Maurice Jones-Drew: Bucs Should Be Interested In Jonathan Taylor

September 14th, 2023

Jonathan Taylor and the Bucs.

Disgruntled Colts running back Jonathan Taylor and his team are still at odds over a contract issue. And a former standout NFL running back thinks the Bucs could be or should be in play to get Taylor on their roster.

Joe isn’t going to go crazy over Rachaad White’s lackluster Sunday in Minneapolis. But it is a continuation of his dreadful production running the ball last year (though he’s pretty good catching the ball out of the backfield).

In 19 games played, White has snapped the 100-yard plateau just once. And last year his advanced rushing numbers were among the worst in the NFL.

Yesterday, Bucs coach Todd Bowles threw his support behind White and said his breakout is coming.

“We’re still high on him,” Bowles said. “We believe in Rachaad 100 percent. Again, they were stacking the line with an extra guy that we couldn’t block most of the time.

“That made it tough sledding for us – but we hung with it and we got the tough yards. Rachaad getting the tough yards says a lot within itself. We’ll have games where he breaks out, hopefully, and goes from there but the confidence is high.”

As Joe pointed out yesterday, NextGen Stats show Bowles has a solid point.

But how long can they wait? It’s not like Sean Tucker gave folks flashbacks to Warrick Dunn.

MJD thinks Taylor would give the Bucs just what they need.

… The Buccaneers have a stout defense and a fine receiving duo in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, but if they are to continue their success and win the NFC South for the third straight season, Baker Mayfield needs more help from a ground game that averaged just 2.2 yards per carry in the opener. … Taylor could be the element that helps this team stay at the top of the division and cements Mayfield’s spot in Tampa moving forward.

That’s an interesting point MJD made. The lack of a run game could have far-reaching complications for the Bucs.

The Bucs are supposedly built to run, or at least that is what Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales and Bowles preach. Yet the league’s worst rushing attack in 2022 was not boosted Sunday in a serious way. It’s like the Bucs just crossed their fingers and hoped White would snap out of it and put all their eggs in his basket.

If the Bucs running game still smells like rotten eggs after Week 4 when the Bucs have their bye week, then it might be time to find help outside the organization, provided the Bucs are no worse than 2-2.

Taylor isn’t going to play for peanuts and already the Bucs find themselves in a pinch with Mike Evans, in part because of being handcuffed by the salary cap.

35 Responses to “Maurice Jones-Drew: Bucs Should Be Interested In Jonathan Taylor”

  1. bob in valrico Says:

    The Vikings D was disrupting the run game and also putting pressure on Baker, especially in the first half. We have to do a better job of consistently making the defense pay for stacking the box . You also have a tight end that is a good blocker
    that can help protect as an H back or on the line.

  2. Leighroy Says:

    I really should be interested in a Ferrari too, but like the Bucs my budget can’t afford it either. Does the salary cap not exist in the national public media zeitgeist?

  3. Todd Says:

    Would need some Greenburg magic to pull this rabbit out of the running back hat.

    If it happened, the bonus for White is that he’d have even more time for interviews and social media to provide competitive edge insights to the league about how “Rain Man” Mayfield can decipher the opposition’s defensive play calls real time!


  4. Hodad Says:

    It’s not happening.

  5. Buc4evr Says:

    Focus on getting the O line better. With the Bucs luck Taylor would get injured trying to run behind our OLine.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Bowles … ‘Again, they were stacking the line with an extra guy that WE COULDN’T BLOCK MOST OF THE TIME.’

    I’m apparently missing something here. That statement makes it sound like we knew most run plays were gonna fail, but we ran them anyways. Isn’t that what crazy looks like?

    According to yesterday’s article, NexGen says Vikings had 8-men in the box on 47% of White’s carries. Sounds to me like that presents some great opportunities to burn them by checking into another option. Don’t they call those RPOs or something like that?

