Ball Carrier Depth Isn’t Celebrated

July 11th, 2013

Yes, Joe’s on record scratching his head that the Bucs sent LeGarrette Blount to the Patriots for the NFL equivalent of a half-dozen day old bagels.

Blount represented great depth, a backup running back who legitimately could carry the load of 20+ carries a game in the event of injury to Doug Martin. What Blount could accomplish in that situation behind the Bucs’ manbeast offensive line was potentially mind-blowing.

But the Bucs waved goodbye. And per new rankings on NFL.com, the Bucs don’t have one of the NFL’s top-12 deepest backfields. The rushing depth of their NFC South counterparts, however, made the cut.

Much like at defensive end, the Bucs passed on veteran running back depth in favor of youth – another decision to scrutinize this season. Mike James and Michael Smith have zero NFL handoffs under their belt. However, Joe believes versatile Brian Leonard is an upgrade over D.J. Ware and could be an underrated rusher.

47 Responses to “Ball Carrier Depth Isn’t Celebrated”

  1. Kalind Says:

    Losing Blount was crazy. Period. Worst Dominik move to date. But I’m hopeful that Smith can make something of his opportunity. …damn, I really liked Blount too.

  2. Michael Duggan Says:

    When he starts fumbling in N.E we will all remember why he was let go.

  3. flmike Says:

    Meanwhile…the Panthers leading rusher is Scam Newton and the Saints running game consists of throwing to Sproles in the flat…The Bucs have the best RB in the div and in reality probably have the best depth, I wouldn’t take Thomas or Ingram or either Panther’s RB over what we have on the roster right now. Notice I don’t even mention over the hill Jackson and the non-existent Falcons running game.

  4. colb Says:

    The last coaching regime was hesitant to use Blount and so was this one. There is more to Blount’s struggles than we, as fans, see.

    I’m not saying he won’t be missed, but with our offensive line and the fact that late-round rookie runningbacks make a mark in this league all the time, I’m not worried one bit.

  5. BucsfaninChina Says:

    I didnt see Blount do one thing last year that would make me want to keep him on my team. Despite his talent running the ball he is still one dimensional and was most likely pinned early on as not a Buccaneer Man.

    That being said, he is more valuable than a six rounder wasted on a trade up for James and “rights” to Demps. Bad negotiations on Dom.

  6. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    We got him for a bag of donuts and we got rid of him for a bag of donuts and coffee. Let’s see how camp plays out. Mike James and Brian Leonard may easily replace Blount, especially behind this road grade offensive line.

  7. DC Says:

    Strictly from college tape, I see Mike James as a better back than Blount. Similar skill set as Dougie. He will be the #2 back going into week 1

  8. robert Says:

    ^^^^

    Blount was a beast in open field, but had more negatives than positives. couldn’t block, couldn’t get those 2 yards when needed and could not get off the snap fast enough.

    next man up.

  9. Couch Fan Says:

    Blount was serviceable running back.

    I had a random thought when reading this article… It would of been really nice to see the backfield of a Martin and Caddi (without the 2 injured knees). That could of been special.

    Hell I could see the fight for the trademark Muscle hampster riding in a caddilac

  10. PRBucFan Says:

    I don’t even remotely agree with this hahaha

    But who can blame them.. after all Mike James is only a rookie.

    As an avid Hurricane fan I know how great of a pick Mike James was not only in talent but also in character. Mike James is going to provide a great 1-2 punch with Dougie and y’all can put me down on record for saying that too.

    Add in Brian Leonard and I think our backfield is VERY deep.
    Just watch and see :)

    BTW Blount was just terrible at the short down and distance which was the only thing we really needed him for here. He’ll do well in NE but his time was up here.

  11. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I loved Blount but I won’t sit here and say it was a bad move.

    We don’t really know what our depth will be like yet, since most of it still has to prove itself. Our RB depth is an unknown. If Martin get’s injured fans will panic and blame Mark Dominick…but it’s not impossible that a backup could turn out to be very good.

    The point is, we don’t know yet. This is just one of those things we’ll go into the season with before knowing what we have. What’s done is done.

    I will say this…the combination of Dominick and Schiano seems to have a very good eye for talent. Although I didn’t care myself for this year’s draft (except Banks) I am now in the trust and wait phase.

  12. Stu Laake Says:

    Dude couldn’t pass protect…one trick ponies don’t last long in the NFL

  13. Couch Fan Says:

    If Jeff Demps gets his head out of his @ss and decides to play some football this might of been a great trade. Im a big Gators fan and Demps has all kinds of talent

  14. mpmalloy Says:

    Joe,
    It’s been nearly 48 hours since the last Freeman post.
    You gotta fix me up, I’m jones-ing.

