Damien Harris And The Bucs

March 20th, 2023

Joe was among the many fans disgusted by the horror show that typically was the Buccaneers’ short-yardage running game last season.

Leonard “Lombardi Lenny” Fournette was inexcusably soft in that department, and Rachaad White was ok at best.

With Todd Bowles and new playcaller Dave Canales committed to pounding the rock, Joe thinks the Bucs need a more reliable option on 3rd-and-2 (yes, Joe expects this offense to hand off a lot in that situation).

Sitting on the free agent running backs market is Patriots bruiser Damien Harris. This doesn’t surprise Joe considering Bill Belicheat seems to hate paying running backs.

Once upon a time in 2016, former Bucs running back LeGarrette Blount hammered away for 1,161 yards and 18 touchdowns in New England — eighteen! — and Belicheat let him walk in free agency. The Eagles signed Blount for a shade over $1 million and proceeded to win the Super Bowl that season with him Blount as a big contributor.

Harris just turned 26 and has a career average of 4.7 yards per carry, and he has been a beast in short yardage. In 2021, he was the Patriots starter (a team that went 11-5) and churned out 929 yards and 15 touchdowns on 202 carries.

The free agent market is depressed for running backs because there is so much talent in the draft, and rookie RBs continue to thrive in the league year after year. So Joe thinks Harris would come cheap and provide great competition for Rachaad White.

42 Responses to “Damien Harris And The Bucs”

  1. RGA Says:

    I don’t think Lenny or White were soft, the O’line was the culprit. Got to have positive push from the O’line.

  2. William Walls Says:

    Not only that ^^^, but an offensive playbook that creates opportunities to attack the defense in ways that might actually work would also help.

  3. William Walls Says:

    Oh, and a NFL-level game plan, too.

  4. William Walls Says:

    Oh, and an NFL-level gameplan.

  5. BucsfanFred Says:

    I imagine we’ll just draft one. If not we can sign him after the draft.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It was Bucs QB Du Jour…..then we got Mayfield…..will it now be Bucs RB Du Jour?

  7. PSL Bob Says:

    RGA, I agree to a degree. The O-line couldn’t provide a hole with a Bobcat. But part of that was the scheming. Leftwich would invariably run to the weak side. I have a feeling Canales will develop plays to open seams for our RBs. I predict more involvement in blocking from our WRs, TEs, and the FB than under the vanilla plans implemented by Leftwich.

  8. SKBucsFan Says:

    Not sure it was on the backs last year. Lack of creativity and injuries to the O Line didn’t help. White and Vaughn will be good if given reasonable chances by an improved O-Line. RB’s should only have to beat their guy..not their guy and two D Linemem that weren’t blocked.

  9. sasquatch Says:

    I see the Bucs drafting a RB. If they do, and they also want to add a bruiser, either Keshawn Vaughn or Chase Edmonds are out. Carrying more than 4 RBs makes little sense, though Edmonds could justify his spot by working as a returner.

  10. BuccoBruce Says:

    I am not expecting much with this coaching staff. If we can back into the playoffs, I will be happy with that. I would rather see Bowels gone though. I believe they ride the season and wait to see some big name coaches let go next year. I believe Ron Rivera would be a great fit. He was never given a great team in Washington to run.

  11. Bucs56 Says:

    Availability. Harris runs straight up and takes a pounding. Lot of missed starts in his career. Try the mid rounds of the draft.

  12. Nicholas Carlson Says:

    My read was that we had no push in the center of the line, and if we had, any replacement level RB could have done much better in short yardage.

  13. Jvato24 Says:

    He runs hard!!!

  14. Goatfarmer Says:

    Can he block? Can he catch?

  15. SB~LV Says:

    I love a strong running game, when needed, however Bowles and whomever is thinking about running the ball “more” is absolutely swimming upstream and destined for embarrassment.
    The 2023 NFL has a baited trail enticing teams to throw throw throw and ring up the scoreboard. It has evolved to the level that QB’s that can throw and be running threats are the present and the future of the game.
    Bowles =‘s black hightop cleats.
    He had to have watched the play off in recent years.
    We need explosive
    that is 2023 NFL !

  16. SB~LV Says:

    Why my post 12:27 PM ^^^ is awaiting Moderation is bizarre

  17. Pewter Power Says:

    Would have preferred him over chase Edmonds. Chase does nothing unique that white can’t do and it was a waste of money with sitting out there to replace Lenny

  18. SB~LV Says:

    John McKay could come back from the grave, watch a year of the NFL , adjust and put a better roster together than the Bucs front offices that somehow see something in Todd Bowles .

