Changes coming for Bucs: More Blount, less Caddy at RB; More Benn, less Stroughter at WR
The winds of change will be blowing during the bye week at One Buc Place.
Coach Raheem Morris said Monday they will use the time to get running back LeGarrette Blount more involved to spell Cadillac Williams and rookie receiver Arrelious Benn more opportunities to replace starter Sammie Stroughter.
In three games, Williams has 55 carries for 139 yards, a 2.5 yard average that is the worst in the NFL among starting running backs.
Stroughter, who was more effective as a slot receiver on third down as a rookie, has just six catches for 49 yards as the starting Z receiver.
"I don't know if you have to make wholesale changes,'' Morris said. "I like my team and where we are and what we've got going. Now, would I like to increase Benn's role? Yes. Yesterday, he probably got 13 or so snaps whatever the case may be and he can certainly help us some more. He can help us give us more effort and more energy becaUse he is young, he's powerful, he's dynamic, he made some great catches yesterday and I'd like to see him get out there more. LeGarrette Blount -- we certainly can increase his role and I think his role would've been increased yesterday if the game would've played out the way I wanted to see it played out.
Morris said Williams has played well but that the Bucs could use big backs like Blount and Kregg Lumpkin to provide a spark. Blount carried six times for 27 yards, including a touchdown in Sunday's 38-13 loss to the Steelers.
"It's not time for wholesale panic when you start changing the position,'' Morris said. "I think Cadillac has played three good games. By no means am I saying he's played excellent, but I'm saying he played games that he put together and played well in them. He can play better. We've got to give him some blow. We can't give him 28 carries in a row and all those things. Somebody has got to come in and give him a spark. Somebody has got to come in and make somebody miss and break off a long run, which they were able to do on us.''
Stroughter, who caught 31 passes as a rookie playing mostly on third down, may be wearing down as a starter.
"As a coaching staff, you sit back and you look at that,'' Morris said. "You sit back and you look at Sammie and he played so hard, that he wears down a little bit. He caught a couple cramps yesterday and he doesn't want to come out with a cramp, you've got to go pull him off the field. So now, with Regis (Benn) on the come, you've got to be able to play him a little bit. Yesterday, we brought Preston Parker up and some of those guys have got to come in and give Sammie some spells so he can be more effective on his Zebra package (on third down) which we know he thrives in and has his most production.''