If The Bucs Really Want To Be A Running Team…

August 22nd, 2023

Colts RB Jonathan Taylor.

Pretty much since Todd Bowles became head coach in the spring of 2022, he wanted to run the ball.

It’s in his DNA. Bowles is a product of the Joe Gibbs/Bill Parcells old NFC East-style of football where ground-and-pound won games and Super Bowls.

Besides, how many defensive-minded coaches have you seen who want to go full-blown Air Coryell? They’d rather brush their teeth with battery acid.

So the fact Bowles wants to run the ball (in a passing league) is not surprising. That’s who he is.

The Bucs, as demonstrated through two preseason games, cannot run the ball. They just can’t. Oh, when the opposing defense turns to carpenters, short-order cooks and door-to-door window salesmen (“Hey, I was just in the area… “) and the Bucs start feeding the ball to Sean Tucker and Ronnie Brown, then the Bucs can run, but not before.

Yes, yes, yes. Rachaad White hasn’t played yet. For Joe, White becoming a top-shelf running back is a bit of a stretch. Why? His advanced numbers were terrible last year.

If he becomes just an average back, White will have gone from one of the worst backs in the league to middle of the pack. That’s some kind of improvement (Joe is not being sarcastic).

So if Bowles is really serious about running — and serious about winning and is really serious about saving his job — then he must coax Bucs suits to investigate disgruntled Colts running back Jonathan Taylor.

Yesterday, crazy Colts owner Jim Irsay buckled and allowed Taylor to explore trades.

Yeah, it’s a passing league and the value of running backs has plummeted. Joe has high hopes for Tucker and just based on Saturday night’s game, Brown needs another long look.

(The Bucs were the second-worst team in the league last year averaging 1.3 yards after contact. Brown demonstrated against the Jets he can make guys miss.)

Taylor ran behind a really sad offensive line in Indianapolis last year and averaged 2.5 yards after contact. White? Try 1.3 yards after contact.

Joe is not pushing for the Bucs to get Taylor. It would take draft capital the Bucs could otherwise use to move up for a quarterback (provided Baker Mayfield isn’t re-signed). But if Bowles and the Bucs are truly serious about effectively pounding the ball, they really need to study whether Taylor is a worthy pursuit.

Remember, the Bucs had the worst running backs group in the league last year and they decided to fix this primarily by signing two guys: one who didn’t run for 250 yards last year and the other a guy who missed time this spring with a heart issue.

48 Responses to “If The Bucs Really Want To Be A Running Team…”

  1. Bucky Says:

    We have no money.

  2. SB Says:

    There is No doubt that JT would Change our running game. I was on him as a Rook and won a FF league mostly because of him. I can almost guarantee he hasn’t dropped off. He was unsatisfied. I think he is wrong for leaving. He and Anthony Richardson would pose the most lethal rushing attack in the league just on the threat of AR running.

  3. SB Says:

    Also what Bucky said.

  4. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Would the Colts settle for a former # 1 in Joe Keep Tryon and high 2nd Slogan Hall ? Throw in Goedawfule to seal the deal? I didn’t think so either.

  5. T. McGee Says:

    So the same league that won’t pay top running backs will trade multiple picks for Taylor? Hard pass. You’d give up enough picks to get an entire O-line.

  6. Dave Pear Says:

    This is sheer cretinism to imply such a thing. Cap space. Future needs, QB, OL, LB, etc.


  7. Who Says Says Can't Say Says:

    We don’t need another Lovie Smith wrecking the team for years and then getting fired.

  8. MadMax Says:


    We roll with what we’ve got…and I dont think its that bad. Yes we’ll be starting what would normally be backups on O line, so to spend money that we dont have on another RB who wont gain much is just stupid. Grab a C or RT, or better yet, a SAFETY-we need depth back there!

  9. HC Grover Says:

    Maybe they would take Plan 9 off our hands. Maybe Mayfield plus Plan 9?

  10. sasquatch Says:

    We do not have any cap space to work with. We have to get the Evans extension done to make room for anything else to happen.

    Also, I’m not giving up high draft picks for a RB. Seattle managed to run the ball with a lot of no-names after Marshawn left, and they never had a great O-line. I believe Canales and the staff will find a way to uncork the running game as the season progresses.

  11. Delusional Intelligence Says:

    WARNING: I am saying something derogatory about the offensive line.

