|Blount has lost his starting job. (Will Brinson, CBSSports.com)|
Tampa Bay running back LaGarrette Blount was asked before the NFL draft what he would think if the Buccaneers selected Alabama back Trent Richardson. Blount was, well, blunt honest with his assessment.
“I would not like that pick," Blount said. "I would definitely not be happy with that pick."
And if Blount was made a goal-line back in favor of a rookie featured back? “I don't want that role," he said.
He must have breathed easier when Richardson went to the Browns, but he couldn't have been pleased when the Buccaneers traded back into the first round for the No. 31 overall pick and took Boise State running back Doug Martin.
And now, as Rapid Reporter Patrick Southern writes, Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano has named Martin the starter over Blount.
So, how's Blount doing with this news?
“He's disappointed, but he's been great,” Schiano said, via the Tampa Bay Times. “He's about this team. He's about winning. At the very beginning I sat them both down and told them what the deal was. They knew it. I think -- when you watch the tape, and LeGarrette's a smart guy -- when he watches the tape, he sees that he got outperformed.”
Well, that's awfully blunt truthful, isn't it?
Blount had a better-than-expected rookie season in which he recorded 1,007 yards (he averaged 5.0 yards per carry) and six touchdowns. But his numbers backslid in 2011, and for that matter, he's never impressed our old pal Andy Benoit.
“… The 241-pounder is the fourth-best power back in the N.F.C. South (behind Michael Turner, Jonathan Stewart and Mark Ingram),” Benoit wrote for the NY Times in April. “There might be numbers that suggest otherwise, but the film, as well as some of the Bucs play calls in short-yardage situations over the past two years, doesn't lie. Blount is hard to bring down when he runs with momentum in the open field, but N.F.L. offenses today aren't designed to get a lumbering ballcarrier in the open field. If the Bucs want to help Josh Freeman and capitalize on what's now a very solid offensive line (thanks to the signing of super guard Carl Nicks), they need an agile, lightning-quick back to not just share the load with Blount, but to carry the bulk of it.”
Now, it looks like Blount won't be carrying the bulk of anything for the time being and might be relegated to the goal-line back role he didn't want in the first place.