Coach Schiano's stated intention is to pound the rock, using a power rushing game.
If Coach Schiano gets to run a power rushing game, the Bucs will be looking at 30 or more rushing plays per game. No running back can sustain that pace in today's NFL.
Obviously, to pound the rock with a power rushing attack, Martin and Blount are going to share carries.
The game-to-game split will be determined by the defensive scheme the Bucs face on any given week, the players in that scheme and the specific game situation at any given point in the contest.
We can expect to see Martin early in any contest. Using Martin’s diverse skill sets early will give Josh Freeman and Mike Sullivan the widest possible array of play options.
However, if reports of the pass catching acumen Blount has displayed in camp are accurate and his pass blocking has improved, then that creates options for Schiano and Sullivan. So, we may see Blount early in games.
Blount’s unique skill—running downhill with overwhelming power—will help wear down teams lacking defensive line depth, if he’s used early.
If the Bucs are ahead late in a game or well into the third quarter, expect to see Blount off tackle over and over. The objective will be to use his downhill running skills to wear down the defense while maintaining control of the ball.
Whether Blount or Martin is one or two on the depth chart will amount to which name Coach Schiano fills in on which line. For all the difference it will make come game day, you could fill them in alphabetically.
Also expect to see Mossis Madu and Michael Smith getting a few reps per game in specific situations where Schiano and Sullivan can leverage their unique skills to best advantage.
It's time to recognize that the Bucs are going to use a running back by committee scheme in 2012.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!