Closing The Case On LeGarrette Blount...Nearly A Year Later.

Almost there fellas. Tomorrow should be the day. I think you all know what I'm talking about and because of this, I want to get in one more slightly off topic, fairly dated topic before the real news starts flooding in. It kind of pains me to rehash such old news, but I feel like I may not get a chance to share my opinion on the matter as we eagerly anticipate next season. Speaking of anticipation, let's talk about LeGarrette Blount. The 2010, 2011, and 2012 Tennessee Titans would not have been better off with LeGarrette Blount.

I know this because A.) I'm clairvoyant and B.) It's pretty much common sense. LeGarrette Blount had a pretty awesome rookie season based on traditional metrics. His YPC was near the top of the league and the numbers seem to say that a full season of Blount Force would have created some pretty impressive numbers. With his eye-popping athleticism combined with his immense size and relatively impressive speed, I wasn't too surprised that he was finding success. I was more than I little bummed out that the Titans had cut ties with him in favor of LaVelle Hawkins (allegedly) and thought that we had really missed out on an opportunity. 

But then I thought, an opportunity for what? 

What's the point of having a stud player on the bench? For all we know, Javon Ringer might be just as good (and I think he actually might be) and he's been buried on the bench ever since he was drafted after nearly winning the Heisman as one of college football's most productive runners. I find it hard to believe that Ringer is just that bad. For starters, he's flashed talent before. If you recall week one against the Raiders, it was Ringer, not Johnson, who scrambled in for the first score of the new season from 15 yards out. He looked pretty darn good doing it too. 

The point is, I believe that Javon Ringer is at least as talented and able to carry an NFL offense as well as LeGarrette Blount is. At least. I have no hard evidence for this, but his college pedigree checks out, he was drafted as someone who had some upside, and in the glimpses we've gotten of him, he's looked fairly impressive. Capable of five yards a carry? Given a small sample size against some questionable defense like Blount was, anything is possible. I don't mean to detract from Blount in any way. I think he's a great instinctive runner. There's now way he could have known his playbook very well during the time he was starting, there just wasn't enough time to learn it. I was reading through some Blount stuff on Bucs Nation lately and I got the impression that early on, he was kind of, for lack of a better word, guessing on his blocking assignments. That's not to say that he can't learn a playbook, but given how he wasn't even a regular in terms of playing time until week six and wasn't even on the team until week one, he was probably a few steps behind the 8 ball. I think I just accidentally made a case for him instead of against him...anyway, moving on. 

What we've got so far:

 

  • already capable backup
  • aforementioned capable backup is probably at least as likely to put up Blount numbers given the same circumstances
  • he'd be buried on the bench anyway
For my final point, I'd like to point out that Blount wasn't even that good of a player last year and I'm a bit cautious to anoint him as anything more than a flash in the pan yet. Yet. For his sake, I hope he proves me wrong. It'd sting a little, but I can't help but think that even if he were here, what exactly would he contribute? Let's just be thankful that a division rival didn't scoop him up. Despite what some advanced metrics might say about his rookie season, Blount is a back with some considerable upside. 

The argument of depth can be made, but he'd still be the third back on the depth chart, that roster spot is basically a formality and totally interchangeable with an un-drafted free agent or low round draft pick. Case in point, we've just drafted Blount's doppelganger, Jamie Harper, out of Clemson. Only difference is, this guy can catch and contribute on third downs. Go figure. 

So here's the final word: While I'm none too thrilled that Blount was let go so quickly after he seemed to be catching on, I'm not losing any sleep over it because the Titans happen to have the best running back in the NFL handling business week in and week out. 

P.S. 

I'm still on Blount's side in that scrape with Boise State. Byron Hout looks like the typical high school movie assclown. Somebody needed to take him behind the woodshed and teach him a lesson. Say what you will about the way he handled it, but don't deny that he did, in fact, handle it. Also; Boise State is stupid because Boise State. Don't try to argue this with me, that team just sets me on edge and I don't really know why.
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