Martin Projected as Buccaneers Starting RB, but 'Likely to Share' with Blount
When Scott Reynolds of the Pewter Report, a definitive source for all things Tampa Bay Buccaneers, reported that LeGarrette Blount was getting the majority of the first-team reps at running back in last week's minicamp, it was fair to wonder whether we had gotten ahead of ourselves penciling Martin in as the starter.
Reynolds also "shattered myths" about Blount's deficiencies in ball security, pass-blocking and pass-catching. It seemed fair to project a full-blown position battle. Giving Blount "incumbent" status despite the installation of a new regime wasn't out of the question.
Today, Tampa Bay Times beat writer Stephen Holder gave more credence to the post-draft belief that Martin was drafted to be a day one starter by listing him with the projected starting lineup going into training camp.
Holder believes that Martin's broader skill set is the main reason to put him with the ones, due to head coach Greg Schiano "consistently" saying that that is what he is looking for.
This isn't an unqualified statement by Holder. He tells us not to "obsess" about the running back position, because Blount will have a role, potentially a "rather big one."
Holder even leaves open the possibility of Blount starting by winding up his running back analysis with this statement:
Whichever back actually starts is going to have to share touches.
We know that Greg Schiano loves to run the ball, and he has two running backs who want as many touches as they can get. While they aren't as easily distinguished in style and strengths as Peyton Hillis and Jamaal Charles in Kansas City, the split in touches between Martin and Blount on a game-by-game basis in Tampa Bay is more likely to resemble the Chiefs' backfield than any other in the league.
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