Stats Suggest Bucs’ Run Blocking Wasn’t Horrendous

June 26th, 2024

Scapegoat for haters.

When people bellyache about the offensive line, it’s about on the same level to Joe as ear ringing in the days following an AC/DC concert.

There’s a constant din being heard but Joe doesn’t know exactly what it is.

Simply put, the incessant whining about an offensive line is white noise to Joe. Goes in one ear and out the other. Far more often than not, it’s habitual parroting.

Joe often relates a Phil Simms story. The Super Bowl quarterback noted how when he called games for CBS, he tried to get a pulse of each city by listening to sports radio the morning after a game.

Simms said weekly, no matter where he went, no matter how good the home team was or whether the home team won or lost, the two constants on sports radio on radio were folks hollering about the offensive line and playcalling.

Last year the loud crowd who follows the Bucs hollered, stomped their feet, brayed and caterwauled about how the offensive line (sans Tristan Wirfs) was the most vile, onerous, odorous, evil, rotten, disgusting, nauseating group of slugs whoever tried to block another human being since Walter Camp last fielded a team.

Joe didn’t buy it. And Joe’s eyes from the press box told a different story. That’s not to say the Bucs’ offensive line was dominant. It sure wasn’t. But it certainly wasn’t the same crew lousy Lovie Smith put together in 2014 that consisted of the likes of Sir SmokeALot Anthony Collins, Garrett “Whoops” Gilkey and the notorious Oniel Cousins.

That was bad.

The loud crowd saved much of their venom for Bucs center Robert Hainsey. It got to the point where Joe didn’t think it was safe for Hainsey to go out in public and have a meal without his good friend Wirfs tagging along for security and to run interference.

The scorn and outrage for Hainsey didn’t die until the Bucs drafted center (?) Graham Barton.

Well, per advanced stats Joe came across, it seems the loud crowd might have to find a new scapegoat. The Bucs weren’t even close to the worst team to have runs up the middle stuffed at the line in short yardage, per noted handicapper turned stathead Warren Sharp,

In fact, half the league had more runs up the middle stopped for no gain than the Bucs in short-yardage. Imagine that? How could that be with the Bucs front line being worse than a local high school?

Joe remembers reading the team with the most blocks blown up by a defense at the line of scrimmage was… the Titans!

The difference between the Titans and the Bucs? Tennessee had a running back (Derrick Henry) who can make would-be tacklers miss or had the gall to break tackles. Through two seasons, well-documented by advanced stats, Rachaad White has largely proven he cannot.

And yes, Joe is confident NFL strongman Roger Goodell and his henchman Richie McKay still allow running backs to make guys miss or break tackles, even in the NFL’s current state of don’t-hit-too-hard football.

64 Responses to “Stats Suggest Bucs’ Run Blocking Wasn’t Horrendous”

  1. Ol' Boy Says:

    -slurpee sips coffee-

  2. Cobraboy Says:


    Mo Rons. Surrounded by stat Mo Rons…

  3. D-Rok Says:

    Somebody woke up this morning feeling dangerous. Que a post with 100+ responses. I’ll start it off: Our O-line was not that good last year. How good/how bad…I guess Joe’s advanced metrics suggest we were better than some teams.

    Water under the bridge and all, but this year’s OL does have potential to be better than…gonna say it…last year.

  4. DoooshLaRue Says:

    But I thought we were all foot-stompers Joe?
    I guess it’s nice to not be seen as one dimensional now that we’ve added bellyaching to our repertoire of dissent.

  5. Reality_Check Says:

    You can give me all the stats you want. The run blocking sucked whether you like it or not

  6. Boss Says:

    white hits the line hard and may move it a yard… problem is he hit the closed hole

    hate it when that happens

  7. Cobraboy Says:

    I trust my eyes, football experience, and Jason Licht more than geek stats.

  8. Buddha Says:

    These single stars articles are worthless. I taught statistics for years. Need to know standard deviations, improvement and decline over season, etc.

