He might have only been here for two days, but its looks like Leonard Fournette will play a part in the Bucs’ game plan when they take on the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

The late signing and the quarantine protocols for the season means that Fournette has had to pickup the Bucs playbook quickly. Even in that short amount of time, Bruce Arians is confident enough to use Fournette in one way or another.

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

“He’ll have a solid role in this plan,” Arians said. “He’s a very bright guy, he picked it up pretty quick today. Obviously he can’t do everything, but he’ll have a solid role in the plan for the week.”

With Ronald Jones set to be the No. 1 starter going in to the year, Fournette doesn’t have to be relied upon right away. However, if the opportunity presents itself, Arians will play the back that is hot at the moment. Arians did this often times last season, and we could see that happen at least for one week.

“If one were to develop, yeah,” Arians said. “It’s going to be situational, too, these guys are gonna have a role situationally.”

Fournette has been complimented as a smart player that can pick the game plan fast. He said that it’s going well for him with learning the Bucs’ playbook.

“We’ll see,” Fournette said. “I’m learning bit by bit right now, it’s not that hard. Just going home, understanding it, understanding what the coaches want to, and we’ll see. I’m picking it up right now. If you weren’t smart you wouldn’t last in the league, so you kind of have to put a lot of the offense in your own way and try to understand the best way you can and break it down. I think I’m doing a good job of handling that right now.”

Fortunately for Fournette, Arians said that right now it’s more about establishing the game plan against New Orleans than it is understanding the playbook as a whole. The game plan is about a one-third of the entire playbook.

“The beauty of it is we don’t have to learn the playbook anymore,” Arians said. “We just have to learn the game plan. It’s about one-third of the playbook, so just study the game plan this week and he [Fournette] should know it by Friday.”

RB Leonard Fournette – Photo by: Getty Images

While Arians has historically been known as a coach that likes to air it out, the run is important to him. The Bucs rarely were able to establish a running game the way Arians would have liked last season, and that was because Bucs continued to be down early in games last season.

We needed it last year but we kept falling behind by 14 points in the first four minutes,” Arians said. “So your run game’s out the window, especially in the two games against the Saints. That’s where we start every week, where we’re gonna run the football, how we’re gonna run the football. Upgrading it from last year was really just a matter of eliminating turnovers early in the first quarter.”

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BigSombrero
BigSombrero
1 year ago

Lol at Arians saying the rushing attack was out the window after being down by 14 in the first 4 minutes. Who calls the plays??

Also, they COULDN’T run the ball in the first four minutes, the next four minutes, or the 52 minutes after that. They HAD to pass. DUH!!

Ronald Jones first 100 yard game was week 17 when Mike Evans and Chris Godwin were injured.

HELLOOOOO…MCFLY???

Jdgamble31
Jdgamble31
Reply to  BigSombrero
1 year ago

You watched last season I’m sure. You saw jameis put us behind early. We all did , that’s what Bruce is referring to, and you know that. You yourself were critical of jameis at the time. But yet now? What? You’re being critical of Arians/Leftwich bc of playcalling ?

What a joke! I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I think you’re a troll.

GO BUCS !!

SenileSenior
SenileSenior
Reply to  Jdgamble31
1 year ago

I don’t see BigSombrero as a troll. He has strong opinions I will grant you.

If you want to see good examples several trolls in action I recommend a site that I will not name here. Hint-hint: Do the letters j, b or f mean anything to you?

__________________
Go Bucs!!!

Jdgamble31
Jdgamble31
Reply to  SenileSenior
1 year ago

“Troll” is a pretty loose term, I’ll admit that, but at the very least , he completely contradicts himself from season to season, conveniently being upset with whoever Is currently on the team.

So how about this, at the very least… A big ole negative Nancy he is. Lol 😆

GO BUCS !

BigSombrero
BigSombrero
Reply to  Jdgamble31
1 year ago

I have rooted for the Bucs for 40 years. Although, I agree I’ve been critical to the point of petulance at times. It IS an internet board after all?! I enjoy stirring the pot. I’ve rooted against Tom Brady for 20 years, or really since the Tuck Rule. Old habits Die Hard. I disagree with the Bucs planning their future around any QB age 43. Another rebuild is around the corner. I admit that I’ve been at odds with him at the helm from JUMP, but after listening to his thoughtful answers in interviews, I’m starting to get it. I… Read more »

Michael76
Michael76
Reply to  BigSombrero
1 year ago

We’ve all stated that the Buc’s found ways to loose… or in other words… didn’t know how to win.

You don’t think the guys buy into Tom?

There isn’t a smarter QB for reading what the opposition is doing

The longer they hold onto the ball… the fresher the defence is

BigSombrero
BigSombrero
Reply to  Michael76
1 year ago

I’m sure they have. I’ve written that without Brady, its unlikely Gronk or Fournette are Bucs today.

This will be one of the most interesting years in recent memory.

I’ve got my popcorn ready!

BigSombrero
BigSombrero
Reply to  Jdgamble31
1 year ago

My criticism is consistent. I’ve written and think…
Donovan Smith is a very good LT.
Ali Marpet is a great guard.
Gerald McCoy was overrated for years.
I liked Doug Martin.
Lavonte has been my favorite player for 8 years.
ALL WR’s are overrated.
OL should be drafted in round 2 and beyond every year.
Defense wins championships.
It’s important to run the ball for balance.
Free agents put you over the top, but drafting is how you build a dynasty.

