Rachaad White Is Toast When Hit In Backfield

July 11th, 2023

Bucs RB Rachaad White.

Damning statistic on Bucs running back Rachaad White.

Folks studying advanced stats on White would understand why Joe is a little more suspicious of White as a ball carrier than most people.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Joe can just hear people hollering now. “But the offensive line… !” Wha. Stop it!

Hell, Joe and Ira Kaufman can run through a hole five yards wide. What can a guy do when the blocking isn’t there? That’s the sign of a quality back.

In White’s case, he did very little when hit behind the line.

TruMedia, a stats outfit, charted every run every back made last season when hit at or behind the line of scrimmage. Every back! White had the fourth-worst stats of all NFL running backs.

Below are the bottom five.

Unlike White, three of the five on this list are productive backs. Devin Singletary, who like White only averaged one yard when hit at or behind the line, ran for 800 yards the past two seasons with an average of 4.6 yards per carry.  Travis Etienne (1,125) and Kenneth Walker (1,025) even broke the 1,000-yard plateau.

Only unemployed James Robinson (425) had fewer yards than White (481).

As Joe likes to say, unless NFL rules have changed, running backs are still allowed to break tackles and make guys miss.

Hopefully, White, who was solid catching the ball out of the backfield, has learned about breaking tackles from his rookie NFL experience.

41 Responses to “Rachaad White Is Toast When Hit In Backfield”

  1. Hodad Says:

    Didn’t White also have fewer touches than those other backs? How many of the backs were hit running a sweep, instead of up the middle where it would be harder to break a tackle? Stats are fine, but also not the tell all. So if you’re pointing to that Joe to support your narrative that White sucks good for you. The Bucs couldn’t run worth a spit last year for various reasons. Think you should stop putting that on our second string back last year. Just doesn’t seem fair.

  2. AnonymousBuc76 Says:

    No offense but this stat is the definition of nitpicking imho

    Also, all of those backs on the list got way more carries than White…

  3. Dew Says:

    Sean Tucker posted a vid of him working out saying “There’s a lot of talking but i stay quiet…”. Pretty sure that was directed at Rachaad.

  4. Beej Says:

    I’d give a rookie a pass (for one season anyhow)

  5. Dew Says:

    Bucs report two weeks from today.

  6. Dooley Says:


    White averaged 7 carries per game, about** 2.9 catches per game, and was our primary kick returner for the first 9 games. IDK why the author keeps trying to assassinate the dudes’ potential like the majority of us didn’t watch EVERY game last season lol.

    I saw a back in White that can make something outta pretty much nothing, carries the ball like a 2 liter of pepsi, but can also set defenders up with their own bad angles and stop n go as well as anybody else on our offense.

  7. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Rachaad White – Byron Leftwich = Better Run Game
    It’s simple math.

  8. Pewter Power Says:

    Where are so these running backs getting big gains after getting hit in the backfield? Where are the rest of the stats huh because yes he’s averaging 1 yard after contract but if the next guy above him is averaging like 1,2 yards this is a useless exercise.

    Hit Derrick Henry behind the los, he ain’t getting far. There’s a reason he lines up so deep in the backfield

  9. Allen Lofton Says:

    Everybody’s play was effected by BL poor play calling and coaching – forcing the defense to play extended time. It’s good the Bucs will initially be playing under the radar when the 2023 season starts. Wins build confidence.

  10. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    Expecting production out of a RB when he’s hit behind the LOS is flat out goofy. True that Whate didn’t exactly set the world on fire when he wasn’t hit behind the line but getting hit by 1, 2 or 3 guys after you gain a yard won’t be productive either. And I didn’t even mention the o-line once. Lol

    Lenny averaged about 2.6 yards after contact last year I believe. And had great numbers in the pass game with YAC. Too bad we couldn’t afford to keep him if our big guys can get it done this year.

    There was once a guy named Barry Sanders who seemed to lead the league in getting tackled for a loss with the lowly Lions. You can’t say he wasn’t elusive enough to “make guys miss”. Somehow he ended up doing pretty well if memory serves.

