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November 12, 2013 @ 3:03 am
Current rating: 5.00 Stars/1 Votes

Leonard And Rainey Spark Bucs To Their First Win

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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Every team faces injuries and the Buccaneers suffered another huge blow on Monday night, when backup running back Mike James fractured his ankle on Tampa Bay's first series. But the Bucs offense was rescued by veteran running back Brain Leonard and the newly acquired Bobby Rainey.
The Buccaneers finally notched their first win of the season and as several players said in the locker room following the game, it felt like a weight had been lifted from their shoulders.

And while the win wasn’t a thing of beauty, don’t try and tell that to the Bucs coaching staff and the 53 players on the active roster.

Backup running back Mike James went down with a fractured ankle on Tampa Bay’s first drive of the game after rushing for 41 yards on five carries and two other backup running backs, including a virtually unknown player, were a big part of Tampa Bay’s success on the night.

Veteran Brian Leonard and newly acquired Bobby Rainey did just enough for the Buccaneers to claim their first win of the season as the two combined for 102 yards on 28 carries.

Rainey spoke to the media after Monday night’s big win.

“I felt confident this whole week and then with the coaches feeling confident putting me in the game, my mindset was just [to] go in and do my job and protect the football,” Rainey said. “I think we run the ball [well] every week, to be honest. It’s just today, when we needed it, we got it done.”
Rainey’s 31-yard ramble in the fourth quarter set up his one-yard TD that put the Bucs back on top and ultimately secured the Bucs first win.

“I think it was power,” Rainey said. “Like coach (Earnest Byner) always taught us, stay inside the hip of the pulling guard and that’s what I did. Basically I did everything I was supposed to do and then after I get to the second level then it’s on me, that’s what he said. I just saw the seam, everybody flowing, and I just decided to cut it back.”

 Another big part of the Bucs offense success came from veteran Brian Leonard who while wasn’t overly flashy, was quite effective.

“Usually my role is that third-down role, and injuries happen in this league and when Mike James went down, I knew I had to step up,” Leonard said. “I don’t think I played my best, (but) I think I was effective. )I) made some plays and some big first downs, and did what I had to do. Just doing my job I guess.”

Leonard’s 20 carries in a game was a rarity for the sixth-year running back from Rutgers.

“It has been since college (with that big of a workload),” Leonard said. “You know I really haven’t had the opportunity in the NFL. Every team I have been on, I had my role, my third-down role, and basically the running backs have stayed healthy the last six years. But injuries are part of the game though, and the next guy has to step up. Obviously, when I started to cramp up, Bobby Rainey stepped up and had a huge play. It is just part of the league. If you don’t come in and do your job, and step up, you wont be in the league that long.”

With the Buccaneers surrendering four fourth quarter leads this season, including one last week at Seattle, PewterReport.com asked Leonard what was different this week over the previous eight games.

“I think we are starting to jell as a team,” Leonard said. “We had a lot of crap happen to us as a team. Would of, could have, should have, but this team has been through a lot of crap early on this season. The most of any team that I have been on. It is tough to overcome that. But with this group of guys they never give up.”

Leonard also heaped praise on his head coach, Greg Schiano.

“I think it is kind of sad, with some of those (fire Schiano) signs,” Leonard said. “People don’t really know coach Schiano. He is the most mentally tough guy. He is the hardest worker, first one in the building and the last one to leave, every single day. It is sad to see. The fans do have a right to be upset. They are the ones who pay our salaries. We were 0-8, tonight so they have a right to be upset.

“But if they give coach Schiano time, I guarantee this program will change.”

Whether Schiano has enough games left to salvage his career is debatable, but the Buccaneers did their part in getting the first game in the win column. Schiano and the Buccaneers have seven games left to make a statement and with Doug Martin and Mike James on the shelf, they will have to do so with a veteran in Leonard and now somewhat known player in Rainey.

Last modified on Tuesday, 12 November 2013 03:14

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  • avatar

    I have to hand it to the coaching staff and the scouts. Tampa slowly fould some gems. WAY TO GO BUCS.
  • avatar

    Gholston and Bowers in the game at the same time? It worked! Why did it take all season to get Meredith in the games? Was he hurt?
  • avatar

    @76buc - no, our offensive coaching staff appears to have shaken off a collective concussion. they may still be mentally impaired, it was only after injuries or total ineffectiveness by everybody else that they turned to the guy who helped pave the way for Doug Martin's record-breaking performance last year. the real head scratcher is that all of these guys were here last year. for reasons that never showed up on the field, they felt the best guy for the job last year (who validated that on sundays) was not the best guy for the job this year.
  • avatar

    same mystery around why chris owusu was a better fit to make the team than underwood when the year began, despite both being similarly unhelpful on special teams, owusu racking up drops in preseason, and underwood catching 40+ balls last year. i can understand them favoring ogletree since he was brought in specifically with the #3 job in mind, but how the others down the depth chart were deemed to be better NFL WRs than underwood i really can't say
  • avatar

