Do the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the horses to run in 2010?

Do the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the horses to run in 2010?

zz Buc Stop

Do the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the horses to run in 2010?

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Cadillac Williams is the starter on the Rushing attack.

Bucball has two simple conditions; play good defense, and run the football. This was set in motion with Tony Dungy taking over, and when you hear Raheem Morris talk about playing Buccaneer Football, this is what he is talking about. We know the Bucs drafted the players to upgrade the defense, especially on the defensive line. But what about running the ball? Do the Bucs have the necessary horses, or horsepower given the case of our starting model, Cadillac Williams? No Doubt it starts and ends with the Caddy. In 2009, the Bucs were ranked 23rd in rushing offense with 101.7 yards per game average, but only 5 rushing touchdowns all year, and only a 35 yard run as the longest of the season. With 25.2 attempts per game, the Bucs simply did not attempt as many runs as the rest of the league, and the 4.0 yards per run average for the team that only three other teams had lower than. In contrast, the 1997 Bucs team that set the term Buc Ball in motion was ranked 11th with the same 4.0 team average. That team ran for 120 yards per game and were just shy of 30 rushes per game! That is Buc Ball; with three times the rushing Touchdowns too, 15 as opposed to 5.
Warrick Dunn

Warrick Dunn and Mike Alstott led the BUCBALL attack back in the 90s.

The Offensive line is key to a solid rushing attack, but as we’ve discussed, the O line suffered last year from the inconsistencies of the coaching staff (letting go of Offensive Coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski just before the regular season) which was losing weight in the offseason to learn the Zone Blocking scheme. Next think you know in the middle of the year, the old scheme is back and the O line is not in the required shape to run a power running game. That will change this year, but how much of that 23rd ranked attack is O line and how much is the runners themselves. Derrick Ward was considered the best running back prospect in free agency last year, and the Bucs did not hesitate to go after him. To some he was a disappointment, but under closer inspection Ward averaged 3.6 per run and 7.5 per catch. He scored 3 touchdowns last year, and with a good line in front of him there is a good chance he will live up to the hype from last season’s Free Agency. Then there is Earnest Graham, who is going to be asked to split some action at fullback which he is capable of doing. Both Graham and Ward are up in age, but spent the first part of their careers without the damage causing contact that wears down on careers. Graham who was given a chance to shine in 2007 when Cadillac Williams was first injured with his knees, which appear to be completely healed after a full season without problems. Graham is more of a 3 yards and a pile of dust runner, but what the Bucs lack is the type of runner the Bucs had back in 1997; Warrick Dunn. Someone who can take a space and burn through it. With only a 35 yard run as the seasons longest, its clear the Buccaneers are without a slashing type runner that can take it the distance. Clifton Smith fits that model but he also fits the ‘fumbler’ category too. The Bucs want Smith to concentrate on his return abilities. So while its clear the Bucs DO have the horses to run with the rest of the League, they just don’t have the pedigree required to have an elite staff. Is it enough to fulfill the ‘BucBall’ requirement for 2010, that remains to be seen, in about 90 something days! Note: Apologies for no entries yesterday 5/13-

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