it a LOT more on 1st down than we’ve been doing (23 runs to 9 passes).

    In the 1st half, we ran it 6 times up the middle on 1st down, 4 runs to the right & 1 run to the left. In the 2nd half, it was 2 up the middle, 5 to the right & 5 to the left. So overall, we spread the 1st down runs out pretty good in the game: 8 up the middle, 9 to the right, 6 to the left for a total of 23 opportunities in 1st downs, plus 2 kneeldowns. Fournette carried on 7 of them, White on 14 & Vaughn on 2 of them.

    What’s interesting to me is that of the 38 rushes we had in the game (plus 6 kneeldowns), only 5 runs were 10 yards or over… 4 by White (10, 29, 12 & 18 yards) and 1 by Lenny (10 yards). Most of White’s big runs came in the 2nd half, 1 in the 3rd qtr & 2 on the last drive of the game.

    Rashaad had 22 rushes for 105 yards (4.8 YPC), so 18 of those went for 36 yards (2.0 YPC). Lenny had 14 rushes for 57 yards (4.1 YPC), so 13 of those went for 47 yards (3.6 YPC). Looks to me like Lenny was more consistent overall in his rushing, but he doesn’t break the big ones. White on the other hand will eventually break several big ones, IF we stay consistent with the run game.

  16. Eckwood Says:

    If you can’t see the lack of acceleration and the holes missed by Fournette your missing the game ? Hey, he does allot of things well and Tom trusts him but Bowles has got a who’s in charge problem that Arians didn’t have and it’s costing this team . The announcers called out Fournette because they watch tape before the broadcast and his lack of vision and wasted holes drove them nuts …….. listen Fournette is still an asset but he is a way below avg runner with above avg versatility right now . He is a 2 nd and 9 or even 11 nightmare on first down .

  17. Rod Munch Says:

    Defense Rules – Good post, I love when people take the time to actually find the stats to make their points.

    Any breakdown on the average of running up the middle vs off tackle? I really do think using yesterday’s game as an example of anything is a waste due to field conditions, but I’m open to being wrong, and still love seeing the numbers. Anywho, if you have a source that gives you those breakdowns, let me know. If you’re doing the numbers yourself, congrats for putting in the effort!

  18. Goatfarmer Says:

    That package — that they started with — the first three plays, are great for getting the punter warmed up.

  19. Conte Piscatelli Says:

    What Lenny does excel at right now is protection and occasionally punishing a db if he gets to the second level. He has good hands and has been very reliable catching the ball. Maybe he would be best served as a third down back?

  20. unbelievable Says:

    Defense Rules Says:
    November 14th, 2022 at 3:36 pm

    IOW we ran it a LOT more on 1st down than we’ve been doing (23 runs to 9 passes).


    Pretty similar last week against the Rams as well, at least during the first 3 quarters of the game. Against LA, the Bucs ran the ball on 12 out of their first 14 1st down plays. That’s beyond predictable… which would be okay if they were actually getting some decent yardage on those runs, but we all know they were not. Finally in the 4th quarter they went hurry up and started mixing things up.

    Hoping that yesterday was not a fluke, and that the o-line continues run blocking (and White continues getting more snaps). Clearly this is how we can start stacking wins.

  21. JimmyfromNY Says:

    They are completely different facts but the same. Both are good power backs able to get short yardage if needed with blocking but only one is able to do it with making people miss and that’s white. White also has the ability to catch out of the backfield as well as Lenny and picks up blitz is about the same. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see the whites the best option right now, to the person saying more 2 back sets you’re 100% right both with good hands out of the backfield it opens up different parts of the throwing game.

  22. robert Says:

    I said pre-season this guy needed snaps. he’s got more speed, cutting ability and gettin jiggy wid it in him than LF. Love LF, but ths guy can make it to the edge, hit small holes harder and juke people

  23. Your Mom Says:

    You can give Fournette one series and then if he can’t get it done, put White in.

  24. ocala Says:

    Rashad looks like a much more explosive player and has natural receiving ability. Why in the world would he not start??

  25. Tampabaybucfan Says:


    I like the kneel downs the best, don’t you?

  26. D-Rok Says:

    Having 2-back sets mostly erases the predictable part of our play-calling, only, and AFTER, we do different things out of said 2-back set.

    I’d guess it would be good to see at least five 2-back sets per game, and if it works, a few more.

  27. Daryl Green Says:

    Tip Toe Lenny FULL STOP 🤙🏾👊🏾

  28. Daryl Green Says:

    TIP TOE Lenny FULL STOP 🤙🏾👏🏾👏🏾

  29. NDOG is an Idiot Says:

    50/50 split! (To protect Lasagna Lenny’s feelings) and Lichts contract overpay

  30. Defense Rules Says:

    TBBF … Yes, the kneeldowns are certainly the most consistent.

  31. Defense Rules Says:

    Rod … Agree with you about field conditions (not exactly optimal), BUT … BOTH teams were running on the same field. Bucs got 161 yards, Seahawks got 39.

    Wish I had a source I could go to for analysis, but no, I just get curious about something & explore it using the play-by-play. For example, Lenny’s 1 run of 10 yards was around left end. White’s 10 yard run (1st half) was over right guard. His 29-yard scamper came over left guard, his 12-yarder was up the middle & his 18-yarder was off right tackle. Really 5 runs there over 5 different OLinemen. Hardly what I’d call predictable yesterday, just good old-fashioned smashmouth football. Gotta love it.

