Thursday, January 6, 2011

LaGarrette Blount

Most people know LaGarrette Blount's name for the wrong reasons. After the 2009 college football opener in which Blount's Oregon Ducks were beaten by Boise State, Blount punched an opposing player who was taunting him.

Blount was immediately suspended by Oregon head coach Chip Kelly for the rest of the season. He was allowed to continue to practice with the team, but his playing days - at least in college - seemed to be over.

Blount was reinstated before Oregon's season finales after doing all the right things - being a good teammate, learning from his mistakes, good behavior.

All the NFL teams stayed away from LaGarrette in the 2010 NFL Draft. It seemed no organization was willing to take a chance on his character and questionable past.

Eventually, the Tennessee Titans offered LaGarrette an opportunity to in training camp. He was released before making the team and had an incident with a teammate, though the Titans said that didn't lead to his dismissal. With his release, everyone expected LaGarrette to ride off into the sunset.

But Tampa Bay was in need of running back depth, so they decided to give him a shot. He didn't play in three of the first five games and in the other two he combined for 10 carries and 30 yards. Hardly impressive.

If you follow football, by now you know that LaGarrette Blount had a breakout year. He accounted for 1,007 yard on 201 carries and scored six touchdowns. He is a legitimate contender for the Offensive Rookie of the Year. 

I didn't write this to condone what LaGarrette Blount did. But I think it is important that we learn from his story.

Stay patient and take advantage of opportunities when you get them. And it becomes even more important if you make a mistake. You may only get one chance.

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