The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have transformed their roster this offseason. The addition of Tom Brady has inclined players like Rob Gronkowski, LeSean McCoy, and Leonard Fournette to come down to Tampa Bay and play with the goat.
In Tuesday’s press conference, Fournette discussed his decision to join the Buccaneers, and had this to say.
“For the first time in my life, I really have a quarterback,” Leonard Fournette says of playing with Tom Brady in Tampa.
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) September 8, 2020
That sure is telling…
It’s not like Fournette has played with awful quarterbacks in his career. In 2019, Fournette lined up behind Gardner Minshew, who took the league by storm after the injury to Nick Foles.
What Do the Stats Say?
While this quote is harsh, I think it’s more of a compliment to Brady than anything else. Last season, Fournette ran the ball 31.7% (10th) of the time with eight or more defenders in the box. That can be incredibly frustrating as a running back, and goes to show you just how much teams ignored Jacksonville’s passing game.
Just for reference, Peyton Barber saw eight plus men in the box 33.12%, which ranked 8th in the league.
Many fans are asking the question; Will Leonard Fournette get significant carries in an already stacked offense? I think the answer is yes, even with a healthy Ronald Jones II and LeSean McCoy.
2019 gave us a glimpse of how Bruce Arians likes to use his running backs, and elected to rotate Barber and Jones throughout the game. Just like last season, I suspect Arians will role with the hot hand in any given game.
Leonard Fournette’s quotes were jarring, and we aren’t used to that kind of bluntness in a world of political correctness. Was it disrespectful? Absolutely. But you can’t fault Fournette for his sheer excitement to play in an offense with Tom Brady.