Run The Ball — But How?

July 15th, 2023

Tribal thoughts.

Some say a team is only as good as its biggest weakness. And unfortunately for the Bucs, that weakness was galling.

The Bucs simply could not run the ball last season. At all. And as a result, Dalton Wasserman and Jim Wyman of the PFF tribe wonder just how the Bucs plan to turn around this awful unit.

Biggest weakness in 2023: Rushing Offense

Tampa Bay struggled in several areas, but they were historically bad at running the football, by far the worst in the NFL. The departures of Ali Marpet and Alex Cappa, along with several injuries, ravaged their offensive line. There were stretches of games where Tom Brady had to throw every play, hence his league-leading 733 attempts in the regular season. It’s hard to imagine how his successor will succeed without an improvement in the running game.

More perplexing is the Bucs did not improve at running back this offseason, which certainly raises Joe’s antennae. (Sorry, a guy who didn’t even run for 250 yards is not “addressing the running game.”)

What does this mean? Well, Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht said at the combine he thought Sneak Vaughn wasn’t used properly. And that tells Joe that Bucs’ shot-callers believe SpongeBob Leftwich may have been a worse offensive coordinator than what most casual observers realized.

Joe looks at the bright side. The running game has nowhere to go but up.

19 Responses to “Run The Ball — But How?”

  1. Go Bucs Says:

    Brady really screwed Marpet by un-retiring! I’m almost certain, Marpet wouldn’t have retired had he known Brady was contemplating coming back! This might be the communication brake done that Lavonte David was speaking about in an earlier post?

  2. Marine Buc Says:

    I’m still hopeful the Bucs add one more experienced running back before camp starts.

    If R. White gets injured we are in big trouble…

    Kareem Hunt or even Zeke Elliot (at the right price) would help re-enforce one of the weakest RB rooms in the NFL.

  3. Cobraboy Says:

    I expect to see a lot of zone blocking, something totally absent in the Brady Years.

  4. HC Grover Says:

    The Lost Season

  5. Hodad Says:

    How do they know our biggest weakness in 2023 will be our rush offense? We haven’t played a game yet. Our O line is different, most importantly our O.C. is different. The old O.C. never ran the ball but up the middle on 1st down. Our new O.C. is supposedly going to committ to running the ball. I can see saying our pass offense will be a weakness since Brady left, and our O.C. passed 40 times a game, that would make sense. Saying what our weakness is before games are played isn’t even an educated guess.

  6. Lt. Dan Says:

    The shot callers at One Buc certainly know more about this team than we, the fans do. If they believe in the running game with the ouster of Leftwich and Lenny, and the addition of Caneles then I have hope. I am still, however, banging the drum for Kareem Hunt – a much cheaper addition than Dalvin Cook.

  7. geno711 Says:

    The idea that you are “only as good as your biggest weakness” is a demotivating mindset. It is over-used. It is false in the NFL.

    Some balance is good, and some time spent on a weakness is good.

    But more important is not letting your weakness define you.

    Andy Reid has done this for years. He has never had a successful power run game. Instead, he has figured out how to win games without many dudes through the years who just plow forward and get a 3rd and 1 or a 3rd and 2.

    Lots of ways to win in the NFL. Lots of teams are pretty darn good at scoring even with a big weakness. Ultimately, a weakness in one area may not be relevant to success in the NFL for scoring and winning.

  8. Buc4evr Says:

    Think the OLine will be somewhat better this year and the running game will improve. I expect better play calling to help the running game. In my mind the biggest weakness is our HC followed by QB.

  9. Fred McNeil Says:

    I think the run game will be better simply because it can’t be worse.
    In 2029 and 2021 we weren’t the greatest running team either but TB12 was throwing lots of TDs.

  10. Fred McNeil Says:


  11. Defense Rules Says:

    Hodad … ‘How do they know our biggest weakness in 2023 will be our rush offense? We haven’t played a game yet.’

    Agreed Hodad. And besides that, we haven’t even started preseason yet, nor have we finished adding players more than likely. I can see us adding at least 1 more RB because after White (129 total carries) and Vaughn (79 total carries) we have pretty much no one (Edmonds MIGHT surprise us, but 401 carries in 6 years for a RB seems awfully low). We’v e got a couple of rookies who also might surprise us, but, oh ya, they’re rookies.

    There are always cuts at the end of preseason, and lots of RBs who’ll be hungry to catch back on with any team just to stay relevant. Besides, Fournette’s still out there (Market Value has plummeted to $2.3 mil). A lot of his problems last season were due to the OLine & BL IMO.

  12. Joker's Paradigm Says:

    Lt. Dan “The shot callers at One Buc certainly know more about this team than we, the fans do.”

    Exactly. Isn’t it possible that Lefty sucked sooooo bad…and because he was a QB himself, believed more in slinging it around. I don’t think we the fans know what we have in Sneak. We barely know what we have in RW. And I’ve brought this up before…the kid from Syracuse. He would have been drafted if not the heart issue. And we don’t know yet about our OC. Maybe, just maybe, JL knows what he is going.

    Go Bucs!

  13. Rand Says:

    I think the talent and depth at RB is already present on our team. White wasn’t even the featured back last season. Lenny should be getting roasted instead.

  14. stpetebucfan Says:

    Jeebus…AGAIN…the Bucs lost the entire interior of the OL and were forced to play a lot of inexperienced players and never had a shot at chemistry on the OL.

    Marpet was a loss and was Jensen and Cappa while not all pro was tough..played through a broken arm and tried to play on a broken leg. That was the heart of the OL ripped out without those three. Wirfs is great but quiet and not particularly nasty. Jensen gave them their edge.

    NOBODY runs behind a sorry freaking OL!!! This year’s OL should be far superior unless injuries pop up again.

  15. Duane Says:

    Did this team ever run the ball well since they opened up the offense? Did they rely on a strong running game to win the recent super bowl? Brady was the play action guy, we didnt do it, and he still tossed the Lombardi across The Bay. Take advantage of the passing rules of todays game, and make plays to get the ball back, or put the other qb in the grass. Mike Evans has to be held on at least a third of the passing plays they run. Get the ball to him for the flag.

  16. Destinjohnny Says:

    Dont listen to destin johnny
    Been saying this for months
    Worst line in football

  17. garro Says:

    Addressing the running game?
    Firing Leftnut, letting Lenny go (addition by subtraction), hiring Canales (Zone scheme), adding two to O-line, UDFA Sean Tucker (for free) could be a steal, Ronnie Brown impressed in OTAs.

    I think maybe the Bucs coaching staff are a bit more confident than Joe in what we have at RB. Remember that we had other more pressing needs in the draft and we were not privy to the Bucs board. Also keep in mind that we are trying to get out of cap hell, not dig a deeper hole.
    A proven type FA (most are no longer in their prime) is not really an option at the moment. Maybe add a RB after camp cuts if Tucker can’t go.

    Overall I think we have done what we can.
    Hope it works.

    Go Bucs!

  18. RustyRhinos Says:

    Not sure why but this phot reminds me of Peter King, they look alike.

  19. TDavis Says:

    Again, offensive line. Even the quote in this article talks about the OL being ravaged. Maybe they felt they didn’t need a running back upgrade because they know the OL wasn’t good last year. Along with the play-calling. Simple.