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Kareem Hunt won’t solve Buccaneers’ issues on the ground

The Buccaneers have problems Kareem Hunt cannot solve. Hopefully Tampa Bay is wise enough to pass on the troubled running back.

After the ESPN report stating that multiple NFL teams were interested in former Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt, many have presumed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a potential suitor.

Make sense, right?

Tampa Bay was one of the worst rushing teams in the league last season, averaging 95.2 yards per game, the fourth-worst mark in the league. However, Hunt won’t be able to fix the Bucs’ inability to run the football.

Tampa Bay doesn’t have fantastic options at running back. Peyton Barber rushed for 871 yards, but his 3.7 YPC show he wasn’t effective for the most part. Rookie Ronald Jones had a disaster of a rookie season as well, toting the ball 19 times for just 44 yards.

In a vacuum, adding Hunt to the mix wouldn’t hurt. He put up strong numbers in Kansas City. But the running back position isn’t where the problem lies.

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The offensive line should be the focus for Tampa Bay. Not a troubled running back that would cause an uproar if he ended up signing a deal with the Buccaneers.

Before the team tries to throw away a second-round pick from a year ago and an undrafted player who had stretches of success, how about giving them viable blockers?

Aside from guard Ali Marpet, no Bucs lineman played up to league average, according to Pro Football Focus‘ metrics.

The most significant problems resided on the right side of the offensive line. Guard Caleb Benenoch and tackle Demar Dotson were slow to the point of attack on nearly every outside run, forcing Tampa to run simple dive plays into the pile.

Benenoch was a train wreck. As bad as he was in pass protection, he struggled just as much in the run department. It was a hopeless cause to run to that side of the field. PFF graded both Benenoch and Dotson as the worst run blockers on the team.

It’s absurd to think that Hunt will be able to make the Bucs, a viable running team just by adding him into the mix. General manager Jason Licht needs to prioritize the offensive line, adding more running backs won’t make a difference.

Hunt was in a perfect position in Kansas City. Even with Alex Smith, he had at worst solid quarterback play, a strong offensive line and a brilliant play caller in Andy Reid. The situation was perfect for a running back. Barber and Jones’ situations were much, much worse.

Odds are, Hunt would have tacklers in his face as soon as he touched the ball. If the Bucs have their priorities in order, they will invest in the trenches, not in skill positions.

Next: 5 former Arians-coached players the Bucs should sign

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