Trading Blount Would Be FoolishSeptember 1st, 2012
Greg Schiano wants to “run the football.” He’s said it a hundred different ways.
His Bucs came out in their first possession of the preseason and ran four times on 4th-and-goal in Miami. Touchdown!
Months ago, Joe joined an off-the-record luncheon with Schiano and various media types. Joe asked Schiano only one question. Essentially, the question was, “what the heck does this ‘run the football’ really mean because we’ve heard that before about how the Bucs want to run the football?”
While Joe can’t reveal Schiano’s answer, Joe feels comfortable saying Schiano really embraces everything that a fan of the ground game could want “run the football” to mean.
So it is with horror that Joe reads Stephen Holder’s speculation tonight that the Bucs’ acquisition of former Giants backup running back D.J. Ware means LeGarrette Blount could be on the trading block.
We can’t assume anything, but you should be careful not to rule anything out, either. That includes the possibility that the Bucs have other plans for Blount, who already has seen his role diminished by the addition of new starter Martin.
Blount could have some trade value, so the possibility can’t be dismissed. Smith’s impressive training camp and preseason doesn’t help Blount, either. He’s capable of playing in all situations and is a real asset on special teams.
To be clear, the Bucs might be content to keep all four running backs on their active roster, even though it’s likely just three of the four would dress on game days. But if that’s not something Tampa Bay is willing to do, then don’t be surprised if there’s a change of some kind in the works.
First off, outside of all the confusing hedges in Holder’s claim, to say Michael Smith is “capable of playing in all situations” is really a stretch. Joe likes Smith’s speed as much as the next guy, but he’s not been running behind the first-team offensive line and he only caught four balls in the preseason for 29 yards. He’s a seventh-round pick with potential, not a 1,000-yard, bruising running back with elite ability.
But forgetting about Smith, it would make absolutely no sense and not jibe with the New Schiano Order to trade Blount. To deliver the offense the Bucs claim to covet, they need Blount in 2012. They’re not going to find a replacement of the same caliber at this late hour to help them pound the snot out of Carolina on opening day.
Last year, Joe and every other Bucs fan was — or should have been — horrified by the mis-use of Blount and the blame cast upon him. Joe’s hammered Greg Olson for not figuring out how to use Blount and floating the foolishness that Blount wasn’t capable of versatility.
But the only crime worse than that would be to give up on Blount completely. Joe can’t imagine the New Schiano Order would be so foolish.