Undrafted rookie running back LeGarrette Blount is well on his way to making the Titans’ 53-man roster and being in the game-day rotation at tailback.
Coach Jeff Fisher said that second-year player Javon Ringer would be the main backup to Chris Johnson if the season started today, but the bruising 246-pound Blount provides a needed inside presence. Blount’s not a shoe-in because he’s got work to do in the passing game and learning special teams, but he’s positioned himself well.
“The big back’s had a good camp,” Fisher said of Blount, known to his teammates as L.G. “He’s coming on. We’ll let him carry it a lot in preseason. We’d probably avoid (putting him in a lot of passing situations) if we could, but it’s coming. He knows where to get to.”
Blount is competing with veteran Alvin Pearman and fellow undrafted rookie Stafon Johnson from USC for the No. 3 spot.
Said quarterback Vince Young of Blount: “The biggest thing is, he’s got to know that in the NFL, you can’t go sideways. We need him going downhill. He’s learning that. Every day I try to push that in his ear, ‘Just take the ball and move forward. They’re going to get out of the way with your big butt running through there.’
“He’s understanding that and he’s getting more comfortable with the (passing) game, like running routes and getting in the right place when I switch protections, where he has to go and where he has to be. I don’t see him taking a step back, at the same time, he needs to get a feel for the game.”
Maybe the biggest thing for Blount is that he has remained humble and earned the respect of veterans and coaches. When we started this On The Fringe project, he was worried how he’d be accepted after his near season-long suspension after his infamous punch of Boise State player Byron Hout after Oregon’s season-opening loss in 2009. Running back coach Craig Johnson said Blount is being treated like every other rookie and that he’s doing everything he’s been asked to do, like carry shoulder pads and bring vets food.
— Steve Wyche