Cummings reports today that Michael Pittman has been working on securing the ball in practices this offseason. Running backs coach Art Valero blames the fumbles on Pittman's straying from the basic five points technique taught to all running backs.
"When you're in high school you're taught to carry the ball by emphasizing five points of leverage - your fingers, your palm, your biceps, your armpit and your chest,'' Valero said. "For whatever reason, Michael wasn't doing that. He'd sort of lost it, and it wasn't only that. When he was cutting and changing direction, he wasn't taking the ball with him. He was kind of leaving it out away from his body like a rudder."

Pittman holding the ball away from his body
Essentially, what was happening was Pittman would remove one of the points of contact, his chest, when he was running. The three most important points of contact are the body, the arm and the hand. If you remove one of those three, which is what Pittman did last year, you make it significantly easier to have the ball stripped. Of course, this is a problem which should have been corrected last year.

Pittman had six fumbles last year, in the previous four years he has had 17 fumbles, which amounts to 4.25 fumbles a year. The fumbles seemed worse this year because the Bucs played in so many close games that they ended up losing.

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