Quit Playing Around: Start LeGarrette Blount

October 25th, 2010

Rams Buccaneers FootballA dead car battery had more energy than the Bucs’ rushing attack through the first 5 1/2 games this season.

When the Bucs hoisted Cadillac Williams and his sub-three yards a carry average as its answer to Adrian Peterson, any sober Bucs fans knew the running game would be in trouble.

The begging, pleading for someone, anyone to start other than Williams by Bucs fans so unnerved Bucs offensive coordinator Greg Olson that he pronounced the Bucs had no one on the roster better than Caddy.

LeGarrette Blount yesterday, finally, proved Olson’s remarks to be wrong or at least misguided.

The Bucs have a real shot at a playoff run. Strange and awkward as that sounds, it’s true. So the time has come to stop clowning around with the running game. Enough with the touchy, feeling emotions of keeping Cadillac in the game only to drag down the offense. Start Blount now, demands Tom Balog of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune!

The Buccaneers rushing statistics in their 18-17 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday tell you one thing: rookie backup LeGarrette Blount needs to be the starting running back.

Blount busted a 47-yard run that was nullified by a blocking in the back penalty against tackle Jeremy Trueblood, which had nothing to do with springing him on what would have been the best run from scrimmage the team has had from a running back this season.

Not counting fullback Earnest Graham’s 61-yard run against the Bengals in Cincinnati, of course.

Balog went on to write that no less than quarterback Josh Freeman had more yards rushing than Williams.

Look, Joe gets that Williams is a great guy. Joe loves him too. But the NFL is about results. This isn’t high school. Cadillac simply hasn’t been getting it done. That’s not a knock on the man; he’s got two man-made knees for crying out loud.

Joe also gets that Cadillac may be the Bucs best running back at picking up blitzes. But to continue to start him at running back and futilely watch him not read holes and run right into the backs of offensive lineman, the Bucs can no longer justify Williams’ blocking ability with such feeble rushing results.

That’s no different than continuing to trot out Michael Clayton as a starting wide receiver because he can block. Williams is a running back. Keyword: running.

Bring Williams in on obvious passing situations where he can pick up blitzes and catch passes out of the backfield. That’s fine, that’s great, that’s probably a smart thing to do.

But to keep Williams as a starter when his productive days are past, and keep a buy like Blount on the bench when he has proven he can produce yards, with the Bucs having a clear shot at a playoff run, well, Joe believes that’s inexcusable.

37 Responses to “Quit Playing Around: Start LeGarrette Blount”

  1. Dave Says:

    The Bucs could take a lesson from the Patriots. When they see a vet going down hill, they immediately trade him while he has value. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not.

    All I know is Caddy and Ruud should have been traded away already.

    The Patriots have the youngest team in the NFL and have TWO picks in rounds 1, 2, 3, & 4 in next years draft. All because they are not afraid to move on when a player declines.

    I was all about Caddy at the beginnning of the year, but Blount needs to start right now and with his size, he needs to get 20 carries a game.

  2. Joe Says:

    All I know is Caddy and Ruud should have been traded away already.

    Surely you are not comparing Richard Seymour and Randy Moss with Barrett Ruud and Cadillac Williams???

  3. Steve From Oregon Says:

    One word Joe, “AGREED”!

  4. Fire Greg Olson! Says:

    Olson is an idiot. At this point, I’d bet that Blount and Lumpkin are better than Carnell Williams. Although, I’ll remind Joe that Frank Gore has “two man-made knees” and that doesn’t seem to slow him down. I only mention it cause I’ve had 4 ACL reconstructions (2 on each knee).

    I can’t for the life of me see how “picking up the blitz” is the reason for starting Carnell WIlliams. Adrian Peterson can barely pick up a blitz, and even Brad Childress (arguably the worst coach in the NFL, IMO) knows enough to have Peterson in on 90% of 1st and 2nd downs and roughly 50% of the time on 3rd downs.

