- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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As his team goes through a couple days of joint practices with Tampa Bay, New England coach Bill Belichick got asked about the Buccaneers’ current feature back and their past feature back.
Belichick had nice things to say about current Tampa Bay starter Doug Martin.
“He’s a good three-down player,’’ Belichick told the media Tuesday. “There’s really no reason for him to come off the field skill-wise. It’s a question of how they want to manage him. He can run, he can catch, he’s a tough kid. Good inside runner, good outside runner, can go the distance, handles the ball well in passing game; good on blitz pickup. Really, he can do it all.’’
The irony here is that Martin’s arrival in Tampa Bay instantly put an end to LeGarrette Blount’s time as the feature back. Blount stuck around last season and wasn’t used very much. In the offseason, the Bucs traded Blount to the Patriots.
Belichick said he’s been happy with what he’s seen from Blount.
“I don’t think there’s any question about his skills,’’ Belichick said. “They’re pretty evident and they have been throughout the course of his career. Tampa has a great back. I certainly understand their situation. They had a Pro Bowl back last year as a rookie. I understand that but I’ve had a lot of respect for LeGarrette and what he’s done through his career. He’s had a good spring for us and a good training camp for us. I think he helps us.’’
Let’s wait a while for a final verdict on that one. New England has been a nice landing spot for wayward players in the past and maybe a change of scenery will work out nicely for Blount. There’s no question Blount has good physical skills.
The challenge always has been keeping Blount focused. Only time will tell if Belichick can do that.