    Good to see our O'line playing like they did last year, and for everyone to see why I kept calling for Meredith to be given his opportunity this year. Why Schiano kept trying Rogers at Guard this year after he was an absolute Bust there last year is beyond me! Also great to see Gholston getting a huge sack in the fourth quarter too. I saw him dominating during the preseason, and I have been waiting for someone to just give him a chance to show what he can do. Even if we don't take Clowney, I think Gholston can become the STUD DE that we really want at the strong side DE position. Schiano needs to give him a start and see what he can really do down the stretch now. I think for our second pick in the draft next year we need to be looking for a very fast DB with a lot of talent or find another great Safety and convert Tandy to DB, which is where he played in college. Our next Coach needs to develop Gray as our slot receiver. I think we have found a good TE. He just needs to bulk up and build up his strength for blocking and we are set there. Get all our hurt players back next year and get the right Coach and we will be set.
  • avatar

    “Like coach (Earnest Byner) always taught us, stay inside the hip of the pulling guard and that’s what I did." That guard he's refering to is J. Meredith. I have been watching him closely the past 2 games and it's the best pulling I've seen from a guard around here in years, including D. Joseph. Guys, I'm telling you Meredith is the real deal in the run game. He still has some work to do in pass protection, but he's pretty good in that respect also. I hate to say it because I like C. Nicks, but after 2 seasons Meredith has clearly outplayed him.
  • avatar

    Nice to see the running game and defense carry the load like in the old days. I am amazed however at the blind loyalty that Leonard and others have heaped on Schiano in defending the "fire Schiano signs". I think they miss the point - the fans aren't upset because they think Schiano is a bad guy(although a number of his actions don't help his case - e.g., chasing Dexter Jackson and kids from the field), the fans are upset because we're 1-8 (and 2-13 in the last 15) and the coaching staff (led by Schiano) continues to get out-coached on every Sunday (we nearly lost yesterday too after reverting to the "run,run,+take shots 20 yards down field" offense and prevent defense to give the Fins the lead)...is it our mantra to make every Harry Douglas and Rishard Matthews look like pro-bowlers. What kind of coverage are they calling when Leonard Johnson, Jonathan Banks and Dashon Goldson are asked to cover WRs one-on-one, which they again yesterday demonstrated they cannot do...thank goodness Tannehill decided to throw that last pass to Revis's side - why he did that only he could know, but it gave us the game....Revis at 75% is still the best CB we've ever had. I guess we're stuck with these coaches until the end of the year at least - should make for some interesting second halves...
  • avatar

    Love the running game. Congratulations to Rainey for his first NFL touchdown. It's a Rainey Day in Tampa Bay!!!
  • avatar

    Very glad to get the win. Looked like we were going down the tube AGAIN, and if it was any one but the fish we may have. Penalties, bad plays, once again derailed us. One bad penalty (Goldston PF) was enough to get the fish in rhythm and us back to our retreat defense. That is sad to say the least. On a good note we ran the ball down their snout time and time again. AND when it MATTERED we went back to what was working, didn't force Napoleon to make super man plays and put together a nice drive with a 3rd and 4th down back. By the way Rainey is from Western KY just down the road from me and was a very nice back for them, I'm glad to see him get a chance to showcase what he can do. A little small, but can catch and is sneaky quick. And kudo's to Donald Penn!!! Nice catch big guy, you may be our best TE. GO BUCS!!!!!!
  • avatar

    It was a good win and for once we came back and won the game. I know that it has been frustrating to see us play good in the first half and blow leads in the second half, but our boys came back and got this win. This will be a big help in their mind set. I think we can get a few wins here in this second half of the season. I am glad that Sully opened up the game some and that Sheridan did not play too much pre vent defense at the end. Our secondary was weak at times. Banks and Goldston were AWOL at times. The OL looked fantastic. I can see where we need another WR. It was a good game to watch and we won a game! Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    Thrilled to get a win, to see Warren, to cheer for my team, to be on MNF, to be in the red & pewter, & to watch our Oline perform. The same issues were there as in the previous 8 games, the collapse down the stretch, the anemic offensive play, the stupid stunts, foolish penalties, but the Dolphins couldn't capitalize on them. The bright spot is Mike Glennon. Is he The Guy? I don't think so, because I think "The Guy" list is a short one consisting of no more than 6-8 QB's. But he's enough of The Guy, that IF the Bucs do draft The Guy, he doesn't have to start day 1. The Guy can learn, and ease into the NFL, and the (hopefully) new offense. Meanwhile, Glennon's play can keep the Bucs' in that .500 range & in the long run the team will have a Very Strong QB room (on the cheap) w/ a very capable back-up. A benefit in today's NFL. That's my fantasy world anyway.
  • avatar

    @mjmoody: Yes, we need to draft a QB with the first pick no matter what. Glennon may eventually be the man, but our first pick will be an opportunity to get a real franchise QB. Additionally, look at how many starting QBs are still getting hurt despite rule changes; so every team needs 2 good QBs. Finally, unlike previous years, it won't cost all that much to select a QB in the first round.
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