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Tom Brady Talks Bucs' Running Game: 'It's Too Difficult to Become One-Dimensional'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVOctober 3, 2022

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 02: Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) hands off the ball  during the NFL Football match between the Tampa Bay Bucs and Kansas City Chiefs on October 2nd, 2022 at Hard Raymond James Stadium, FL. (Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Only the Los Angeles Chargers (64.5) are averaging fewer yards per game in the early portion of the season than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 65.3, and Tom Brady knows that will have to change if they are going to live up to Super Bowl expectations.

He discussed how important it is to not be so one-dimensional on his Let's Go! podcast (h/t JoeBucsFan.com):

"It's too difficult to become one-dimensional over the course of a season and we have not done a good job in the run game this year. We started off pretty good against Dallas, who's actually a really good defense and ran the ball very well. And against the Saints it wasn't very good. Against the Packers it wasn't very good, and yesterday.

"And I think a lot of it comes down to playing from behind where you become one-dimensional and you throw the ball so much. But, at the same time we need to be productive when we do run it. So getting ourselves in the right run play. You know, getting our guys the right angles and the right opportunities to, you know, have some confidence that we can make yards when we hand the ball off."

Tampa Bay managed just three points in the first three quarters of its win over the New Orleans Saints and was playing from behind in its losses to the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs.

Brady acknowledged that slow starts across the board for the offense have contributed to the running problems, as playing from behind puts the team in a situation where it has to throw far more often. Opposing defenses also understand that and don't have to honor the run as much, making life more difficult for the offense as a whole.

The Buccaneers finally showed some life on offense in Sunday's 41-31 loss to the Chiefs, which was their first time scoring more than 20 points in a game this season.

Injuries have been a concern, especially at wide receiver, but Brady had Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Julio Jones back. He threw for 385 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions, but the rushing attack managed just three yards on six carries.

Leonard Fournette, who is supposed to be the lead running back and a top playmaker on this offense, had minus-three yards on three carries.

Part of that is the nature of a game where the Chiefs scored four touchdowns in the first half, but even mild success in the ground game would take some of the pressure off Brady and the aerial attack.

And it will likely be necessary if the Buccaneers are going to compete in January come playoff time.

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