Rachaad White’s Speed (?) To The Line — Does It Really Matter?

October 26th, 2023

Unfair criticism?

Sometimes, Joe thinks people yack up stats just to yack up stats. Zero context.

Now Joe has heard from some Bucs fans who gripe that Bucs misplaced slot receiver Rachaad White is slow to the line of scrimmage. In old school football this was a mortal sin.

To be fair, Joe doesn’t know what specifically White has been ordered to do after a handoff which is why Joe asked Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales if this was just poor vision by White or if Canales wants White to be disciplined not to leave his lane.

Over at NextGen Stats, it has a list of ballcarriers times to get to the line of scrimmage after taking a handoff. White is No. 26 taking 2.79 seconds to hit the line.

Now just on face value that seems poor. But here are some of the running backs that take longer than White to get to the line: Isiah Pacheco, Javonte Williams, Raheem Mostert, Jahmyr Gibbs, Najee Harris, Tyler Allgeier and Bijan Robinson.

If you were Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht and you were offered one of these running backs straight up for White, you’d think you were getting punked. Yet all of them get to the line of scrimmage slower than White.

Now yeah, Joe would prefer a running back who hits the hole in a blink of an eye. But really, what are we talking about here when so many good running backs are slow to hit the hole?

Joe has a hunch this stat is just an empty stat. It really doesn’t mean anything.

30 Responses to “Rachaad White’s Speed (?) To The Line — Does It Really Matter?”

  1. AtlBuc Says:

    Leveon Bell used to hesitate behind the line but most of the time he found a hole. White’s hesitation reminds me of Bell but he rarely seems to find the hole. Joe, have you noticed that the Bucs almost never run to the outside?

  2. steele Says:

    We don’t need a stat site to know, although in this case the stat is somewhat telling. It is a fact that all have seen from the beginning: Rachaad is slow to the line, slow overall. He tip toes, is not explosive. If stats show “others are even slower”, that doesn’t change the fact that Rachaad is slow. Nor does this single stat say anything about the performance of runners after that. Nor does it take into account things like blocking schemes. To take one of the “slower” ones, Mostert is a far better overall running back. Go look at what he did in SF, with a good offense. Rachaad fails to explode, period. Because he is a long strider and a loper. He likes hurdling over people (always trying it). He is a gadget open field #3 receiving type option at best, and definitely not a feature back.

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    ‘Joe has a hunch this stat is just an empty stat. It really doesn’t mean anything.’

    Agree Joe. It’s much more how the RB USES that 2.79 seconds IMO. Rachaad doesn’t seem to be good at using it to spot that tiny sliver of a crease that’ll be opening up in a second or so. Maybe that’s the ‘vision’ part you & others keep talking about? Not necessarily what’s happening RIGHT NOW, but rather what’s ABOUT TO HAPPEN a split second from now, and of course being able to adjust to that.

  4. Fansince76 Says:

    YAC is the stat!

  5. TDTB Says:

    The difference is those backs are using their eyes to see the hole. White is just a slow starter who has blinders on. I’m still floored by the play last week where there were truck sized holes on either side of the line and the dude literally ran into the ass of the lineman in front of him. I’ve never seen anything like it. For him to succeed he has to have a long runway and the hole has to be precisely where it was drawn on the white board.

  6. Todd Says:

    Could you imagine bringing in King Henry and truly converting White to a slot receiver?!

    Then we’d be cooking with gas!!!

  7. Aceofaerospace Says:

    If Canales is telling White to run to the line, come to a complete stop and look for a hole, then he should be fired also. I doubt that’s the case. White just isn’t tough enough.

  8. Ed Says:

    No excuses, he is a receiver. Put him in his natural position to be productive. He has very good hands.

  9. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Can anyone remember how many times Mark Schlereth made a point during the game about Rashaad actually running with purpose, to hit the holes. It is simple, Rashaad has not shown that he is really willing to do what it takes to be a good RB in the NFL.
    Might as well stay on the sideline, your safe over there Rashaad.

  10. Beej Says:

    Saw a stat on White–has caught 21 of 22 targets, averages 8.9 after catch.
    He really MIGHT be a good slot. Charley Taylor is in the Hall of Fame, was a converted running back

  11. HC Grover Says:

    Many times he never even makes it to the line.

  12. Faspro Says:

    It doesn’t matter…BUCS CAN’T BLOCK.

  13. LVMYBUCS Says:

    What speed? He goes down to fast for me.

  14. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    How bout a rb who can break a arm tackle

  15. D Cone Says:

    Went back and looked at the first series against Atlanta.
    First play was play action and when Baker got to the point of the fake White has his back to him and running to the flat. Need to sell it a little better than Pop Warner to fool NFL defenses. Sell the fake up the middle better and the corners will turn their attention to deeper routes and get White open in the flat for bigger gains.

    Seems like the reason White is taking so long is Mayfield is bringing the ball to him and White is starting from a dead stop while the defense has already had way too much time to push back the OLine and kill the play. QB needs to get the ball, turn, and put the ball in White’s gut with a head of steam hitting the line.

  16. Jeff Says:

    He’s a talented athlete. Just not good enough to be in the NFL.

