“Ready To Turn Heads Around The League”

May 3rd, 2023

Running back Rachaad White

Joe might owe an apology to Bucs general manager Jason Licht.

Joe wrote here last week that Licht was about to disappear for a long time when it comes to media appearances and being a face of the Bucs. That didn’t happen.

Licht paid a visit to WDAE radio yesterday and was a strong interviewee. Joe already shared Licht’s take on signing a new quarterback and Tristan Wirfs not being set at left tackle.

Licht also talked about his running backs stable. The Bucs surprised a lot of fans by not adding a running back in the NFL Draft last week. Per the GM, one reason was the Bucs are content because second-year running back Rachaad White is about to break out in a big way.

“We’re pretty happy with it right now,” Licht said of the running backs group. “We think Rachaad is just a tremendous player that’s gonna really turn a lot of heads this year around the league. I think the Buc fans know what he’s capable of doing, but I think he’s going to take another step.”

Joe is not sure what to make of White. He flashed last season as a rookie but overall he wasn’t special for the league’s worst rushing attack. Regardless, Joe is pleased to hear the Bucs think White will make the big second-year leap often associated with great players.

Licht also reiterated his stance on Ke’Shawn Vaughn as a player who consistently has stepped up when given a chance. Vaughn only got 17 carries last season, as many as he got in the playoffs in the 2021 season.

Veteran free agent signee Chase Edmonds is a running back the Bucs strongly considered in free agency last year, Licht revealed, before Edmonds was signed by Miami.

This year was different, Licht said, Edmonds pursued the Bucs and wanted to play in Tampa.

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46 Responses to ““Ready To Turn Heads Around The League””

  1. SB~LV Says:

    I am a fan of RW … slippery at the point of contact and great hands!
    What is not to like?

  2. zzbuc Says:

    I have strong faith on White, despite an less than average OL he managed to do some stuff…..
    This will be an important season for him, specially when everybody expects that the Bucs will run the ball more often.

  3. robert Says:

    LOVE me some RW. I think he has huge upside!

  4. Red Skeleton Says:

    I don’t blame the backs for the poor numbers last season. They were often shedding tackles as they were getting the ball in their hands. When first contact is common in the backfield you can’t put it all on the backs. I don’t totally blame the line either. Hopefully the X&O’s will make the biggest difference.

  5. stpetebucfan Says:

    I know I’m the old guy here but has everybody forgotten about Earnest Graham.

    A blocking back forced into actual RB duties in his 4th year he effing exploded!

    Graham had no starting assignments his first three years and ran the ball 13-28-11 times in each of those first three seasons. And what did Graham do when he FINALLY got his shot. Check these numbers!!

    In year FOUR Graham started 10 games got 222 carries and the production…

    898 yards-10TDs-4 yard per carry-targeted 69x in the passing game Graham caught 71% 49 catches 324 yards 6.6 yards per catch and 13 of those went for 1st downs. That’s more than 1200 yards of total offensive production!

    Admittedly I’m a huge admirer of Graham and prejudiced and White appears to have even better skill sets. If White has half the heart of Graham there’s no reason he won’t blow up this year! Canales WILL improve the running game. OL choices will be based as much on the ability to move DL as to protect an aging slow statue at QB.

  6. LakelandSteve Says:

    That is one of the strongest statements in May about a running back that I have read from Licht. If he believes it they must be seeing something from White for him to make that type of statement. Let’s hope he’s right and this rushing attack can get going enough to balance our offense. Go Bucs!

  7. MadMax Says:

    Always remember, in goal line situations, in close ganes and you need that emergency big man, you hand the ball to Big V…and I dont mean have him block, we tried that and he blew right through and they just waited for him and still got to the ball carrier. Give it to big V!!

  8. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Joe’s continued dismissal of last year’s inferior OLine is dumbfounding.

  9. ModHairKen Says:

    So then it’s on the coaches? Good. As it should be. Don’t want to hear any complaining about QB. Look at the cast of misfits Gruden and Dungy had to deal with. They both were fired after winning seasons.

  10. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Sounds like Dave Canales wants to put players in position that suits their strength. This should make White a better player.

  11. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I really liked White’s college tape and the way he ran in the pro’s matched up.

