Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

31 Aug 2010

Buccaneers Cut Derrick Ward

Derrick Ward signed with Tampa Bay during the 2009 offseason in the hopes that he'd become the featured back for the Buccaneers. Instead, Ward was cut today by the Bucs after 114 ineffective carries.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 31 Aug 2010

18 comments, Last at 01 Sep 2010, 3:20pm by Bjorn Nittmo

Comments

1
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 08/31/2010 - 3:05pm

Hmmm . . . I can't decide whether giggling, cackling, or howling with joyful laughter is the appropriate response.

Please cut Michael Clayton next. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease.

2
by DA Baracus (not verified) :: Tue, 08/31/2010 - 3:07pm

Something's wrong. The Bucs are suddenly making a string of good decisions.

3
by matthewglidden :: Tue, 08/31/2010 - 3:17pm

Wow, amazing. I remember PRAYING the Seahawks would sign Ward after his NYG performance...

4
by Tim Wilson :: Tue, 08/31/2010 - 3:32pm

STL should sign him. Their RB depth is really bad.

8
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 08/31/2010 - 5:29pm

If they sign Ward, their depth will be even worse.

13
by Spielman :: Wed, 09/01/2010 - 9:17am

No, not worse. In preseason, Darby's averaging 2.9, Ogbonnaya is averaging 2.0, and Toston is averaging 2.8. And they've all looked awful doing it. Ward would just fit right in.

15
by Dean :: Wed, 09/01/2010 - 10:37am

Normally, I'm a fan of letting the young guys play rather than wasting money on a veteran who's just going to ride pine. In this case, though, there's nothing to suggest that the young guys can actually play. Which is not to suggest that there's anything suggesting that Ward can play, either.

16
by dmb :: Wed, 09/01/2010 - 1:14pm

Dean, your suggestive comment is making me a little uncomfortable.

5
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Tue, 08/31/2010 - 3:43pm

I'm stunned too. I was a believer after those 5.6 ypa. So the '09 TB OL is not as good as '08 NYG OL.. Who knew?

6
by kamchatka (not verified) :: Tue, 08/31/2010 - 3:56pm

Incidentally, did you watch Derrick Ward play at all last year? It was like watching a moth face off against a ceiling fan. And I don't think it had a whole lot to do with the OL - though they had some injuries last year, they're not bad. Ward, on the other hand, couldn't find a seam in a jeans factory. Looked a lot like late-era Shaun Alexander, and believe me, I was sad to see it.

7
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 08/31/2010 - 4:56pm

Alexander declined somewhat steadily over a couple years, inasmuch as I remember. Ward went from being pretty good one year to being terrible the next. What could cause this sort of thing?

"Just look at that pumpkin."
-John Madden, looking at the moon.

9
by tuluse :: Tue, 08/31/2010 - 5:29pm

I believe you are remembering incorrectly. Alexander went from 1880 yards at 5.1 a pop to 896 yards at 3.6 per carry in one year.

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/A/AlexSh00.htm

11
by Noah of Arkadia :: Tue, 08/31/2010 - 9:52pm

A switch from a team with a good OL to one with a bad one would cause a drop in production, but it wouldn't cause a player to lose his job unless he was pretty terrible.

It sounds like the guy lost his motivation.

12
by kamchatka (not verified) :: Wed, 09/01/2010 - 2:32am

Whatever it was, the Giants must have seen it, too - they did cut him loose, after all.

14
by fek9wnr (not verified) :: Wed, 09/01/2010 - 10:35am

Well, they "cut him loose" in the sense that they weren't going to pay $4M/year for a guy who was going to be their backup RB, but his contract had expired.

17
by Mansteel (not verified) :: Wed, 09/01/2010 - 2:15pm

It should be pointed out that he wasn't utilized in an ordinary way in NY. He has a lot of runs out of the shotgun in passing situations. The Giants were really successful running that in 2008 and a lot of it was due to the line--those draws were usually well blocked.

As a Giants fan, Ward didn't seem like he was that great to me, just very effective in doing the limited set of things they asked him to. I wasn't sorry to see him go, though I certainly didn't imagine he'd be this bad with the Bucs.

18
by Bjorn Nittmo (not verified) :: Wed, 09/01/2010 - 3:20pm

Certainly a huge factor has got to be the change in offensive line, but Ward seemed like the real deal to me in '07 and '08. Don't forget his terrific receiving performance in '08, which made it at least debatable (on this site I believe) whether the Giants should keep Ward or Jacobs heading into the '09 season. (And depending on '10, the correct answer may very well have been neither one.)

10
by tuluse :: Tue, 08/31/2010 - 5:30pm

I just wanted to say that is some wonderful imagery.