  9. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Ok, the Bucs run game was 32nd in yards per game, 32nd in yards per carry as a team , had the least total rushing yards in the league while being 23rd in total attempts, were 31st in runs resulting in 1st downs, bottom five in rush TD’s, had the worst 1st down run % (The Bucs averaged a first down one time every 5 run attempts). Yet this random middle of the pack stack means there was some sort of redeeming quality to the atrocious run game?

    Have to disagree here. The only way is up.

  10. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:

    LOL Sir SmokALot

    I’m sure Hainsey’s career as a chef and restauranteur will be great.

    I’ll have the Chateaubriand please.

  11. SlyPirate Says:


    2024 1st Round Pick = Center. Licht, Bowles, and the entire Bucs organization saw Hainsey as the #1 problem on the team.


    Google: “Eagles’ defense holds the fort and creates a safety vs. Bucs”
    Watch Hainsey on the play. His job was to get a push. Instead, Hainsey gets PANCAKED by A SINGLE, 238 POUND LINEBACKER!!!! The play ends up in a Safety with Hainsey lying flat on his back. We saw it over and over again all season. Hainsey is not big enough or strong enough to play Center in the NFL.


    Say hello to the ostrich that’s sharing your hole in the sand.

  12. RagingBrisket Says:

    Cherry picking stats to suit lousy narratives when it’s convenient. What a hoot!

  13. CallTheSaltTruck Says:

    So, the stat used here is so pared down as to be meaningless. ‘Stopped for no gain in short yardage’.

    What’s ‘short yardage?’ What was the down? If we got stopped at 1 yard, did that make a difference? What if the running back *White* was hit behind the line of scrimmage and simply made up the difference? How does this stat prove Hainsey wasn’t a bad center?

    It’s just a terrible stat, and there’s no way to draw the conclusion you draw out of it. Our interior O-line’s run blocking grades were terrible, and that matched up to the eye test. Rachaad White was frequently hit behind the line, and Baker’s sacks skyrocketed during the season when teams realized they could simply bullrush Mauch or Hainsey back into Baker’s lap.

  14. Dave Pear Says:

    How about running up the middle on non-3rd and short? You don’t get to be the league’s worst rushing team for two straight years by being “average.”

    No it was not all Rachaad White’s fault.

    Thank goodness Jason saw what most of us saw and went for better beef.

  15. Bucsfan951 Says:

    “Sir SmokeALot Anthony Collins, Garrett “Whoops” Gilkey and the notorious Oniel Cousins.”

    Puke 🤮

  16. Bucswin! Says:

    And what about those unopposed sacks against the lions in the playoffs. Was that on Canaless unpreparedness? Just asking cuz those were big plays for the lions. Every play counts in the playoffs especially . Go BUCS!

  17. Alanbucsfan Says:

    The last offensive play of the season where Mayfield had the Lions’ DT in his face right before he threw the interception was a perfect prologue to the Bucs’ #1 weakness on Offense.

  18. Dave Pear Says:

    The 3rd and short data might be a reaction from opponents knowing how bad the Bucs run game was, and figured they’d pass for the 1st down rather than trying to run up the middle behind The Three Matadors.

    The element of surprise.

  19. Boss Says:

    They need to design a play that opens up two holes at once.

    call it “the shocker”

  20. GP Says:

    Thinking our running woe’s had to do mostly with predictability.
    BTW, last I heard, the tit’ns have a new coaching staff now.

  21. Koala Says:

    LOL. Joe might want to learn how not to use stats.

    “in short yardage”

    “no gain”

    Two very specific qualifiers do not represent anything about the totality of the run game.

    Getting stopped after 1 yard on 3rd and 2 is not good, and not represented in this stat selection.

    Getting stuffed for a loss on 1st and 10 — which happened way too often is also not included in those stats.

    The IOL was awful. Joe has a hardon for blaming White.

    And if Hainsey was so good, why did we run to the podium to get a new center?

  22. Lord Cornelius Says:

    This stat really doesn’t mean much without context imo.

    We need an “average point of contact when met by first defender” stat to truly isolate o-line run blocking effectiveness.

    Or “% of runs the RB is met at or behind the LOS by a defender”

    Does that exist?