    IMO he’s like a slightly lighter Leveon Bell. Very patient but calculated run style and great soft hands.

    He was also better in short yardage and red zone IMO than Fournette. Fournette dances too much

  12. Dooley Says:

    Wish White well this season, but I also wish he’d stop carrying the ball like it’s a 2-Liter of Pepsi from here on out. IDK what we have in Edmonds, fan of Vaughn or at least the potential of Vaughn having shot to do something, but I’m most intrigued by Tucker’s addition to our RB room. You don’t pay a guy with a heart condition w/o having some idea of how it’ll effect his future as a player, so that’ll be something to keep an eye on moving forward.

  13. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Edmonds should be like an upgrade to Gio IMO. Solid 3rd down pass catching back.

    Tucker’s film looks tasty. His stop / start acceleration is pretty awesome.

    Also was just re watching White’s rookie season highlights. I forgot he scored the clutch game winning TD vs the Saints. His route on that play was super clean / guy got wide open

  14. Pewter Power Says:

    He ended up being the best running back we had. We may see that the scheme was an issue Or run up the gut on nearly every single first down play of an entire season. Says a lot that LF was cut

  15. Allbuccedup Says:

    One injury an no running game. Keep spending draft picks on defensive line and edge rushers hopefully our 1st round pick and YaYa will be better than Tyron and Hall.

  16. Mike Says:

    He’s an excellent back and will get more opportunities to shine with the new OC and run zone blocking scheme. Looking forward to seeing him break out!

  17. David Says:

    I like White a lot but Vaughn as #2? He seems average.
    The kid they just picked up from Syracuse is probably the best pure runner on the team. Phenomenal quickness and take it to the house speed.
    I hope his medical issues get resolved.

  18. Hodad Says:

    Joe if you keep looking back at what players did, or the team did last year you’re making a mistake. This is a new year, new team. Even some of the same players like White will play different this year. New coach, new scheme, should be better results.

  19. Cobraboy Says:

    White definitely flashed…in a horribly predictable, pathetic, bone-headed offense run by possibly the worst OC in league history.

    I like White, and feel sorry for the guy because of Leftwich (who is still unemployed.)

    I blame Bowles for allowing Leftwich to destroy the Buc O.

  20. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “I blame Bowles for allowing Leftwich to destroy the Buc O.”

    Agree. Bowles should get way more heat for the offense than he has. Or at least more blame than putting 100% on Leftwich.

    If this offense isn’t successful I’m also putting it on Bowles. he’s the freaking head coach and just picked his new OC.

    And because the NFL is so bad about assigning blame or telling us who really actually makes any decision, we really don’t know how much we should blame Bowles vs Leftwich. And I hate that lol.

  21. EEK Says:

    still some quality RB FAs on the market including Lenny

    no doubt the Bucs will bring in 1-2 more to compete for roster spots

    R White will get his chance for sure this year

  22. Brandon Says:


    I liked what Graham did as well… he got what was there and usually a yard or two more. He was a breath of fresh air, especially after replacing an extremely ineffective and rapidly declining Cadillac Williams.

  23. Dooley Says:

    “And because the NFL is so bad about assigning blame or telling us who really actually makes any decision, we really don’t know how much we should blame Bowles vs Leftwich. And I hate that lol.”

    Wow this explains a lot, not just in Buc fandom, but sports fandom period.

  24. Bucs Guy Says:

    As a general rule, the Bucs should take at least one OL or DL in the 1st or 2nd round EVERY year in the draft. Think about it, almost half of your starters are OL/DL (9 of 22).

  25. Oxycondoms Says:

    Fantasy football sleeper

  26. TonySoprano Says:

    Exactly Cobra. It cannot be underestimated how predictable our plays were last year. Every defense we faced knew if a run or pass was coming, thanks to Leftwurst’s mind-numbingly simple playbook. Every formation presnap told the defense what we were about to do. Very difficult to run the ball when 11 defenders know it’s coming.

  27. stpetebucfan Says:

    I get the hostility directed at Leftwich. Finally someone here connected dots that Bowles should haven’t let him run the offense the way he did.

    My question is how do we know that Leftwich wasn’t running the offense Bowles asked him to run?

