Benn And Blount Taking First Team Snaps

Published: September 29th, 2010

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According to Stephen Holder, both Arrelious Benn and LeGarrette Blount played with the first team today in practice.

The Bucs have begun the process of integrating rookie receiver Arrelious Benn more into the offense as he took virtually all the snaps at flanker during today’s practice.

Sammie Stroughter has only caught six passes for 49 yards in three games. Both Cadillac Williams and Earnest Graham have more catches, which should make a starting wide receiver sad. Not saying it’s Sammie’s fault; there could be any number of reasons. But if Benn is the better receiver and Eric Yarber now feels he’s ready to step up, better sooner than later.

“He knows his assignments, so he’s playing with a lot more confidence and he’s playing faster,” Yarber said. “You’re seeing the real (Benn) right now. He’s really dialed it up because of knowing his plays and studying and playing faster. . . I think if you put them out there too early you could lose them for a while, especially with their confidence.”

This probably means Stroughter will move to the slot and we’ll all have to read about the Bucs starting two rookies at wide receiver for the next week or two. Funny Stroughter story: Watching practice last week, I saw Sammie go into motion and slip and fall on his face behind the quarterback. His legs just kicked out from under him. It looked like a Chevy Chase pratfall.

Hey, speaking of wide receivers, did you know that Micheal Spurlock has only caught three passes, but has an average of almost 20 yards per reception? Is this just fortunate for Spurlock or are the Bucs setting him up to be a regular deep threat?

The info on Blount is a lot less clear. Holder just tweeted that Blount was being given starting reps so as to get more work in. Raheem Morris had declared Blount the short-yardage back before backpedaling and saying that he would still have to compete for that role.

“He’s not declared,” said Morris, who indicated on his weekly radio show on Monday that Blount would be the Bucs’ new option in goal-line and short-yardage situations. “But he’s definitely going to have a role (there) if he’s not the back. He still has to go out there and compete with Earnest a little bit, but I’m sure Earnest Graham will gladly run up the sideline and tap him in if he keep giving us runs like that.”

However you read that, it is clear that we’ll be seeing more of Blount in the coming games.

[I have actually received questions about why I have laid off of Blount and not made any more face-punching jokes. Three reasons: 1) He is performing well and that gives you a certain level of immunity, 2) Mark Dominik told me Blount's story and about the kind of competitor he is and now it seems trite to make those jokes, 3) And most importantly, it's easy to drive a joke like that into the ground. Make the joke a time or two and then let it die unless the situation comes up again. If Blount punches someone else, all bets are off. This rule does not apply to dead hooker jokes, which are always funny and never get old.]