TAMPA, Fla. It might be a while before LeGarrette Blount or rookie Doug Martin is declared the Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting tailback.
Coach Greg Schiano doesnt see any urgency on that front.
Im not going to make it happen, Schiano said Saturday. If I feel it should go one way and the staff feels that way, Ill do it. Otherwise theyre two good backs and a lot of teams do that now, in this day and age.
Developing a running game is a top priority for the new head coach of a team that ran the ball fewer than 22 times per game last season, the least of any NFL team.
The Bucs ran 25 times in the first half of their 20-7 win over the Dolphins on Friday night in the preseason opener for both teams, with Blount and Martin each getting seven carries and a touchdown.
It was good. Everything that weve practiced is coming to life, said Blount, Tampa Bays leading rusher in each of the past two seasons. We scored on our first two drives, and thats what you always plan to do.
The Bucs traded into the first round to draft Martin, a quick and compact running back out of Boise State. That sent a message to Blount, who came to camp with his job on the line after losing five fumbles last season and experiencing a big dropoff from his 1,007-yard performance of 2010.
Schiano sent a message in the spring about the kind of offense he intends to run, first by drafting Martin and then by signing All-Pro guard Carl Nicks to a five-year contract.
I think its going to be a fluid situation until someone kind of distinguishes himself as deserving more touches, Schiano said.