Bucs Had To Upgrade Running Backs Room

June 5th, 2024

Consistently poor rushing.

Looking at advanced stats for running backs, Joe is shocked that Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht didn’t add more running backs other than drafting Bucky Irving.

There is no question that Rachaad White is the top Bucs running back but it has nothing to do with his sad running. It has everything to do with his elite production in the passing game.

White was No. 44 in average yards after contact on the ground.

It gets worse.

For running backs who ran for first downs, the stats outfit Sports Information Solutions has an even gloomier look at White. Last season White ran for a first down on 16.9 percent of his carries. That was No. 89 in the NFL!

How bad is that percentage? It’s just a cat’s whisker better than Playoff Lenny, who played two games for the Bills before he was cut. (You trying to tell Joe that Robert Hainsey played center for Buffalo last year, too?)

White simply must be better when he takes a handoff. Perhaps new offensive coordinator Liam Coen can find a way to turn him loose? Joe doesn’t believe Coen will try to turn White into Marshawn Lynch II as former Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales attempted.

Out of curiosity, Joe checked White’s first-down percentage in 2022. It was 88th, though he got a first down on 20.9 percent of his runs.

34 Responses to “Bucs Had To Upgrade Running Backs Room”

  1. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    White needs to be a 3rd down back. I just don’t think he has the vision to be a run between the tackle type RB. Bucky Irving has that great vision to go along with that can’t tackle me on first attempt swagger.

  2. Bucben61 Says:

    I was shocked that with so many bigger backs available in the draft we didn’t draft one…instead we drafted Rashad White’s clone ?

  3. Buc4evr Says:

    If you want to pound the ball consistently and are in a 4th and 1 situation, you need a big strong back. Why the Bucs don’t have one as a backup is perplexing.

  4. Dude Says:

    With our IOL we’d make prime LaDainian Tomlinson look like Derrick Ward. Chaad is fine, LG, C, & RG is a puzzle we’re still trying to figure out and might not have settled until August. Dog days are ahead of us

  5. Mort Says:

    I’m shocked yall aren’t way more hyped for Bucky Irving. You talk about yards after contact? Sheeeeit, this dude breaks tackles like it’s nothing.

  6. Capt.Tim Says:

    Because running back isnt the problem.
    Thats why White looked so good with the ball in hs hands in the flats.

    But we all already know that.

  7. Lt. Dan Says:

    I’m not surprised at White’s performance in the NFL. I watched a lot of his college tape after the Bucs drafted him. All I saw on tape was meh. Average to below average looking back. A plodder.

  8. Obvious Says:

    Huh. Weird they (the professionals) focused on the O line and not so much a bigger running back. Huh…

    I guess the PROFESIONALS believe the problem IS THE O LINE… Just Saying..

  9. Guzzie55 Says:

    Bucky broke tackles in the no defense conference same conference that made Rojo a high 2nd, show it in the pros with that 190 lb body, with that 4.55 speed, Im hopeful, but think his ceiling is Chase Edmonds type career, not Tiki Barber

  10. Jp09 Says:

    Let’s not post any articles about the IOLs run block win rate. Here’s a hint, it wasn’t very good. I’d say the poor run game was a collective effort, largely due to the poor run blocking and repetitive run plays. Seems JL and company agree which is why they focused on upgrading the OL with free agents and premium a premium pick

  11. SirLantz Says:

    I understand the stats, however I will say that when about 90% of your runs are up the middle and the defense knows this advantage defense. Also White is better in open space so why not more outside runs? With that being said there were some holes that White missed also.

  12. SirLantz Says:

    One more thing about White, he got better when they made their run the 2nd half of the season. Don’t think they make the playoffs if he played like he did 1st half of season.

  13. WinBuc Says:

    Joe(L) continues this dead diatribe. There WERE NO OPEN holes. That’s why Rashaad is still our feature back. I know this is dead season and yall need to pump articles out. But how about some different topics

  14. LANshark Says:

    There is a big difference between a RB who gets the ball, hits the hole with a head of steam, and breaks a tackle or two to get YAC, and a RB who gets hit as or before he gets the ball. White was the latter most of the season, because our interior line SUCKED. Once they got a bit better, White’s yards, average per carry, and YAC all improved.

  15. SlyPirate Says:

    Joe, You can’t write how bad Canales was as an OC in one article and blast White in the next without drawing a connection.

    Canales is gone. So, hopefully is 1st down, A Gap, 100% of the time. More creativity will give White a better shot at success.

  16. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Rachaad White averaged less than 4 yards/carry in 8 of 1st 10 games last year.
    Including playoff games, he averaged more than 4 yards/carry in 6 of last 9 games last year.
    That shows improvement.
    Upgraded Center and Guard positions, new O/C and better complimentary RB in Irving should result in White having his best season this year.

  17. drdneast Says:

    Joe, it’s hard for me to understand the constant harping on Rachard White. Everyone and I mean everyone agrees the weakest point of the Bucs OL was the center point. An where did Canales spend a good deal of his time running White during most of the season? The center point of the line.
    Hell, the Bucs as much as admitted it themselves by going out in FA and trying to upgrade the line with two new players and then doubled down on the effort by using their No. 1 pick on an OL. Not satisfied, they used their sixth pick on a real bonafide college guard. Not a tackle, but a guard.
    Still, you continue to bust on White.
    White may have been a little hesitant to bust into a hole at the beginning of the season, but at the same time there were very few holes to bust though. That problem didn’t only affect White but Baker as well.
    How many times did we see Baker running for his life last season due to poor protection
    White’s production did get better towards the end of the season as did the offensive lines play.
    If Chase Edmonds can stay healthy, a big if, and Bucky Irving can produce the way the Bucs hope, the team is pretty well set at RB.
    The biggest common denominator in all of this is how well the offensive line improves and the play calling of Coen.

