Bruce Arians had been long known around the NFL as the quarterback whisper. He had had his hand in the molding of quarterbacks such as Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, and Andrew Luck. Now, he is here in Tampa Bay to help mold Jameis Winston. Arians along with Byron Leftwich the Buccaneers offensive coordinator can help Winston become a better more efficient quarterback. If they are going to help him, they will have to establish a running game.
Winston has all the weapons around him he needs like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, O.J. Howard, and Cameron Brate. However, If the Buccaneers do not want to repeat what happened last year, a running game will need help from his running backs. Last season, the Buccaneers had one of the top passing offenses in the league, but fell short of the end zone due to a lack of a consistent, punching running game, due in part to Koetter’s play-calling, and Rojo’s jitters. Peyton Barber played well considering these points of fact.
In my opinion, the Buccaneers haven’t had a real running game since the days of Warrick Dunn and Mike Alstott. Currently, the Buccaneers have a gaggle of capable back in Peyton Barber, Ronald Jones, Andre Ellington, and Dare Ogunbowale. Ogunbowale has turned heads in camp and Bruce Arians trusts him as a back on all three downs so far this preseason. He has an outside chance of making the team and could log time as the primary 3rd down back. Bruce Anderson is still a question mark as he did not field any carries and missed an opportunity to bring in a pass during his only target in last week’s preseason game.
If any combination of running backs can be just a piece of what we had so long ago in our legendary running back duo, then the Buccaneers offense will be incredible. The game cannot be placed upon the shoulders of Winston or the Bucs are in trouble.
The offense will have to be a dual-threat to keep defenses on their toes and guessing. The Buccaneers defense has already begun taking on injuries so as long as it’s depleted, Tampa will have to keep the defense off the field as long as they can. If the Bucs are going to win more than 5 games, they will need to establish the running game.
Arians can help Winston and the Buccaneers become more successful, but it will all have to start with the running game!