Running Backs Could Use A Veteran, TooMay 20th, 2012
Joe’s written about how the previous Bucs regime captained by rockstar general manager Mark Dominik and Raheem Morris liked to talk about how the team had enough veteran leadership in place because ex-players like Keith Millard, Eric Yarber and Alex Van Pelt were position coaches.
Joe never really bought that theory (a coach is not a teammate and never will be), and leadership seemed to be a key issue in the historic collapse of 2011, which led to the heinous 10-game losing streak the Bucs are riding.
So Joe is encouraged by the words of Dominik regarding the effect of Vincent Jackson, as quoted in the Tampa Bay Times today.
“It’s not just (making) big plays in practice,” general manager Mark Dominik said. “It’s his leadership and the style he practices and the way he really helps the younger players and continues to show the ropes and do everything the right way. Vincent Jackson has been a consummate professional from the first day we signed him.”
A “show-the-ropes” veteran for a young corps, what a beautiful thing.
Sure, high-energy new wide receivers coach P.J. Fleck was a 49ers’ receiver for a couple of seasons, but he can’t replicate the impact of an accomplished guy like Jackson sharing knowledge and setting an example for the Bucs’ young receivers. Goodness, ask Mike Williams about how much blocking icon Michael Clayton meant to him in 2010. Clayton was around busting his butt and mentoring all through the 2010 offseason, training camp and preseason.
So on that note, Joe wants to call on Dominik to give his young running backs a “show-the-ropes” veteran, too.
Joe thinks LeGarrette Blount, Michael Smith, Moissis Madu and Doug Martin would seriously benefit from it through the offseason and training camp. And keeping said veteran on the roster wouldn’t hurt either, especially for a team that wants to run the ball like the 1972 Dolphins.
Yeah, you can’t develop a young player with an old veteran taking his spot on the roster, but you also can’t duplicate the impact of a Ryan Grant-type or any accomplished veteran with a good work ethic.
Earlier this week, Pat Kirwan, of CBS Sports and NFL Radio, called Grant a steal of a free-agent value. Joe can’t see any harm in the Bucs bringing him in. They can always cut him.