LeGarrette Blount sat in a chair last week staring into his locker contemplating a question about his new status as the Buccaneers backup running back when suddenly a smile came across his face.
No, the former Bucs starting tailback is not happy about the fact he was unseated by rookie Doug Martin this preseason. There are some things about his new role, though, that Blount finds intriguing.
The idea of possibly being a closer, the runner who takes on a tired defense in the fourth quarter of a game in which his team is ahead by a score or a couple of points, is just one of them.
"Yeah, that would be fun,'' Blount said as his smile morphed into a sly grin. "And it's definitely possible. Anything's possible. But I really don't know what my role is yet. It really hasn't been defined.''
What has been defined is the order in which carries will be doled out, at least at the beginning of the season. Martin, the rookie out of Boise State, will get the largest dose and, surprisingly, Blount seems to be OK with that.
That's a big change from last March, when Blount made it clear that he would not be happy if the Bucs drafted another running back, which is, of course, precisely what they did.
The Bucs moved back into the first round to get the more versatile Martin because they don't think Blount has the pass-catching and pass-blocking skills necessary to be their lead back.
Blount disagrees, of course, but he's not grousing, at least not yet. Rather, he's looking forward to a season that, based on what he's done in the past, could be his best yet.
"The thing you've got to remember is, I had my best season as a backup,'' Blount said referring to his 2010 rookie season, in which he started just seven games but ran 201 times for 1,007 yards.
"That's why I know everything will work out. I mean, I'd much rather play throughout the game, but who wouldn't? So I'm fine with my role. It'll all play itself out and I just have to remember that nothing is set in stone.''
The Bucs also signed two players to their practice squad Saturday, adding
The phone call from the Bucs that former Largo High CB Leonard Johnson was dreading never came on Friday. Still, it wasn't until Saturday that he knew for sure he'd made the Bucs roster.
"I didn't know I'd made the team until I came to practice and got my playbook,'' Johnson said. "As soon as I did, though, I sent a text message to my mom to confirm it for her.''
Receiving that playbook fulfilled a life-long dream for Johnson, who grew up a Bucs fan in the crime-ridden Clearwater community of North Greenwood. Now Johnson plans to help give something back to that community.
On Tuesday, Johnson and several members of the Bucs including co-chairman Bryan Glazer will travel to North Greenwood to break ground on a new football field that comes as a result of a $100,000 grant by the Bucs.
"I grew up throwing the football on that field, running routes on that field and hitting golf balls on that field,'' Johnson said. "And now it's going to be something great for the community, so I'm excited about that.''
The Bucs seem to feel the same way about Johnson. Signed as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Iowa, coach Greg Schiano believes Johnson has the potential to help the Bucs in a big way.
"If you look at his cumulative body of work this preseason, he's played pretty well,'' Schiano said. "He earned the right to be here. The competition as I said goes on, but right now he's in a position where he can help us win.''
The Bucs brought in former Alabama QB John Parker Wilson for a tryout on Friday, but Wilson decided to sign on as a practice squad member with the Jacksonville Jaguars.