Following the release of a St. Petersburg Times report published Tuesday that detailed a three-month-old criminal incident involving LeGarrette Blount, the second-year running back was in the locker room on Wednesday to address the media.
Blount took about three-and-a-half minutes worth of questions in front of his locker with the time split evenly between the Sept. 11 incident and play on the field. The running back deferred to his attorney, Ryan Morgan, on some questions but did openly answer others.
“I’m not sure if all you guys did but I know most of you guys talked to my attorney yesterday, so I’m pretty sure he explained the details of the situation,” Blount said to open his statements. The circumstances of the alleged attack came from police reports from the Tampa Police Department. According to the police report of the incident, Gary Holmer, 34, and his girlfriend, Emily Buethe, 29, both wearing Bucs shirts, drove a 2008 Toyota pickup into the Visconti at International Drive apartments not far from Raymond James Stadium at about 6:30 p.m. They were returning from that day's Bucs game against the Detroit Lions.
Their pickup hit the mirror on a 2005 Ford Expedition SUV, next to which Blount and two other men were standing. Holmer told police he did not want to stop next to the Expedition because his pickup would block other traffic. He pulled around a corner stopped and rolled down his window. He said the Expedition came around the corner and cut him off. Three men got out and one of them "reached in and punched (Holmer) several times on his eye, nose and jaw,'' according to the report. Holmer "realized a second male was on his hood and was jumping onto his windshield and ultimately shattering the glass."
Blount said that this reported incident is not a distraction as the Bucs move forward and try to stop a six-game losing skid. “Nah, it happened all the way back in September,” Blount said. “It’s just coming up now. I’ve been focused on football.” Tampa Bay’s starting running back was asked if he felt like he’s been treated fairly regarding this matter.
“It was months ago,” Blount said. “There is nothing I can do about it now. The situation just reoccurred [due to the media reports]. “In my mind, I didn’t do anything wrong at all. I cooperated with the cops. I waited two and a half hours for the cops to come. I cooperated with them then. I had nothing to do with the whole altercation. I didn’t orchestrate anything. I didn’t make any suggestions for anything to happen.”
When asked if he tried to stop the altercation, Blount said, “Like I said, you’ll have to talk to my attorney about all that.”
Turning his attention towards Sunday’s game at Jacksonville, Blount said that the “reduced menu” of offensive plays that head coach Raheem Morris will serve up in an effort to scale back the playbook for the youngest team in the NFL should help.
“I think it will help us stay focused a lot longer,” Blount said. “It will help us pay more attention to details to a lot of things we haven’t being paying attention to – the little things that cause us to stall out our drives.”
“Those guys came in with a game plan and they stuck to it and ultimately came out with a ‘W,’” Blount said. Blount said that the Panthers stacked the box with eight and nine defenders to stop him and force Josh Johnson to beat Carolina in the absence of starting quarterback Josh Freeman. After rushing for over 100 yards in back-to-back games at Green Bay and at Tennessee, Blount was held in check by Carolina, rushing just 11 times for 19 yards (1.7 avg.).
“More so than a lot of teams, but there’s nothing that we haven’t seen,” Blount said. “We knew they were going to load the box. We just have to execute our plays better and go out there and do what we learn in practice. “I have to go out there and make better reads and make better cuts and plays as far as how I play the game.”
With the alleged altercation on September 11 behind him, Blount is squarely focused on getting back on track against the Jaguars. He watched the Jaguars lose to the San Diego Chargers, 38-14, as quarterback Philip Rivers carved up Jacksonville’s defense.
“I watched the entire game,” Blount said. “They have a really big, physical defense. They are in the top 5 in the league in defense, so they are a pretty tough team. “Their secondary is a little banged up, and there are a few guys that weren’t there at the beginning of the season playing back there in the secondary. That’s just something that we are going to try to keep an eye on.”