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    And Joe, Taylor as a Buc isn’t happening; we all know this. If it was 2020 or 2021 with Brady & we were going for the whole enchilada, then maybe. But Taylor is in the last year of his contract & wants big bucks, which we couldn’t pay him next year. Let someone else rent him for a year.

  8. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Sean Tucker has missed a lot of the offseason workouts and has only played in one game that counts. While he has yet to do something to warrant the starting position at RB, it is still early to see if he has what it takes to be a good RB.

  9. Lt. Dan Says:

    Kareem Hunt would be a cheaper option and possibly as good as Taylor. On a side note Joe – I’m gonna need you to put in a call to Canales for me. Let him know that Sean Tucker is stashed on my FFB bench and he needs to play more. That ought to do the trick! LOL.!

  10. FrontFour Says:

    We have no money.

  11. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    After seeing White in that first game, I’m coming around to this way of thinking. I just don’t think White has it.

  12. Aceofaerospace Says:

    If we had money for him, we should have resigned Jordan Whitehead. After all, he’s on pace for 51 interceptions this year.

  13. Jason Says:

    So how often did we run play action against those stacked boxes?

  14. Smoothbayrider Says:

    @LT Dan, I love Kareem Hunt as a player. I think he is one of the most complete backs in the league. He does everything very well. With that being said, I don’t think we will see Kareem in TB. If I recall correctly, Mayfield and Hunt had a little bit of a beef in Cleveland over Hunt’s holdout for a contract, and Mayfield subsequently calling him out. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but don’t get your hopes up.

  15. rickym Says:

    The Bucs O-Line needs a few more games to establish themselves a a cohesive unit. When they do, White will do very well as the starting running back. Games are won and lost at the line of scrimmage and Wirfs and Mauch both had good games in week one. I miss the days of a true fullback lining up in the backfield to help open holes and provide additional pass protection. I’m not sure why this position has been phased out of most NFL teams. Maybe the Bucs have someone on their roster who can provide that element in the backfield?

  16. Cobraboy Says:

    Expect stacked boxes until Mayfield makes them pay.

    Stacked boxes are more an indictment of the QB than any RB.

  17. orlbucfan Says:

    Forget Taylor. Bucs have other $$priorities$$. Plus, our Oline has to jell. That does take some time. Where’s the patience from the so-called “fans” on here?

  18. Marine Buc Says:

    Adding Taylor and cutting Vaughn would be a huge upgrade to our running game. But I don’t see this happening unless maybe White goes down with an injury.

    Maybe the Vikings should give him a call. Their running game looked as lethargic as ours did.

    Kareem Hunt would also be an upgrade over Vaughn for a much cheaper price.

  19. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Cobra

    “Expect stacked boxes until Mayfield makes them pay.

    Stacked boxes are more an indictment of the QB than any RB.”

    I agree 100%.

    The Vikings defense was not respecting our passing game at all and they were right. With three idiotic passes thrown to Ko Keift and Mike Evans dropping two passes why would they respect it?

  20. Joe Says:

    Expect stacked boxes until Mayfield makes them pay.

    Pretty much, this. Why would defenses stop doing something that works?

  21. RC Says:

    It would be just another payday at a position that teams aren’t willing to pay premium for anymore. We likely could get it done by resigning/restructuring him but the deal will have bigger implications for those on the roster who are looking to be locked up.

    I wouldn’t invest in him unless I was sure about my offensive line. A great back with just an OK line isn’t going give a good return on investment. Our O-Line guys need to develop a bit more so we can see how good they can be.

    Baker playing better will help too. I think this season, the offense will get better weeke to week. Gotta be patient.

  22. Waterboy Says:

    Hunt was terrible last year in Cleveland and his ypc trajectory had been spiraling downward for last 3 years. And the locker room issues between Baker and several of the Browns high profile offensive players was absolutely real. Baker has a fresh start here and no way should ex-Browns be added to this team! Bucs created $10M in cap space by restructuring Shaq’s contract. They should have enough cap space to bring in Taylor in a trade and then rework his deal with years added to lower future cap hit. That said, asking price for Taylor appears to be a first round pick and in no way shape or form should Bucs consider this! If asking price drops to a second round pick then I would make the deal!