    We have the largest player at QB in the NFL (thanks to Jamarcus Russell). He has a knack for escaping defenders. We have one of the best safety-valves in the game in Kellen Winslow Jr. (Seriously, everyone in Cleveland who said “good riddance” to that guy and everyone in Tampa who were down on that trade should take a step back and show some appreciation for K2. That guy is amazing.)

    Carnell Williams had less of a splash than Michael Clayton did during their respective rookie years. Carnell was great for 4-5 games, Clayton did it all season his rookie year.

  5. JOSH Says:

    100 percent agree. Bucs need to make B TRAIN the starter and caddy the third down guy. I would also consider makin Lorig the starting FB. He played pretty well, then we could put Graham back at RB

  6. sensiblebuc Says:

    Let me first preface this by saying that, yes, I was wrong about how much Caddy had left in the tank. I blamed the O-line chiefly for the issues in the run game. However…

    I think this whole groundswell to get Blount in the game and the subsequent chest thumping by the media is a little bit overblown. Yes, Caddy was/is struggling. Yes, we had other options available but the coaching staff gets to see this kid every day and if they believed he wasn’t ready to receive meaningful carries until this week then he simply wasn’t ready.

    Blount got here before Week One. He and Lumpkin needed time to learn the system before getting meaningful in-game PT. When Olie said that Caddy was the best option they had available for the first 5 games of the season, he meant it. Huggy wasn’t going to be running through arm tackles our underacheiving O-line is giving up. Graham is past his prime leaving Caddy as the only guy who could conceivably do anything in the run game.

    Caddy has now served his purpose as stopgap for the first few weeks of the season and we’ll see more of a 50/50 split in playing time from this point forward but for people to come out and bash the coaching staff for failing to get Blount in sooner is a bit disingenuous.

  7. Fire Greg Olson! Says:

    Check this out, Pat Yasinkas thinks that Michael Clayton was rookie of the year: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3944914

    If Yasinkas was a contractor and displayed the same inaccuracies he displays in his current job, he’d still be serving time in prison…

  8. jvato24 Says:

    who the hell cares who is labeled the starter .. Blount had 11 carries .. Caddy had 4 .. Caddy could be a pretty good 3rd down back for us .. Cadillac will improve production with Blount playing i guarantee

  9. gitarlvr Says:

    Why can’t people admit that Rahlson screwed the pooch on this one? Legarrette Blount was straight up inactive last week. Are you telling me that he learned so much about blitz pickup and blah blah blah whatever else he needed to learn, in one week that he went from inactive to being worthy of getting the majority of the carries? Let’s all face it. If Huggins and Graham weren’t hurt there is a good chance we still may not have seen Legarrette yesterday. Blount could have and should have played last week. For whatever reason, and we may never know the truth, Rahlson didn’t seem to want Blount to be the guy. Well the cat is out of the bag now and whatever got Blount deactivated and in the doghouse can’t keep him off the field unless the coaches want a fan revolt.

  10. bucfanjeff Says:

    We can erase all the OL sucks comments now.

  11. k_bassuka Says:

    I don’t see why can’t Blount start and have Caddy as the 3rd down back or on most passing down situations. Olson is just what he is a decent QB coach at best.

  12. sensiblebuc Says:


    Why so quick to discount Blount learning pass protection being the chief reason for him not playing? Like it or not, we will be a pass-first team as long as Free is the QB. We threw the ball 40 times yesterday. If he goes down our season goes with him. Protecting him against the veteran defenses we’d seen over the first few weeks of the season was Rah’s paramount concern. He’s said as much in his press conferences.

    Blount getting more and more carries each week was by design. There’s nothing underhanded or insidious going on in the offensive meeting rooms. Blount just had to get a bit more experience in the offense for the coaching staff’s liking.

  13. Fire Greg Olson! Says:

    gitarlvr said: “Well the cat is out of the bag now and whatever got Blount deactivated and in the doghouse can’t keep him off the field unless the coaches want a fan revolt.”


    What are the fans gonna do? Not come to the game…again??

