The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted running back Doug Martin out of Boise State in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft because new head coach Greg Schiano saw a lot of Ray Rice in him. And if anyone would know, it would be Schiano, who was Rice’s head coach at Rutgers. The Bucs drafted Martin in the first round to take on a huge workload, and that never sat well with incumbent starting running back LeGarrette Blount.
But after watching them both throughout training camp and the preseason, it is even more clear that Schiano plans to use Martin as the featured back, with Blount only coming in to pick up some tough yards. That sat even poorer with Blount, who has had not issues with expressing his anger over the situation.
And as we all know, especially players at Martin’s college team, you will not like Blount when he is angry. Everybody remembers when Blount played for the Oregon Ducks and took a shot at a Broncos player following a road game. It more or less cost him the rest of his collegiate career, as well as a shot at being a higher draft pick.
But years later, Blount is still the same player, but he is also the same person, which is unfortunate. It does not appear as if Blount will take his demotion well, and with the Bucs signing former New York Giants running back D.J. Ware, that could spell the end of the road for Blount in Tampa.
With that being said, could the Bucs trade Blount to the Detroit Lions, who have been decimated at the running back position for the past few years?
Such a move could make perfect sense for everyone involved.
Martin is going to be given every chance to succeed and become a star in Tampa. Schiano has stated as much. With Ware now on board as an excellent pass blocker who has ties to new Bucs’ offensieve coordinator Mike Sullivan when the two were with the Giants, Blount is expendable.
The Lions have counted on big things from Jahvid Best, Mikel Leshoure and Kevin Smith over the past couple of seasons. All three have failed to remain on the field, and injury concerns to all three of them are still a big issue entering this season. Best will start the year on the PUP list, meaning he is not eligible to play until week seven at the earliest, and Leshoure is suspended for the first two games of the season and Smith is still battling injuries as the season opener is just days away.
Detroit has an explosive offense, but think about how much more dangerous it could be with a better ground game that would force the defense to play a bit more honestly. Blount may not be a Pro-Bowl caliber player, but even if he plays as well as he did last year with the Bucs, he would certainly be a player whom the Lions should target in a trade this week. It could make perfect sense for both teams, as well as Blount, as we inch closer and closer to kickoff.