Rachaad White thinks Buccaneers have ‘great shot’ in NFC South, wants to ‘eclipse’ 1,000 rushing yards

NEWS

Rachaad White is heading into Year 2 with the Buccaneers as the likely lead back after playing second fiddle to Leonard Fournette in 2022.

The greater spotlight has fostered greater expectations, and White himself is setting aim at ending a Tampa Bay drought on the ground.

“My expectation is really just do my job,” he said Friday on Good Morning Football. “Be the guy (general manager) Jason Licht wants me to be, but really just be myself. Go out there, have fun, hang loose. Obviously, the Bucs haven’t had a 1,000-yard rusher in about eight years or so. So, I want to, of course, eclipse that.”

White, who impressed with 129 carries for 481 yards, plus another 290 yards on 50 receptions during his rookie campaign, will have his work cut out for him if he is to hit 1,000 yards rushing as a Buccaneer for the first time since Doug Martin did so in 2015.

The Bucs’ offensive line offered little push last season, resulting in a league-low 76.9 rushing yards per game. And although White is in line for more carries with Fournette no longer on the team and free-agent addition Chase Edmonds more likely to supplement than supplant him, the quarterback situation might make holes even harder to come by than last year.

Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask are in the throes of a competition to take over for Tom Brady. Whoever wins will likely instill only a fraction of the fear that Brady did in opposing defenses, thus leaving the box stacked.

Still, White spoke highly of Mayfield, who joined Tampa Bay as a free agent and has a leg up in the battle over the inexperienced Trask due to a resume with 16,288 passing yards and 102 touchdowns over 69 career starts.

“Baker brings great energy,” White said. “He’s a great guy. Chip on his shoulder, which our team is big on that right now. So, just being that guy. Being confident. Just having the swagger, not as much swagger as me, but we’re working on that.

White also spoke highly of the Buccaneers’ chances at large in the NFC South.

“We got big-time playmakers. We got Pro Bowlers, All-Pros, I mean you know them. I can name them. Mike (Evans), Chris (Godwin), Lavonte (David), Vita (Vea), I mean I can keep going — Tristan (Wirfs) — just guys like that. Good vets, even that haven’t made a Pro Bowl or things like that. Jamel (Dean), Carlton (Davis) … I think we’re good. Like you said, it’s wide open. We got a great shot.”