    And I think our bad run game is a combo of the Line + RB’s not just the line

  23. Bill Says:

    @SlyPirate please watch the clip and know what you’re looking at. Morris came between the RG/RT so please tell me how that’s the centers fault. Such ignorance is the issue with all this.

  24. HC Grover Says:

    Canalas Run Plays…..get ball then run in to brick wall.

  25. Bill Says:

    Correction: Morrow not Morris. Mauch got launched backwards and the entire line was bad on this play. Show me who didn’t end up in the backfield.

  26. Pickgrin Says:

    “There are three kinds of lies: – lies, damned lies, and (Joe’s OLine) statistics.”
    Mark Twain

  27. Defense Rules Says:

    CallTheSaltTruck … ‘It’s just a terrible stat, and there’s no way to draw the conclusion you draw out of it.’

    I’m glad that someone actually read what that stat was asking. Joe spelled it out in his piece … ‘half the league had more runs up the middle stopped for no gain than the Bucs in short-yardage,’ then proceeded to draw the wrong conclusions from it. No place does it define what ‘runs up the middle in short yardage’ are, so the stat is worthless without an accompanying definition.

    Agree with Lord C on the bottom line here … ‘our bad run game is a combo of the Line + RB’s not just the line’. I’d add play-calling to those 2 reasons, but have no idea how you’d quantify that.

  28. unbelievable Says:

    Cherry picking stats huh? This only considers short yardage situations.

    Let’s look at ALL running attempts instead.

    Guess where Tampa Bay was ranked for their run blocking win rate for the 2023 season, according to ESPN?

    32nd out of 32 teams. DEAD LAST.

  29. Dude Says:

    “please watch the clip and know what you’re looking at. Morris came between the RG/RT so please tell me how that’s the centers fault. Such ignorance is the issue with all this.”

    Not mentioning all 6’6 +330Lbs Jordan Davis shaded to Hainseys’ right shoulder pre-snap and the LB coming in 2 ticks after the snap to clean Hainsey up just to dump Hainsey is weird.

    Situationally, this possession followed a Dee Delaney INT, and how’d our offense repay the favor for an extra opportunity? Gave the Eagles 2 points and the ball back. This was also the first of 5 games Mayfield didn’t even breach 200 yards passing and the slump started soon after.

  30. Beeej Says:

    I wanna see a stat for how often the RB gets hit in the backfield

  31. So. Ill. Bucs Says:

    The problem was getting stuffed up the middle on medium and long yardage, not short, in my opinion.

  32. Marine Buc Says:

    Between Hainsey/Mauch/Feiler/Stinnie – there was a breakdown by one of them on nearly every play…

    That is the problem – it’s a team sport. If one link in the chain breaks the play is kaput – and the Bucs had three weak links and the worst interior O-line in the NFL last season.

    Nowhere to go but up.

  33. teacherman1983 Says:

    Dead last 2 years in a row.

    Who cares about cherry picking one stat.

    Worst offensive line in NFL history 2 years in a row.

    Let’s see a stat on how many tackles Baker Mayfield broke to avoid sacks.

    Tom had zero confidence in Hainsey.

    He got rid of that ball as fast as he could.

    With Jensen and Marpet? The greatest center-guard duo in NFL history.

    Yea. I’m saying. Jensen is the greatest center ever. And alongside Marpet?

    Tom had all day to throw. We had 4 ypc.

    Tom looked happy back there. Fearless. Untouched.

    With Hainsey? Tom was scared out of his mind.

    See the value of a GREAT center compared to the worst center in the NFL?

    Yea. Big difference.

  34. Larrd Says:

    I wonder why Licht drafted a center in round one.

  35. Pickgrin Says:

    3rd and 2….

    Play gets stuffed at the line for 1/2 yard gain

    Thats a WIN for the offense according to this ‘stat’….

  36. JimBobBuc Says:

    Run game: player quality+position coach+ scheme+play call+audible+blocking+rb vision + rb elusiveness + rb YAC

    Negatives are allowed and the Bucs had a number of negative factors! I’m ready for Joe to tell us about the joint practices to see how we stand this year!

