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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

LeGarrette Blount claims monthly honor; Is rookie of the year next?



In another sign of his growing profile, Bucs running back LeGarrette Blount has been named NFL offensive rookie of the month for December -- the result of a strong that gives him at least a shot at offensive rookie of the year.

During the season's final five games, Blount led the NFL in rushing with 511 yards on 87 carries, tying for the league league with 14 carries of 10 yards or longer during that span.

No Buccaneers rookie has claimed this honor since Cadillac Williams won it twice in 2005. He went on to win offensive rookie of the year. Fullback Mike Alstott, running back Warrick Dunn and quarterback Shaun King also won rookie of the month honors.

Blount became just the second undrafted rookie in NFL history to rush for more than 1,000 yards, finishing with 1,007 -- most among rookies this season. With 1,007 rushing yards, Blount led all rookie running backs and finished the season as just the second undrafted rookie running back to record over 1,000 yards rushing in NFL history, despite starting just seven games.

All that makes Blount a realistic candidate for Associated Press offensive rookie of the year, though Rams quarterback Sam Bradford is considered the frontrunner. But Bradford's unimpressive finish to the season -- the Rams lost three out of four -- certainly won't help his case.

The winner will be chosen by a panel of 50 sportswriters and broadcasters from across the league.

The Bucs' Mike Williams is also considered a candidate, though Blount's case is likely stronger. Williams did, however, have 11 touchdowns, the most in club history.

[Last modified: Thursday, January 6, 2011 3:15pm]


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