Thursday, April 26, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' LeGarrette Blount: 'Nobody can affect my carries but me'

TAMPA

Like his bulldozing running style, LeGarrette Blount is not going to dance around an issue when he can plow through it. So when asked how the Buccaneers' selection of Boise State running back Doug Martin will affect his workload, Blount did not stiff-arm the topic.

"I think nobody can affect my carries but me," Blount said. "They drafted him because we needed him. But at the end of the day, we're both going to play. Don't nobody affect my carries but me, not what he does, not what anybody else does, just how I practice and how fast I get the offense down pat and everything like that. That's the only thing that will affect my carries."

So despite the addition of Martin and Utah State running back Michael Smith in the draft, does Blount see himself as the starting tailback?

"Yeah," he said smiling, "until they take it away."

That's not to suggest Blount couldn't see what was happening at the running back position shortly after coach Greg Schiano was hired from Rutgers. In March, Schiano was critical of Blount's lack of ball security. In two pro seasons, Blount has fumbled nine times, losing six.

With only Blount and Mossis Madu on the roster at running back, it was inevitable the Bucs would fortify that position, perhaps with the No. 5 overall pick. Tampa Bay traded down two spots to select Alabama safety Mark Barron while picking up a fourth-round pick. The Bucs then used that extra selection to trade back into the first round and take Martin 31st.

Even before the draft, Blount knew the Bucs were going to find someone to come after his job. So he took advantage of the offseason program to lose between 5 and 10 pounds. "I kind of had the idea they were going to draft another guy, so you've got to come back in the best shape possible," Blount said.

On the first day of the Bucs' team workouts on Tuesday, Blount took his spot as the No. 1 tailback while a gimpy Martin worked on another field with a trainer helping him recover from a hamstring strain.

Blount, the Bucs' leading rusher the past two seasons with 1,788 yards and 11 touchdowns (4.6 average), has rarely been used on passing downs or as a receiver. He has 20 career receptions for 162 yards and no touchdowns. Under new offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan, Blount hopes for more opportunities in the passing game.

"I'm proving more and more every day that I can play on every down," Blount said.

Blount believes the competition with Martin and Smith will make him a more complete player.

"You've got to be a competitor and competition is what makes guys better than what they would usually be," Blount said.

"Nobody in the NFL can ever be comfortable. You have your select few that can. Adrian Petersons and your Ray Rices and your Arian Fosters. You have a handful that can be comfortable in their offense no matter who you draft. No, I haven't gotten comfortable, I haven't established that kind of credibility yet."

Schiano said performance in training camp and preseason games will determine the running back workload.

"It's way too early for that," Schiano said. "We have to see who performs. You earn your touches. So depending on how you practice and how you play in the preseason, that will determine how many touches you get by percentage, whether it's ballcarriers or pass catchers or whatever. Pass catchers, sometimes the defense can dictate a little more. But ballcarriers? We make that decision."

Comments
Bucs draft scenarios: Would this guy be their lucky pick at No. 7?

Bucs draft scenarios: Would this guy be their lucky pick at No. 7?

TAMPA – This is the Rubiks Cube of NFL drafts. It can be twisted and turned it in any direction. Not many know how everything will line up.For the Bucs, the puzzle is simple.  Since they have the No. 7 overall pick, they need four quarterb...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Mock draft consensus: Who the experts have Bucs taking at No. 7

Mock draft consensus: Who the experts have Bucs taking at No. 7

We've linked to a lot of mock drafts over the last four months.We went back and assembled mocks from 40 different NFL writers we've linked to — this isn't the most recent for some of these who are in Mock 9.0 mode, but it's meant as an unscient...
Updated: 1 hour ago
NFL draft: How the Bucs can grab hold of the NFC South

NFL draft: How the Bucs can grab hold of the NFC South

TAMPA — From the department of the weird, also known as Bucs marketing genius — also known as if it bombs, we can blame Ed Glazer — the Bucs will use a … parrot to announce their fourth-round pick in the NFL Draft, which kicks...
Published: 04/25/18
Q&A with Bucs tackle Donovan Smith: On bowling, charity work, team expectations

Q&A with Bucs tackle Donovan Smith: On bowling, charity work, team expectations

Bucs tackle Donovan Smith has a big season ahead, going into a contract year as part of a reshuffled offensive line. Still only 24, he has started all 48 games in his three NFL seasons, and has made it a priority in the offseason to be more active in...
Published: 04/25/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Who will the Bucs take with the No. 7 pick?

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Who will the Bucs take with the No. 7 pick?

Rick Stroud answers your NFL draft questions in this mailbag segment, including who the Bucs might take with the seventh overall pick, which running backs they might be looking at, whether Taven Bryan could slip to them in the second r...
Published: 04/25/18
Five options if the Bucs want to trade down from No. 7

Five options if the Bucs want to trade down from No. 7

For months, NFL fans have wondered what the Bucs might do with the No. 7 pick in Thursday's draft, producing a wide range of answers, each with passionate support from some of their fans.But as draft nears, and as the interest level in a talented gro...
Published: 04/24/18
Could Washington DT Vita Vea be the Bucs’ real target at No. 7 in the draft?

Could Washington DT Vita Vea be the Bucs’ real target at No. 7 in the draft?

Vita VeaPosition: Defensive tackleSchool: WashingtonHeight/weight: 6-4, 347Draft projection: Round 1Why Vita Vea makes sense for the Bucs: Vea's combination of size and quick feet is rare. He ran a 5.1 40-yard dash and bench pressed 225 pounds 40 tim...
Published: 04/24/18
Important questions and answers about Bucs’ draft parrot

Important questions and answers about Bucs’ draft parrot

The final days leading up to the NFL draft can be a busy time, but rarely do you call someone you trust from a team and say: "What can you tell me about the parrot?"Yes, the Bucs will have a parrot — specifically a Catalina macaw named Zsa Zsa ...
Published: 04/24/18
Ex-Bucs QB Jeff Garcia doesn’t care about NFL draft: ‘I have a life’

Ex-Bucs QB Jeff Garcia doesn’t care about NFL draft: ‘I have a life’

So much of the attention Monday surrounding the Bucs' announcing who'd be announcing their late-round draft picks was, of course, that a parrot would be delivering the name of the fourth-round pick to the pirate ship at Raymond James Stadium.But late...
Published: 04/24/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Breaking down the NFL draft with Sam Farmer

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Breaking down the NFL draft with Sam Farmer

On today's Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast, Rick Stroud breaks down the NFL draft with the Los Angeles Times' Sam Farmer.Farmer coordinates a mock draft with beat writers around the league, and it's usually one of the most accurate prognostications...
Published: 04/24/18