As new Bucs coach Greg Schiano attempts to instill a more disciplined approach in Tampa Bay, one name keeps surfacing as an example of a player who might not fit that approach: Running back LeGarrette Blount.
Schiano wants players who are driven and motivated to do all the required work and then some, but Blount didn’t give anything close to that effort for the last coaching staff. In fact, Blount’s lack of commitment was startling to coaches from the day he arrived in Tampa Bay in 2010, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.
Stroud writes that Blount was fined more than $15,000 for repeatedly showing up late to practice. His tardiness became so common that eventually the team arranged for him to hire a car service with a driver who would wake him up in the morning and bring him to the team’s practice facilities. After that worked for a few weeks the Bucs figured Blount could cancel the car service because he had figured out what time he needed to get up and get going to get to practice on time. And then Blount was late again on the very first day the car service was canceled. And so they re-ordered it for Blount, and a car and driver kept taking him to practice in 2010 and in 2011. And even when he sleeps in, Blount still apparently needs more sleep, because he also has a history of falling asleep in team meetings.
Does anyone think that’s the kind of thing Schiano is going to tolerate?
When the Bucs traded back into the first round of this year’s draft to take running back Doug Martin, that was a strong sign that Schiano didn’t think he could count on Blount as his starting running back. Schiano says there is no favorite in the running back competition, but if Blount can’t get himself out of bed early enough to get to work on time — and if he can’t stay awake while he’s at work — then it’s safe to say Blount isn’t going to last with Schiano.