A Powerful Case For LeGarrette BlountJuly 13th, 2012
Joe’s damn glad former Bucs defensive end Steve White got the itch to put his fingers on the keyboard again. The guy’s written work is nothing short of a gift to Bucs fans.
This time, White has heard enough of the LeGarrette Blount bashing and doubting and sets out to dive deep into many factors — Xs and Os included – as to why he expects serious improvement from Blount, as well as Doug Martin having a monumental task to become the Bucs’ No. 1 back.
Here’s a small snippet to his much larger story:
Second of all if Blount plays in the preseason behind this new Buccaneer offensive line bolstered by the signing of Carl Nicks he is likely to put on a show. Especially with the way the Bucs at least appear to be committing to smash mouth football and downhill runs its going to be hard to stop Blount from shining if they give him the rock. And its one thing I learned after 1999, the one year I was a starter in the NFL, and was eventually supplanted by my teammate Marcus Jones the next season. No matter how well you play in the preseason you can not control how much better than you your teammate might play.
“But Steve what if he doesn’t start and has to play with the second team Offensive Line?”
Thing is he would also be playing against the other team’s second team defense in that scenario and that could possibly give him an even better opportunity to dominate.
Thirdly, and maybe most important, Blount is going to be coached by Earnest Byner this year. Quick, no Googling allowed, who coached running backs for the Bucs last year?
I know you probably cheated anyway but it was Steve Logan, a guy who according to Wikipedia (yes I know, not the best source) last coached running backs in… 1998, before getting the Bucs running backs coaching job in 2009.
Doesn’t mean Logan was a bad coach, per se. But in Byner you have a guy that coached Clinton Portis in 2007 to 6th in the NFL in rushing yards, who coached Johnson and LenDale White to almost a combined 2000 yards rushing in 2008, who coached Johnson to his 2006 yard rushing season in 2009, who coached Jones-Drew to a combined 2,900 rushing yards over the last two seasons and the rushing title last year.
In short, I’m pretty sure he’s an upgrade over Logan.
And while he is likely to make a positive impression on Martin as well, again I haven’t actually seen what Martin can do yet on this level. With the last two seasons as a baseline I can imagine what Blount can be if he is improved this year. And those visions are scary for opposing defenses.
So for me I think if Blount improves this year the way most running backs do with a full offseason in an offense I think Martin would have to have an unreal preseason to unseat him.
Joe suggests you pull up a sandwich and click above to read White’s entire take.
Loyal readers of Joe know that Joe has firmly been in the camp that Blount was poorly used, poorly coached and has senselessly become a punching bag for fans who are quick to assume other players will have bounce-back seasons but not Blount. White takes on these issues and much more.
Regardless, Joe can’t wait to see Blount and Martin slug it out. Yeah, they’ll both be used a lot this season, but their will be one guy carrying more of the load and, perhaps, Greg Schiano might find his coveted bell cow.