    Guitar Lover (I’m guessing that’s what you’re going for; don’t really understand using the vanity license plate style of handles, but ok), you obviously have no idea about team dynamics. Guys were burried deep in the depth charts under Gruden/Allen. Half of last year was a litmus test to figure out what kinda talent, guys like Black, Hayes, Stovall, etc. have.

    You’re blaming Raheem for not getting a practice squad player, acquired on week 1, into the mix until the 6th game of the year? Way to go overboard. You define overreaction.


    we won…don’t know if you caught that.

  14. Capt.Tim Says:

    I was wrong about this one! Joe was dead on. I know Blount needed time to learn the offense, but he has to be the starter. He looked great yesterday. Sorry caddy, but it’s gotta be like that. Really excited to see this guy against the cards, to see if he can keep it up! Wouldn’t it be great if we found our RB already! I thought we’d have to draft one in the second round next year!

  15. Capt.Tim Says:

    BucFanJeff- um, not ready to erase all my “o-line sucks” comments just yet! I can forgive the rookies for a penalty or two(nerves), but Trueblood and Joseph? Come on, man! Our O-line definately looked better blocking for Blount, but they are still making the same boneheaded mistakes that make you doubt their talent! I don’t know how many holding or false starts we had, but it was a lot. If you removed the ones by the rookies, it was still alot. So meybe not “sucks”, but still not playing up to their reputation

  16. Nick2 Says:

    Joe not sure what Raheem needs to see to make this happen. Hey I love Cadillac too but the organization certainly worry about feelings when they dumped Derrick Brooks and Lynch. Now’s the time to worry about the TEAM FIRST and Cadillacs feelings later. Blount needs to start NOW. To keep starting Cadillac is a sham and exactly like Clayton being out there for years. Raheem and Dom quit the touchy feely stuff and promote Blount NOW!!!!!!!

  17. Bucone11 Says:

    I am just not sure why Blount was not activated last week. We could of used him.

  18. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Quit the male bonding touchy feely chit Olsen and Raheem, and just put Blount in at starter already. Everyone in Tampa loves Caddy, but it is also clear to anyone w/o Tunnel Vision that the B Train is the most exciting running back Tampa has seen in years! Raheem, you said you wanted “Violent Young Men”, does it get any more violent then Blount ? This stud runs with attitude and power, and just his being on the field keeps anyone from calling Tampa “Soft”. Instead of watching game film, try sitting at Tampa Stadium with binoculars, and see the smiling faces of our O Line, as their Power Back punishes people. B Train T Shirts and Jerseys are coming, you guys will sell tickets for the Glazers, and give us Tampa Stadium faithful something to cheer about.

  19. Pete Dutcher Says:

    I agree with everything you said but this, Joe:

    Bring Williams in on obvious passing situations where he can pick up blitzes and catch passes out of the backfield. That’s fine, that’s great, that’s probably a smart thing to do.

    As it is, most of the time Caddy is in there, the Bucs are passing the ball. Caddy is getting some carries, but since he is little threat, the oponents are covering the pass more and counting on their front guys to stop him if he runs (in most cases).

    I think only putting Caddy in for obvious passing situations will make us too predictable. While I agree he should not be the starter, there has to be some way to keep defenses guessing. Perhaps 2 back sets on 3rd downs? That will make a defense have to cover both the pass and the run, and since Blount is a hard hitting legit threat, they will have to help the lines.

    I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know everything about football, but this just seems to make sense to me.

  20. gitarlvr Says:


  21. gitarlvr Says:

    FIRE GREG OLSON! – your name is FIRE GREG OLSON! and your criticizing me for criticizing the coaching staff? Is that name a joke then to lampoon negative posters? If it is then fine, but if its not I don’t understand your post. Anyways, I just feel like its obvious that Legarette is an elite back and it has been so since college. He was only cut from the Titans cuz he once again punched somebody, and it was his teammate! Obviously the Bucs don’t care if you punch a teammate or Aqib would not be here, so they took a chance that he will not be a total headcase and brought him in. Blount could have helped this team from the moment he stepped off the plane. Halfback is probably the one position where you don’t need to master the offense to come in and be highly productive. If you got the speed, power, and moves your good to go from day one. Anyone who wants to argue with me watch this video and consider his performance on Sunday and then come back and explain to me why we are just now seeing this guy get some carries.


