With the build and power that rookie running back LeGarrette Blount possesses, one would think that he would be the perfect short-yardage back. However, that doesn’t appear to be the case. In Sunday's 28-24 loss to Atlanta Blount could not get the job done when he needed just a few feet. He got stuffed on a third-and-1 play at the Falcons’ 41, which caused the Bucs to punt. He also could not get any yardage on a first-and-goal on the Falcons’ 2.
This is not the first time that this has happened either. Blount also got stopped at the goal line on two carries the first time Tampa Bay played Atlanta this season. After seeing Blount fail to convert on those short yardage situations, head coach Raheem Morris said that the Bucs may turn to another player when they need tough yards.
“You hope that when you get LeGarrette Blount up in there on a third-and-1 that he would be the big battering ram that you would like him to be – that 250 pound guy that creates a hole, but unfortunately that may not be him,” said Morris. “The only way you find those things out is to give him experience and let him go out there and try and do it… the thing he does is that he is a patient runner and sometimes he makes up things. Sometimes he goes for 17 [yards], but on third-and-1 sometimes it frustrates you because you just want him to go downhill and get the two, get the three, and just get the first down to keep the chains moving.
“We may have to look into a different direction in those situations while we are still working with him, but those are the things that are ever-changing, and those are the things that you have to do. But I certainly don’t regret giving him the opportunity on third-and-1 being who he is and what we think he can do.”
Offensive coordinator said that the Bucs may go back to fullback Earnest Graham, who occupied that role earlier in the season before a hamstring injury sidelined him for a few games.
“Yeah, we just discussed that this morning,” said Olson. “We certainly have a lot of faith in Earnest Graham with what he can do for us. He’s been that guy in the past… but we are definitely going to look at that situation because we recognize it as well.”
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