TAMPA FL - OCTOBER 24: Running back LeGarrette Blount #27 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is tackled by linebacker James Laurinaitis #55 of the St. Louis Rams during the game at Raymond James Stadium on October 24 2010 in Tampa Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
It's Legarrette Blount propaganda day, as the number of positive stories on Legarrette Blount stories numbers in the dozens today. That's all because Legarrette Blount, RB coach Earnest Byner and Greg Schiano had some positive to say about the third-year running back. The quotes are all over the place, although Pewter Report has them all in once place. Let's go through them, quickly:
"I've been working on pass protection and picking up the blitzes this offseason," Blount said. "That's the thing I've been working on the most. I can say that's what I've improved on the most."
"It's definitely underrated," Blount said. "I've shown people I can catch the ball, obviously. I'm hoping to be able to catch the ball a lot more this year."
"I thought he did a pretty good job just watching what I saw on tape," Schiano said. "Does he have good hands? His hands are fine. I don't know how that will translate into our game plan, but he can catch the football. That's a plus.""It's become a habit," Blount said. "I don't even notice that I do it most of the time now. Holding the ball down [low] is kind of uncomfortable now. He doesn't lie to us. He said if you do it long enough you don't notice it. If that's all you do every time you are at practice with a ball in your hand you can't help but make it a habit.
"Anytime I have a football in my hand it doesn't matter if I am walking through the mall - it's a habit. I'm always going to have it up here."
The question every seems to be asking is: can Legarrette Blount beat out Doug Martin in a competition for the starting job? I personally doubt that will happen, but Blount has supposedly taken a lot of reps with the first team in training camps, and has done a lot to work on his ability to be a relevant factor in the passing game. All of that will certainly help him hold on to the job.
A more relevant question may be: how big a share of the touches will Blount see? Earlier this offseason I talked about Blount's role, and the similarities with Brandon Jacobs' role in New York. As Blount improves, though, he could take a hold of an increasing number of snaps, and if he turns out to be useful on passing downs he could even take the majority of the snaps. Whether or not he starts? Well, that's a little beside the point. His workload is what's relevant.