    Personally, I would rather explore additional o-line pieces. I was really disappointed in the way Stinnie played, but in his defense the entire o-line looked out of whack. Guys weren’t even chipping d-line men as they pulled to a different spot. Mauch, indeed did look better. I wonder if he could play center.

  12. Dom Says:

    If Bucs really want to be a running team they got to fix their O-Line. Unfortunately they didn’t do that this off season and instead downgraded the O-Line even further

  13. gp Says:

    Until we have a solid O-line, able to block for the run as well as the pass, it really doesn’t matter who we have running the ball.

  14. D Cone Says:

    In 1989 the Cowboys drafted Troy Aikman #1 overall. He went 0-11 his first year, they got a high draft pick, and got Emmitt Smith the following year. Aikman went 7-6 the following year, 7-5 the year after that and then things exploded and the rest is history.

    Maybe the Bucs #1 pick QB will go 0-11, the defense will be great and Bucs can get a feature back in next years draft. Two more years after that he will surely bring Tampa another Super Bowl.

  15. MadMax Says:

    @D Cone, no doubt about it, we’re about to be in complete rebuild mode…the key pieces we have in place are only for a few more years….it sucks!

  16. gp Says:

    D Cone
    Troy Aikman AND Emmet Smith behind a poor or badly coached O-line would be JAGs.
    Winning in the trenches is paramount to winning the game.

  17. Joe in Michigan Says:

    HC Grover Says:
    August 22nd, 2023 at 12:52 am
    Maybe they would take Plan 9 off our hands. Maybe Mayfield plus Plan 9?
    Further proof you know nothing about football.

  18. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Make it happen Captain!

  19. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    We’ll be playing from behind the first 4 games.

    Offensive line was to blame last year.

  20. HC Grover Says:

    Its dead J.i.M (football genius up in Mich.) ROFL I so enjoy triggering u.

  21. Dave Pear Says:

    Joes be clowning, yo.

  22. Fansince76 Says:

    If they could get em for a low round pick and could somehow structure his contract money to fit under cap would be the only way it would be worth it
    and that probably isn’t happening. But worth a look see for Licht since our
    running game did suck last year.

  23. Joe in Michigan Says:

    HC Grover Says:
    August 22nd, 2023 at 3:19 am
    Its dead J.i.M (football genius up in Mich.) ROFL I so enjoy triggering u.
    Telling the truth is not being triggered. You don’t know what you’re talking about, do you?

  24. Joe in Michigan Says:

    HC Grover Says:
    August 22nd, 2023 at 12:52 am
    Maybe they would take Plan 9 off our hands. Maybe Mayfield plus Plan 9?
    You say over and over again how terrible JTS is…Now you’re saying trade him for a good player. What sense does that make? It’s called “talking out of both sides of your mouth”, or not knowing what you’re talking about, which is your forte.

  25. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘So the fact Bowles wants to run the ball (in a passing league) is really not surprising or shocking. That’s who he is.’

    Yes it is a FACT that Bowles wants to run the ball more (he said so). And yet it’s also a FACT that the Bucs ran the LEAST number of rushes of any NFL team last year (386), the least number of rushing yards by far (1308), and thus the worst Yards per Rush average (3.4) of any team … by a mile. What you WANT and what you GET don’t always coincide apparently.

    Will our rushing attack improve this year? Probably, because when you rank #32 out of 32 teams you’ve got no where to go but up. The bigger question IMO is ‘Will it be GOOD ENOUGH?’ Personally I think we’ll see a ‘tale of 2 seasons’ like we did in 2020. The first half of the year will be a learning & growing & gelling experience in terms of the run game. IF we improve over what we’ve seen in preseason, then I think the run game will have a reasonable chance to put up some decent stats. But until we get that OLine functioning as a well-oiled machine, I don’t expect anything better than what we saw last year.

  26. RagingBrisket Says:

    None of it matters unless the oline can get push up front and we witnessed these clowns get their aases kicked in two straight games. Reality is the GM didn’t do enough to ensure that the oline is serviceable and the whole offense will struggle all damn year because of it. Get ready for a long and ugly season.

  27. Beej Says:

    We can pay him $12.37 THIS year….

  28. Brandon Says:

    The offensive line and system have more to do with a RB’s success more than any RB does. I saw on a another site that they expect Vaughn to get cut because his preseason numbers are so bad… not taking into account that he’s been hit deep in the backfield in nearly all his carries. It wouldn’t be any different with Taylor.