  18. BucsFanSince1996 Says:

    drdneast Says:
    If Chase Edmonds can stay healthy, a big if, and Bucky Irving can produce the way the Bucs hope, the team is pretty well set at RB.
    I’m praying that Sean Tucker can take a big step forward as well!

    The BUCs knew they had to improve the running game upgrading the O-line as they have will also upgrade the running game.

    IF they still need to add another RB they can do that before the regular season starts.

  19. Stanglassman Says:

    You might like Romone Jefferson and DJ Williams. Two big rookie running backs that they signed after the draft. They’ve both been impressive.

    Bucky may have a similar build to White but there are big differences in their game. Bucky hits the whole faster and when he catches passes out of the backfield there’s no hesitation. He just goes. Breaking tackles along the way.

  20. Bucben61 Says:

    Agree with those who believe biggest problem with the run game was the iol ..hopefully it’s much improved and I believe it is so we should be better there. Yes we are way to judgemental of White…last season he was the #4 RB it total yards from scrimmage…that’s right…#4 !!!

  21. Bucben61 Says:

    Oh and still think would have been better to have gotten a larger back to go with White…a thunder to his lightning

  22. catcard202 Says:

    I think Coen will give White more opportunities to look like the guy he was at ASU.

    Using him in the passing game exotically…From in & out of the backfield…While focusing the run game on “1 cut-get north” concepts…Mixing some pin/pull, mid-zone & wide zone techniques, allowing White to slash DEF’s vs trying to play Canales’s smash mouth. (IE…Coen will design plays to match White’s strengths)

    Bucky could also be lethal in a complimentary role…That dude is a Jitterbug with gash potential if he can make the 1st guy miss.

  23. Dude Says:

    *price is rite theme music plays*

  24. teacherman1983 Says:

    It is much harder to break a tackle in the Backfield when defensive lineman are hitting you.

    Our interior line has let our running backs get hit in the backfield for 2 years straight.

    Jensen was one of the greatest centers of all time.

    We have missed him dearly.

    Hainsey is getting cut this year.

    We are sticking with Klein.

  25. BillyBucco Says:

    Hainsey couldn’t move his sister out of the way to get to a cheeseburger. PERIOD.

  26. Buchen61 Says:

    Hainsey is going nowhere. Even if he doesn’t land one of the guard spots he will be an invaluable backup who can play multiple positions on the line

  27. toad bowels Says:

    Maybe either Romone Jefferson or DJ Williams the two big rookie running backs that they signed after the draft will stick as a short-yardage back.

    Alternatively maybe TE/FB Ko Keift could handle short yardage carries where it’s 3rd and 2 or 4th and 1 and just a couple of yards are needed.

  28. drdneast Says:

    techerman, I don’t think Hainsey is going to get cut, he is to inexpensive to keep at his current salary. His value as a player far exceeds what he is currently getting paid.
    BillyBucco, you must be one of the Hainsey haters that Joe often speaks of. Hainsey is far from being Ryan Jensen, but he isn’t as bad as some of you may think. Remember, he was playing along side a rookie Cody Mauch who played as a tackle in college and was learning the guard position on the fly and it often showed.
    And, as is often the case with the Bucs, Hainsey was also still learning the center position in his second year as he also played tackle in college.
    Now we have another college tackle who is going to play center because he played all of six games as a center in college. The insanity of Licht continuing to do this drives me nuts. By the time the player finally learns the position and is proficient playing it, Licht doesn’t have the money to pay them and they sign as a FA for another team like Alex Cappa did. It’s sheer madness.
    Both Mauch and Hainsey needed to gain weight and strength to play their positions more effectively and reports out of Buc place is they have both done that.

  29. garro Says:

    The mighty might Irving is an upgrade? I think you may have had one too many of those rancid craft beers Joe. LOL But in fairness he has not played a down yet. I could be wrong. I doubt it.

    Go Bucs!

  30. Roland Says:

    Dude, White was top ten in yards BEFORE contact last year. The OLine was not great… But White and the Bucs scouts picking RBs ARE NOT GOOD.

    We should be trying to bring in vet talent who fit our new system… And we should be using outside scouting reports to do it.

  31. Roland Says:

    Mort, Bucky Irving broke arm tackles in a horrible conference last year. The UDFA who was highly recruited by the SEC has a better chance in the NFL on 1st /2nd down and he seemed to pass block at Huston.

    Bucky has the profile of a third down back but didn’t shine picking up the tiny LBers in his weak conference.

  32. Captain Vic Says:

    O-line is upgraded. Running back room is deeper, and same thing at wide receiver with the exception of letting David more walk for next to nothing. He had huge impact plays in limited duty, could have kept him. I wish him the best in every game except when he plays the Buccs. Last but not least, we need to get Trask some meaningful snaps in the preseason games . I’m a huge Baker Mayfield fan and believer , I thought it was a coup when he fell into our lap on a “prove it” deal last year. But any starting quarterback can get injured, and Trask needs to be primed and ready to go! He has skills and may prove to be a very valuable asset in a quality backup role.

  33. Bill Says:

    @BillyBucco thank god they didn’t ask him to keep your wife away from the fridge huh? No lineman could do that!

  34. Daniel Hammond Says:

    I hope they put some kind of package in where Coke Keith is full back not tied in I think it will help to have a big back along with white Bucky I know we can’t be in all thought but hey he’s a big boy he might be able to get some yards on short yardage situations