  15. BrianDorry55 Says:

    Martin is a luxury. If James had to step in Day 1 behind this healthy line, he could probably run for 1000 yards. I’m not worried.

  16. BrianDorry55 Says:

    flmike is about to learn that Steven Jackson isn’t over the hill.

  17. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    I really hope hope Joe does a piece on NFLosophy. The guy has dropped some VERY interesting knowledge recently and he may very well be the best source available for candid, real Bucs information, pre 2012. Especially on everybody’s favorite punching bag, Freeman.

  18. Buc1987 Says:

    It’s obvious to me that Schiano likes speed in the backfield. It seems that when and if the Bucs have a lead late in the game, he’s gonna bring in Demps. Using his 4.24 in the 40 speed when the opposing D is already tired out. That’s the way I see it. Does anyone know when Demps will be available to the Bucs?

  19. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    ^^Just one hope please. Not hope hope, just hope.

  20. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    Whoops, was correcting my post. Not trying to point at Buc1987′s comment, lol.

  21. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    @Buc1987

    I really don’t believe Demps will ever wear a Buc’s uniform. I may be wrong but to me it seems like the guy just has no interest in football.

  22. BucsfaninChina Says:

    The guy wants to win a gold medal more than make millions…. cant knock a guy for having different goals

  23. Capt. Tim Says:

    Losing Blount is still perplexing. You have to have some faith in management,that there was a good reason. It just from what we’ve seen- it doesn’t make sense.

    My bigger concern is that we are trying to build a great running team- in a passing league. I never thought I’d say this, in Today’s NFL- it is hard to win being a running team! And the rules have been redesigned to encourage passing over Running!

    We may be designing a great power running team, two decades to late. Several recent teams have said publically that their intent to win by bring a Running team proved unsuccessful- and that they were refocusing on improving their passing game! Tennessee and Kansas City both come to mind.

    It’s a different ball game than what most if us grew up watching. As many posters here have mentioned- our division front runners use the running game as an after thought. Ryan and Brees dominate with the passing game.

    Time will tell

  24. flmike Says:

    If Jackson isn’t over the hill, why didn’t Fisher, who loves big bruising backs who can catch keep him? He’s got nearly 2400 carries in 8 seasons, and he’s going to take a beating behind an O-line that is designed for pass-pro not a running game.

  25. Snook Says:

    Losing a 1 dimensional RB who has happy feet at the line isnt a loss. NFL Radio listed him yesterday in RBs that could get cut in camp and end up somewhere else. Plus, he’s not a Buccaneer man anyways. Schaino says bye bye.

  26. Buc1987 Says:

    Martin is a great compliment to the play action, which is where I think Freeman thrives.

  27. Buc1987 Says:

    28 more days til pre-season.

  28. robert Says:

    I don’t think Demps will play either. unless they are telling him to lay low as wild card. and Schiano does not seem like the type to keep someone who’s in it 1/2 hearted. It’s not good for the team or morale.

  29. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    Even as a Nole, I am huge Mike James fan. Underrated pickup.

    Blount was just not complete enough. As someone said before, he could rarely pick up those two yards when you needed it. And often, those needed 2 yards are more important than his 20 yard outbursts.

  30. bucfanjeff Says:

    Blount was not drafted for a reason.
    Blount was put on the Titans practice squad for a reason.
    Blount did not get much playing time last year for a reason.
    Blount was traded to NE for a reason.
    Fisher, Blounts first NFL coach and after releasing SJax, did not trade for Blount for a reason.

    Watching the hurdle highlights was cool and all, but the Blount love can stop anytime now, he wasn’t that good. Just sayin’…

  31. BamBamBuc Says:

    Capt: and yet the Vikings get no production from the passing game and win with the run and defense. The Ravens and 49ers play in the Super Bowl with teams built on the running game and defense. We’re building a team that can run, improving our pass defense, great defending the run, and have potential to be a deep passing team as well. I just can’t see an issue with the design of this team…

  32. BamBamBuc Says:

    One dimensional, one trick pony… But it was one pretty good dimension/trick…

  33. bucrightoff Says:

    The Saints traded their best RB away in Chris Ivory. Ingram sucks and Thomas is on the decline. The Falcons have another fading RB, and the Panthers are spending a lot on RBs, but that just means they’re spending a lot. Doug Martin is head and shoulders the best RB in the division, which renders the depth argument moot.

  34. corlew Says:

    If we get Demps we will have the fastest running back in the league maybe behind Chris Johnson. Definitely worth getting rid of a back that we don’t use, and when we did it didn’t help. I liked blount but he was a downhill back that was big for nothing. Does anybody remember him getting stopped on the goal line 3 times in a row last season?

