Greg Schiano told us on Monday that he's not sure what's ailing LeGarrette Blount.
A mystery of sorts has developed.
Blount was inserted into the Bucs-Panthers game last Sunday in the second quarter. He didn't do anything that would wake anyone up. He made a couple of carries for eight yards, caught a swing pass for a couple of yards. He missed a block, and his guy ended up deflecting a Josh Freeman pass—then something happened on his third carry of the game.
Blount went into the line, took a hit and went down. He got up and started staggering. It looked like something squarely out of the WWE. He then hit the turf, looking like "Nature Boy" Ric Flair taking one of his patented ring dives.
Later on the sideline, Blount seemed fine. Schiano admitted (via the Tampa Bay Times ) that Blount "could have gone back in the game."
But he didn't. At one point earlier in the game, after he made his half-hearted block attempt, Schiano was lecturing him on the sideline immediately afterward.
OK, so what is all this adding up to?
Might it be, perhaps, that Blount is having a problem with "accountability"?
Might it be, perhaps, and we pose this as a question, might it be that Blount is suffering from a case of pure jealousy?
Consider these facts, and you connect the dots.
Blount is earning a paltry $540,000 this year.
The man who beat him out as the starter, Doug Martin, banked a check for $3,376,000 when he signed, and that's just part of his $6.788 million package. We know what Martin's getting, so you know Blount knows what Martin's getting.
If Blount hopes to land a big contract after the 2013 season (he's a restricted free agent next year), he needs film. He needs some of those big plays more often, you remember, some of the ones he made in 2011.
But if Sunday was any indication, Blount won't be getting that many carries the way Martin's running.
Next, you might recall how unhappy Blount was at the prospect of the Bucs drafting Trent Richardson out of Alabama. "I would not like that pick. I would definitely not be happy with that pick," Blount said on the record to CBSSports.com.
Then we were told, via Tampa Bay Times Buc beat writer Rick Stroud, that Blount was habitually late for practices in 2011 under Raheem "It's a County Club" Morris and was fined in excess of $15,000.
Stroud's words, not ours.
Next, BucsNation.com described Blount as a back who was one-dimensional and was slow to learn the playbook.
Their words, not ours.
Earlier this week, on the new 98.7 The Fan, Tampa's first FM sports talk show, Justin Pawlowski, who co-hosts with Tampa Bay Times columnist Gary Shelton, observed that he saw the Buccaneer running backs huddled up with their coach, Earnest Byner—all of them except Blount, who Pawlowski said "was standing off by himself."
Pawlowski's words, not ours.
So take all of this, shake it up, lump it together and what have you got?
First, it sounds every bit like Blount hasn't had a big dose of "accountability," and that's one thing Schiano is pumping into the Buccaneer locker room.
Second, Blount's thoughts on Richardson are clear evidence that he may be a selfish player.
And now we have this latest mystery, the "ailment."
Now it's our turn; here's what we believe.
It may be that Schiano is not overly happy with Blount, and the reason may be that this coaching staff perceives that Blount should be better than he is. He should play better than he has thus far and that he's not getting the most out of his talent.
Watch Martin, then watch Blount.
Could it be that Blount is simply jealous? Pretend you're Blount, and watch Doug Martin play. Pretend you're Blount, and you know what you're making, and you know what Martin's making.
Would you be jealous?
Maybe just a little?
Gerald McCoy gets major love from Booger McFarland: OneBucSite.com.