Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians wants more from a Gio Bernard running back than just touchdowns. After the Bucs beat the Dolphins, Arians was asked for his assessment by Bernard, and the coach openly admitted that he wasn’t happy with his block. Arianer threatened that “it will cost him his job” if the poor passport protection continues.
“In the end I was happy with it, I didn’t like it when he got run over while protecting his passport and that will cost him his job if he doesn’t make it the third time,” Arians told reporters on October 10th.
The running back position was a source of tension for the Buccaneers earlier this season. Bernard was signed that off-season to play a similar role that James White played with Tom Brady in New England. While the Bucs don’t plan for Bernard to be an all-down-back, the team used the veteran in passing, but Arians warned that this may not continue.
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Bernard had four carries for 21 yards against the Dolphins while adding two receptions for 14 yards and a touchdown. At the start of the season, Brady was excited to play with Bernard.
“Of course his skills are one thing. But his professionalism is really great for me, “remarked Brady during a SiriusXM interview in August, according to a Joe Bucs fan.” I’ve been with a lot of really professional guys over the years and Gio is spot on. You know, he comes attentive, ready for action, brings it with him every day, wants to learn, just tries to do the right thing, it means a lot to him.
“It’s just great to see, especially my point of view, which has been there for 22 years; I think I appreciate the guys who are doing this at a high level year after year, and then when you see it every day, day in, day out, that’s a great thing for me. I know that Gio will be successful in everything he does in life because he does things right. “
Leonard Fournette appears to have the team’s starting running back position under control, but Arians admitted Ronald Jones still has a chance to overtake him. After a slow start to the season, Fournette has grown strong over the past two weeks with 12 carries for 67 yards and a touchdown against the Dolphins. Fournette also added four receptions for 43 yards, and Arians believes his improvement was noticeable in the passing game.
“Yes, Lennys, you know, he plays brilliantly,” Arians noted on October 10th. “He always had great hands. He takes it upon himself to concentrate better in the passing game and sees how dangerous he can be in the passing game, pass protection, the same thing. So he has become an all-round really, really solid back and that was it [why] he was drafted so high and he plays at that level. “