  35. Kevin Says:

    Anyone that misses Blount is HIGH!!!! Who would not take leanard over blount????? Michael Smith SHOULD have already had NFL carries but has not been given the opportunity. Pro football also has us ranked 12th in the NFC overall. Who cares what we are ranked….I can’t wait for Schiano and Freeman to lead this team to a championship game.

  36. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    bucfanjeff Says:
    “Blount was not drafted for a reason.
    Blount was put on the Titans practice squad for a reason.
    Blount did not get much playing time last year for a reason.
    Blount was traded to NE for a reason.
    Fisher, Blounts first NFL coach and after releasing SJax, did not trade for Blount for a reason.”

    This is true. But you are assuming you know the reasons.

    Well…I suppose the not drafted one is obvious.

    The titans put him on the squad because they didn’t want to lose him. He didn’t get much playing time for a reason…that we don’t know. It would be a variety of reasons.

    And those reasons probably led to the trade (which he requested from what I hear).

    If he does well this year and shows pass protection ability and third down ability, a lot of people will look foolish. I admit, it’s a big IF.

  37. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Kevin Says:
    “I can’t wait for Schiano and Freeman to lead this team to a championship game.”

    You and me both!

  38. PRBucFan Says:

    Oil Derrick Brooks Says:
    July 11th, 2013 at 12:14 pm
    Even as a Nole, I am huge Mike James fan. Underrated pickup.

    “Blount was just not complete enough. As someone said before, he could rarely pick up those two yards when you needed it. And often, those needed 2 yards are more important than his 20 yard outbursts.”

    People who haven’t kept up with MJ will be in for a nice treat :)
    And exactly, MJ excels at the short yardage situation. He’s a mauler with hands that can pluck that football right out of the air if need be.

  39. PRBucFan Says:

    Oil Derrick Brooks Says:
    Even as a Nole, I am huge Mike James fan. Underrated pickup.
    “Blount was just not complete enough. As someone said before, he could rarely pick up those two yards when you needed it. And often, those needed 2 yards are more important than his 20 yard outbursts.”

    People who haven’t kept up with James will be in for a nice treat.
    And exactly, James excels at the short yardage situation. He’s a mauler with hands that can pluck that football right out of the air if need be.

  40. bucfanjeff Says:

    @BuccaneerBonzai, I’m not assuming to know the reasons. The fact is, nobody wanted him for a 7th round pick except NE…not even his old coach. We only got a trade because of the Schiano-Bellecik relationship – most likely.
    Also, you don’t put people on your practice squad to not lose them. Practice squad players are available to be plucked by other teams and they ALL watch those transactions.
    If he was highly valued, there would have been more teams wanting him…there wasn’t. He just wasn’t very good unless the hole was already there for him. Game tape doesn’t lie.

  41. J 2.0 Says:

    Does anyone actually believe that Blount is going to take any carries away from Stevan Ridley or Shane Vereen. Tim Tebow will have more carries than Blount in New England this year.

    Blount was decent in 2010. We all remember the game against Arizona and a few leaps he made to miss tackles, but he couldn’t block, catch, or consistently hold on to the football. He was not Sciano’s definition of a Buccaneer Man. Why is anyone crying over the Blount trade.

    I will take Martin, Leonard, James, and Smith over any other tandem in the NFC South. Martin is a top 5 back in the league. He might end up being a top 3 this year.

    And for the record Steven Jackson is over the hill. The Falconers got rid of Michael Turner and replaced him with MICHAEL TURNER!!! Go Bucs!!!

  42. Capt. Tim Says:

    Um, Leonard hasn’t scored TDs. Smith and James? They havent shown that they can even play at the NFL level.

    Blount dominated. Flat running people over! 1000 yards in 11 games.

    It remains perplexing. If Martin gets hurt, we have no proven commodity to run the ball. Just a tweener fullback/halfback, and two ” hopefuls”

    We had a proven thousand yard runner- he could wear a defense down!!!!
    Martin is a talented lil guy. They have very short careers, as a rule.

  43. Curmudgeon Says:

    Blount showed N.O.T.H.I.N.G. in his opportunities last year.

  44. scubog Says:

    As I recall, Blount never made it to the Titans Practice Squad when Dominik grabbed him off waivers. I really liked watching Blount and his leaps and I believe his perceived shortcomings could have been improved upon as they were with Cadillac. What probably cooked his goose here, as it did with Talib and Winslow, had more to do with “other” issues. Gee, notice where they all landed along with Aaron Hernandez. No wonder wearing a hoody is in vogue up there.

  45. Capt. Tim Says:

    What f*%* ing opurtunities? 1 carry a game?
    Riiiight

  46. PRBucFan Says:

    We’ll be just fine without Blount ;)

  47. Buc1987 Says:

    yah I agree that was a bad move getting rid of blount. I guess it’s like everything else this season. It’s wait and see.

 
 

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