Buccaneers: Giovani Bernard revolutionizes the offense
By Rob Leeds
The Buccaneers will have a brand new offense with Giovani Bernard on the roster.
Giovani Bernard has flown under the radar for most of his NFL career, but his transition to the Buccaneers in free agency will make him impossible to ignore in his new home. The Bucs had a substantial lack of a consistent pass-catching running back last season, and Bernard fills that hole better than many other options.
While some fans were disappointed that James White decided to re-sign with the Patriots rather than joining Tom Brady in Tampa, they will quickly realize that signing Bernard is not settling.
The most significant difference between a player like White and Bernard is the quality of the team around them. The Patriots franchise during White’s tenure is one of the best all-time. The Bengals team, while Bernard was on it, is far from a comparison.
Giovani Bernard will pop in the Buccaneers offense
White was catching passes from the greatest quarterback of all time in a scheme that loved to get the ball to running backs through the air. Bernard was catching passes from Andy Dalton on a team that was never able to form an identity.
Even with the stark difference between the level of teams and the quality of teammates, Bernard averaged nearly 43 receptions per season compared to White’s 53. The discrepancy of 10 receptions per season can easily be chalked up to the quarterback and scheme advantage in White’s favor.
Bernard definitely has some tread on the tires, but he has been able to remain remarkably healthy for the majority of his NFL career. Lining up at third-down back more than as the featured guy, this has allowed Bernard the chance to make an impact without suffering the negative consequences as the featured guy.
At 29 years old and with the opportunity to compete for a Super Bowl, Bernard should be able to use what gas he has left in the tank to break off big plays for the Buccaneers like he was able to do throughout the rest of his career.
Even if he isn’t lining up outside of the numbers and running routes, Bernard’s strengths come in the screen game, something the Bucs were terrible at in 2020. Just imagine what Bernard could do as a receiver with Tristan Wirfs as the lead blocker.
Some people may have hoped for a rookie to step into this new role, but it would be extremely hard for most players in the league to match Bernard’s abilities as a blocker and as a receiver.
The Buccaneers found a good one in free agency, and the offense is only improving en route to its next Super Bowl appearance.
Want to write about the Buccaneers? Apply below!