LeGarrette Blount's stock has risen. After his 127-yard, one touchdown performance against the Peyton Manning-less and winless Indianapolis Colts yesterday, he proved himself as a power back that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can go far with, one that can run with and over speedy defenses
When we get the big fella rolling, it's huge, said Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman, who passed for 287 yards and one touchdown while running for another.
Consider this game added on redemption for Blount.
He had the national spotlight on him two years ago when he threw a punch at the end of Oregon's loss to Boise State, which was caught and replayed over and over on television and the Internet. His draft stock plummeted as a result. After that, he went undrafted last year, signing with the Tennessee Titans, only to be waived. But, good news is that he ended up with the Bucs for a fresh start.
And, fresh indeed it has been. Last season, Blount rushed for 1,007 yards and six touchdowns. After Monday night's performance, he has 294 yards and three touchdowns already.
I honestly believe LeGarrette is in the right situation, said Bucs veteran cornerback Ronde Barber. He's with a coach who can deal with him, a coach who understands who he is and is going to let him be him. He's relishing the role.
That role is a rare hybrid of power and speed, similar to Brandon Jacobs of the New York Giants. Blount was difficult to bring down against the Colts, at one point attracting five defenders just to do so. He accumulated 24 of his 62 fourth-quarter yards after being hit by defenders, leading them to a 24-17 win.
Blount's performance yesterday may have done a little more convincing in terms of a signing a big deal with the Bucs. He is scheduled to hit restricted free agency, so his time to get paid could be coming soon. That might be motivation enough to outperform himself for the rest of the season.