“Good Players Don’t Need Excuses”

September 26th, 2023

Clock ticking.

This morning in the wee hours driving home from The Licht House, Joe heard quarterback chatter on a podcast that reminded Joe of a terribly underwhelming Bucs player.

Joe was listening to the “GM Shuffle” with former long-time NFL suit Mike Lombardi, a coffee-fetcher for Bill Walsh, Al Davis and Bill Belicheat, and his co-host Femi Abebefe. They discussed a pair of quarterbacks drafted in 2021 that Lombardi says has no business stepping on another NFL field again as a starter.

Abebefe is a big Justin Fields fan but even he admitted that his patience with the Bears quarterback has nearly dried up. Lombardi said of Fields and Zach Wilson, “Good players don’t need excuses.”

That got Joe thinking about Rachaad White. The Bucs’ running back was awful last night. Again. He ran for 38 yards on 14 carries averaging 2.7 yards a carry. He’s averaging 3.1 yards per carry this season.

This on a team that both wants to run the ball and has conned convinced itself White is an RB1.

He’s not.

A good receiver out of the backfield, yes. But White has one good game and one OK game rushing out of 21. He’s made 12 NFL starts including a playoff game. Joe’s seen enough.

Problem for the Bucs is they may not have a viable option. Not when rookie Sean Tucker is worse. Not when Sneak Vaughn apparently rents the penthouse in Todd Bowles’ doghouse.

The dwindling number of folks who defend White blame — this is a real stretch — the offensive line. Folks, if a running back needs five pancake blocks on each play to produce, you’ve got the wrong guy. The NFL still allows running backs to make defenders miss, run over defenders or utilize vision to find green grass.

“Good players don’t need excuses.”

Not every good running back plays behind a dominant line. When Mike Alstott and Warrick Dunn played with the Bucs, did the Bucs have an All-World offensive line? No. Only center Tony Mayberry made the Pro Bowl. No, Paul Gruber never made a Pro Bowl (yes, Joe knows he was good). The rest on that line were, well, pedestrian.

Unlike White, Alstott and Dunn used vision, finesse, speed, power and heart to produce.

Joe had a back-and-forth on Twitter with a fan sort of defending White. Joe had the following response: So far White has had two very different coordinators, two very different quarterbacks, two different offensive lines, and yet the results are the same. What’s the common denominator? The running back.

White looks like a downgrade from Charles Sims (though White is probably a better receiver out of the backfield than Sims).

If Bucs coach Todd Bowles and offensive coordinator Dave Canales are this hellbent on running the ball, someone in the organization better find a competent runner. Either that, or Bowles and Canales may want to embrace the pass a bit more.

At least in the passing game, the Bucs have proven weapons. And yes, that includes White, too.

“Good players don’t need excuses.”

39 Responses to ““Good Players Don’t Need Excuses””

  1. Trade White Says:

    He has to be the worst in the league at this point. Like he could brely establish the run versus the bears.

  2. firethecannons Says:

    I just hope to Gawd next year we clean house and rid ourselves of players that are not producing for whatever reason. There was no reason why we did not get a decent Runningback in the draft. How did they not see Jenkins having a set back–he never got the knee fixed and it was beyond surgery–he should of been replaced in the draft. I would give tryon the rest of the year–the Eagles have a stout o-line and tryon was manhandled as was everyone else on our team. The eagles have a strong o-line and D-line. It could of been worse. We are bad but not the worst team in the league.

  3. Leopold Stotch Says:

    Honestly at this point, we SHOULD trade for Johnathan Taylor… We WONT though. Just a feeling. If we’re sticking with Baker or Trask we should just bite the bullet for Taylor, but it’s too early, and I’m afraid will be too late when we find out.

  4. OriginalJud Says:

    The two backs that Philly had both outclassed him by far -not sure what they saw in him in college but there’s a lot right now in the AA that I would take over him

  5. Drunkinybor Says:

    He’s too tall and he runs like it. Now I know why Joe wanted Akers. Our O-line isn’t good enough to make a mediocre RB look good. We needed a special runninh back while the system and line gelled. Just stop with the White experiment now. Althoigh we probably couldn’t even get a 7th rounder for him right now. When you suck and you turn the ball over it’s time to sit down period.

