It sounds like Tampa Bay Buccaneer fans, disgruntled LeGarrette Blount fantasy owners, and moody bloggers are not the only ones questioning Raheem Morris' decision to abandon the run so early in Sunday's 27-20 defeat to the Detroit Lions.
The Bucs second-year runningback expressed his dissatisfaction with his touches to the St. Petersburg Times, Monday afternoon.
"I feel like...I’m a play-maker on this team also, so I feel like I should be on the football field more,'' Blount said.
"We got away from our game plan. We got away from getting me the football, we got away from giving Mike (Williams) opportunity balls. It was just things like that...I don't know if we panicked, but we kind of got away from that really early.''
Players bemoaning their touches is cliched and mostly just noise, but in this instance Blount is making a fairly reasonable point. Blount burst onto the scene in 2010, rushing for over 1,000-yards in his rookie season, and quickly established himself as a legitimate play-maker at the NFL level. Blount led the entire league in percentage of yardage after contact, and is the kind of runner that gets better as the game goes on and battered defensive lines start to wear down. This was never more evident than last season against the same Detroit Lions team when Blount rushed for 110-yards and a touchdown.
Why then, was Blount given only 5 carries on the afternoon, with only one of those touches coming after half-time? The Buccaneers trailed by only a touchdown at the intermission and surely could have gotten themselves back into the game with a long drive and a score. Blount is arguably the teams biggest threat to score and taking the ball out of his hands is questionable at best.
Morris suggested that Blount was off the field for most of the second half because the Buccaneers went to a hurry-up offense that is better suited for veteran back Earnest Graham. Morris also insinuated that he is having regrets regarding his decision to overrule offensive coordinator Greg Olsen and go into a two minute offense while only trailing by one touchdown at halftime, saying:
Maybe as a coach, I went too fast, I went too early to the two-minute offense. But I wanted to get something going, get something generated, get (quarterback Josh Freeman) some confidence and get all those guys going. And it worked to the standpoint that we were able to get back into the game. But we didn't have to do it like that. Maybe we went to it too early. That's something for me to second-guess, that's something for me to improve, that's something for me to get better at.
That's great coach, but in the future why don't you think about putting the ball in the hands of perhaps your best play-maker. Not only will it give you a better chance to win, but Bucs fans, Blount fantasy owners, and this blogger, will thank you.