Yardbarker Horiz

Friday, October 22, 2010

You Can't Throw A Cadillac Under A Bus

I find it very amusing people think Cadillac Williams may need to be benched.  Granted, it's the easy answer when the team plays a stout defense as the Buccaneers have twice this season (Pittsburgh and New Orleans).

But, as always, some in depth analysis shows it's a completely mistaken idea.  

Behold, Ye Doubters

In the game last weekend, woeful as it was offensively, Cadillac Williams lead Tampa Bay in both rushing and receiving yards, catching as many passes as Mike Williams.  But just the numbers do not demonstrate his value.  Williams also converted 4 of the 5 third down plays when the ball went into his hands (out of 13 total third down plays).  And he brings value because of the attention he receives from opposing teams.  There is not a more dangerous runner on the team.

But there must be some reason people think the offense is not producing.  Most likely, it is because all the yards are not in just one player's basket:
  • Cleveland:  Williams 75, Freeman 34, Graham 10: 119 total rushing yards
  • Carolina:  Williams 51, Freeman 43, Graham 1:  95 total rushing yards
  • Pittsburgh:  Williams 13, Freeman 15, Graham 13, Blount 27:  68 total rushing yards
  • Cincinnati:  Williams 33, Freeman 20, Graham 65:  118 total rushing yards
  • New Orleans:  Williams 18, Johnson 11:  29 total yards rushing

Is it any surprise for the Pittsburgh and New Orleans rushing totals to be lowest of the season so far?  Still, as a team, the Buccaneers are on pace to be a 1,300 yard hybrid running back.  For comparison, last season there were only six running backs who gained more than 1300 yards in the NFL.  For the Buccaneers themselves, last season Cadillac and Derrick Ward gained over 1,200 yards on the ground, which means actually the rushing attack is slightly improved if this pace stays consistent for the rest of the season (and it should).  In 2008, Graham and Warrick Dunn combined for 1,349 yards.  In 2007, Graham, Williams, and Micheal Pittman combined for 1,392 yards.  The pattern is obvious . . . the running game is not "broken".

Granted, some are just looking for the quick finger point.  And some will just never (ever, ever) do the research.  A pity on them.

Fortunately, Coach Morris knows it isn't broken.  And there is no need to fix it.

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