  32. Bob in valrico Says:

    just curious if you know where RB’s stats for first downs are listed. I would like to know how many first downs each back had. That would be an interesting comparison.

  33. Doctor_Berto Says:

    Lenny is doo doo. Closes his eyes and just runs forward. Also lacks the twitchiness needed to make guys miss. White needs to start here on out.

  34. Kidfloflo Says:

    If we just passed on first for 5 or 6 yds, then ran it for are classic 3 yds we would have 3 and short most of the game and could run any play at that point!

  35. Defense Rules Says:

    BTW, for those bad-mouthing Lenny, they give you different things. Rashaad had 12 rushes of 2 yards or less out of his 22 rushes (54%). Lenny had 5 rushes for 2 yards or less out of his 14 rushes (35%). IOW Lenny will usually get you ‘something’ but don’t hold your breath waiting for him to break the big one. Rashaad is much more likely to explode for a long run, but on the grind-em-out situations, I wouldn’t hold my breath hoping Rashaad will get you the 3 yards or so needed. Of course, that being said, it still all depends on how well your OLine is blocking that game.

  36. SPARKY Says:

    I’m thinking White is a better passer than Lenny too.

  37. Ed Says:

    Both of these guys should play and do what is best for the team to win. Fournette is being paid in the top 15 of all running backs in the league but his production isn’t even top 20.

    Easy math, 10 games in, averaging 46 yards per game rushing on an average of 16 rushes per game.

    Out of the 50 top backs in the league, Fournette’s 3.3 yard per carry average is the lowest in the NFL!

    He cannot justify that he should be a focal point of the offense. After 10 games he is a very small contributor to the offense. White’s average isn’t much better at 3.7 yards per carry.

    They both need to play but you can see that White is improving whereas Fournette isn’t unless he plays with a higher level of intensity.

  38. Lg55 Says:

    I’ve said it before and will say again:Stop trick plays we don’t have the speed nor the imagination to make it work. Heck we gotta learn the regular stuff first.
    Stay in shotgun and have fun, stop running 1st down up the middle. Brady could just tell ref we’re skipping 1st down and going right to 2nd and 10.😃

  39. gotbbucs Says:

    Good Lord it’s sad how far they have to go to tip toe around Fournettes ego. They can’t even publicly admit that the running back that started yesterday’s game did in fact start the game.

  40. Defense Rules Says:

    Bob in Valrico … I like Pro-Football-Reference for most individual stats. If you click on the player’s name (or just type it in the Searchbox) it’ll give you what you’re asking about (1st Downs Made). The Advanced Stats for Rushing & Receiving (or the Advanced Defense stats for defensive players) really have some good stuff (YAC, Broken Tackles, Average Depth of Target, etc).

    Individual games don’t really give all that much insight far as I’m concerned (player might be injured, wife might’ve left him, etc) but stats over the course of a season & over a career can give a decent picture of how well a player is performing relative to others in his position.

  41. LakelandSteve Says:

    White should be the starter and we all know it, I think so does Bowles. The problem is Lenny has a fragile ego and they are trying to keep him somewhat happy. We shall see if Lenny becomes a team player or an Antonio Brown this year as his reps decline.

  42. matthew veal Says:

    When white put Diggs down, he showed everything. I love Lenny but the guy is making you have to work to be goid enough to take carries from him

  43. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Why does anyone think why Brady wanted fournette on this team when he decided to unretire?
    They don’t call him playoff Lenny for nothing my mindless little minions😂

  44. Wild Bill Says:

    Hey having two dam good running backs is a good thing. Now if we can pass on first down…….

  45. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Wild Bill. Right on. You idiots that think Lenny’s not going to be needed are morons. Lenny’s beat to hell right now. It’s obvious. We need both backs. Not either or. Whites going to get beat up too. A lot of fair weather fans on here.

  46. Rod Munch Says:

    Defense Rules – Good point on the yardage split between the two teams. I will say that people who pay attention to the Seahawks, said the Bucs would like fix their running game this week. I’m just not sold at all that just doing the same thing we’ve done all year suddenly worked and now the run game is fixed. There was slightly more variety to the play calling in the 2nd quarter of the game, so at least that is promising.

    Also, Joe, made a very fair point, that if Leftwich doesn’t call that stupid trick play TWICE over the span of a few plays, they had plenty of momentum to go in for a TD, and then White slid down at the end when he could have scored a TD, had those two things happen, we’re not talking about a 35 point outburst, instead of 21. But I also fear that says everything about who is running this team, that they’re happy scoring 21, when they should be scoring 30.

    Anyways, again, I appreciate the effort in your post. I love when people actually take the time to look at numbers instead of just spouting nonsense or making grand claims based off a single post on Twitter.

  47. shak_bucs Says:

    I’m late, but White said it was because Lenny almost didn’t get his passport cleared or something along those lines. Cue the WTF you lying meme!

  48. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist - Founder of UniqueModernArt.com Says:

    These 2 guys could toatlly be like Alstott and Dunn-esque…

    IF ……. Let me clear my throat..

    IF Lenny will check his EGO at the door to the stadium and split carries gracefully and be a TEAM guy.

    A Healthy and Productive RB rotation is a great thing for any offense to hope for…

    White has earned the RB1 workload, and Lenny might be more effective as the change of pace RB.

  49. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist - Founder of UniqueModernArt.com Says:


    Anyway, hopefully this RB tandem flourishes and hopefully Lenny is a good teammate the rest of the season and both RB’s contribute significantly to our SB run and victory.