    I’m not saying White can be Barry Sanders (nobody is) but this particular stat is garbage IMHO. Might as well post a stat on how many yards a receiver failed to get when the ball wasn’t thrown to him. Hard to be productive when you aren’t given a chance and getting hit at or behind the line doesn’t give ANY RB a real chance.

  11. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    Also, how many times have I read here that White had “one good game last year in Frankfort against Seattle” (capped by an “angry run” that made GMFB)? Maybe, just maybe it was because the passing game clicked so they couldn’t stack the box? Maybe the o-line had a good day opening holes? Maybe we saw what White can actually do when he gets a running lane and some open space?

    I like the kid and say he’s above average but I do wish we also had a big bruiser for those must-have short gains (3rd and short, goal-to-go at the 1, etc.) Wait, we do have Ko and I still want to see Vita Vea pound the rock into the end zone before I die. Lol

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

    Ronald Jones, White is not. (Rojo had the highest break tackle rate in the NFL, and always made the 1st guy miss whether in the backfield or not).

    I miss Rojo. Seriously. What a great pure RB that dude could’ve been for us if we kept him.

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘Hell, Joe and Ira Kaufman can run through a hole five yards wide.’

    I’d pay money to see Ira do that. Run that is.

  14. sasquatch Says:

    The goal is to not let your runner get hit in the backfield.

  15. Dwayne Cone Says:

    Depends on how many guys you expect him to shake. TB was Run Run Pass just about all season it seams. If you have two or three guys breaking thru the O Line then you are not going to do very well. Brady had to get rid of the Ball even faster than he did his whole career. That says a lot about the state of the entire Offense and not just the Running Back.

  16. gotbbucs Says:

    I’m not going to put a ton of stock in this study, but I also think they should have picked another runner in the draft. They’ve essentially put the entire running portion of the running game on White, who frankly, hasn’t proven that he can carry a full load of carries.
    The revamped offensive line should mean way more to the effectiveness of the running game.

  17. TDavis Says:

    Idk why it’s still so controversial to say the Bucs OL was terrible last year. They were awful. And they allowed a lot of hits on the RBs that no RB could escape from. Running into a mass of bodies is not the same as getting hit by a single DB behind the line. The design of the run also matters. Arians’ offense likes to run Duo, which is just 2 double team blocks and run up the middle. This stat is doesn’t tell nearly the full story.

    The answer to why the Bucs struggled last year is easy, Arians’ offense, BL play calling, and the OL. Period.

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

    Yes, the Bucs’ Oline (with 2/5 original starters) was terrible last year compared to how good it could’ve been if we had all 5 1st-stringers healthy all year instead of playing with backups all season.

    That was the #1 reason for our terrible offense last year, tbh.

  19. NCBucfan Says:

    I’m giving White a pass. A combo of a pretty bad oline, an aging QB, and predictable playing were the main culprits for this stat.

  20. NCBucfan Says:

    predictable playcalling

  21. Beej Says:

    I remember those Barry Sanders games. It would be like the end of the third quarter, he’d have 19 carries for 37 yards ….. would end the game with 150 yards

  22. SlyPirate Says:

    “He did little when hit behind the line”

    If White did little what did the offensive line do? Not their job. They didn’t block.

    Joe routinely says, “The Bucs didn’t upgrade the running game.” This very article tells you they addressed the run game where the actual problem ties. For a RB to have success, he needs blockers. The Bucs have a new OL and OC. Biggest upgrade this team got in the offseason was to the run game.

    Pointing fingers at White is not seeing the forest for the trees.

  23. Since76 Says:

    Play calling was mostly to blame. In the first half most plays on first down were running to the same hole. I’ll give him and the offensive line a pass for last year. Epic OC fail last year.

  24. SOEbuc Says:

    Do you watch Bucs’ games Joe???

    I don’t need natty stats to tell me White was Fournette twin from last year and I’m certainly not going to put it ALL on the oline.

