Todd Bowles and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers want to be better in 2023. Whether or not the team will be able to reach the ‘better’ mark is still up for debate.
The current free agency period has gone well and the draft led to a few great picks that should pan out in the long run, but there is still one major hole on the roster that could prove problematic in 2023: running back.
Try as you might to try to further the hype around rookie Rachaad White, this room lacks far too much experience and talent on the field for the Bucs to do so little over the past few weeks.
As it stands, the three likely roster backs for the Bucs in the upcoming season are Rachaad White at RB1, Chase Edmonds at RB2, and Ke’Shawn Vaughn at RB3. Anything more than three backs on the active roster would be a waste.
However, this room still needs help. Acting like anything is a sure thing from this group would be a major mistake for a coaching staff that needs to win to keep jobs.
White was arguably the best back on the roster last season, but that isn’t saying much. Leonard Fournette looked terrible for most of the year, Vaughn saw the field very little, and Giovani Bernard was mostly on the roster for a veteran presence it seems. That leaves White and Edmunds that look like the guys that will get touches.
There aren’t many weaker, less proven running back rooms in the NFL, and that should be a major red flag for Bowles, a coach that has made it clear to the detriment of his team that he wants to run the ball like a mad man.
Again, nothing against either player, but a total of 503 rushing attempts in the NFL between your top two numbers (for no crazy outcome) shows a clear lack of experience that is often needed for a team that needs to turn things around in a dramatic fashion.
The Buccaneers are running out of time on the free agent market, but it would probably be wise to go out and find a veteran to help out in a room that has some frisky upside by raising the overall floor with proven, consistent play.