  37. Mike C Says:

    Not sure if this is a “different joe” but funny how one day stats don’t matter “stats are for loossers”, and the next day I get stats to prove “joes” point of view…… this one I actually agree with…… just funny that’s all.

  38. Bucben61 Says:

    And all this time I thought the iol sucked…you can’t make this shi*e up

  39. BucRumor Says:

    There were 18 running backs with more than 100 carries, about half with around or more than 200 carries, that had a lower yards before contact than White. In other terms, the bucs opened more running room for White than over half the NFL did for their feature back.

    Bucky Irving will be the starter from the first game on the first two downs. When he proves efficient in pass block, he’ll be our 3 down back. White is an excellent number 2 back.

  40. PSK Buc Fan Says:

    To a great extent it was Canales’ belief that even if didn’t work keep doing it and eventually it would. Canales’ play calling was too predictable. If I can call when it’s a run up the middle I guarantee you do did the opposing defens

  41. Dave Pear Says:

    After thinking about it, “not horrendous” might be accurate.

    It was abominable.

    Maybe despicable.

    Stunningly inept.

    Grossly overmatched.


    But “not horrendous.”

  42. Capt.Tim Says:

    Can you have a business, based on something you dont know much about?
    Yes, yes it is.

  43. CleanHouse Says:

    What about the last place stat? Stop trying to polish a turd, Joe.

  44. Usfbuc Says:

    Is there a stat that shows how many times a RB got stuffed when not in a short yardage situation?

  45. Usfbuc Says:

    Just looked up stats on NFL website and we were bottom 10 in all rushing stats. The offensive line had to play into that at least somewhat Joe.

  46. Usfbuc Says:

    If our rushing game can even be middle of the pack this season we are winning another Super Bowl. When you really think about what our offense and team did wins wise without a running game it’s kind of impressive.

  47. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Boss Says:
    June 26th, 2024 at 12:00 pm
    They need to design a play that opens up two holes at once.

    call it “the shocker”
    I think we ran it when Chucky was here but I believe he called it the “DP jet slam KY hot left tango Z”

  48. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    I’ve only read half the posts so far and have laughed out loud 3 times already! You guys are awesome.

    Reading on…

  49. Rod Munch Says:

    Actually these stat show White WASN’T the issue.

    Also the problem was running, generally on 1st and 10, when people were expecting it. Although, as I pointed out last season, Canales was worlds better in play calling than stupid Leftwich – and mixed it up way more than previous seasons.

    But the problem, certainly early in the year, was Cody who was just getting manhandled – although he got better as the year went along before hitting the rookie wall.

    Hainsey, meanwhile, was not an awful run blocker, he just wasn’t that good at it. Meanwhile, as a pass blocker, he was OK. Which makes sense since this team was built to pass the ball – not run up the middle like Bowles wants, and like I fear the team is going to do on all 3 downs this upcoming season (while leading the league in punting).

  50. Dave Pear Says:

    Good thing we have a punter who is one of the better athletes on the team.

  51. Hearty Dikerson Says:

    Joe, your stubborn insistence to defend Hainsey is becoming embarrassing, and is starting to undermine your credibility as a football reporter. Literally everyone but you, including the GM and casual fans, see Hainsey was awful. Seriously don’t know what you’re watching to prove otherwise.

    Aside from White, what was Sean Tucker’s avg ypc? Or Edmunds? Guess we just had the worst collection of RBs in NFL history under Hainsey’s tenure.

  52. gotbbucs Says:

    The middle of the o-line was so good in fact that they signed two free agent guards, drafted a tackle to convert into a center in the 1st round, and then drafted another guard.
    Nothing screams satisfaction with that unit quite like making those offseason moves….

  53. BelleGladeBuc Says:

    Tampa Bay’s offensive line gave up the most sacks per game of any playoff team last year.

    Non playoff teams in the LA Rams, New Orleans, Seattle, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, and Arizona gave up less sacks per game than the Buc’s offensive line.

    Tampa Bay had the worst rushing attack last year for the 2nd year in a row.

