THUNDERING BLURB » Tampa Bay Buccaneers ANDREW GARDA'S ENDLESS TAKES ON NFL AND COLLEGE FOOTBALL Fri, 22 Oct 2010 12:30:31 +0000 en hourly 1 Running Back Blurb Breakdown: Derrick Ward Mon, 06 Jul 2009 02:05:05 +0000 admin Ward comes into a muddy Tamp Bay offense.

We’re not sure how much work he will share with Ernest Graham. We’re not sure who the quarterback will be and aside from Antonio Bryant, we’re not sure who will be catching the ball.

We are sure that Kellen Winslow will help keep the secondary honest and that Ward is going to be a big part of this run game.

The problem is, even though we are sure about all of the above things, we’re not totally sure what any of it means. Or that it will last past August.

Instead we can look back at what he did for the Giants over the past few years. While with New York – and as part of a trio of running backs – Ward cracked 1,000 yards and caught 41 passes for 384 yards. He played behind a better offensive line, with a much surer hand at quarterback even if the wide receiver group was almost as shaky depth-wise as Tampa’s.

Graham couldn’t secure the job last season, being pushed aside at times for Warrick Dunn and missing six games.  He can catch the ball as well as Ward, but unlike Ward, hasn’t hit 1,000 yard mark yet.

It’s very likely Ward will end up getting more carries and doing more with them at that. His 5.6 yards per carry is very encouraging. And while the confusion at quarterback will hurt a little, it means that there is a good chance that the Bucs will need to lean on a run game pretty heavily.

He was also brought in by new Head Coach Raheem Morris who certainly strikes me as the type of guy to fall in love with his own players and give them every chance to succeed. Of course that leads you to wonder what might happen to the offense if/when rookie quarterback Josh Freeman gets in there.

Also with Kellen Winslow there, there may be a ton of redzone looks which go elsewhere, assuming K2 comes to play and prove Cleveland foolish for letting him go.

But Ward has enough potential to make him a safe RB3, with some upside for more. If the team were more stable and we knew how the carries were going to be split, he could even creep up a little more.

This is a player who needs to be watched very carefully during camp and could emerge as a real value in your fantasy drafts.

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Derrick Ward a Buc Tue, 03 Mar 2009 04:52:00 +0000 admin So you may have caught that Derrick Ward has found a home in Tampa Bay where he and the team agreed to terms on a four-year, $17 million contract with $6 million guaranteed.

So what does this mean? Well, Ernest Graham is going to see less carries this season and Caddy might completely get cut. Even if he isn’t, he’s about to become odd man out anyway and thios cements his lack of value even in redraft.

Caddy has had a long road back and some horrific luck – I wish him well but if you are a fantasy footballer, he’s not worth keeping.

From a pure football standpoint, this should work out well. Ward can run in a zone-block scheme which is what Tampa will run. He has been productive in split carries and could carry more of the load. The oline for the Bucs is young but very good. If they can do the zone-block thing well, he’s apt to see a ton of work. Graham will get carries but they never completely bought into his bid to become a full time bell cow.

Now the biggest question will be, who is throwing the ball? and depending upon who, how much 8 man in a box will Ward see?

How effective he is – especially if he wants to repeat that excellent YPC average – may depend upon how honest the QB can keep the defense.

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Garcia OUT, Griese will start Sun, 14 Dec 2008 16:57:00 +0000 admin Jeff Garcia warmed up but the Bucs determined he wasn’t able to go . Griese gets the start over Luke McCown, which wqs not the reported case earlier in the week.

Hard to say what this means for Bryant, Dunn or Caddy. Griese turned the ball over a ton during the first go round. Will that hurt Bryant? Will the defense now just focus on the run game and shut it down? All concerns.

I wouldn’t start Griese. I would be concerned Bryant will backslide. Dunn and Caddy will maybe get more work, but may face a stronger front.

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Some friday Notes – Parker and Bush Fri, 28 Nov 2008 22:07:00 +0000 admin Reggie Bush was limited in practice today, however the New Orleans Times-Picayune expects him to playand if that’s the case, they’ll probably give him a decent load. While I hesitate to jump on the 20-25 carry bandwagon right off the back, they will probably use him both in the pass game and the ground game.

I think he will be a decent start and I think Pierre Thomas gets most of the secondary carries. McAllister? I don’t know but I don’t feel he is a very safe play this weekend.

I didn’t have Bush on my RB rankings – I would slot him around 20 (give or take) as I am unsure what kind of touches he will get and Payton has eased his star players into the gameplan more than once. This is a game the Saints have to win though and I expect him to be a factor somehow.

Willie Parker practiced for the second straight day without any limitations, though he is still listed as Questionable for Sunday. Assuming he steps in no gopher holes, he should go against the Pats this Sunday. My biggest concern is he might tweak that knee again like he did. Add to that the fact that while the Patsies can be run on, they rarely cough up a TD (4 to Ronnie Brown way back in Week 3) and they just held the Dolphins to less than 60 yards running last week. Parker will probably better that yards total, but a TD may be hard to come by. And that’s assuming he’s healthy all game.

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