Although its magnitude paled in comparison to a certain NBA player who infamously decided to take his talents to South Beach this fall, the Tennessee Titans made a somewhat controversial call of their own before the start of the NFL season.
The decision I’m talking about is the Titans releasing promising RB LeGarrette Blount only a day or so after the rookie sledgehammer had, for the time being, made the team’s final 53-man roster.
As a result of Blount resurfacing and showing some power running ability with the Tampa Bay Bucs and the recent concerns regarding the workload of “Mr. 2,000” himself: Chris Johnson, let’s revisit the Titans’ decision to part ways with their former running back.
In his first action of the season last weekend against the Steelers, Blount carried the football 6 times for 27 yards while also scoring his first career touchdown on a short-yardage opportunity where his pile-moving abilities served him well.
According to media reports, Blount has already emerged as a likely candidate to be the recipient of Tampa’s short yardage carries moving forward.
Considering recent questions regarding the need to reduce Chris Johnson’s workload, it certainly causes one to wonder if Blount could have been one of the players (along with Javon Ringer) to help ease CJ’s burden of literally and figuratively carrying the team’s offense.
Don’t get me wrong, folks: I love seeing CJ run the football. He’s an exciting RB who is a threat to take it the distance on any given handoff. There’s certainly nothing wrong with an offensive philosophy that’s centered around getting the ball into the hands of the team’s best playmaker early and often.
However, there’s another part of me that cringes when noticing that CJ is ranked #1 in rushing attempts through three games. Sure, he’s tough for his size and has the ability, (for the most part) to avoid the bone-shattering hits that eventually catch up to a running back’s body.
Despite CJ’s major-hit avoiding talents, it’s only natural to be concerned when CJ’s smallish-frame is subjected to the additional pounding that comes with carrying the ball over 30 times in a ballgame, as evidenced by last week’s 32-carry, 125 rushing yard performance against the G-Men.
Jeff Fisher has already suggested that we may see more from Javon Ringer in the coming weeks and considering how well the second-year back has played in very limited opportunities, that certainly shouldn’t be a bad thing.
As a matter of fact, Javon Ringer is probably the biggest reason why LeGarrette Blount is no longer on the Titans’ roster. In Ringer, the Titans have a more-than-capable back who is ready to provide the team with a solid option at running back position #2.
As much as I’d have liked to see him stick around, keeping Blount would have been more of a luxury than a need. Speaking of needs, the guy who was essentially signed to replace Blount on the roster, former Steeler special-teamer Patrick Bailey, has continued his special teams’ prowess as a Titan.
So at the end of the day, despite the combination of his promising start in Tampa Bay and the part of me that wishes he had never left the city of Nashville, it’s hard in my opinion to view the Titans’ decision to release LeGarrette Blount as a bad one.
Agree or disagree with me? Feel free to contribute your thoughts below.