Before the 2012 NFL Draft,Tampa Bay Buccaneers
running backLeGarrette Blount
bristled at the suggestion that the Bucs would use their top-five draft pick on Alabama running back Trent Richardson.
"I would not like that pick. ... I would definitely not be happy with that pick," Blount said at the time (he later changed his tune). Blount's sigh of relief when Richardson was picked by theCleveland Browns at No. 3 was short-lived as the Buccaneers would use the No. 31-overall draft pick on Boise State running back Doug Martin, who is expected to push Blount for the starting job this summer.
One of the reasons why the Buccaneers invested a first-round draft pick in Martin, and a seventh-round selection in potential No. 2 back Michael Smith, could be Blount's lack of commitment.
According to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Blount racked up $15,000 in fines for tardiness in his first two weeks in Tampa, prompting general manager Mark Dominik and former head coach Raheem Morris to force the rookie to hire a car service to wake him up and transport him for the three miles to One Buc Place.
Stroud adds that Blount continued to rely upon the car service in 2011, but he occasionally caught up on his sleep in meeting rooms.
Blountwas at the top of the depth chart
during the minicamps, but Martin is expected to push for a starting job this summer. With improved depth at the position overall, Blount will have to continue to improve his habits, on and off the field. Otherwise, first-year head coach/task master Greg Schiano might be inclined to let Blount sleep on someone else's dime.
He only put up 19 and 11 yards in the games we played him, so Doug Martin might be an upgrade for them. Still starting a rookie RB does not bode well for an offense under a new coordinator and scheme that will need to build chemistry with a new WR and G. I see a lot of their O getting put on Freeman's back and subsequently a lot of failed 3rd down conversions.
Either way, Blount's lack of commitment is yet another sign that the Panthers are poised to take the South.