After trading back into the first round to grab Stanford running back Doug Martin, it appeared as though the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had given up on LeGarrette Blount as their starting running back. As training camps began and the pre-season got under way, Martin began to show why he deserved the starting job.
Tuesday, Tampa Bay’s head coach Greg Schiano addressed the starting running back position. Schiano announced that Doug Martin would be the team’s week one starting back.
With news of the decision, Schiano said that Blount was understandably disappointed when he got the news, but that he’s confident Blount understood why the decision was made.
“At the very beginning I sat them both down and told them what the deal was,” Schiano said, via Stephen Holder of the Tampa Bay Times. “They knew it. I think – when you watch the tape, and LeGarrette’s a smart guy – when he watches the tape, he sees that he got outperformed.”
Schiano also said that Blount will have the chance to vault back over Martin once the season starts if he is the more productive back.
“We don’t hand out jobs and sign them over. It’s always competition around here, continually. I think Doug’s done a great job and that’s why he’s got the No. 1 seat. But he’s got to work to keep it.”
Schiano has spent his first offseason replacing players from the old regime with ones of his choosing. Martin is the most vivid example of that shift and it will likely take a large volume of evidence to shake Schiano’s belief in the choice he made at running back.