Jason Licht’s Confidence Looms Over Running Backs

July 2nd, 2023

Second year, second chance.

Jason Licht having Sneak Vaughn’s back meant the world to the Vanderbilt product. And Joe is sure Licht having Rachaad White’s back meant a lot to him, too.

Catching the ball out of the backfield, White was solid in his rookie year. Running the ball? Aside from one excellent game, his advanced stats were woeful.

This raised a small flag with Joe because there is no position on an NFL team that seems to have a smoother transition and a path to immediate success like running back.

With last season’s worst rushing attack in the league, Licht easily could have at least added to the running back unit by plucking one of the many quality backs in the draft, and many argue he should have.

Instead, Licht showed confidence in his running backs and passed.

White appeared on “Good Morning Football” last week and invoked Licht’s name when asked for his expectations now that he is the Bucs’ RB1.

“My expectation is really just do my job,” White said. “Be the guy [GM] Jason Licht wants me to be, but really just be myself. Go out there, have fun, hang loose.

“Obviously, the Bucs haven’t had a 1,000-yard rusher in about eight years or so. So, I want to, of course, eclipse that.”

The last time the Bucs had a 1,000-yard rusher was 2015 when Mollie Hamster toted the rock (and rookie fan favorite Donovan Smith blocked for him). However, somewhere in Dallas, Ronald Jones was annoyed by White’s comments on national television.

Jones ran for 978 yards and 7 touchdowns and averaged 5.1 yards a carry in the 2020 regular season — in just 14 games. Plus, Jones had 139 postseason yards after likely losing his 1,000-yard regular season when the Bucs quit running and asked Jones to block for Antonio Brown — so Brown could get his incentive bonus.

If White matches Jones’ 2020 production this year, he’ll be worthy of a small parade.

Joe will just go ahead and type it: If White runs for 1,000 yards, the Bucs are in the playoff hunt in December.

17 Responses to “Jason Licht’s Confidence Looms Over Running Backs”

  1. HC Grover Says:

    No big power fullback.

  2. DoooshLaRue Says:

    What % of Martin’s runs were to the left side?

    I’ll wait.

  3. CrackWise Says:

    JL is hoping and praying the running backs step up. KNOWING he should have never let ROJO go considering he was super young and super explosive.

    He is also hoping and praying they step up because he knows his Projected QB1 who is receiving little “hype”. Will struggle to carry the team at any point. Unfortunately for JL, his plan for the future has been highjacked by a guy coaching for his job.

    Don’t get me wrong, if JL would not have drafted such a talented QB (who easily could/should have won the Heisman) to red shirt behind the GOAT and a former #1 pick in Brady and Gabby. I would be all for our currently projected QB1.

    Sigh, let’s hope White and company can make up for both mistakes this year.

  4. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Letting ROJO was not a mistake.
    Head case.

  5. Tucker Says:

    Did I miss something has ROJO had a 1000yrd season since he left? Yeah it wasn’t a mistake letting him go.

  6. unbelievable Says:

    RoJo hasn’t been a starter since he left.

    And yes Brady & Arians screwed him out of 1000 yards so that AB could get his bonus. Of course to hear AB tell the story, you’d think the Bucs were paying him minimum wage…. Talk about a head case.

  7. Marine Buc Says:

    Jason Licht seems to be very competent when drafting O-line, ILbs, WRs and DBs…

    Picking RBs has not been his strong suit.

    Ronald Jones was meh. Key Vaughn has been meh. The free agent running backs have been mostly meh with Fournette being the best and he was pretty mediocre most of the time.

    I still think the Bucs should sign Kareem Hunt before training camp. What happens if White, Vaughn or Edmonds gets injured?


  8. teacherman777 Says:

    It was the offensive line!

    No one could run behind that line!!

    Penetration on every play!

    Zero push.

    Collapsed pocket.

    Poor blocking at TE.

    And what did we do?

    We drafted another tackle to play guard. SMH.

    A 300 pound tackle to play guard!

    Guards have to block defensive tackles!

    Guys who are 320-330 pounds!

    I want a 6-3 guard who is 330 pounds.

    That’s my ideal guard.

    Mauch is 6-6. 300 and thin.

    He used to be a tight end.

  9. Bucsfan13 Says:

    @teacherman777. You’re making too much sense. The backs were met by the defenders before they even got to the line. Our OL got punked all season. We were soft as molasses. We were dead last in rushing, and a lot of that is on the OL and not the backs. I do think Barry could run with this awful line. It was that good lol

  10. Buddha Says:

    Rojo is a very talented runner with no other game. No hands, no desire to block and lacking in confidence.

  11. FrontFour Says:

    RoJo was the better runner than Fournette and if the Bucs just let him run a couple plays last game of the season he gets his 1000. I get the headcase bit but the guy was a solid runner that could make the splash play. What
    A waste.

  12. 40 for the win Says:

    We need the A-train at training camp!

  13. garro Says:

    Why are we still on this “Jason should have got a running back”?
    Fournette was crap last year and Bowles/Leftnut stuck with him far too long.
    Free agent?…No money for a name.
    Draft? To many other holes to fill…Need O-line to block for running backs.
    Confident that we have what we need? That’s my guess.
    See?….That wasn’t so hard.

    Go Bucs!

  14. garro Says:


    Yeah what you said!

    Go Bucs!

  15. teacherman777 Says:



    Thanks guys!

    Go Bucs!

  16. Dooley Says:

    “The backs were met by the defenders before they even got to the line.”

    Less about the personnel on the OL, and more about what we asked the personnel to do. Agree our run game was bad, but we didn’t have too far to fall to finish last. Even in the years our offense finished in the top 3rd of the league, our run game was always mid & bottom 3rd of the league. Last year was just a perfect sh*t storm.

    Switching from duo to zone, should benefit White, Vaughn, Mauch & Goedeke who all played in zone blocking schemes in college. Iirc w/o looking Iowa was using one a zone heavy playbook in 2019 in Wirfs’ final year. Canales gives me the impression he’s going to bring some guys back to what they know to be basic.

  17. Nayrb Says:

    I remember reading years (heck maybe decades) ago, there was an impromptu discussion with running backs about their skill level versus their respective offensive line and which is more important.


    Having a great, not good, but great offensive line was paramount to the success of a running back.

    We seem to have a good line on paper, we won’t know until they collectively have a chance to “mess things up”. (the PG version of Ryan Jensen’s text)