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Competition at running back for the Bucs

Posted on: August 4, 2010 12:03 am
 
Last season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tried to divvy up carries in a two series-two series-one series format amongst running backs Cadillac Williams, Derrick Ward and Earnest Graham. That resulted in a rushing attack that ranked 23rd in football. C. Williams (US Presswire)

This year, the Bucs plan on giving carries to whoever has the hot hand (or foot). “I think the carries are going to be dictated by the guy who’s in there getting it done,” said Raheem Morris in the St. Petersburg Times. “I think these guys will both have the opportunity to run the football like every team in the league that has two running backs. That’s who we are.”

The two guys Morris is referring to are Williams and Ward. Graham appears fated to the fullback position (in part because he’s such an alert lead-blocker). If it’s truly a simple matter of effectiveness, expect Williams to get the bulk of the carries. He changes direction with good explosiveness and has the speed to at least be a threat on the edges. Ward, on the other hand, is a plodding, mechanical runner. To his credit, he gets the yards that are blocked, and he often falls forward on contact. But the Bucs’ run-blocking scheme is based heavily on movement from the guards, which means quickness is that much more important from the running back. Ward simply can’t deliver in this realm.

--Andy Benoit 

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