Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Two rookies for Tampa Bay Buccaneers provide bright spots in lopsided loss

TAMPA — The Bucs aren't thrilled to have a bye week three games into the regular season.

But some players who are beginning to show wear and tear can expect reinforcements.

Coach Raheem Morris said Monday that the team will use the extra week to get running back LeGarrette Blount more involved to spell Cadillac Williams and rookie receiver Arrelious Benn more opportunities to replace Sammie Stroughter.

In three games, Williams has 55 carries for 139 yards, a 2.5 yard average that is the worst in the NFL for starting running backs.

Stroughter, more effective as a slot receiver on third down as a rookie, has six catches for 49 yards as the starting Z receiver.

"I don't know if you have to make wholesale changes," Morris said Monday after the Bucs' 38-13 loss to the Steelers. "I like my team and where we are and what we've got going. Now, would I like to increase Benn's role? Yes. (Sunday), he probably got 13 or so snaps … and he can certainly help us some more. He can help give us more effort and more energy because he is young, he's powerful, he's dynamic, he made some great catches (Sunday), and I'd like to see him get out there more.

"LeGarrette Blount — we certainly can increase his role, and I think his role would've been increased (Sunday) if the game would've played out the way I wanted to see it played out."

Morris said Williams has played well but that the Bucs could use big backs such as Blount and Kregg Lumpkin to provide a spark. Blount carried six times for 27 yards, including a touchdown Sunday, his first in the NFL.

"It felt good to get a little playing time, just being able to tote the ball a little bit on my first possession," Blount said. "This off week and the week after will be a big week for me to catch up on a lot of stuff.

"I'm willing to be patient. I'm not going to rush anything, especially if I'm not 100 percent comfortable with the offense. As long as I'm not 100 percent comfortable with the offense, they're not going to take a chance. They've got a (multimillion-dollar) quarterback who doesn't need to get hit."

A groin injury has forced running back Kareem Huggins to be inactive the past two games. That has put a big workload on Williams, who carried 27 times for 51 yards at Carolina last week.

Bucs running backs have only two runs of more than 10 yards, including Blount's 12-yard gain against the Steelers.

"I think Cadillac has played three good games," Morris said. "By no means am I saying he's played excellent, but I'm saying he played games that he put together and played well in them. He can play better. … We can't give him 28 carries in a row and all those things. Somebody has got to come in and give him a spark. Somebody has got to come in and make somebody miss and break off a long run, which they were able to do on us."

Stroughter, who caught 31 passes as a rookie playing mostly on third down, might be wearing down as a starter at the Z receiver position. Benn played well in the final preseason game at Houston when he had two touchdown receptions. But it has taken him a little longer to learn the Bucs offense.

"As a coaching staff, you sit back and you look at that," Morris said. "You sit back and you look at Sammie, and he played so hard that he wears down a little bit. He caught a couple cramps (Sunday), and he doesn't want to come out with a cramp; you've got to go pull him off the field. So now, with Regis (Benn) on the (way), you've got to be able to play him a little bit. (Sunday), we brought Preston Parker up, and some of those guys have got to come in and give Sammie some spells so he can be more effective on his Zebra package (on third down), which we know he thrives in and has his most production."

Two rookies for Tampa Bay Buccaneers provide bright spots in lopsided loss 09/27/10 [Last modified: Monday, September 27, 2010 9:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Whatever USF has to say about Temple waits till Thursday

    College

    "The holes were wide open. Anyone could have run through them."

    South Florida Bulls cornerback Mazzi Wilkins (23) intercepts a pass during the second half of the home opener for the South Florida Bulls against the Stony Brook Seawolves at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Five reasons why Kentucky can beat Florida for the first time since 1986

    College

    By Matt Baker

    GAINESVILLE — Florida's 30-game winning streak over Kentucky is one of the most impressive feats in the country.

    Florida Gators offensive lineman Martez Ivey (73) celebrates Florida Gators running back Mark Thompson's  (24) touch down in the first quarter, putting Florida on the board 6-0 during the game between the University of Florida and the University of Kentucky in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, in Gainesville, Fla. Florida defeated Kentucky 45-7. ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times

  3. Once targeted by the Bucs, Dalvin Cook thrills for the Vikings

    Bucs

    How good would the Bucs be with running back Dalvin Cook?

    Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) slips a tackle by Steelers strong safety Sean Davis (28) to score a touchdown Sunday in Pittsburgh. [AP photo]
  4. Boxer Jake LaMotta, immortalized in 'Raging Bull,' dies at 95

    Obituaries

    MIAMI — Jake LaMotta, the former middleweight champion whose life in and out of the ring was depicted in the film Raging Bull, for which Robert DeNiro won an Academy Award, has died, his fiancee said Wednesday. He was 95.

    Jake LaMotta, retired professional boxer, shakes hands with Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) on the field before the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg on Sept. 15, 2015. LaMotta was on hand to sign autographs in the Ted Williams Museum.
  5. J.R. Sweezy shows what Bucs were missing

    Bucs

    By Greg Auman

    TAMPA —- Sunday's season-opening win against the Bears saw the debut of 13 Bucs, a mix of rookies and free-agent veterans.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive guard J.R. Sweezy (73), seen at center, runs through drills during training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Monday, July 31, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times