Titans rookie running back LeGarrette Blount punched teammate Eric Bakhtiari during practice yesterday.
This is the same player who was suspended at Oregon for sucker punching Boise State player Byron Hout last fall.
This is also the same player who wasn’t drafted in April because of the aforementioned sucker punch.
The majority of ESPN Sportsnation thinks Blount’s training camp punch is a big deal. However, I’m still disturbed by the sizeable minority of people who don’t think it’s worth the attention.
I am even more disturbed by Titans coach Jeff Fisher’s comments:
“I am not disappointed whatsoever. His past is his past. Is that the first punch you’ve seen at camp this year? No. OK. I am not disappointed whatsoever. I have great confidence in the young man that he has learned from his mistake and is very competitive.” (Source: The Tennessean)
If “his past is his past,” why wasn’t Blount, who had first- or second-round talent, drafted by the Titans or any other NFL team?
Why? Because the sucker punch at Oregon was deemed by all 32 teams to be a very big deal.
But the training camp punch isn’t a big deal, because players throughout the league get into fights during training camp?
The Tennessee Titans play football, not hockey, and LeGarrette Blount is a running back, not a boxer.
If Blount makes the team and is ejected from a regular season game, and Chris Johnson can’t push the pile in the red zone to score a much-need touchdown, we will see that coach Fisher’s faith in Blount was not warranted.
Fisher’s comments have rekindled my doubts about the coach which stem in part from two poor decisions he made during the disastrous start of the 2009 season.
1. Fisher maintained his confidence in Kerry Collins for too long. Had Titans owner Bud Adams not insisted that Vince Young start at quarterback after game 6, the Titans would likely have finished the season with a much worse record than 8-8.
2. Fisher had so much confidence in rookie cornerback/punt returner Ryan Mouton that he cut veteran kick returner Mark Jones at the end of training camp. Mouton was largely responsible for the September 27, 2009 loss to the New York Jets. A few days later, Fisher corrected himself and the Titans signed Jones.
As the 2010 season begins, I have very little confidence in Jeff Fisher or LeGarrette Blount.