“That’s Unacceptable For Us”

October 14th, 2023

Room to improve, Tristan Wirfs says.

Sure, NFL offensive linemen enjoy jousting with pass rushers when their quarterback steps back into the pocket.

But nothing stokes an offensive lineman more than blasting a guy in front of him to spring open a running back.

In that respect, Bucs left tackle Tristan Wirfs is not a happy camper. While the pass blocking has been quite good for a revamped offensive line, Wirfs said earlier this week that no way is the offensive line a finished product.

“We know there is a ton of work to be done,” Wirfs said. “We have a lot of room to improve.

“I think we are close to last in yard per carry or something, and that’s unacceptable for us.”

Wirfs was close. The Bucs are the worst team in the NFL in yards per carry. The Bucs average three yards a carry.

For perspective, that is worse than the Bucs were last year when they averaged 3.4 yards a carry — which was the worst in the NFL in 2022.

“We have to be better and do what we can in the run game improve,” Wirfs said.

In interviews since the win over New Orleans, Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales has said the run blocking has been OK. Not great, not awful. It was clear Canales thought the running backs could do more.

Two things Joe has noticed from the Bucs running backs aren’t new: poor yards after contact and not great vision. Joe has seen more than once seen daylight and a nice run for the taking — if a Bucs back had decent vision and the ability to juke right or left.

As Joe has typed countless times, Roger Goodell still allows running backs to make guys miss and break tackles. Currently per Pro-Football-Reference.com, Rachaad White is No. 30 in the NFL in yards after contact per rush at 1.2 yards.

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25 Responses to ““That’s Unacceptable For Us””

  1. RagingBrisket Says:

    I also think Roger Goodell allows offensive linemen to block up the man in front of them in order to create a crease or hole for a RB to exploit instead of getting blown backwards off the line and crushing the ball carrier. It’s definitely allowed. Saw the Eagles do it on a Monday night a few weeks ago.

  2. Ricki Says:

    Our OL might not be great in run blocking but the its clear that there are holes there but our rb dont know how to get in the hole. So not sure why ppl keep blaming the OL. Like the blind poster above.

  3. bucsfaninOregon Says:

    There is no argument that with the opposing DL is in the backfield it will stop run plays. But, with a player without the ability to find holes and shrug off tackles is what we have for running backs. The “other” team I follow is the 49rs. I am amazed repeatedly by Christian McCaffery. He will hit the line and come through the other side time after time. Of course, he is probably the best RB in the league now days. But, what he’s a model of what we should strive to have on the field. Nothing like him on the Bucs.

  4. Joshua porter Says:

    White has been missing holes in every game this year his vision is horrible . Which sucks cuz he’d be a pretty good back if he could see hole hit hole…..

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘For perspective, that (the current 3.0 YPC) is worse than the Bucs were last year when they averaged 3.4 yards a carry — which was the worst in the NFL in 2022.’

    For additional perspective, Wirfs at LT is an upgrade over Donnie Smith. Feiler at LG is an upgrade over Goedeke & Leverett. Hainsey was our Center all last year. Mauch is maybe a push at RG versus Mason. And Goedeke is a step down from Wirfs at RT from last year, but that’s a mighty high bar and Goedeke is still doing pretty good this year at RT IMO.

    So our OLine SHOULD be better than last year. Neither Rachaad White and Ke’Shawn Vaughn exactly shined as RBs last season. Fournette got the lion’s share (over 56%) and averaged 3.5 YPC behind last year’s OLine. White only got 38% of the offensive snaps last year, and averaged 3.7 YPC. Now that he’s moved up to lead dog, and playing behind what SHOULD be a better OLine, he’s only averaging 3.3 YPC.

    MAYBE Rachaad is a good #2 or #3 back, but not a good lead dog? Nothing wrong with that. So we go out and find a good lead dog. Look at who’s on the street (Fournette among others). Look at who’s on other teams Practice Squads. TRADE FOR SOMEBODY before the trade deadline of October 31st passes. We’ve got options. Use them.

  6. DoooshLaRue Says:

    If only we still had Durable Donnie………

  7. Hodad Says:

    Time to start blaming the RBs.

  8. Bee Says:

    Our RBs aren’t good. If we had Derrick Henry our YPC would be wayyy up.

  9. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Rachaad White may be last in YPC but he’s in the top ten of doing interviews.

  10. Bucsfan951 Says:

    At times, I’ve been told that I have trouble hitting the hole, too.

    On a serious note, these rbs of the Bucs do suck and will be the Achilles heel of this offense and team.

