LeGarrette Blount, Curtis Painter find redemption on Monday night
LeGarrette Blount looked a lot better in prime time Monday night with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers than he did in his first big-time national TV appearance. Curtis Painter looked a lot better as the Indianapolis Colts' starting quarterback than probably most people expected.
As an Oregon Duck back in 2009, Blount punched out Boise State's Byron Hout at the end of a nationally televised game, earning a suspension for his final collegiate season and sabotaging his own draft status.
He was eventually signed by the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent and was picked up off waivers by the Bucs in 2010. He proved himself to Tampa fans by rushing for 1,007 yards and six touchdowns last season and showed another national audience what he could do Monday night, rushing for 127 yards and the game-winning touchdown in a 24-17 victory over the Colts.
"I had doubts for a long time," said Blount, who has 294 yards and three touchdowns this season. "Actually, I have no idea when I felt like I'd get the chance again. I eventually got it, and now it's time to run with it like never before."
Monday night also provided redemption of sorts for Painter, a third-string quarterback who looked solid in his first NFL start for a team that has grown used to legendary performances at the position. He completed 13 of 30 passes for 281 yards and two long touchdowns to Pierre Garcon.
“It's always a little easier when you know you're going to get some playing time,” Painter said. “We got off to a good start and put some points on the board. But obviously we have to find a way to put more points on the board and move the ball a little bit better.”
-- Chuck Schilken
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Photo: LeGarrette Blount breaks away from the Indianapolis Colts defense for a 35-yard touchdown run Monday night. Credit: John Raoux / Associated Press