    Dude is going to be a top ten back in the league for years to come. Mark my words. And please don’t anyone paint me as a hater. I love Raheem. I just wonder what the hell took him so long to unleash this beast.(And what in hell possessed him to install the 3-3-5 formation in the first place.)

  22. gitarlvr Says:

    Having gone back and done the research now that he is one of ours I am convinced Legarrette is the best back in this years rookie class. Teams passed on him in the draft cuz of a character issue that caused him to miss most of his senior season. Same reason teams passed on Mike Williams and we know how that has turned out so far. Titans cut him cuz he punched a teammate, not cuz he wasn’t the next best RB on their team next to Chris Johnson(cuz he was). Sorry for the Titans that they cut a guy for being too ultra competitive. I guess you can afford it when you have the league’s best back,but they will regret it the moment he gets hurt. Its not like he is getting arrested for beating up helpless cabbies like Talib. C.J. Spiller and Dexter McCluster may have more raw speed than Blount, but I think Legarrette will eventually emerge as the most complete back of this runnig back class. Ryan Matthews, Johnathan Dwyer, Gearhart and others who were drafted early aren’t going to hold a candle to Legarrette.

  23. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I don’t think there’s any doubt who (barring injury) is going to be the feature back for the rest of the year. Like Captain Tim, I have to admit I was dead wrong about Cadillac. He is done as a feature back. I watched the game twice yesterday and one thing I noticed about Cadillac is he does that stupid jump cut to get into the hole virtually every time he touches the ball. This slows him down and keeps his momentum from going forward, hence all the short gains. Blount finds the hole quicker without slowing down. Not to mention arm tackles do absolutely nothing to him. I don’t want to anoint Blount yet, but a couple more good games and I will. He definitely looked like the real deal yesterday.

  24. BamBamBuc Says:

    I will also say that I was wrong about Caddy in the sense that he just doesn’t beat the defense by himself like Blount does. They both got hit at or behind the line, but Blount found a way to push through, break tackles, carry defenders to get yards. Caddy can’t do that. I won’t remove any remarks about the O-line. I still say they’re under-achieving both in run and pass protection. If we had a statue of a QB instead of Freeman, we’d have given up as many sacks as the Bears this year.

    Blount and Caddy should share time (I don’t care who is announced as the actual “starter”). Blount getting the majority of the carries, Caddy in to give him a breather, pick up blitzes, and catch passes. Graham should get more time at RB, with Lorig becoming the full time starter at FB. Either way, I’m not thinking Caddy will be re-signed next season unless it’s a minimal salary as a 3rd down back. Good news is we have a young Blount, a young Lorig, and young WRs in Williams, Benn and Stroughter to go with our young QB.

  25. CyberDilemma Says:

    “…he’s got two man-made knees for crying out loud.”

    Umm, doesn’t pretty much everybody?

  26. BamBamBuc Says:

    I’m wondering if the “inactive” status of Blount last week had anything to do with something that happened in practice or a meeting during the week. We may not hear if a player was late for meetings or lashed out in a practice and the staff has disciplined him by making him inactive for a game. They don’t have to release that information to the public, they just declare which players are inactive. If that’s the case, I think it was a good thing. With Blount’s past aggressions, having the staff take immediate and severe disciplinary action may get this kid to understand it will not be tolerated, and that he needs to man up and do his job the way it’s supposed to be done. Seeing him play this week, he looked like he was ready to roll and fighting hard. Whatever kept him on the inactive list last week, it didn’t affect his ability to play and may prevent a future incident that would get him fines or suspensions.

  27. BamBamBuc Says:

    No, CyberDilemma…. most people have their God-given knees. Only people that had their knees surgically reconstructed have man-made knees.

