Ezekiel Elliott Still Linked To Bucs

June 2nd, 2023

More Bucs chatter.

Joe has a strong feeling there will be one of two reactions by Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht when the 2023 season comes to a close.

His decision not to address the running back room — sorry, Joe doesn’t count adding Chase Edmonds who didn’t even break 250 yards rushing last year as “addressing” — despite the Bucs having the worst rushing attack in the NFL, will either look like a genius move or Licht will be doing a facepalm.

Rarely does a team with the worst rushing attack not select a running back in the following spring’s draft, especially when that draft is stocked with running backs.

Indirectly, Licht has demonstrated a tremendous amount of confidence in Rachaad White and Ke’Shawn Vaughn, and put a lot of pressure on their shoulders. If both flop, it’s not going to look good (unless you are one of many who believe the Bucs are half-tanking for a quarterback next spring)

Perhaps it is for this reason that national NFL analysts just cannot imagine why Licht wouldn’t want washed up former Cowboys great Ezekiel Elliott.

Add ESPN’s Matt Bowen to this list.

Elliott is still one of the NFL’s top goal-line and short-yardage runners, and he would complement Rachaad White’s skill set in the Bucs’ backfield. In 2022, Elliott had 12 touchdowns with nine scores on carries inside the 5-yard line.

Yes, the 27-year-old’s speed has declined at this stage of his career, and he’s not going to give a team much as a receiver. We can see that on the tape. But as a No. 2 in Tampa, Elliott would bring value to the offense in key game situations.

As Joe wrote yesterday, it is very plausible that offensive coordinator SpongeBob’s scheme was a bad fit for White. But to his credit, White wouldn’t go there when Joe spoke to him on Tuesday.

Joe hopes Licht’s decision not to get an upgrade for the league’s worst run game makes him look like a savant come November.

37 Responses to “Ezekiel Elliott Still Linked To Bucs”

  1. SOEbuc Says:

    Still don’t understand Spong Bob reference. Sponge bob loud and firey. Let’s just say Byron’s not.

  2. Joe Says:

    Still don’t understand Spong Bob reference.

    “Leftwich was so far over his head as offensive coordinator he ought to be called ‘SpongeBob.'”

    For further explanation, SpongeBob resided on the seafloor, where the surface of the ocean was way over his head.

    Hope that helps.

  3. Buccos Says:


  4. Duane Says:

    A healthier, in shape at training camp Lenny would be better than Zeke.

  5. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    The reason our run game was so bad was the offensive line. So yes, the run game has been addressed…by drafting OL.

  6. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I liked Lenny being here.

  7. CleanHouse Says:

    Ha- he would compliment that scrub second year loudmouth. What a joke- everyone drank the koolaid- bet $10,000 Ezekiel Elliot has a better career than our new savior.

  8. westernbuc Says:

    I’d rather overpay Lenny than Zeke

  9. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:


  10. sasquatch Says:

    He’s only linked to Bucs by the mindless yappers who aren’t paying attention to reality, and then spread through rumor and speculation aggregators like JBF… Because, I mean who cares about whether there’s any substance. It’s all about generating clicks and advertising $… Just keep the boobs babbling about nonsense, that’s the NFL offseason.

  11. AtlBuc Says:

    Non story. Why pay Zeke when he’s average? Management knows lack of a run game was due to lack of scheming by Leftwich

  12. Pickgrin Says:

    Yea – right.

    Bucs don’t have the $ to even sign their draft picks right now.

    Their only decent move to buy cap space in order to sign the rookies and have a couple $Ms of breathing room is to re-sign Evans to a new extended contract.

    If Zeke wants to come play in Tampa Bay for a shade over vet min + some incentives, that could probably be worked out – otherwise its not happening.

  13. dmatt Says:

    I agree, I’d rather take a in shape Fournette than Elliott. Rest assure, contrary to Elliott, Fournette will not fumble the ball. Also, folks please do not sleep on UDFA Sean Tucker out of Syracuse. Strong, fast (4.3), has good hands as a receiver out the back field, n can block. Hand’s down, he’s a diamond in the rough.

  14. Leopold Stotch Says:

    He’s 27 and looks like that? Good grief, I thought he was 29. What’s more decisive than a hard no? Hell no?

  15. Hunter's Crack Pipe Says:

    Licht knows that fixing the offensive line and play calling is the key to fixing the RB room.

    No belly shirts in Tampa! That was cool in 1985.

  16. garro Says:

    Now we are “Half Tanking”
    Didnt even know that was a thing. Or did they just make tha up this week?
    Geez! National media and their BS!
    Elliots legs are gone people.

  17. AnonymousBuc76 Says:

    Please do not bring this pot-belly washed up plodding RB anywhere near this team…

  18. Lt. Dan Says:

    @garro: “Or did they just make tha up this week?” please help me understand..identify “they”. Who are “they”?

  19. Fansince76 Says:

    No way, he is done as a back.

  20. Allbuccedup Says:

    Zeke is done!

  21. Allbuccedup Says:

    Never understood why Jerry Jones would sign a running back with a huge contract on the downside of his career.

  22. Andrew Fish Says:

    The constant bashing on our RBs is getting old. they were the worst last year because of scheme, play calling, Oline health and Retirment. It was so painful how you could tell the play by the formation or the down last year.