  6. Scott Says:

    No RB is looking good against the eagles

  7. Hodad Says:

    I’ve given a lot of Bucs players like White a pass for last year. This year they have to produce, and White certainly hasn’t. He’s not a good RB, my eyes aren’t lying. If this new Buc offense is to have a chance it needs a threat in the backfield. We have none. It’s a good thing the bye week is coming early. We need to make a change during the bye. I’d make a deal for JT. Get a proven back NOW! Can’t wait for next years draft. Besides, Licht is horrible at drafting RBs.

  8. Doolnutts Says:

    Whites an average RB no question but at the end of the day our line is weak. Jensen unable to return was a big setback. Our LG is just a journeyman placeholder our replacement for Jensen is ok but he has no power to move folks around and our RG is a rookie. Next year we need to draft a G round 1-2 period.

  9. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    Definitely a change of pace scat-back type player. Just not enough leg strength to be a bell cow. There’s a place for him on 3rd down as a checkdown, just not as the main option

  10. Does it matter Says:

    Our running game has not been good enough for this to be the on field product the fans get for the 2023 season?!? LFG Canales

  11. Beej Says:

    One thing I noticed about Swift –dude is a rocket ship, incredible acceleration

  12. Pewter Power Says:

    What has the shiftiness but had just one good run. We keep blaming the running back but even with all star receivers our superbowl year we couldn’t run the ball and that was with Jensen

    There is never ever talk about how someone one the offensive line bulldozed someone to make a way for a back. Licht miscalculated and didn’t upgrade at center.

  13. Voice of Truth Says:

    As an organization we struggle at the RB position

    We need new scouts for that position

    Think about all the bums we have drafted at RB under Licht

    KC has a 7th rounder that is better than all of ours put together

    It’s a joke really, a sick joke

  14. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘Problem for the Bucs is they may not have a viable option. Not when rookie Sean Tucker is worse. Not when Sneak Vaughn apparently rents the penthouse in Todd Bowles’ doghouse.’

    And there-in lies the problem: no viable options. The goal of a ‘balanced attack’ to keep opponents guessing is commendable, but you gotta have the horses to make it work. The Bucs don’t. Neither our OLine or our RBs are good enough to give us a respectable run game against quality run defenses.

    As I watched that game last night, it was obvious that our OLine can’t spell run-blocking, much less execute it. Eagles’ run defense is excellent, and our OLine was no match all night long. But our pass-blocking was fairly decent (Mayfield only got sacked twice, which was very good considering that he held the ball far too long on far too many plays).

    So why didn’t we use the pass more to set up the run by forcing them to think pass more often? And why didn’t we explore the edges more in the run game? Or use rollouts & RPOs more? Come to think of it, why didn’t we do something, anything, OTHER than what we did? Poor game plan & poor play-calling.
    Got a hunch that Dave Canales learned some valuable lessons about his team’s talent last night. And about himself.

  15. BucsFanSince76 Says:

    In the NFL summary of Rachaad White at combine he is projected as a RB3 , and that is what he is. White does not have burst nor ability to make 2nd level tackler miss, White is not a home run threat.ROJO is available , sign him Licht , make the roster better.
    Canales is borderline OBTUSE , running from the half foot line causing a safety is foolish.

  16. orlbucfan Says:

    Hopefully, Canales learned some every hard coaching lessons from this debacle. Please. lay off the runs up the middle. Leftwich also pulled this one, and I hated it. Be more UNPREDICTABLE in your game planning and play calling. What is so hard about that?

  17. go dawgs Says:

    White should follow his calling and retire to be a social media influencer. This guy will not stick his foot in the ground and hit the hole. I understand the eagles dline was dominating but man white was dancing all night.

    The bucs should of went after akers or hunt.

  18. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    White is gawd awful; there are a bunch of running backs in the NFL that are successful that came out of nowhere. The dolphins 2 RBs are not top draft picks, Tyler Algier, the panthers RB, the Chargers RB, 49ers backup RB, etc

  19. Cobraboy Says:

    White is all mouth.

    He needs to shut down his social media and just stick the ball in a hole.

    le’Veon Bell could tap dance until he saw a crack. White is no Bell.

    White is more Kenny Bell than Le’Veon Bell.

  20. Dacake Says:

    Looked like the Eagles dropped a bomb in the middle of our offensive line on that safety…all you could see was a mushroom cloud and our offensive linemen on their backs.

  21. UKBuccaneer Says:

    Nobody is gonna claim White is a special RB, but who’s gonna succeed when your o-line is being brutalised?

