RB Brian Leonard, Free agent
HT: 6-1, WT: 240, Born: 2-3-1984, College: Rutgers, Drafted: Round 2
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2013 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Leonard remains the main back-up to Doug Martin, but he didn't see much work in this one. It's apparent the Bucs want to get Martin all the work he can handle. Leonard did have the ball checked down to him for a one-yard gain.
Week 2 - Leonard didn't see much work in this one. The Bucs again gave Martin most of the carries. He did have one carry that was absolutely stuffed at the line of scrimmage for no gain. It's apparent Martin is the feature back and his workload will not be threatened by Leonard.
Week 8 - Leonard did not get involved much in the run game, only seeing one carry, but he was a big safety net for Glennon throughout the entire game. Leonard saw seven targets, mostly as the check down receiver. He displayed shiftiness for a big back. On a swing pass to the flat, he made two defenders miss with consecutive spin moves for an eight yard gain. Glennon basically ran two routes all night. A swing route out of the backfield or a 5-yard curl up through the line of scrimmage. On two of the curl routes, Leonard was virtually unchecked. He took each pass for basically ten yards after turning around and having open field in front of him. It's evident the Bucs trust Leonard's hands and pass blocking ability. Therefore, he plays a lot of passing down snaps. With Glennon's propensity to check the ball down, Leonard has become a significant part of the Bucs' passing attack, seeing the third most targets on the team.
Week 9 - Leonard has become a favorite safety option of Mike Glennon. Leonard caught big first down passes during the game of 19 and 13 yard gains. The Bucs ran an option route with Leonard often during the game in which he had the option to leak out of the backfield into the flat or run an angle route back across the formation based on what the defense was showing. Leonard also produced on the ground. He ripped off a nice 8 yard gain on a trap play in which the guard kicks out the end and leaves a big alley for Leonard to rumble. Leonard accounted for almost 70 of the Buccaneers' total yards. The Bucs like to play him on 3rd down because of pass protection. He did an excellent job of picking up blitzers all day. The ability to catch passes out of the back field is an added bonus that they have been taking advantage.
Week 10 - Tampa Bay' offensive line did a great job of opening holes for James and Leonard on Monday night. The Dolphins run defense ranks among the worst in the NFL and it showed. Donald Penn and Davin Joseph had their way with the Dolphins defensive line. Leonard's number was called more often than usual due to the injury of Mike James, but he filled in admirably. His first carry of the night came on a counter in which the play started right and came back left with Leonard being led by a pulling guard. He darted for 14 yards before lowering his shoulders and delivering a punishing hit the the defender attempting to make the tackle. Despite losing their starting running back for the night, Tampa continued attempted to remain balanced on offense. This resulted in Leonard continuing to carry the rock. Leonard wasn't as much of a force in the passing game, only hauling in two passes. In previous weeks, he saw more targets and less carries. Down four in the fourth quarter, the Bucs STILL didn't move away from the run. Calling four straight runs for Leonard at one point with a good deal of success. Surprisingly, on a go ahead touchdown drive in the 4th and the drive to kill the clock at the end of the game, Bobby Rainey saw more action than Leonard. They brought him in on a crucial 3rd and 1 with three minutes to go, but they called a roll out left for Glennon instead of trying Leonard up the guy, which worked well throughout the game. On the games final drive, Leonard managed a few yards to bleed the clock for the win. Overall, Leonard ripped off a few nice runs, but he had the type of night Bucs' runners have become known for this year. He racked up the carries, but not the yards. He showed toughness, plodding ahead and fighting for extra yardage, but the run game wasn't very effective after James' exit.
Week 11 - Leonard took a back seat to Bobby Rainey against the Falcons on Sunday. The Bucs listed Leonard as the starter and he did carry the ball on the first drive of the game for 6 yards on 2 carries, but once Rainey entered the game, he never gave the job back. Leonard showed his lack of speed to the outside on a pitch play that looked promising from the start, but he was unable to turn the corner fast enough. The Falcons' defense strung the play out to the sideline for a loss of 1. This was the turning point of the day for Leonard and Rainey. After that play, Leonard was reduced to a check down target on passing downs for Glennon. He made a great play at the end of the half to catch a swing pass gain 9 yards and get out of bounds to stop the clock and attempt a field goal. Leonard look decent in the first half, but he failed to record a touch in the second half. This had more to do with Rainey playing exceptionally well than it did with Leonard playing poorly. He was used in the second half as a pass blocker on obvious passing downs, but he didn't factor in to the offense much at all after halftime.
Week 12 - The Buccaneers have made it clear the past two weeks that Rainey will be the featured back in their offense during the absence of Doug Martin and Mike James. Leonard only received three total touches in the game against the Lions. He was not only field on many 1st or 2nd downs. He played primarily on third down, but was only targeted twice. He caught one of the two targets for a few yards. Leonard ran a swing route. Glennon eventually checked it down to him as he stood stationary on the sideline with no one covering. Leonard also had one carry for three yards. Leonard looks to be mainly a passing downs back for the Bucs, but he didn't see much action in this one.
Week 13 - The Buccaneers have made it clear the past three weeks that Rainey will be the featured back in their offense during the absence of Doug Martin and Mike James. Leonard was a non-factor against the Panthers, only seeing two targets on passing downs out of the back field. In fact, he isn't even seeing as many snaps as he usually does. Rainey is playing more on passing downs than before. Rainey even finished the game with more targets than Leonard. They believe in Bobby Rainey's ability as a runner and it seems they are starting to trust him in pass protection as well.
Week 14 - Brian Leonard saw a healthy amount of touches in Week 14. He broke an impressive 12 yard run from a single back set late in the second quarter. The right tackle kicked out the end and Leonard hit the hole hard getting to the second level very quick. He was mainly used to spell Bobby Rainey while the Bucs tried to bleed the clock the entire second half. The Bills rush defense tightened up after Rainey's 80 yard touchdown, so there wasn't much room for Leonard to work with, but he did a solid job averaging almost 4 yards a carry. Leonard is also a very good pass protector. He didn't see any targets, but that was because he stayed in to help keep Glennon up right. His working knowledge of the offense is evident in that he always seems to slide to the correct side and pick up blitzers. While he didn't have a great game statistically, he was an important part of the Bucs' offense, spelling Rainey and helping in pass protection.
Week 17 - Leonard wasn't a big part of the Bucs game plan for the last half of the season, but he did have a spectacular run against the Saints that showcased what he can do. He busted off a 24 yard run right up the middle of the formation. As he got to the second level he hurdled a Saints defender to gain an extra eight yards or so.