  28. Smashsquatch Says:

    Hard to properly evaluate White in Lefty’s offense. I’m expecting a big jump from him this year. Sneak is a capable backup, and Chase provides veteran leadership while he sits in the emergency glass jar. Tucker is the X factor, should he be cleared to play. Canales’ run game will be much improved with a better scheme, improved o-line, and less predictable play calling.

  29. Just Leave Trask Alone Says:

    I’m skeptical. I didn’t see much that led me to believe he was a lead dog.

  30. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    I was watching some Dunn and Alstott Bucs highlights a couple nights ago. The blocking was impressive. From the O-line all the way to WR’s downfield. Everyone contributed. The line stayed on thier blocks even if a hole wasn’t there. That allowed Dunn to bounce it outside and still have success. Everyone was fired up to run the ball and had pride in it. I hope Canales takes the time to look back at past rushing attacks from this team.

  31. Ateonetree Says:

    I trust licht here on this one. RW was stuck in his rookie year with Leftwichs predictable play calling . I think he breaks out this year .

  32. Cobraboy Says:

    @stpete: if Leftwich ran what Bowles told him to run, he would not have been fired.

    Bowles has said he was hands-off the O.

  33. Bucsfanman Says:

    stpete- Another fan of Earnest Graham. It was a great story before injuries cut it short.

    Unlike Rojo, who showed nothing his rookie season, White has shown flashes. With a better game plan and more focus on running the ball, there’s no reason not to believe that he can be successful.

  34. rrsrq Says:

    White does not lack confidence, neither Rachaad or Devin. That being said, we have to hope our offensive line gets some push this year, i think we will have backs unlike Lenny, that will hit a crease instead of trying to get there feet established, ala, Michael Pittman style.

  35. Buc1987 Says:

    Leftwich was horrible.

    That is all.

  36. BucU Says:

    Seeing Byron still out of a job is a damning statement on how bad he really is without elite talent everywhere. Ariens should be sent back home to Arizona for hyping up BL as the next big thing.

  37. Noleriff Says:

    “Worst rushing attack in the league” might have had something to do evry other team knew Left-twit was gonna run up the middle every 1st and 3rd down…..

    Just Sayin…

  38. Joe Says:

    Seeing Byron still out of a job is a damning statement on how bad he really is without elite talent everywhere.

    Lefty called Marcus Freeman at Notre Dame looking for OC gig. Instead Freeman went to Door No. 3 and promoted his TE coach rather than take Leftwich. LOL

  39. Just Leave Trask Alone Says:

    I want to be hopeful for this kid, but I’m just not seeing it

  40. Just Leave Trask Alone Says:

    Word is Derrick Henry could be released. Dude didn’t look done last year to me. 1500 yards. You want to be a power running team get that guy.

  41. Davebucfan Says:

    If the Bucs want to be a run first team you need to have two feature backs,just like when they had Dunn and Alston.

  42. ABucAway Says:

    I’m sticking with White this year. Last year I said he would be rb1 and here he is. I’ll go out on limb and predict hell be double his output from last year.

  43. Destinjohnny Says:

    Sucks he has to run behind the worst line in football

  44. LongSeason Says:

    If RW gets better blocking he can be a great back.
    There were times last year it looked like no one on the Bucs O-Line blocked anyone on running plays. Even some of the best backs in history might have had problems with that.
    Everything starts up front.

  45. garro Says:

    The running game starts with the play calling then the offensive line. Very Very few Running backs can do anything without the big guys making holes to run through.

    Nothing pisses and offensive lineman off more than missing a block. The lone exception is making the block and the running back goes the wrong way or dances around in the backfield looking for the home run play…

    Leonard Fournette… He left alot of yards out on the field because he refused to just hit the hole the way the play was called. Granted the holes were almost never gaping, but there were yards there. This is not to excuse Leftnuts play calling.

  46. garro Says:

    Dooley Says:
    May 3rd, 2023 at 11:02 am

    “And because the NFL is so bad about assigning blame or telling us who really actually makes any decision, we really don’t know how much we should blame Bowles vs Leftwich. And I hate that lol.”

    What you said. I strongly suspect Bowles had more to do with it than we know.