Is There A Battle For RB1?

August 7th, 2023

Bucs RB Rachaad White.

One thing that still has Joe head scratching is how the Bucs, with the worst running attack in the league, did nothing to upgrade the running back position.

(Please, Chase Edmonds to replace Leonard Fournette? Why not Dare Ogunbowale?)

Joe assumes (correctly?) that second-year back Rachaad White is the RB1. He’s a good receiver. As a runner, well, when he occasionally decides to drop a shoulder and truck people, he’s good. His advanced rushing stats were miserable last season

Jeremy Fowler of BSPN, after doing a drive-by hit from One Buc Palace last week and speaking 1-on-1 to various Bucs types, shared thoughts about the running backs.

This offense values using multiple backs, with Chase Edmonds and Ke’Shawn Vaughn in complementary roles, but it’s [Rachaad] White’s show. Not only will he get a heavy workload rushing, but the Bucs have been expanding his route tree, believing he can inflict damage as a receiver. They see star potential here, a smooth do-it-all option.

Again, Joe agrees White could be dangerous as a receiver, but Joe wants to see White damage defenses running the ball. More than once every 18 games.

Watch out for fourth-year running back Sneak Vaughn. Joe thinks through two weeks of training camp, Vaughn is the best runner.

Also, Vaughn has been demonstrating he can catch out of the backfield, too. He’s not as smooth receiving as White, but he has been getting the job done.

23 Responses to “Is There A Battle For RB1?”

  1. Toad Bowels Says:

    I’d love for the Bucs coaches to find a way to use the entire RB room to create mismatches in various situations. Last year if Pork hop Lenny got off to a slow start, the Bucs running game went kaput Hopefully Coach Canales can find ways to use Sneak, Edmunds, and two undrafted rookies along with White.

    I’m especially interested in the two rookies. Can Brown return kicks? Can Edmunds play flanker? Keep your best 53 + 4 on the practice squad. Some good players are going to end up being cut this year.

  2. garro Says:

    Joe how in the world does anyone gauge the effectiveness of a running back when the defense is not allowed to tackle? Would love to hear more about Turners progress BTW.

    Go Bucs!

  3. BillyBucco Says:

    I think you mean Tucker Garro.
    I think every Buc fan is interested in this.
    I also believe that’s because we are sold to n White or the O Line yet.
    Here’s to hoping that we are ALL wrong.
    Absolutely can’t wait for Friday. I just want to see a glimpse of SOMETHING that shows me we can be successful. I mean even if Tucker does look special, what does it mean against a bunch of backups. I seriously hate this time of year.

  4. BillyBucco Says:

    *Not sold on White

  5. DoooshLaRue Says:

    One thing that still has Joe head scratching is how the Bucs, with the worst running attack in the league, did nothing to upgrade the running back position.

    They did Joe.
    They canned Captain Flat Brim.

  6. RGA Says:

    Rushing attacks go nowhere without good offensive line blocking.

  7. bob in valrico Says:

    Might as well throw the advanced stats from last year out the window. It is a
    different O line that appears to built to complement the run. Leftwich really had
    to work hard to make both the passing and running game so predictable. Mix in some motion and intermediate and deep passes this year and it won’t be so easy
    to put eight men in the box on defense. I would like to see more protection from
    the RB’s to buy more time in the pocket to extend plays.

  8. SB~LV Says:

    Oh please!
    White is head and dropped shoulder better than Vaughn, and I like Vaughn

  9. dmatt Says:

    My concern for Keyshawn Vaughn is he goes into a shell when he makes a bad play or isn’t in the game when he think he should be. He doesn’t present as a team player to me contrary to RWhite coming in last year with confidence n respectfully motivated to start right away despite Fournette being the cowbell the previous two years. I believe Sean Tucker will be elevated to RB2 over Vaughn n Edmonds, respectfully. With Tucker’s blocking, catching, elusiveness, n speed, he’s too rare of an athletic to pass on. Our run game will be much better this year. We had too many flaws n hiccups last year. Leftwich was lost n disoriented, Fournette was frustrated about who knows what, DWhite n DSmith letting fans get in their head, injuries to OL. Brady’s head wasn’t in the game due to his personal issues, he looked like he was a drained weeping puppy during some of his post interviews. Look at him now, not a look of worry, he looks fresh outta the box in his new tv commercial.

  10. Scott Says:

    Willl this guy be a fantasy football stud this year or not?

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    Competition is a beautiful thing. Most teams historically go with the RB with the hot hand. Give ’em all some decent opportunities and let’s see what we’ve got.

