There’s a reason why LeGarrette Blount, who rushed for 1,000 yards last season, got only five carries for 15 yards in Tampa Bay’s loss to Detroit.
“When we get to our two-minute offense -- our faster-pace offense -- that kind of took him out of the game a little bit,’’ Raheem Morris said. “It’s an area he has got to improve in, obviously, with the pass protection and all those aspects of it. He kind of got himself out of the game that started fast, and that hurt him and his ability to touch the ball, his ability to be effective on Detroit.”
The Bucs used their two-minute offense at the end of the first half and stayed in it during the second half. They used Earnest Graham at running back for most of that time. The Bucs talked during the offseason about how they wanted Blount to be a more complete back than he was as a rookie. The Bucs talked about working to help Blount improve in pass protection and as a receiver. But, apparently, Morris hasn’t seen enough to convince him Blount is ready to take on those roles.
This is a typical problem area among young running backs. The Bucs game is to run the ball and control the clock, so when they have to get out of that element, Blount's numbers will be hurt - like this week - because he won't be on the field. This is definitely the downfall to owning Blount.
For now, Graham is clearly the third down back, much like Caddy Williams became last year. In a PPR league, Graham could have some limited value, but Blount should be the early down back and get a majority of the rushing yards, and more touches, when the Bucs aren't playing from behind.