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Is Legarrette Blount likely to slump in 2011?

"EAT MY HAND!"
"EAT MY HAND!"

Legarrette Blount had a stellar rookie season, but will have to work hard to churn out a good season again this year. The Bucs haven't had a good, go-to running back for multiple seasons in a row since James Wilder, and according to Pewter Report, the Bucs don't have one in Blount either. They list him as one of the most likely players to slump, because Blount has not stepped up this offseason, missing many workouts. 

 

While that is undoubtedly true (Blount did not show up for the Bucs mini-camp), I am skeptical of anyone claiming that Blount will slump. I've been a steadfast critic of Legarrette Blount as a lead back, but I don't think he'll look worse next season. Last year, Blount ran on instinct: he had little knowledge of the plays, couldn't contribute on third downs and constantly looked to bounce plays outside when he should have been taking what was there.

These are all good reasons to be skeptical of Blount, but reality is that he had all those problems, and still put up tremendous production last season. Even if Blount does not improve in any way, there's little reason to believe he won't be able to produce. An offseason of studying could have turned him into a much better player, but even without that he can be productive.