LeGarrette Blount Shows Up Determined to Be Every-Down Back for Bucs
Nothing like your team drafting your possible replacement in the first round to motivate a guy.
While the Bucs didn't land Richardson, they did end up taking Boise State running back Doug Martin late in the first round.
According to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Blount still sees himself as the No. 1 back in Tampa and has reported to the first day of the Bucs' organized team activities nearly 10 pounds lighter and determined to improve his play in the passing game to become a true every-down back.
Who will be the Week 1 starting running back for the Bucs?
Martin is a real talent and will undoubtedly push Blount in this regard, but a motivated Blount who is dedicated to staying on the field could be a real weapon for a Bucs offense that severely underperformed last year. The addition of wide receiver Vincent Jackson to pair with holdover Mike Williams could very well help open up the Bucs' running game, regardless of who is getting the football.
To that point, new head coach Greg Schiano indicated that training camp and preseason games would determine the workloads of his various running backs, but as for naming a starter, he wasn't ready to head down that road.
It's way to early for that. We have to see who performs. As we talked about earlier, you earn your touches. So depending on how you practice and how you play in the preseason, that will determine how many touches you get by percentage, whether its ball-carriers or pass catches or whatever. Pass catchers sometimes the defense can dictate a little more. But ball-carriers? We make that decision.
It's obviously a good problem for any offense to have, trying to get talented players on the field. The bet here is that we'll see a combination of Blount and Martin all season long. Blount is an incredible deal this year, as he will be playing out the final year of his contract for just $540,000 and is set to be a restricted free agent in 2013.
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