NFL NEWS: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Two serviceable running backs in LaGarrette Blount and Ben Tate were released Tuesday but the Steelers and Browns’ losses will likely not be the Bucs gain.
For the 28th overall offense with the 28th rushing attack in the league, you’d think the Bucs could use experienced veterans. Running backs Bobby Rainey and Doug Martin have combined for 558 yards and two touchdowns in 150 carries for the season with Rainey being the more productive of the two. To put it in perspective, quarterback Josh McCown leads the team in rushing TDs with two.
How undisciplined are the Bucs? The offense is the sixth most in the league with 80 penalties for the 11th most yards with 626. The defense is tied for 11th with 70 penalties for 615 yards which ranks ninth in the league.
While Blount and Tate’s issues aren’t related to penalties, a team with as many issues as the 2-8 Bucs don’t need polarizing figures to an already fragile locker room in dire need of leadership.
Blount ran for 1,939 yards and 13 touchdowns in three years with the Bucs before being traded to the New England Patriots in 2013 where he contributed to 772 rushing yards and 7 TDs. Blount was signed to the Pittsburgh Steelers the following year and ended up spelling for Le’Veon Bell. Through 11 games, Blount ran for 266 yards in 65 carries and two scores as the Steelers leaned more on Bell in the offense. He left the field prematurely during Pittsburgh’s victory Monday against the Tennessee Titans.
Blount’s previous stint with the Bucs were marred with issues in short yardage situations and the current inconsistent play from the offensive line won’t solve that problem any time soon.
Tate rushed for 1992 yards and 10 TDs through four seasons with the Texans. He only played for three as a season-ending injury ended his rookie season. He left the Texans for the Cleveland Browns in 2014 where he contributed 333 rushing yards and four TDs in 108 carries through eight games, but he grew dissatisfied being part of a three-headed running attack. Tate didn’t further his case as a knee injury sidelined him nearly a month. Tate’s waiting to clear waivers where the Indianapolis Colts have shown interest in light of Ahmad Bradshaw’s season-ending injury.
Make no mistake, the Bucs need far more help than these two can ever provide.