BigSombrero
BigSombrero
Reply to  BigSombrero
1 year ago

That said…Fan frustration with any QB who is a gunslinger will always be a given. Winston, Favre, Manning, Gannon, Garcia, Marino, Elway, Fitzpatrick, etc.

Winston was almost as productive (with half the turnovers) in Koetter’s offense. It was a top 3 offense under Koetter.

Three head coaches in five years, including Arians, didn’t do Winston any favors with their shitty defenses, the risky plays, or the lack of a rushing attack. Maybe its really on Licht. Either way, I thought Winston got a raw deal and still do.

Dman
Dman
Reply to  BigSombrero
1 year ago

I’m in the minority on this with you.

BigSombrero
BigSombrero
1 year ago

Rant aside, Im glad the new GM/Coach/QB Tom Brady told Glazers/Licht/Arians to bring Fournette in to replace Jones and McCoy. It’s about time the Bucs put a decent RB on their team and not some 2nd/3rd round reach.

I’ll give Brady credit for that. I’m sure not giving credit to Licht/Arians.

Dave
Dave
Reply to  BigSombrero
1 year ago

It’s about time they replaced Rojo?? He’s started all of 9 games in essentially 1 season, with less than 200 career carries. Well it’s a relief that you’re not prematurely labeling Rojo a bust off of 9 career stats and 195 career carries.

And if you think Fournette was brought in to replace Rojo, you’re completely delusional. That’s not happening. He will have a role, and will get his touches

BigSombrero
BigSombrero
Reply to  Dave
1 year ago

RoJo sucked so far. Don’t whine about playing time given. Players who are good get opportunities. No one will confuse him with Zeke, CMC, Henry, Barkley, Kamara, or even Fournette.

SenileSenior
SenileSenior
1 year ago

While I on the other hand I can’t wait to see if RoJo has taken another big step during this past off season. I have seen strong hints and other indications but not much of deep substance has been reported one way or the other. I realize this was a unique year for reporters too.

Anyway, bullets will be flying and we will see a real game on Sunday. I see no reason we can’t possibly beat the Saints on their turf.

______________
Go Bucs!!!

DT25
DT25
Reply to  SenileSenior
1 year ago

100% agree. Regardless, I don’t see anything else happening this season but a full-scale timeshare between the two. RoJo’s improvement has been well documented and if he’s taken another step forward, there’s no chance we make Fournette a workhorse like many seem to believe will happen. Not to mention Fournette himself said he’s more than happy working in a timeshare. “Limits the wear and tear for both backs and keeps them fresh for the final stretch of the season” were moreorless his exact words. He legitimately seemed happy about that role. Seems everyone but the actual coaching staff and players… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by DT25
Michael76
Michael76
1 year ago

Fournette is a power runner that demands 8 man in the box. If they commit to 12 personal the opportunity for mismatch is not only a great option, but running on their DE’s is fantastic opportunity to not only tone down the pass rush, but wear them out. But Brady’s ability to read the defence Before the ball is snapped will be the difference… expect TB to win the time of possession.

ScottC543
ScottC543
Reply to  Michael76
1 year ago

That’s the key right there. Wirfs may struggle against Jordan while passblocking, but how will he do if we run Rojo and Fournette straight at Jordan time after time? When the Aint’s D starts expecting another punch in the gut, TB12 can gash them with a nice playaction pass to Gronk up the seam. Even in a non-virus season the defense always has an edge in early games because offenses are still working on their timing. We should be able to limit Brees and Thomas, while I don’t see them being able to keep our offense from scoring 30+ even… Read more »

Horse
Horse
1 year ago

The best thing that has happened for this team this season is the coaching staff remains the same and are gelling together.
This will be a big help as play adjustments to the schemes will be implemented faster than in the past.
This season is different than any other season before, as it will be about the coaching staff that will keep a team in sync to win. I have all the confidence we can beat the Saints in New Orleans. Go Bucs!

bucballer
bucballer
Reply to  Horse
1 year ago

Yes Horse. Continuity is really important and helpful. This way we still have the same basic offense install and u just add the new wrinkles. Having a coach like player in the huddle will pay huge dividends. The Brady effect will be evident. I think short yardage and two minute drills will be less hectic as Brady knows where he wants to go with the ball pre snap.

Horse
Horse
Reply to  bucballer
1 year ago

No question Brady will make a huge difference on the field of play.

scubog
scubog
1 year ago

If anyone actually paid attention last season they would have seen that the defensive game plans, especially early in games, were to load up the box to stop the run and bait Jameis to pass in hopes of getting an errant throw. Way too many times that worked to perfection. The demoralizing effect on the team and we fans in the stands only magnified the problem.

Michael76
Michael76
Reply to  scubog
1 year ago

That’s the Goat back there this year, not Winston. He won’t be staring down his receivers and won’t hesitate to take what is available.

Dave
Dave
Reply to  scubog
1 year ago

100% accurate! Stacking the box and baiting JW into a tight throw was too easy. It was laughable how easy it was

Last edited 1 year ago by Dave