  29. Brandon Says:

    Before anyone gets all upset with the line..
    Two out of five starters played against the Jets. It isn’t that bad. Perspective is a wonderful thing.

  30. Mike Alstott Jr. Says:

    Brandon Says “Before anyone gets all upset with the line..
    Two out of five starters played against the Jets. It isn’t that bad. Perspective is a wonderful thing.”

    and how many of those 3 held out starters are going to make it the full season? Jensen already looks like a scratch unfortunately (one of my fav bucs) it’s the depth folks are concerned with when one of the other big guys goes down…

  31. DS Says:

    Can’t run block

  32. Erick Says:

    It’s not going to happen, but I can’t believe some of you still think the salary cap is real lol

  33. Pewter Power Says:

    It wouldn’t be smart if you need a quarterback in next years draft. Who would give up any draft capital

  34. Allbuccedup Says:

    Trade them Devin and Rachaad White then our 6th and 7th round picks in 2024 and 2025.

  35. StormyInFl Says:

    I don’t know if anyone’s noticed, but

    1. This team has no cap room and more important players (Evans/White, if he earns it) to resign.

    2. You don’t give running backs a big second contract. They never live up to it. The Bucs already made that mistake with Fournette.

    3. Unless the Colts are also trading some OL pieces, Barry Sanders in his prime couldn’t run behind this line. Especially with Jensen out and Hainsey in.

  36. Buc4evr Says:

    What a joke. The guy has a bad right ankle, has not even practiced as he is on Physically Unable to perform list. Why would the Bucs pay $4m? For a RB with a bad ankle and the worst OLine in the NFL.

    Fix the O line and our current RBs will do fine. Geez…..

  37. Keimosabe Says:

    Pretty much what everyone else said, until the online is fixed, doesn’t matter who’s back there carrying the rock

  38. First Name Greatest Says:

    It’s why I have ZERO confidence in Bowles.

    Wanting to be a running team with an offensive line that has ZERO push in the run game and not a proven back while you have 2 Pro Bowl Level receivers is just laughable.

    Bowles is just not Head Coach material, Glazers and Licht were conned by Arians into giving this guy a shot.

  39. First Name Greatest Says:

    I also find it hilarious how Joe bashes a guy in White who was consistently hit in the backfield, asking an RB to break tackles of defensive linemen is just silly.

  40. Buccos Says:

    If there is any possible way, we need to get Taylor. He is the best RB in the NFL

  41. Sly Pirate Says:

    Sean Tucker is getting better and better. I’m surprised how thick he is. Bounces off tacklers. Stick with him.

  42. c bell Says:

    Less then 2 million in cap no chance!

  43. 757Buc’em Says:

    The Oline was the reason last yr and will be this yr. Our Backs will be fine if there men up front block. We only have 1 starting linemen everyone else on our line are Bench riders for other teams. N I’m talking third stringers practice squad players

  44. adam from ny Says:

    swap taylor for DW…some how…some way…yes…do it

  45. No Mercy Says:

    People saying trade Devin White for JT… that’s hilarious. Let’s give away the leader of our defense for a guy who hasn’t even been able to practice… and would be running behind the lousiest OL in the NFL!!!

  46. StormyInFl Says:

    I’m not thrilled with White’s antics, but he’s worth more than a running back who wants to be overpaid. More often than not, RBs break down quickly during that 2nd contract. LBers can play a lot longer.

    Creating a giant hole in your defense to acquire a running back you’ll have to overpay, and will likely be ineffective behind this line, is foolish.

    No big 2nd contracts for running backs. It isn’t worth it.

    Go with the guys on the roster.

  47. Esteban85 Says:

    We definitely shouldn’t be giving up any future picks for a running back without seeing how our team fares this year. Would look dumb as hell if we gave up future 1st 2nd or 3rd round picks for Taylor when we end up going 5-12.

    This year will have some growing pains as we get younger, faster and hopefully better. We need to ball with the talent we have and hope for the best. Sorry Bowles but this ain’t the year to go all in.

  48. Gossiping hen talk Says:

    I read all of the comments and gotta say outa all the b.s. we’re still back to square 1. Hopefully Canales will pull this o line together and keep the i out of team. There is no 1 single player that’s going to have to carry the team. We’re gonna see how good these te,rb will block.we know our receivers can. Teamwork same as having loyal fans