Last month, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers moved back into the first-round of the NFL Draft in order to select RB Doug Martin. The running back position was an area of concern for the Buccaneers heading into the draft. In later rounds, Tampa selected Michael Smith from Utah State. LeGarrette Blount has been the lead back in Tampa for most of the last two seasons and he’s prepared for a battle heading into training camp.
Blount is known for his tough, aggressive running style but he has failed to develop himself as an every down back. He struggles in pass protection as well as catching passes out of the backfield.Blount had fumbling issues last season as well. Enter Doug Martin. Martin is considered to be a more complete back which has led to offseason speculation that the Buccaneers will name him the team’s lead back.
Speaking to reporters at the Buccaneers first full-squad workout on Tuesday, Blount said that he is ready to fight for his starting job. “(It’s mine) until they take it away,” he stated. Blount also said he wasn’t surprised by the Buccaneers move to add a running back. Tampa Bay had been rumored to be interested in Alabama rusher, Trent Richardson as well.
Blount said he welcomed the addition, a reversal of his statements regarding Trent Richardson prior to the draft. “We needed it. I can’t carry the load all by myself,” Blount said regarding the additions.
Doug Martin has already had one effect on Blount. He showed up to workouts ten pounds lighter. “Them drafting a running back might be what I needed to become an every-down back,” Blount added.
Tampa Bay didn’t draft Martin to have him sit on the bench. He will cut into Blount’s carries in 2012 but the duo could turn out to form a nice tandem in the Buccaneers backfield.