Bucs running back LeGarrette Blount reflects on key penalty and discusses third-down role
In the third quarter of Sunday's Buccaneers loss at New Orleans, running back LeGarrette Blount committed a personal foul that ended up looming large.
He now says he regrets getting into the scuffle with Saints defensive end Will Smith and realizes it cost his team a chance to pull to within one score.
"It’s kind of a heat of the moment battle,"
Blount said. "It’s always been a chippy battle between us and them. A lot of things were said. Different plays were made and things happened before and after the play. It’s just one of those things where you have to control your emotions
"That’s one of the things that always beats us. When we lose a game by 3 or 4 points, we can always look back at it and say there was that one foolish penalty that stalled our drive and we could have put seven (points) on the board. That is one thing that we have to cancel out and be aware of and not commit those penalties anymore."
The Bucs had reached the Saints 21-yard line before Blount's post-play penalty. The 15-yard infraction for making contact with Smith's face mask put the Bucs in a third-and-24 situation. They did not convert and had to settle for a 48-yard field goal that trimmed the lead to 17-6.
Meanwhile, Blount said he also is trying to establish more trust from offensive coordinator Greg Olson, hoping to play more on third-down and passing situations. Since Earnest Graham's season-ending injury last month, the Bucs had been considering using Blount more extensively in those scenarios. But Kregg Lumpkin ended up taking the majority of the snaps on third downs against New Orleans.
And when the Bucs found themselves behind 17-3, they were forced to get away from their running game despite Blount's hot start.
"It makes it tough," Blount said. "I like being on the football field. I like playing. I like having the ball in my hands. I'm just going to continue to work hard so I can stay in as long as possible.
"I feel like that if I work a little harder in practice every week, then they’ll become more and more confident to keep me in the game when we’re in those situations when we’re behind. It (stinks) that I have to come out of the game for the 2-minute offense or in our passing offense. So, I just have to work harder to be a part of that. (Opportunities) will come. I’m not going to rush them. I definitely don’t want them to put me in there if I’m not prepared for what they’re going to show us. They’re going to come.
"Sooner or later I’ll be in there."