Q: In the running game, why don’t the Bucs run more pitchouts or short passes to the running back in order to get him outside where there may be more room to run? They seem to consistently try to send him into the center of the defense around the center and guards where it’s all clogged up and this usually results in short yardage. It that they could offer more effective running plays instead of the same ones all the time.
- Jim Wright, Clearwater
A: It all depends on the running back. In the case of Bobby Rainey, the Bucs want to run “power,” which is a simple run into the line, because that’s what he does best. When Doug Martin was healthy the Bucs ran him outside a lot and certainly made efforts to get the ball to him in space. As for Rainey’s struggles against the Lions, he certainly did meet his match but give the Lions some credit. They’re the fifth-best run-stopping team in the league, and they proved why.
- Roy Cummings