    Yards per carry before first contact last year
    White: 2.4
    Vaughn: 2.4
    Lenny: 2.0

  23. Who Says Says Can't Say Says:

    Can we insist he wear a full shirt? Or is that the dealbreaker holding things up…

  24. Joe Says:

    Can we insist he wear a full shirt?

    That’s his schtick. His trademark. His personality.

  25. Brandon Says:

    Buccaneer Bonzai Says:
    June 2nd, 2023 at 12:51 am
    The reason our run game was so bad was the offensive line. So yes, the run game has been addressed…by drafting OL.


    Way off on this one, bro. Offensive line wasn’t great, Lenny was awful as usual. He’s never been a great RB. Jaguars dumped him for nothing and got far better results that year from an undrafted RB. Lenny was outshined on the ground by a large margin by Ronald Jones each year they were together. Commander Brady wanted Lenny to play because he could block for his pass happy style. Unfortunately, Lenny couldn’t run a route to save his life… even more unfortunate that for a big back he ran with almost no power and his feet stopped at contact. He had ZERO quickness through the hole and below average speed. There was absolutely nothing starter quality about Lenny other than his size and blocking. As for the other reason for a poor running game, some of the blame has to go to the QB that refused to throw the ball down the field and safeties found themselves no reason to stay deep and the box was crowded to stop the run or Brady’s pathetic desire to constantly checkdown or audible to smokescreens for most passes.

    The running game wasn’t great… but it was far from the line’s fault.

  26. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Wow! I had no idea Brandon knew all the audibles and was in the offensive meeting room. The safeties did play deep in a two high shell to take away the deep threat of Evans. That’s on film. No need to lie. As far as the screens, those were used an extension to a faltering run game. Also, you might want to watch the halftime interview with Bowles during the Rams game last season. He said he wanted more runs and screens. That came out of his mouth! Leftwich also said they were spamming screens because they couldn’t run the ball.

    @Brandon. We get it. You hate Brady, and couldn’t wait to pounce on him for the second showed any signs of decline. You blamed him for the passing game. I now you’re throwing him under the bus for the bad running game. I will continue to point out that’s it’s amazing that we expected a 45 year old QB to play at a high level. That’s never happened in NFL history. This wasn’t expected of a Montana or Marino as they aged. QBs usually age out at 35. That’s why a good running game would’ve helped the aging QB. Elway had Davis during his last SB run. Brady wasn’t washed like Manning. He was a 45 year old QB who needed more help around him.

  27. Marine Buc Says:

    Dalvin Cook > Kareem Hunt > Zeke Elliot…

    Bucs should either release Shaq Barrett or extend Mike Evans and make it happen… Cook is set to make @ $10.4M and he would be a huge upgrade over the stiffs we currently have in our RB room.

  28. realistic-optimistic Says:

    I absolutely can’t stand Zeke’s personality and really do not want him on the Bucs, but I understand the sentiment behind this article. None of the current RBs have the short-yardage profile. That’s the only area where Zeke shines anymore and the Bucs could use a back with that skillset. But hard pass on Zeke. We can find a younger short-yardage back that isn’t so abrasive.

  29. realistic-optimistic Says:

    And Lenny is definitely NOT a short-yardage back. Can’t believe some of you really believe that.

  30. catcard202 Says:

    Zek is washed as an every down RB & offers no ST value.

    How exactly does that make him a great fit for the Bucs at this stage of his career?

    The Bucs marketing department might like the thought of pimping Zek TB jersey’s for the minor bump in merch sells this off-season…But from a FB standpoint, it’s hard to see how a potential 1yr marriage makes sense.

  31. adam from ny Says:

    if anything, we try to make a trade with green bay and get the big bruising back they have out of boston college…i wanted him in the draft…

    i forget his name right now…

    legs like tree trunks, and he’s pretty good

  32. adam from ny Says:

    zeke is not washed…he is beyond washed…he has literally nothing left in the tank…

    it’s weird how some players lose it over night…

    he was washed like 2-3 years back…

    at this point he is a muscular bag of bones displaying a belly button, and not much more…

    sorry had to say it

  33. EEK Says:

    At the right cost, he’s a great fit
    He’s a serious football player and is likely better than our current RBs on the team most of the time
    10-15 carries a game sounds very interesting

  34. Netwalker Says:

    In case no one remembers, the Bucs signed two rookie running backs. That’s not exactly ignoring the position. Ronnie Brown and Sean Tucker. Both have considerable potential and will come in eager to prove themselves. It’s well known that undrafted RB’s often do well. So take a breath and see how things work out.

  35. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Netwalker

    I hope you are right.

    However – I would be hesitant to rely on Ronnie Brown and Sean Tucker… One played for Div-II Shepard and the other wasn’t drafted due to heart related health issues…

    Ronnie Brown’s highlight reel is amazing. I am very interested to see him play this preseason. My fingers are crossed.

  36. Will the Tampa Thrill Says:

    We have a great backfield and Sean Tucker’s highlights seem like a great rookie addition. It’s all the way the plays are called. I remember a stat Joe showed last year with the majority of the runs going to the left side instead of behind Mason and Wirfs. Imagine Mike Tyson only throwing a left hook instead of combos. Might work in a street fight but obviously not idea for the professional ring.

  37. ScottyMack Says:

    I hope Sean Tucker is able to overcome whatever his mysterious heart ailment is. The guy is BLAZING fast – 4 hundredths of a second slower than Tyreek Hill in the 40. With wheels like that, there is definitely a place for him on the team in some capacity.