  19. Brandon Says:

    Fournette was an awful short yardage runner. No quickness to find holes, zero leg drive, legs quit moving. He’ll be easy to find an upgrade.

  20. Bobby M. Says:

    Fournettee no longer ran like he was hungry for a pay day. He’d flash occasionally but mostly tip toed short yardage trying to bounce outside. With vet RBs you have to sign guys to one yr/prove it deals OR draft young RBs hungry for a pay day.

  21. NutterBuccer Says:

    Would be a perfect signing and take away any need to draft a running back whatsoever in the draft with white. Harris. Edmunds. Vaughn.

  22. Bigz Says:

    Loved Harris at Bama and thought he was underrated. He played well for the Pats. This would be a solid pick up.

  23. Voice of Truth Says:

    Can we find someone that runs with the determination of Pacheco from KC – imaging Lumbering Lenny with that kind of effort….

  24. adam from ny Says:

    isn’t rojo a free agent

  25. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    The last thing I want to see is Rojo trying to pound it in from the 1. Over and over.

  26. Buc4evr Says:

    Lenny was a good RB hampered by a terrible run blocking O-line. Hard to do much with an O line and TE’s that have no push, miss assignments and that let the RB get caught in the back field. Wonder how many times the TEs missed their blocking assignments last year?

  27. Just Leave Trask Alone Says:

    You want a bruiser?

    Tavion Thomas.

  28. Rod Munch Says:

    If it means not wasting another draft pick on a RB, then I’m all for it. Also Damien Harris was a bit up and down, but generally he looked pretty good. Not a star, but if he had to play, he’s not going to hurt you at all.

  29. Rod Munch Says:

    Buc4evr Says:
    March 20th, 2023 at 1:45 pm
    Lenny was a good RB hampered by a terrible run blocking O-line.


    It’s hard to get good run blocking when the other team literally has 8 people in the box and is run blitzing because they know exactly what play is being called.

    Remarkably that same awful run blocking offensive line didn’t have issues run blocking when they didn’t run in completely predictable situations, like on 2nd and 3rd down.

    The issue wasn’t the line, or the running backs, it was the God awful moronic OC. I mean when literally 80% of people in the comments here can yell out that it’s about to be another run up the middle on 1st down, what do you think defense coordinators can do?

  30. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Rojo is in Dallas today and expect him to sign with Cowboys to spell Pollard. Rojo is a good back that consistently breaks long runs and he will be a good fit in Dallas as he is from Texas.

  31. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    Just switching the run blocking scheme from man to Zone will have a large impact. I would say we as fans don’t even know what we have at running back. The offensive line last year was terrible at run blocking. The switch to zone means linebackers shouldn’t be running free.

  32. Rod Munch Says:

    I don’t understand why the Titans don’t sign Rojo, he’d be a perfect backup for Henry, and in that offense, they don’t ask the RB to catch the ball. In an offense like that, he’d be really effective I think – and RB’s don’t cost anything anymore.

    But who knows, maybe he completely flaked out. I was always concerned with his mental state when he was drafted and on ESPN they showed the footage of him at home and literally everyone was all dressed in white, like some sort of cult.

  33. Biff Barker Says:


    Never could figure out why Fournette was so poor in short yardage situations. We gotta team Ko up with a bruising back.

  34. Destinjohnny Says:

    When u have the worst line in the nfl
    How much production should
    U expect from your backs ?

  35. JonCyn90 Says:

    Mohamed Ibrahim from Minnesota 1665 yards, 20 td, 5.2 yards per. Projected to go in the 6th round

  36. gotbbucs Says:

    The first sentence in the last paragraph sums it up and begs the question, why sign another free agent running back before the draft? It’s a pointless waste of money right now.

  37. Donuts Says:

    Harris just signed with NE again. Next.

  38. Browsing from DC Says:

    Lenny soft? C’mon Joe. You can’t expect anyone to gain yards by running up the gut into a wall of linemen and LBs with no hole in sight.

    I believe he also had around 2.7 yards after contact. As others said, better o-line play, play design, etc and I’d still ride with “sure hands” Lenny.

  39. Jon Grudin Says:

    See if anyone decent falls to rounds 5-7 or undrafted. If not then get Rojo or Harris of cheap after the draft if cheap enough.
    But backup RB needs to be a good special teams player which Rojo is not IIRC

    I’d like to see what Patrick Laird can do.

  40. Depressed 2023 Says:

    Sounds like a no brainer

  41. Statguy Says:

    Maybe kick the tires on Kareem Hunt

  42. Statguy Says:

    Eckler is on the block also. The way the RB market is ,could he be had for a 3rd? Still highley productive , Fantastic out the backfield