  25. chark Says:

    While I like raach white, I can envision just as much sean tucker in tandem, and with tucker as a better pure runner of the ball.

  26. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Here is another Licht draftee with speed and length but no power. The same goes for Logan Hall and JTS – speed/length but no power.

  27. Marine Buc Says:

    The Bucs running back room is weak and inexperienced…

    Calling Kareem Hunt. Kareem Hunt please report to One Buc Place before traing camp.

    Thank you.

  28. Vlad The Impaler Says:

    Tank you very much!
    (Soft tank)

  29. fred Says:

    Well that’s the oline fault you cant blame Rachaad and I’m sure penetration came from everywhere

  30. My Momma Says:

    Joe, why didn’t the Bucs keep Rojo? Did you ever hear why?

    I know he couldn’t catch and was a liability in pass pro, but it seemed that when they put him in on drives to give Lenny a break, the offense clicked in 2021, and he performed well in 2020.

  31. Marine Buc Says:

    @ momma

    What did Rojo do in the NFL after he left Tampa?


    Why? The exact reasons you listed. He can’t pass protect. He isn’t a very good receiver and he is an average runner.

    He just wasn’t good enough and except for one 98 yard run he was somewhat a bust after being drafted in the second round.

  32. Rod Munch Says:

    While I’m all for stats, it’s worth noting that getting hit 1 foot behind the LOS is not the same as getting hit 3 yards behind the LOS. What you need to know is the amount of yards you gain after contact, from the point of contact.

  33. AnonymousBuc76 Says:


    I’d co-sign that…Get Kareem Hunts @ss in here, he can’t be that expensive…

  34. ScottyMack Says:

    Joe wrote: “Unlike White, three of the five on this list are productive backs. Devin Singletary, who like White only averaged one yard when hit at or behind the line, ran for 800 yards the past two seasons with an average of 4.6 yards per carry. Travis Etienne (1,125) and Kenneth Walker (1,025) even broke the 1,000-yard plateau.”

    In other words, it is a totally meaningless stat when evaluating running backs

  35. Mike Johnson Says:

    I hope most of you recognize this is going to be a long season. Our defense will play well. But We will waste our receivers. I just don’t see us winning more than 6..ok maybe 7 games at the most. You go nowhere in this NFL without an above average QB. Remember that.

  36. Red Skeleton Says:

    Where is Lenny on this list? Blame the line, maybe. Blame the x&o’S, probably. Those both have new faces, let’s just see what he’s got. Only Barry Sanders made a living running around in the backfield.

  37. Lord Cornelius Says:

    If they aren’t adjusting for the average point of contact then it’s hard to know how valuable this information is.

    I.e. if Rashaad White’s average point of contact within this data sample is -5 yards, and another RB’s average point of contact is -3 yards then that should be adjusted but i doubt they are doing that. Or charting the average point of contact at all (?)

  38. Voice of Truth Says:

    In his defense, our interior OLine was darn near college level –

    Wonder why we have a new player projected to start at 4 of 5 positions this year….

    Needless hit on the kid in the backfield is this article

  39. garro Says:

    Come on man.
    Can we agree that we don’t have a Barry Sanders clone on the roster and move on Joe?

    Go Bucs!

  40. unbelievable Says:

    Sorry but that’s not a knock on White, it’s a knock on the o-line.

  41. steele Says:

    This is very old news. I, and others in here, have been saying since he was drafted that Rachaad is not a feature back with tackle-breaking power or explosiveness. I said from the beginning that he is a slow-mo high strider who is not immediately explosive, needs steps to get going, and yes, goes down too easily, and films of him sailing untouched through gaping holes in open field were unconvincing. (Same as Lenny.) Rachaad is a #3 with gadget plays and far better as a pass catcher, and useful when freed up in a wide open field.

    If Bowles and Rah Rah Canales really want to establish smashmouth, then someone else should be the designated Marshawn Lynch. Construct other plays for Rachaad.