  28. FIRE GREG OLSON! Says:

    gitrlvr –

    Blount wasn’t released from the Titans for punching a teammate, retard. You have a problem with altering reality to fit your little opinions.

    Tenn has Javon Ringer. You’re jumping to conclusions.

    And no my name isn’t ironic. Greg Olson is not a good O Coordinator. He in fact, came out and said that no one has performed better in practice than Carnell Williams. The Head Coach doesn’t always have final say on every starter. How do you know it’s not Olson that kept Blount on the bench too long. You’re argument is flawed from the get go. An undrafted rookie, acquired after week 1, contributing by game 6 is quick progress. You’re underestimating the learning curve.

  29. gitarlvr Says:

    Yeah dude Javon Ringer is better than Blount. In your altered reality. We will see who ends up having a more successful career- blount or ringer. Im not just spouting b.s. After going back and watching the highlights for all the major running backs of this class, no one looks better than blount, except maybe Jahvid Best. Spiller and McCluster may be faster but they don’t have the other qualities of an every down back. The knock on Blount was the whole punching incident plus the fact that coming out of college his blitz pickup was questioned. So after doing the research I will admit maybe I was wrong about how long Raheem took to get him in the game. I am willing to admit I was wrong on that. Maybe he was not relied on to be some major pass protector in Oregon’s offense. It’s the Titans loss that they weren’t willing to wait for him to learn that. OK SO MAYBE I WAS WRONG IN BASHING RAHEEM FOR TAKING SO LONG TO PUT HIM IN THE GAME.

  30. gitarlvr Says:

    And BTW FIRE GREG OLSON, the only biotch I had with the coaches was the handling of Blount and the 3-3-5 + GMC at DE crap. Whereas your “retard” ass wants Olson gone altogether because why? Because he knows how to call a great two minute offense to help Freeman pull out miracle wins? Suck it dude. Your just looking for someone to flame cuz the Bucs won last week.

  31. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Can the babies here stop arguing long enough to realize this isn’t a venue to win arguements or to bicker?

    And, BamBamBuc, dang it…I’m just going to start agreeing with you, because we always seem to be thinking hte same things!

  32. gitarlvr Says:

    Pete, no offense but there are going to be arguments. This is an internet message board. Intelligent, well thought arguments between civilized posters is what its all about. The problem arises when you get extremists on either side of the negative vs. positive poster issue causing all-out flame wars against each other instead giving a take.

  33. gitarlvr Says:

    Oh yeah and the only babies are the juveniles that can’t respond to a post without a personal insult like calling someone a “retard”, “douche-bag” etc.etc.

  34. FIRE GREG OLSON! Says:


    So you’re still saying Blount was cut from Tenn for scrapping in training camp??

    You’re posts are laughable…

  35. FIRE GREG OLSON! Says:

    gitaretard –

    After going back and watching the highlights for all the major running backs of this class, no one looks better than blount, except maybe Jahvid Best


    Apparently all you need is YouTube and a high speed internet connection to be a scout. LOL.

    How come the Bucs haven’t hired you yet, bud?

  36. FIRE GREG OLSON! Says:

    gitaretard –

    Because he knows how to call a great two minute offense to help Freeman pull out miracle wins?

    I know for a fact that Freeman called his own plays in the 4th quarter against Cincy and I’m pretty sure he did the same against the Rams.

  37. gitarlvr Says:

    Greg Olson here is a quote for your first post in this article-

    “Olson is an idiot. At this point, I’d bet that Blount and Lumpkin are better than Carnell Williams. Although, I’ll remind Joe that Frank Gore has “two man-made knees” and that doesn’t seem to slow him down. I only mention it cause I’ve had 4 ACL reconstructions (2 on each knee).

    I can’t for the life of me see how “picking up the blitz” is the reason for starting Carnell WIlliams.”

    Then you go on to flame me for criticising not having Blount in sooner?
    Like I said your just mad the Bucs won and looking for anyone at all flame.