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LeGarrette Blount figures he's still the starter in Tampa

National Football Post

A lot of folks figured the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would come away with Alabama running back Trent Richardson near the top of the draft.

Instead, the club bolstered its defense by selecting Richardson’s teammate, Alabama safety Mark Barron. Then, the Bucs moved back into the end of the first round to select Boise State running back Doug Martin, adding some serious competition to the mix for LeGarrette Blount, who had a fine season as an undrafted rookie in 2010 and then struggled last year with the rest of the offense.

But Blount figures he’s still the man in Tampa, and that is probably the best attitude to have.

I think nobody can affect my carries but me,” Blount said, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Times. “They drafted him because we needed him. But at the end of the day, we're both going to play. Don't nobody affect my carries but me, not what he does, not what anybody else does, just how I practice and how fast I get the offense down pat and everything like that. That's the only thing that will affect my carries.”

Blount when on to say he remains the starter “until they take it away.”

Per the report, new coach Greg Schiano evaluated Blount and determined his ball security – or lack of it – is an issue. Yes, that is a correctable problem. The new coaching staff is invested in Martin but that is a position where the better man usually plays and it will be interesting to see how this unfolds. Competition will only make the group better.

“We have to see who performs,” Schiano said. “You earn your touches. So depending on how you practice and how you play in the preseason, that will determine how many touches you get by percentage, whether its ballcarriers or pass catches or whatever. Pass catchers sometimes the defense can dictate a little more. But ballcarriers? We make that decision.”

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune
 

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