The competition between Legarrette Blount and Doug Martin for the starting running back job wasn't over before it had begun, but it certainly appears to be over now. In the ever important third preseason game Doug Martin got 13 carries for 53 yards, and managed to catch another 3 passes for 12 yards. Legarrette Blount, meanwhile, got just 7 carries, managed just 22 yards on those carries and was given no opportunity to produce in the passing game with 0 targets.
Perhaps most telling wasn't just the distribution of carries, but the distribution of playing time. Martin got all of the snaps on passing downs and almost all of the starting reps. In fact, Blount got just one series with the starting offense, while Martin took all the snaps on six drives with the starting offense. Blount had three drives in the entire game, two of them with the second-team offense, and he was outplayed by Michael Smith even with that offense. Blount looked good in his first preseason game, but has looked terrible in the two games since then: indecisive and running without power, Blount is still the inconsistent player he has been throughout his career.
Greg Schiano himself appears to have no doubts about the situation, either. His comments, via Pewter Report:
"That's why he moved in and started the game, because he had shown me that much. And I don't think he did anything last night that would say, oh, that wasn't a good move. I though he ran the ball well and did some things well. Right now he just has to continue on that course, he's learning every day and he's a very open-minded guy. He wants to learn."
Doug Martin is the starting running back of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and will most likely take the majority of the snaps throughout the regular season. Blount hasn't shown the Bucs he deserves to take a large portion of the carries, and has at times actually been outplayed by rookie Michael Smith. I don't know what the distribution of carries will look like, but it doesn't look good for Blount.