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michael89156

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: May 07, 2011, 12:25:41 AM

Will the Buccaneers Have a Dominating Running Game With Their Big Running Backs?
Friday, May 6, 2011

 
 losangeles.cbslocal.com
By Troy Ballard       
 


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have one of the youngest teams in the NFL, and when LaGarrette Blount busted onto the scene as a tough and psychical rusher, things started to fall into place for the Bucs' rushing attack.

Since coming to Tampa Bay head coach Raheem Morris has been able to establish one of the most potent rushing attacks in the NFL, finishing eighth overall with 2,001 yards in the 2010 season. These hard earned yards came from a physical and nasty running game that combined the power of Blount and the lateral speed of Cadillac Williams.

Apparently, Morris thinks that the Buccaneers could use another power rusher, taking one in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Morris looked to USC rusher Allen Bradford, who is another hulk of a back when coming through the line.

With Tampa Bay drafting Bradford, that gives them two running backs that are over 235 pounds. The combo of Blount and Bradford has the potential to simply abuse defenses, as they both create size mismatches on nearly every run play.

Combine the weight and size advantage of Blount and Bradford and throw in the speed of Williams, coming off of the bench, and it is going to be a tough rushing attack to slow down. Morris has created a perfect monster in the backfield of size and speed.

This young Bucs team needs this type of support from the rushing game as they are in arguably the hardest division in football, the NFC South. Matching up against some of the best offenses in the NFL, Tampa Bay must play the ball control game.

The Bucs seem to be going along the lines of having a more of a consistent methodical rushing attack. Handing the ball off and letting the back get 35 yards is all they need to keep the clock and chains moving. Last season Blount and Williams touched the ball 431 times, and expect that number to rise this season.

Tampa Bay is becoming notorious for finding hard working and underrated players that can win games. The drafting of Bradford makes the Bucs' excellent backfield even better. It's going to be tough for any team to slow down the offensive powerhouse that is forming in Tampa Bay.

Benchwarmer#1

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#1 : May 07, 2011, 12:39:50 AM

"It's going to be tough for any team to slow down the offensive powerhouse that is forming in Tampa Bay."

Good. 'Cause we probably aren't slowing down Atl and the Saints. Only keeping up with them. :P

Naismith was right about Revis. Everyone else is a dummy.

The Anti-Java

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#2 : May 07, 2011, 03:30:04 AM

"It's going to be tough for any team to slow down the offensive powerhouse that is forming in Tampa Bay."

Good. 'Cause we probably aren't slowing down Atl and the Saints. Only keeping up with them. :P



I think the run defense has improved greatly.  So that will force Brees and Matty Ice into the air.  And neither one scares me TBH.


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Pepsi

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#3 : May 07, 2011, 03:44:56 AM

If we had a good Oline then we'd have the best run game. I think the line isnt good but they will play better this year just due to the high energy and enthusiasm that will probably be flying around this year. Last year was said to be high energy and competitive and I bet this year it'll be even better. Our run game should be beast tho with Blount, Bradford, and whoever. Theres nothing better then when your team's running backs are dominating. Cant wait.



Detrimental

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#4 : May 07, 2011, 04:09:37 AM

This line is not even good enough for us to have a dominating run game. When I think dominating run game, I think about running on teams that have a good run defense. And Blount isn't capable of carrying the lines weight ALL the time. He may be able to have a good dominating game off individual effort but its a team game. The unit of Penn, Joseph, and Larsen of the 5 starters is just too finesse to even get to that point. I pray we sign some lineman so we can get to that level.

Gobucs991940

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#5 : May 07, 2011, 07:42:24 AM

The Bucs don't need to have a dominating run game. All we need to have is a dominating offense. I feel like our offense now is very balanced. You can't double team any of our receivers. Freeman can make every single throw on the field and then some. Freeman can escape pressure and run for first downs.

Sometimes I think back to the days of Michael Pittman and Brian Griese and it's pretty amazing to see how far we've come offensively - I'd never think we could be this good.

