The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have added their first former Bruce Arians player. Andre Ellington, former running back of the Arizona Cardinals, is now a Buc.
The former sixth-round pick was chosen in Arians first season as head coach. In his tenure with Arizona, he recorded 1750 rushing yards, 10 rushing touchdowns, on 4.2 yards per carry. He never got number one running back carries but in 2014 he received 201 carries. As the Cardinals never really got the ground game going that year, Ellington averaged 3.3 yards per carry with only three touchdowns. After that season, Ellington never received more than 45 carries, due to David Johnson emerging as a top tier back. In 2015 he did make the most of his limited touches, averaging a career-high 6.4 yards per carry.
Andre Ellington isn’t just a runner, his best trait is his pass catching ability out of the backfield. During his Cardinal tenure with Bruce Arians, Ellington caught 151 passes for 1296 and three touchdowns. In his first two seasons, his most used seasons, he had 85 catches, 766 yards, and all three of his receiving touchdowns. That’s with him missing six games as well.
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He has missed nine games due to injury in his career and was waived by Arians mid-season. He was picked up by the Texans and while active barely played in Houston. Ellington would go completely unsigned for the entire 2018 season. There is some concern with injury and rust but he’s not expected to play a huge role in Tampa.
As a Buccaneers fan, no one should be thrilled or upset with this pickup. He’s basically going to play the Jacquizz Rodgers role. He’s a better Rodgers too, averaging 170 more total yards per season. Again expectations for this 30-year-old running back should be low but there should be decent production there.
This appears to be the first of many moves coming this off-season. How many other former Cardinals will Bruce Arians bring in? Will there be more moves before the combine? It’s going to be an interesting off-season with a completely new system.