TAMPA, Fla. -- When new offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford met with the Tampa Bay media for the first time on Wednesday, he didn't go into a lot of detail about the personnel he's inheriting.
That's understandable because Tedford's only been on the job for a few days and still is evaluating personnel. But Tedford did have one revealing item when asked to talk about his philosophy on running backs.
“When I was at [the University of California], we were always very fortunate to have two very good backs, whether it was J.J. Arrington and Marshawn Lynch or Lynch and Justin Forsett, or Lynch and Jahvid Best or Jahvid Best and Shane Vereen," Tedford said.
“We really had a good one-two punch in the backfield there and I think that's what you need. For one guy to carry the load the whole time, especially as physical as this level is, is a lot. So [we're looking] to have two and probably three backs that can provide different things for you."
That philosophy is a lot different than the one used by former coach Greg Schiano, who believed in putting almost the entire load on Doug Martin. But what happened to Martin last season could work to the Bucs' advantage with Tedford calling the offensive shots.
Martin suffered a season-ending injury early on. That led to more playing time for Mike James and Bobby Rainey. James also suffered a season-ending injury, but showed some promise before that. Rainey also showed he's a capable NFL running back.
Martin's a solid all-around back, but the previous regime put too big a load on him. The Bucs now have three competent running backs, so it only makes sense to use them all.