  17. Bucsfanman Says:

    It has been stated well already here. He is not seeing the holes and his hesitation is hindering him. If White is a “straight-ahead runner” (a big IF!), put him behind a FULLBACK and let him be led through the hole. Personally, I don’t think he’s either. He doesn’t seem to find the holes and he does his version of the “Curly Shuffle” on every hand-off!

    Holes are not always going to be there. Sometimes you have to create your own. With this OL, you need a RB with better vision.

  18. Jmarkbuc Says:

    At some point it all falls on pretty man Canales and Bowles to either get them coached up or sit them.

    Canales’ schtick has worn thin.

  19. Jack Sparrow Says:

    I bet you, tonights game against the Bills, first play will be run through the gut and jeeeeeezzzzzzz……. 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️

  20. ATLBuc Says:

    D Cone I think you have something there.

  21. Proudbucsfan Says:

    White simply don’t keep churning those legs. He does not know how to run over people. If his mind is telling him to keep his feet going he isn’t paying attention to where the holes are and if his mind is telling him to see the holes, then he’s not paying attention to keeping his legs moving. It definitely is not coming together for him. The Bucs need a back that can run over people who’s not scared to make his own holes.

  22. Old Sombrero Says:

    What do I know but to me White has long strides. He’s moving faster than it appears but his strides are too long to possess the ability to change directions quickly. He’s nasty in the open field (great receiver) but doesn’t have the quick and slight change of direction ability behind the line of scrimmage.

  23. Bojim Says:

    Still another stupid stat. Can’t wait till they invent the next one that doesn’t mean sht.

  24. Obvious Says:

    Joe, did you ever get an answer? I suppose you were wondering the very same thing I’m wondering. Play after play, same Ole thing WITH wide open green grass to the left and the right of the human dead end wall and yet no one seems to think it’s a good idea to just RUN THAT WAY!

    Why is that??? Did you ever get the answer?

  25. Joe Says:

    Joe, did you ever get an answer? I suppose you were wondering the very same thing I’m wondering.

    Joe wrote about it a week or so ago. That’s why Joe linked to the story.

  26. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Yes, we average 3ypc……. But have you noticed that there are many teams that average 4.6 to 5+ ypc and have losing records?

    CHI 4.8
    ARZ 5.2
    TEN 4.6
    DEN 5.1
    NYJ 5.2

    The sky isn’t falling IMO, but Canales needs to make some scheme changes ASAP.

  27. MelvinJunior Says:

    Yeah, it’s very important to hit the hole QUICK & HARD, since that ‘hole’ closes up FAST!!!! He has done a much better job of trying to do this for the past couple of games, BUT the problem being, you have to THEN, have the ‘VISION’ to make your initial CUT… Which, he desperately lacks the vision to do so, along with the ‘coordination’ without losing speed.

  28. Obvious Says:

    Yeah I remember the article and thought I had commented on the right up but it must have been a similar article that I started the same question that I did today.

    Apparently his answer is that his running backs are “confused”. Yeah, no shart!

    Me to. I’m confused as well. I just don’t get it. Seems a simple enough answer to run right or left of the human wall when there are NO others in either direction with TONS of sunshine and green grass to run for TONS of yards. Especially if they “have the time”, (approx. 3 seconds) to choose to head towards the path of least resistance.

    It’s Got to Be Canales insisting that a hole WILL OPEN so stick to the rear end of the line until one opens.
    Otherwise it’s just FAR TOO OBVIOUS that you can choose to go to the wide open right or left of the pile. “STUBBORNNESS”….

    And the reason I’m going to stick with that is because in human nature there’s a little thing called “self preservation”… Tom Brady is the Master of self preservation and in that line of thinking, it’s AUTOMATIC that someone whom is scared to get hurt, touched, or looked at with a threatening look WILL AVOID contract by any and ALL means AND WILL run to ANY open path AWAY from ALL CONTACT for the Most Basic of human nature. “Self Preservation”.

    And though Tom Brady is the last football player that I want to call out, with his advanced age obviously into consideration and almost exempt because of the heighten risk for him, I would say “running scared” is a point to be made. “Running Smart” is a close cousin in this senerio, but EITHER would run towards Open Field and Away from contact for far different reasons, but with the same High Success Rate. In other words, Will choose to head away from contact to gain yards and away from contact EVERYTIME, No Matter What!

    And for a running back, THAT’S the end all , be all. GAIN YARDS! (unless they’re blocking of course)

    It tells me Whites not a scaredy cat. But he may be stupid…..

  29. firethecannons Says:

    He dances in the backfield and does not decisively hit the hole and cannot create by running around to the edge. hard to watch–hainsey is the reason why and mauch isnot helping at all.

  30. BillyBucco Says:

    Yes but after those 2.7 seconds White still sticks his head up the Lineman’s butt.
    There have been adequate holes all year and his vision is poor.
    Of course bouncing it outside won’t work because his lateral quickness is terrible.
    At least Wirfs and company have said They are WORKING so hard so it’s frustrating. Has anyone heard White say, man I’m working so hard, scouring tape and I WANT it bad.
    Please God give Tucker a chance!!!!!
    Do you think Pacheco can run block better.
    If they would actually use White on 3rd downs and play Tucker and Edmonds we might get somewhere.
    Otherwise trade for Henry NOW. Money is not the problem.
    EGO is. Or the Glazers refusing to bite because they know Mayfield is a bandaid and want that QB next draft. Why spend on Henry, when it’s only gonna be 11 games?