    Those two stats are extremely important, relevant and are indicative of a below average offensive line.

  54. FrontFour Says:

    Convoluted stat and argument.

  55. garro Says:

    Didn’t know white noise could bother someone enough to become so obsessed.

    Go Bucs!

  56. RustyRhinos Says:

    This Photo of our center tells me all I need to know about why he had little push and regularly got pushed backward after the snap. Hit him in the chest where the 7 & 0 meet, and with him being so top-heavy, he goes backward, not forward.
    What was that old commercial “Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down!”

    That is what we need at the “point of attack” the movement and play of the Center position to move forward, not backward, and fall-down…

    Okay, 70 did an okay center job, but we rarely saw him move forward first unless he whiffed on the guy in front of him and he fell forward or was out alone in the second level with no one to block.

    I am excited to see how our newly drafted C plays in the NFL. He has a wide solid base already to work from and does not look top-heavy to be pushed backward as often, Dline players get paid too…


  57. Thisisouryear!!! Says:

    I get super tired of hearing people say Hainsey isn’t big enough. Blah blah blah. He was drafted in the top half of the third round. He was a guard. Maybe he didn’t fully adapt to the center position (it’s a lot different), but I think there’s a chance he starts at guard this year when the pads come on. Either guard or center.

    Honestly, Mauch was awful the first half of last year and only a little better the second half. Feiler and Stinnie weren’t much better. It will be interesting to see who ends up being the starting 3 interior lineman. I’m not convinced Mauch starts this year. We’ll see.

  58. geno711 Says:

    Kinda funny. In the past, there has been disputes on how good players are.

    Remember ongoing debates about Jameis Winston, GMAC and Donovan Smith.

    Pretty much there were guys on both sides of that debate.

    This year there is Joe against all his readers on Hainsey.
    Joe says Hainsey was a good center. All the rest of us say he was just dog doo.

    Joe then tries to say he saw with his own eyes that it was White.
    Or takes a vague statistic on the whole offensive line and somehow “The loud crowd saved much of their venom for Bucs center Robert Hainsey.”

    Joe, its not the loud crowd. It is 99.9 percent of a crowd of people both loud and quiet.

    Be that 1/10th of a percent to die on the Robert Hainsey was a good player. So be it.

    By the way, it is odd that Joe brings up Derrick Henry. By this stat, Henry and other Tennessee backs were stuffed 27 percent of the time compared with the Bucs being stuffed only 24 percent of the time.

    Again, just vague stats but if we are basing assumptions on vague stats, then according to this Racheed White is better than Derrick Henry.

  59. geno711 Says:

    BelleGladeBuc Says:
    June 27th, 2024 at 12:44 am
    Tampa Bay’s offensive line gave up the most sacks per game of any playoff team last year.

    Look, it you are going to look at playoff stats only. Then the Bucs averaged over 100 rush yards per game and 4.73 yards per rush during the playoffs. My gosh.

    Non playoff teams in the LA Rams, New Orleans, Seattle, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, and Arizona gave up less sacks per game than the Buc’s offensive line.

    The bucs were 18th in sacks allowed last year. There allowed the 7th fewest yards on sacks last year. For additional perspective, the Bucs allowed the least sacks and least sacked yards in 2022 in the NFL. In 2021, the Bucs allowed the least sacks and the 2nd fewest amount of yards on sacks.

    The Bucs offensive line has not been below average as a pass blocking team. That is a false narrative.

  60. BelleGladeBuc Says:


    NFL Rank of QB Sacked Per Game

    1 Buffalo 1.4
    2 Kansas City 1.6
    3 Green Bay 1.6
    4 Miami 1.8
    5 Detroit 1.9
    5 San Francisco 1.9
    7 LA Rams 2.0
    8 Pittsburgh 2.1
    9 New Orleans 2.1
    10 Seattle 2.2
    11 Philadelphia 2.3
    12 Atlanta 2.4
    12 Las Vegas 2.4
    14 Jacksonville 2.4
    14 Indianapolis 2.4
    16 Dallas 2.4
    17 Arizona 2.5
    18 Houston 2.5
    19 Tampa Bay 2.5
    19 Baltimore 2.5
    21 LA Chargers 2.5
    22 Cleveland 2.7
    23 Minnesota 2.8
    24 New England 2.8
    25 Chicago 2.9
    25 Cincinnati 2.9
    27 Denver 3.1
    28 NY Jets 3.8
    28 Tennessee 3.8
    30 Carolina 3.8
    30 Washington 3.8
    32 NY Giants 5.0