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#6 : May 07, 2011, 07:56:45 AM

... when LaGarrette Blount busted onto the scene as a tough and psychical rusher, things started to fall into place for the Bucs' rushing attack.
He is an insane running back... :D

And with the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Teddy Bridgewater, Quarterback, Louisville.

JDog

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#7 : May 07, 2011, 08:19:43 AM

He's an insane person.   I won't argue that.   


nitey

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#8 : May 07, 2011, 08:26:04 AM

I have mixed feelings on whether the Bucs will have a dominating run game. Big back backfields have been used by teams in the past and just because you have a couple of big bruising fullback style guys running the ball it doesn't make you successful. While I like the Bradford pick, he doesn't actually add anything new to the running attack and at the moment we have no fast receiving back on the roster. The Saints and the Panthers both added to their defensive line this off season and will be much harder to run against. So until we get that slasher style runner, no I don't really think our running game will be dominate.

Even though the Bucs have dismissed the rumors, a guy like Tiki Barber would be a perfect fit for this backfield IF he can come back and play at a high level, Reggie Bush could be another good possibility. Of course, the Bucs still have some issues on the offensive line to address in Free Agency, but overall the offensive still looks better than it has here in years and I'm less worried about that than others. I believe that Joseph will be re-signed and if not a player of his caliber will be found to replace him. I like our tackle depth and think Larson is going to be better this year. Zuttah showed me enough at center to make me comfortable with him if Faine goes down with another injury. The line may not be the very best in the league, but overall you can win games with the offensive line personal that we have.

But having two of basically the same player, that does not sound like it automatically makes the team a dominate running team. Yes, the Bucs have the potential to be a punishing running team, especially if the team can play from a lead (which they did NOT do that often last season). If the Bucs can find a good complement to Blount and Bradford, then we can think we have something special.

Success is when Skill meets OpportunityFailure is when Fantasy meets Reality

flash_kiley

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#9 : May 07, 2011, 09:08:11 AM

Bush could be a good 3rd down back, but we would be better served going with an undrafted free agent.

JDouble

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#10 : May 07, 2011, 09:33:47 PM

I don't think it matters who we have in the backfield...unless our O-line can dominate we won't have a dominant run game. I think with the guys we have we will have a good running game, which is better than we've had in years past...I just don't see it being dominant.


NotDeadYet

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#11 : May 07, 2011, 10:08:02 PM

    The Bucs have had some fine running backs over the years, but never had a dominating offensive line. Without that, we will need some help from other areas, like a great passing game. The new admin has committed to developing a great passing game based on their first 2 draft classes.
Hopefully the new O'line coach, Pat Morris, will get our O'line moving in the right direction, because DC's across the league generally are good at adjusting from year to year. Blount could well have a harder time getting yardage this year, so our OC and Freeman need to keep the passing game alive. BALANCE is the key, and we actually showed how potent our offense can be last season...

Condor Bastadon

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#12 : May 07, 2011, 10:12:09 PM

I don't think it matters who we have in the backfield...unless our O-line can dominate we won't have a dominant run game. I think with the guys we have we will have a good running game, which is better than we've had in years past...I just don't see it being dominant.

Agreed here. Blount is a monster and can get yards even with crap run-blocking like we had last year....and I guess they're hoping that Bradford can do the same. But it won't be a dominant run game unless the O-line steps it up quite a bit.

Hate

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#13 : May 07, 2011, 10:59:24 PM

Im confused... we finished 8th in the league rushing, with no productivity coming in the first quarter of the season. Is 8th not good enuff? Where we do need to improve is at the goal line. We have to be able to punch it in and to me, thats as much the fault of Blount as it was the o-line.

Now if we're talkin pass protection, thats a totally different story.

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 I thought Lovie said he wanted quickness & speed, even at the QB position?

JDouble

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#14 : May 07, 2011, 11:49:35 PM

Gotta be top 5 and be able to pick up those short yardage situations to be dominant.

Bradford should help with the short yardage stuff. As long as Faine is leading the charge though, I don't see our O-line dominating anyone.

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