  22. Pewter Power Says:

    Oh hey white is below average and the problem with the run game

    So that safety where he got smashed was all his fault and he should be benched because he’s apparently not good enough

  23. Alexandre Nascimento Says:

    If we were planning on changing QB after 3-4 weeks, why not plan accordingly to RB?
    I’m sick and tired of White
    Go Bucs

  24. Bucsfan561 Says:

    I wouldn’t even say whites a better receiver out of the backfield than sims.. until I see white break 6 ppl in one play and score then nahh.. also sims split out wide and caught a few tds agains dbs! I think we are starting to force it w/ white, gonna be patient but at what point do we try something different ?
    The guy that’s gonna stick is head In there is on the bench smh

  25. larrd Says:

    When you don’t have a bell cow you should use them all, even if one upset you at some point last month.

  26. Pryda…sec147 Says:

    I think Lenny last night Would not have gave up a freaking safety! FFS! That was embarrassing he should be on the bench for that play

  27. unbelievable Says:

    I have plenty of criticism of White, but your continued refusal to place blame on sub bar blocking from the o-line is baffling. What incriminating things do the o-line have on you Joe lol?

    But seriously- did you see the holes that Philly had to run through last night? Massive. Gaping. I could have been popping off 8 yard runs myself with that much space.

    Have you seen the Bucs o-line open a hole like that? No, you have not. Philly was LIVING in our backfield all night long. You could have put Dalvin Cook, Kareem Hunt or anyone else back there and it would not have mattered.

  28. SlyPirate Says:

    Just watch the RB on the other side of the ball. He was hitting the hole hard and punishing our LBs. He took White and LVD on rides.

  29. Derobbins Says:

    This just in. Tom Brady was not a good player last year.

  30. Tucker Says:

    Settle down its the eagles with the best defensive front in the league against a pieced together offensive line that’s still trying to figure it out. Poor game plan that too often attacked the eagles strength. Really need to learn from this bucs. Go bucs.

  31. Steelers fan Says:

    Its so crazy to me that White is the scape goat when he philly is #1 vrs the run and Baker gets off scott free and philly was worst in the league vrs QB’s? What is seriouly going on here? This is just wierd.

    Mac Jones vrs Egals 35/54 316yds 3td 1int

    Kirk Cousins 31/44 364yds 4td

    Baker Mayfield 15/25 146yds 1td 1int

    The egals were dead last vrs qbs coming into the game and #1 vrs the run.

  32. unbelievable Says:

    @SlyPirate – the running back on the other side of the ball had massive 10 yard wide holes to run through.

    Let me know if you can find even a single snap from last night where the Bucs o-line opened a big hole. I won’t hold my breath

  33. unbelievable Says:

    With all that said, I totally agree about White not running people over. Too much finesse, no power.

    We need someone who can bulldoze people, not try to always dance around them. But we also need 5 o-lineman that can actually run block. Right now we have 1.

  34. Proudbucsfan Says:

    Great article Joe spot on.

  35. 1#bucsfan Says:

    I won’t argue with you JOE about the oline being trash at run blocking. You’re about as stubborn as Bowles is on wanting to run the ball in a passing league. Now our oline is a lot better than folks give credit to at pass blocking but run blocking no. They don’t open holes up the don’t get a push but that’s not the biggest problem. The problem is this staff is trying to run to set up the pass. It needs to pass to set up the run. RW1 might not be a tru #1 back but the dude has moves and can make people miss in space. Pair that with ME13 n CG14 and throw the dang ball. What’s wrong with these coaches man. To dam stubborn to play to our strengths.

  36. Bucfan1988 Says:

    I think the Bucs crappy o-line run blocking starts w Hainsey in the center.
    This dude constantly get manhandled..

    Fix the center then that’s a start at least.

    Yeah White is a VERY patient runner, but I tell you nobody is opening up a hole for him..Not even accidentally like, lol..

  37. Rob Lewis Says:

    John Belushi: “Rashaad White… I’ve given this a lot of thought. You’re Delta Tau pledge name… is Tippy Toe”

  38. Joe Says:

    John Belushi: “Rashaad White… I’ve given this a lot of thought. You’re Delta Tau pledge name… is Tippy Toe”

    “Why Tippy Toe?”

    “(Belch) WHY NOT!?”

  39. BigBucFan11 Says:

    Am I the only one who notices that he had tough games against two of the better run defenses in the NFL – Minnesota and Philadelphia. He ran for 73 yards and TD against Chicago. Certainly not bad.

    Let’s see what happens. Tucker sure looks a lot worse. And White turns nothing plays into something often enough if you’re watching.