Is LeGarrette Blount a Possibility for the New York Jets?
By Alan Schechter
August 24, 2011; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back LeGarrette Blount (27) runs with the ball during the second half against the New England Patriots at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the New England Patriots 30-28. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
We have talked at length about the holes that the New York Jets offense has as we move closer to week one against the Buffalo Bills. There are many spots that need fine tuning, and one of them is at running back. The Jets are in dire need of a second back to complement Shonn Greene, and take the load off of his back a bit. The only guy that the Jets acquired to address this need, Terrance Ganaway, was released on Friday.
But, could the help come in the form of a trade?
LeGarrette Blount might be the answer, if he can be acquired. The Tampa Bay Bucs, Blount’s current team, signed a running back yesterday, claiming DJ Ware off of waivers from the New York Giants. He clearly will be the backup running back with the Bucs, making Blount expendable. A rumor was reported in a Tampa Bay newspaper that the Bucs might be interested in trading Blount. Tanny should give Tampa Bay a call. Why? Turn the page.
First, he is only 25 years old, with not that many carries under his belt. He has plenty of carries left in his career. At 6’0″ 247, he can take the pounding of the NFL. We will stand up to the licks he will take with sharing the carry load.
Although LeGarrette Blount is only entering his third season in the league, the time he has spent in the NFL has been successful. In 2010, he became one of only two undrafted running backs in history to rush for 1,000 or more yards in his rookie season, rushing for 1,007 on only 201 carries. Although his numbers did regress some in 2011, he did rush for a 4.2 yard average per carry. His season was also slowed down by an injury that took place in week 5.
He obviously needs to be healthy for the Jets to consider such a move. If he is, they must.
Here are some highlights of a healthy LeGarrette Blount:
Watch him run, and you why he would be a perfect fit for our ground and pound system. He grounds and pounds. He runs north and south, no dancing in the hole. He sees the hole, and Boom!, he hits that hole. He uses his physicality to make plays as well. Watch the end of his runs, he lowers his shoulder into the defender, and keeps his feet moving. You don’t see him getting driven backwards, he drives forward, getting that extra couple of yards that will make Rex and Sparano drool.
Blount did not want to be a backup, and was vocal about it. When the Bucs were considering drafting Trent Richardson, he was very public about the fact that he would not have been thrilled with the choice. He also is reportedly disappointed that he was beaten out by Doug Martin this preseason, which as a competitor, he should be. So you might wonder if he would be willing to come into that type of role with the Jets.
I submit that he would be, because it would be a different type of backup role with the Jets.
The Jets running attack has been at its best during the Rex Ryan era when they have had two viable backs at any time. In 2009, it was Thomas Jones, and in 2010, it was LaDainian Tomlinson. Especially in 2010, it was less of a starter/backup role, and it was more of a 1A/1B type of thing. It kept both guys fresh. You could convince Blount that his playing time would still be significant enough to make it worthwhile.
If LeGarrette Blount is truly on the trading block, it would be a good idea for Mike Tannenbaum to give Tampa Bay a call. If the guy is healthy, he would be a very valuable addition to the Jets.