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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Who knew? LeGarrette Blount has speed, too

30

December

One of the things we've observed in learning about LeGarrette Blount this season is the fact that he accelerates in the open field much faster than you might expect for someone of his considerable bulk.

Blount displayed that on Sunday against the Seahawks with runs of 53 and 48 yards, both of which involved him hitting a higher gear once he reached green grass -- or in one of those instances, once he leaped over Lawyer Milloy.

It was clear the Bucs were getting a battering ram of a running back when they acquired Blount, who is 250 pounds. But give him some credit for displaying better-than-average speed for a bruising back.

"I've never been known for my speed, but a lot of teams underestimate it and that's a good thing for me," Blount said. "When I get into the open field, they're not expecting me to break a long run. But when I do, by the time they get there, it's too late and I've already broke a 20- or 30-yard run. Then they have no choice but to respect my speed."

Blount has broken many, many tackles this season, a fact that is most responsible for his long runs. But he knows what to do with the ball once he clears traffic. That's why his 10 runs of 20 yards or longer are tied with Houston's Arian Foster for fifth-most in the NFL. The only backs with more are Darren McFadden (Raiders), Ahmad Bradshaw (Giants), Chris Johnson (Titans) and Rashard Mendenhall (Steelers).

One thing Blount doesn't have in common with those players: The same number of carries. He well short of each of them, with McFadden (223 carries) having the least among that group. Blount has just 182, making his feats even more impressive.

[Last modified: Thursday, December 30, 2010 7:54pm]

    

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