    That’s the Bucs stat. The NFL has 32 teams. Average is 16 out of 32. As you can see from the data the Bucs are below 16. Respectfully, you are wrong. The Bucs offensive line was only better than 12 teams in the NFL in giving up sacks per game, and none of those 12 teams made the playoffs.

  61. BelleGladeBuc Says:


    In 18 regular season games the Bucs had the worst rushing attack in the NFL, averaging 89 yards per game.

    In 20 games total, including the 2 playoff games, the Bucs increased their still league worst rushing attack to 91.4 yards per game.

    Respectfully, you are wrong.

  62. geno711 Says:


    Whether respectful or not. You choose to use the 2 playoff games to make a point about the Bucs sacks. I used the same 2 playoff games to note that they gained 4.73 yards per carry. Not the worst during the playoffs.

    I am not sure how that does not become as much a fact as your fact about the sacks during the two playoff games.

    I use Pro Football reference for my stats. They show sacks by an offensive line in a season.

    Last year they showed the Bucs with 40 sacks allowed. That was tied for 12th best, not 19th. They also showed the Bucs with 232 total sack yards allowed. That was 7th best last year. They also show sack percentage per drop back. The Bucs were tied for 14th there. All those sack numbers per pro football reference were better than average.

    Somehow although you choose to look at the playoffs last year. You ignored the Bucs superior sacks allowed rates the three years before 2023. Sorry, I think there is a huge flaw in your thinking. Equating 2 games as more conclusive than 4 seasons worth of data.

    I am not respectful or disrespectful when I think that you tried for a point that really was not that strong.

    The Bucs offensive line on not allowing sacks has been more the top of the league than the bottom of the league. It is not just my opinion; the stats of 4 seasons support that assertion.

  63. BelleGladeBuc Says:


    3 years ago, 2 years ago and 1 year ago doesn’t have anything to do with this past season.

    Ali Marpet did not play LG for the Bucs in 2023, but instead that was Feller and Steine.

    Ryan Jensen did not play C for the Bucs in 2023, that was Robert Hainsey.

    Alex Cappa did not play RG for the Bucs inn2023, that was Cody Mauch.

    The past doesn’t reflect the present.

    I used the same reference site as you. The Bucs gave up 48 sacks in 19 games for 2.53 sacks per game.

    When you do the same thing for all other teams you find that the Bucs are tied for 19th out of 32 teams.

    In the 2 playoff games last year the Bucs offensive line allowed 8 sacks for an average of 4 sacks per game.

    Last year the Bucs played 8 times against playoff teams and gave up 24 sacks for an average of 3 sacks per game.

    That’s not good enough.

  64. geno711 Says:

    Belle …. You choose to cherry pick by using the two playoff games.

    If you wanted to be negative on the O-line you were successful.

    Both the 1st two sacks were on Rachaad White in the Detroit game. The first was from a blitzing corner/safety that Rachaad just whiffed on. The 2nd, was Brian Branch from his safety position and lined up right on the outside of the line, so it was an easy read. White it appears just lost his footing. Not one of the O linemen was responsible for either of those sacks. If a running back gives up 2 sacks a game, they usually will lose their job. I am guessing that White had a little credibility from other games.

    By the way, taking in very recent historical perspective into the equation is not irrelevant. It is just what I said increased perspective.

    It is even odd that you act like having worse statistics against the best teams and having better statistics against the bad teams should not somehow be the case.

    I will stick with my position. The offensive line coaches Gilbert and Goodwin were excellent at teaching pass blocking and poor at teaching run blocking.

    I have huge concern this season because of Carberry. Hoping he knows what he is doing, but I have serious doubts.

    You may have the last word.