From Avoiding Competition To Embracing It

May 9th, 2024

Things change.

A year ago, outspoken, likeable and soon-to-be second year Buccaneers running back Rachaad White got a sweet pseudo-promotion after a challenging rookie campaign that included nine starts.

As a rookie, White’s blocking was shaky. He couldn’t break tackles. He caught the ball impressively well but was weak after the catch.

The Bucs loved it all.

Tampa Bay officials decided White didn’t have to compete for his 2023 job because he was so darn capable and promising.

They named White their RB1 after making little effort to secure competition for him last offseason. Head coach Todd Bowles wanted a run-focused offense and White was the running back he chose with general manager Jason Licht.

A year later, Joe finds it interesting that the vibe at One Buc Palace this week was all about embracing competition at running back and how rookie fourth-round pick Bucky Irving will have every opportunity to be “the man” in the backfield.


Joe is in favor of competition, especially at running back where guys can get “hot hands” and have streaks of peak performance. Competition at most positions (not all) is a wise move.

Sage of Tampa Bay Sports and columnist Ira Kaufman insisted on his recent podcast that White will be the starter this season and preseason competition will not be a factor.

Joe’s not so sure.

Ira Kaufman Talks Liam Coen’s Harsh Words And Firm Focus, Bucky Irving, Media Disbelief, Thad Lewis Comments, Backup QBs & More

11 Responses to “From Avoiding Competition To Embracing It”

  1. D-Rok Says:

    The way I saw the QB competition last year was that the Bucs went with experience in Mayfield. Maybe it would have been different had Trask blown away Mayfield.

    I see the same thing this year with White and Irving. Unless Irving blows White away, with 2 “equal” players, you always (should) start experience.

    Anything can happen, but it seems most realistic that White will begin season as RB1. Can Bucky overtake him later in the season? We’ll see.

  2. JJames Says:


    Baker was promised the starting job to get him to sign with the Bucs. That’s why Baker spent last off-season at Rays games drinking beer and eating hot dogs while Trask was working his ass off – Baker knew the fix was in, Trask didn’t.

  3. Bobby M. Says:

    White is a great team player but the rushing game needs better production than 3.8 yds per carry. I don’t see the rookie doing much in the first 8 games or so until he learns all his blitz/blocking assignments. Ronald Jones was a better pure rusher than Fournette but he was lazy in blocking and even worse in route running so Fournette got the nod. Todays back must be multi dimensional to stay on the field consistently.

  4. realistic-optimistic Says:

    I feel very good about our running game this season. With the OL upgrades and the additional talent at RB, there’s potential to be significantly improved. I love the Barton pick, and Bucky gives us a nice looking 1-2 punch on paper.

    I’m optimistic that Coen has more creativity in the run game, but we’ll have to wait and see on that one. Each of the last two OCs had a strangely similar run scheme…

  5. Buc4evr Says:

    Bucky is a little small and really slow at a 4.55, 40. I don’t see him challenging anyone.

  6. Birdie Says:

    White should not be an Rb#1. Has no vision!

  7. BillyBucco Says:

    White earned the starting role last year. They will give him 3 or 4 games to prove he can hit the hole and be a factor. If Bucky has better production than White, then of course he will overtake him. Fans will be screaming for it. I love the Irving pick but he has PROVEN nothing. Its May.
    I do think the run game improves with an upgraded O Line.
    As far as upgrading to top 10-15, that probably won’t happen until next year.
    I will still take top 20, if the passing game is top 10.

  8. Lou. Says:


    Does Sean Tucker fit in? Seems he was highly touted last pre-season, said to be a 3rd-5th round pick derailed by the heart condition. He disappeared three games into the season after bad fumble IIRC, then went into the witness protection program. Has the team given up on him? Was the talent misunderestimated or is he in line as a (potential) wild card this season?

  9. Art from phx says Says:

    Baker has beat out every QB he’s been up against, for the starting job all his career. From H.S- COLLEGE & IN THE PRO’S. Haters will hate what their guy can’t replicate. Go Baker and co.

  10. Jeffs grandpa Says:

    Boooo hooooo jj

  11. garro Says:

    Oh my!! (done in my best Gene Deckerhoff voice)

    You mean Joe might get a new running back? LOL

    Go Bucs!