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Tom Brady is a big part of the resurgence in Bucs’ run game

The once-invisible ground attack has totaled more than 100 yards each of the last two weeks.
In addition to a 10-yard touchdown catch, Bucs tailback Giovani Bernard had 21 yards on four carries in Sunday's 45-17 win against the Dolphins.
In addition to a 10-yard touchdown catch, Bucs tailback Giovani Bernard had 21 yards on four carries in Sunday's 45-17 win against the Dolphins. [ MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | Times ]
Published Oct. 11

Partially obscured amid the prominent story lines of the Bucs’ last two triumphs is one blossoming dimension of the offense.

Which is to say, the run game is coming around.

Behind primary tailback Leonard Fournette, the Bucs ran for 120 and 121 yards against the Patriots and Dolphins, respectively, after totaling 169 rushing yards their first three contests. Fournette, whose 92 rushing yards in New England equaled his total from the first three games, added 67 yards — and a 5-yard scoring run — on 12 carries Sunday.

“Our offensive line, their communication is through the roof this year,” receiver Mike Evans said Monday. “They’re playing much better.”

Stands to reason. Seems the run dimension came together at roughly the same time the linemen, tight ends and tailbacks started doing the same with quarterback Tom Brady.

“We’ve been meeting with Tom on Fridays and just with the offense,” second-year right tackle Tristan Wirfs said.

“He’ll put up the runs for the week and we’ll just kind of go through it together because we’ll go out in practice, but we’re all meeting individually. ... So just having a time where we can all be together and know what each other’s doing, I think that’s really beneficial, just making sure everybody’s on the same page.”

Complementing Fournette in Sunday’s 45-17 romp of the Dolphins were Ronald Jones and Giovani Bernard, each of whom had 21 yards (on five and four carries, respectively). The 121 rushing yards were the most the Bucs have posted in a regular-season game since the 210 they amassed (thanks mainly to Jones’ 98-yard scoring run) in a win at Carolina last Nov. 15.

“We just started (meeting with Brady) like, two weeks ago,” Wirfs added.

“I think the past two weeks our running has been better. It’s weird, it can be that small little thing, just making sure the wide receivers know what the o-line’s doing, the running back knows what the o-line’s doing.”

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls

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