    I’m sure the Bucs will be doing something similar with our OLinemen. Wouldn’t assume too quickly that either Mauch or Goedeke have their positions locked up as starters.

  12. Lakeland Steve Says:

    I felt that Vaughn for whatever reason really got the shaft the last couple of years. Whenever he got in the game and that was rare , he always seemed to produce. It’s just the Bucs for some reason never expanded his role.

  13. Bucs since 76 Says:

    I think after the first two preseason games if it shows we need a running back. We will pickup one from free agents available or trade for one. However, first we will need to free up some cap space.

  14. JimBobBuc Says:

    I downloaded the 2022 individual player advanced rushing stats from pro football reference and discarded the QB, WR rushing numbers to look only at RB’s. I wanted to try to separate the RB play from the OL play. To look at OL play (which would also include play calling and scheme), I looked Yards Before Contact per Attempt for each team’s RB’s. The Bucs were 6th to last at 2.2 yds/attempt. This is pretty much what we all would expect. So can Canales zone blocking scheme, and his play calling, and the reshuffled OL change the Yards Before Contact this year? For comparison, Seattle was 8th best at 2.8 Yards Before Contact/Attempt.

    Looking at last year’s RB numbers, I first looked at our team YAC per attempt. The Buc’s rushers last year were the worst in the league for YAC per attempt at 1.4 YAC/attempt. Lenny was 1.5, White 1.3, and Sneak 0.7. There are numbers for Broken Tackles and from best to worst it was Sneak, White, Lenny.

    I’m with Joe, why didn’t the Bucs aggressively address RB’s in the draft and FA? I generally like what Licht has done, but I think the Buc’s haven’t found the talent we need at RB. Based on his college tape, I think Tucker could be a big step up for us, but Tucker got a late start with his heart concern and he doesn’t seem to be getting many reps in practice.

  15. JN Says:

    Really want to see what the kid from Syracuse can do. Loved his film. Hopefully he’s good to go.

  16. TOMMY MORDUE Says:


  17. Infomeplease Says:

    IMHO, the run game will only be as good as the O-line!! Good O-line, good run game! Less than 5 weeks until the first real game! We’ll have a better feel after then!

  18. Wild Bill Says:

    I agree with Info above. It was the Bucs o line that was devastated that seriously hurt the run game last season. The weak o line also made Brady look mundane. The Bucs may not have a super star runner, but if the o line plays solid, and if Trask’s strong arm brings back the long ball for Evans and others, the opponents will not be able to stack their defense against the run. The Bucs rbs are decent enough if the line blocking is much improved. And the passing game will benefit too. And last but not least, replacing the offense coordinator with a younger more imaginative coach should be huge!! If the o line remains healthy, and with a more aggressive coach calling the plays, the Bucs should be much improved.

  19. gotbbucs Says:

    Nothing can be learned from last year’s offense. Nothing.
    New QB, new starting RB, total realignment of the offensive line, new scheme, new play caller.

  20. Ed McSherry Says:

    Attempts/yards (2022)

    Derrick Henry: 349/1538
    Jonathan Taylor: 192/861t
    Josh Allen: 124/762
    Lenny: 189/668
    Rachaad White: 129/481
    MaHomes: 61/358
    Vaughn: 17/53

    I agree that, pour over the raw data all ya want, and it’s nearly irrelevant in evaluating Rachaad White’s potential as the Buccaneers’ #1 rushing RB for 2023.

    Recommend that, after watching the games last year, use that information instead.

    How many times after an impressive gain-rushing by Rachaad White, did Byron send him “up the middle with no on-line” for the predictable 1 yard gain or loss: which ruined the previous accomplishment as it’s deceivingly published in “the stats.”

    My optimism for the 2023 run game with Rachaad White starting at RB is based on the strong 2022 performance when he had a fair, fighting chance. That really didn’t exist much last year under the circumstances.

  21. Ed McSherry Says:

    “O-line,” not “on-line.”

  22. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    The O-Line lost most of their experience early from injury. No holes opened with Hainsey and Goedeke switching positions plus trying to make the jump to the NFL. Imagine that. Almost like there was no daylight for the RB to run to. And realistically, this group has been drafted for a zone blocking scheme, smaller but more athletic. So, like every other year in the NFL the past does not predict the future.

  23. Nick2 Says:

    Sean Tucker will emerge either in preseason or during the year as the best pure runner we have. He almost broke Jim Browns Syracuse rushing record I know Joe knows that name!!