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Buccaneers RB Rachaad White wants to 'make people fear me, make people respect me' in 2024

Tampa Bay running back Rachaad White came on strong down the stretch last season, giving the Buccaneers offense juice on the ground, which it lacked early in the campaign.

Entering Year 3 after putting up a career-high 990 yards on 272 carries with six touchdowns last season, White believes he's just scratching the surface.

"If you are a guy in this league, you want to be a guy that is scouted for and respected," White said via the team's official website. "I have seen that, and people just leaving me out. I saw that and wanted to make the most and make people fear me, make people respect me and to say when I come in the game, 'It is not just 13 [Mike Evans], 14 [Chris Godwin]. [No. 1] you have to worry about, too.'"

The Tampa run game got off to a slow start to the season, which prompted quarterback Baker Mayfield to note that they weren't a run-first team. In the latter half of the season, White got things on track. In the Bucs' final seven games, White averaged 4.05 yards per carry, going for 531 yards and two TDs on 131 carries. In Tampa's two postseason games, he averaged 4.7 YPC on 27 totes.

White admitted on Monday that he needs to be more efficient in order to make a leap in 2024.

"Right now, I'm not where I want to be in my career yards per carry-wise and things like that -- just being an efficient running back. I think, for me, that's [what] the biggest next step is, 'OK, he's efficient,'" he said. "The efficient running backs over the [course] of time -- like I said, I study the game a lot -- they average at least 4.0-4.1 [yards per carry] and above. Guys like Walter Payton. It's tough, it's hard. Everybody has had seasons where they average 3.0-something yards per carry due to whatever circumstances. The biggest thing for me is just studying the game, just understanding it and being efficient this year."

Coming from the Sean McVay scheme, new offensive coordinator Liam Coen could help White reach new heights in the search for efficiency. More interesting when it comes to the running back's usage is how much more damage White can do in the passing attack. In two years, he wasn't prolific as a pass catcher, but he believes there's room to grow in Coen's offense.

"Obviously, I do want to be out in space a lot. I feel like I thrive well out in space," he said. "Liam showed clips of that, too. Over time… (Liam) wasn't there, but like Todd Gurley and guys in the West Coast offense, (Darrell) Henderson -- we've seen guys catching touchdowns out wide in empty (sets) matched up against a linebacker. Of course that's huge, as well as just learning, so yeah, I'm excited for that. I'll be prepared for that and I'm pretty sure it will happen."

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