The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to ask their running backs to be more active in the passing game this season; adding a back like Theo Riddick would fit.
After seven seasons with the Detroit Lions, running back Theo Riddick is now looking for a new team for the first time in his career. Riddick enters the 2019 season at just 28 years old, and has been well known as an exceptional third down back, a role the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could look to upgrade.
Formerly a sixth round pick out of Notre Dame in 2013, Riddick has put together quite the productive career. While Riddick only has a career total of just over 1,00- yards and five scores on the ground, he earns his worth in the passing game.
Over his career, Riddick has recorded 285 catches for over 2,200 yards and 14 touchdowns. He had his best season in 2015, when he tallied 80 catches for nearly 700 yards and three scores. Riddick then went back-to-back seasons with 53 catches, tallying seven touchdowns in that span, then last year caught 61 passes for 384 yards.
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Buccaneers’ leading rusher from a year ago revealed yesterday that new head coach Bruce Arians is looking to instill more of a passing threat with the running backs this year. Barber and second year back Ronald Jones look to lead the attack on the ground for the Bucs last year, and while they may be able to excel in the passing game, they have not proven it to this point.
This offseason the Buccaneers signed former running back of Arians in Arizona Andre Ellington to a one-year deal. Ellington was Arians’ third down back with the Cardinals as he looks to win the same role in Tampa Bay; however, he sat out all last season, and enters the 2019 season at the age of 30.
While Arians’ confidence in Barber and Jones seems sincere, the Buccaneers could always use an infusion of talent on the offensive side of the ball. As the Bucs look to involve their backs more in the passing game this season, adding another threat on third down and passing situations should be considered.
The Bucs have not added any back other than Ellington and undrafted free agent Bruce Arians, further instilling confidence in Jones and Barber. Should the Buccaneers still in the market for another running back, specifically one that excels as a receiver out of the backfield, Riddick would be a solid option to pursue.