clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Former NFL Pro Bowler: Fournette Finally Being Used ‘The Way He Always Should Have Been...’

Running back has found his fit, and is getting plenty of praise for his performances

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Football Team Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette is playing better than he ever has before in his sixth year in the NFL.

With six games left to play, the man with many nicknames is just 25 receptions away from matching the most he’s had in a single season, is on pace to reach a new high in receiving yards for one year, and currently has the highest rushing yards per attempt (4.5 ypa) of his career.

Things are going well, and people are noticing.

“I’m happy for Leonard Fournette,” former NFL Pro Bowl linebacker Shawne Merriman said in an interview with gambling.com. “Being utilized the way he always should have been in the NFL. I watched his whole career at LSU and then he got to Jacksonville, they just didn’t utilize him the way he should’ve been.”

One reason for Fournette’s success, of course, is joining up with quarterback - and well known lover of pass-catching running backs - Tom Brady.

“That’s Tom Brady’s formula,” Merriman said. “Check down, give it to the back and let him make plays with his legs.”

Merriman also went on to state his belief that winning teams know how to run the ball, and it isn't the explosive plays that necessarily lead to a winning season.

Playing, “smart football,” as he put it.

Of course, Fournette would be happy to help his Buccaneers do just that, down the stretch.

He’s already been a key contributor to his 8-3 squad which currently holds a three-game lead in the NFC South, looking to extend it this weekend with a divisional win over the Atlanta Falcons.

“We know this is a division game and December football,” Fournette said. “Every win counts, so we need every game. That’s what I’m focusing on next.”

Great attitude from the Week 12 NFC Offensive Player of the Week, and a sure-fire approach to giving him and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, continued success.

For more on this story and all things Tampa Bay Buccaneers, follow us here at Bucs Nation and listen to James Yarcho and David Harrison on the Locked On Bucs Podcast!