Yardbarker Horiz

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Buccaneers Bring The Big

6 feet even, 247 pounds.  6 feet 4 inches, 275 pounds.  6 feet 6 inches, 248 pounds.

Thats 770 pounds of football player.  It's not a set of linebackers, nor is it a set of defensive linemen.  It's the Josh Freeman, Erik Lorig, LeGarrette Blount backfield first utilized by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Saint Louis Rams.

With Lorig in the backfield, the Buccaneers boast as much size and power as anyone in the NFL.  Lorig has yet to record a carry or a reception but that is not his function.  He is a steamroller for the tailbacks (so far?).  Blount has made his presence known as he continues to work his way into the playing rotation, with 4.9 yards/carry and over 100 total yards on the season thus far.

While these youngsters have shown great promise this season, as well as giant upside, there is another thing they bring to the Buccaneers which may be even more valuable:  they can extend the careers of Earnest Graham and Cadillac Williams.  Every carry the youngsters take extends the career of Graham and Williams by another play.  The versatility and experience of the Tampa Bay running game is keeping the focus on the offensive backfield, allowing the young receiving corp a chance to make themselves a threat to respect.  Once the passing game reaches maturity, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may have the most balanced attack seen on the Gulf Coast since 2002, which had Micheal Pittman and Mike Alstott in the backfield with Keyshawn Johnson, Keenan McCardell, and Joe Jurivcious running routes.

Will the Freeman/Lorig/Blount combination be utilized against the Arizona Cardinals this weekend?  With the injury problems up front on offense and the release of Keydrick Vincent it may not be a question.

It may be the answer.

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