Buccaneers: The legend of Leonard Fournette in Tampa
By Rob Leeds
The Buccaneers should always be grateful that Leonard Fournette came to Tampa.
Playoff Lenny. Lombardi Lenny. Lucas Oil Lenny. It doesn’t matter what you call Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette; you will quickly learn that it doesn’t matter.
What does matter is how great Fournette has been during his time in Tampa. Beginning with the start of the playoffs last season, Fournette has been on a dominant 16-game stretch for the Buccaneers.
This stretch started with reinvigorating the Buccaneer run game, evolved in a Super Bowl win, and culminated in a four-touchdown performance today against an MVP candidate running back that was shut out for most of the game.
Fournette may not have the stats that Mike Alstott or Warrick Dunn posted, but he is quickly approaching these all-time greats from a legacy standpoint as such a pivotal part of this Super Bowl team.
You have to go beyond the pure numbers to see what Fournette brings to the table in the modern era to bring him into the fold of these other great backs, especially when considering how much this team uses the run as the thunder to the lightning of the pass.
Regardless of the lack of numbers, Fournette does everything asked of him and then some. Tampa signed a free agent third-down back, yet Fournette leads the room in catches. The franchise made a huge show of keeping Ronald Jones at the trade deadline because they liked the committee approach, yet Lenny still shoulders the massive bulk of the load.
Fournette doesn’t complain, doesn’t talk about touches, and he takes his chances when they come; proven by games like today and the Super Bowl.
Leonard Fournette is always up for the big games, and his ability to step up in these games is unmatched by anyone who has played the position in Tampa for a decade.
There are still a few more milestones that Fournette need to hit if he wants to go down as an all-time great in franchise history, but he has certainly done enough to necessitate an extension. It’s clear that he fits in this offense like a glove, and it will be exciting to see where his career goes from this very impressive high point.
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