  11. Obvious Says:

    @Ricki and Hodad

    What are you two thinking? Who do you blame? The line ain’t great and clearly needs more time together to be special and we all know that but the truth is that holes Are There. You guys are pretty much claiming that it’s absolutely not the running backs fault.

    Turns out Canales himself says your views are “plain wrong” and that the running backs “overall” aren’t getting it done. Don’t take my word, Joe’s word or everybody else’s. But you might take Canales’ word for it…

    Personally yeah, I Do blame the running backs. Then again I also blame the line.
    However, the holes ARE THERE. They just never seem to find them and if they do, A Breeze seems to knock them down.

    I.E. .. They Suck

  12. orlbucfan Says:

    Oregon, McCaffery is also running behind probably the best OL in the game. Watched him for years with the Panthers; he’s starting to get a bit long in the tooth. Bucs’ OL has had a lot of changes, and the linemen have to learn to play as a smooth unit. That’s not going to happen in a day. It takes time. Holding is such a JOKE call. Unless players start strangling each other, it needs to be abolished. Refs call it on a whim and/or greased palm.

  13. BucsFanSince1996 Says:

    If the BUCs were Super Bowl contenders this season then I agree that our GM should do whatever it takes to acquire an upgrade. But given that we’re NOT going to the Super Bowl this season and we’re financially challenged because of the salary cap, I don’t see any help coming unless Jason can find another gem at the Dollar Store as he’s been doing recently.

    Our running game can and will get better with the personnel we have right now. Our O-line will continue to get better over the course of the season as they get more experience playing together and our RBs will get better as they continue to learn the playbook. And our coaches will continue to get better! The self-scouting they did over the bye week will pay dividends. Although it may not show tomorrow against the Lions who have a great run defense.

  14. stpetebucfan Says:


    “At times, I’ve been told that I have trouble hitting the hole, too.”

    Perhaps too much Big Storm Vodka?

  15. Obvious Says:

    Big Storm makes Vodka?

  16. Cobraboy Says:

    If there is any good OL news buried in putrid rush numbers, it is they’ve done a decent job in pass pro.

    Given a choice of the two, give me better pass pro in the NFL.

  17. 808bucfan Says:

    Go get Rojo

  18. DoooshLaRue Says:

    stpetebucfan Says:
    October 14th, 2023 at 11:46 am

    “At times, I’ve been told that I have trouble hitting the hole, too.”

    Perhaps too much Big Storm Vodka?

    Obvious Says:
    October 14th, 2023 at 11:59 am
    Big Storm makes Vodka?

    SPBF is a self-proclaimed lover of Bud Light.
    Please forgive his ignorance.

  19. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Absolutely get ROJO for league minimum which we can afford. Rojo is a FAR better option than anything we have on the roster. Cmon Jason Licht it aint about cutting off your nose to spite your face , it is about winning , in case you forgot.

  20. stpetebucfan Says:

    Guys there is literally a banner ad on this page showing the Big Storm Distillery products. Vodka and flavored Vodka. Not a flavored fan but a good Vodka/rocks is terrific.

    Nah don’t drink Bud Light but not because my manhood is threatened like Kid Rock by some influencer. I am not a beer connoisseur. I like “water beer” so I drink Mich Ultra.

  21. Obvious Says:

    Hey, it’s all good to me. Whatever swill is flowing, I’m not picky..

  22. No I in team Says:

    Good thing all your bucs hating keyboard typing tough guys have been talking the same crap all preseason to now. Maybe a little less steady insults and little more actual support for???? O wtfe faith, hope, love go bucs. A flip everyone that doubts us. They hate us cuz they ain’t us

  23. BUCS4LIFE Says:

    Show me this “breakout running game” and all will be right with the world.

  24. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Personally, I still like playoff Lenny and he’s available for a dime on the dollar. The man can still tote that rock!

  25. garro Says:

    Spot on DR!

    I have to admit to being wrong about our run game issues after reading your post. And apologies to the Joes for getting on them about their take on RBs here.

    We were sad in the run game last year with Fournette and a really bad O line. White looks, if anything a slower version of Fournette. Founette looked like he was running in quicksand and refused to just hit the LOS just like White has been doing.

    Joe is right he is not seeing the running lanes. I don’t think he has the juke step to get us yards at the LOS. Open field maybe. Bottom line is that he is not really as small a running back as I thought, and he is not running behind his pads or shooting for a crease. At All.

    All that said, We still need to do a better job of making some holes for our RBs.

    Go Bucs!