  23. gotbbucs Says:

    We could have forced them out of the stacked boxes if we had completed the easy pitch and catch plays that we missed early in the game. They spent all summer long telling anyone that would listen that they wanted to run the ball, so of course teams are going to start the game with eight in the box.
    Newsflash, good running teams run against eight in the box defenses all game long, and the closer to the goal line you get, the tighter the box gets, but you still need to be able to run against it. It’s a piss poor excuse for not being able to run the ball effectively.

  24. kaput Says:

    The Colts wanted Waddle, a starter on the Miami defense and a first round pick for Taylor.

    No thanks.

  25. Destinjohnny Says:

    Should be interested in a right tackle 2 guards and a center

  26. Cover deuce Says:

    This run blocking scheme is probably the simplest but most difficult to execute in the league. The o-line and rb are responsible for making a lot of post-snap reads. It heightens the need for all 5 guys to play as one cohesive unit. Given that a lot of those guys are playing new positions, and didn’t get a ton of live-fire action together in the preseason, I think the struggles are predictable. Hopefully they can start to put it together as the season goes along. Individual guys had good individual moments on Sunday and I think there’s reason to believe they’re up to it, but it’s going to take time.

  27. Fred McNeil Says:

    White rarely FIGHTS for that last extra few inches at the end of a run. Sean Tucker got hit right away too, but he worked his butt off for those last few inches more often.

  28. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Sounds nice, does not seem even remotely possible.

  29. Freddy Says:

    Can not afford his contract. If Tayor comes here with a contract even close to what he wants, then say goodbye to Evans, maybe White and others too. Yes we need better production from the RB position, but not at Taylors cost.

  30. SlyPirate Says:

    The run game will come.
    White and Tucker will get it done.

  31. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Serious question. Would any RB so much better with the stacked boxes ? Bowles said they couldn’t block the extra guy. I know there were a few runs that RW1 did some dancing and didn’t hit the first seem he saw or maybe just being a little to patient but it was tough sledding for him and ST44. I just don’t know if another back comes in and does any better with what the oline is doing. Plus joe said it perfectly we don’t have the money and ME13 and co. Want their money. Deff a pickle we are in but if RW1 doesn’t get the job done and baker or trask ends up being the answer at QB we most likely taking a RB high next draft or spend some coin on a FA one better then Edmonds lol

  32. Esteban85 Says:

    Nah. We need to get Tucker the ball more. White is an RB2 or third down back. Hate to say it because I have a lot of hope for RW in this new offensive scheme but he seems to go down easily. He did face a lot of 8 man fronts, and the offense is in its infancy so we will have to wait and see but I don’t think we need any high dollar halfbacks.
    I firmly believe this offensive line will get better and better as we progress through the season, so I imagine the offense as a whole will progressively get better and better.
    This is the year to win on the cheap and pay down our debts. We simply are not in the market for high dollar players.

  33. D-Rok Says:

    Before Brady came to Bucs, from many reports, he scoured the Bucs roster and said Heck yeah, that team has talent, and a good line.

    I’m sure Taylor is doing the same thing, and rightfully so.

  34. garro Says:

    Would be nice but it aint gonna happen. Because $$$ and Jason is tring to clean up the salary cap in order to sign our guys who are coming up to free agency.

    Go Bucs!

  35. adam from ny Says:

    if the team seems decent this year and on the brink of making a run at the division and the playoffs, you bring him in around the bye week…

    more so because since the brady retirement, the team sort of lacks star power…or maybe call it a bonafide tv presence…

    i think that’s why there were whispers of bringing in washed up zeke “belly button” elliot…

    is taylor a bonafide star…?…not yet, but he very well could become that guy in the reshaping of this franchise, if they decide that baker is their guy…

    so it’s def something to mull over for the bucs at the top of the food chain