NEW ORLEANS — Leonard Fournette’s second game in the Superdome this season could be the first chance his family and friends here in New Orleans get to see him play his hometown team as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I hope so, waiting to see right now. The process for tickets is different. So, just waiting to see. I wish Covid wasn’t here, I’d have my whole hood in the game if that’s the case,” says Tampa Bay Buccaneers Running Back Leonard Fournette.
This will be the first time this season Fournette feels comfortable with a large workload against the New Orleans Saints, one of the top rushing defense in the NFL.
He was signed by the Bucs days before their Week 1 opener and only had 1 carry in their Week 9 matchup.
1 of his career-low 97 attempts this season.
The Bucs’ committee approach has put up the 4th best rushing numbers in the NFL. Fournette says it was an adjustment for him at first but something he views as beneficial for all parties moving forward.
“My last 2 years in Jacksonville, I played 96 percent of the time in a game and to have guys like Lesean McCoy, Ronald Jones Jr., Ke’Shawn Vaughn, that can also fulfill that job behind me if anything happens. Also, guys like Mike (Evans) , AB (Antonio Brown), Gronk, you know you have Tom back there, Cam, they take the pressure off of you. It’s a good thing. At first I was looking at the bad by me not getting the ball but in the end it’s helping my career longevity,” says Fournette.
A career that has seen a team with Fournette in the backfield upset a 2 seed at home in the playoffs.
Back in the 2017-18 NFL season, Fournette and the Jacksonville Jaguars knocked off the Pittsburgh Steelers, 45-42 to advance to the AFC Championship game where they fell to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
A tall task for a Bucs team that is still evolving and learning to play with one another.
“They’ve been together for a long time and their chemistry is great. I think we are getting there as a whole with our team, our offense. We just have to find ways to execute and not shoot ourselves in the foot with the small penalties. We have to take it play-by-play. It’s going to be a dog fight. They’ve been here before and it’s our first time being here,” says Fournette.
The New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers play this Sunday at 5:40 p.m. in the NFC Divisional Round.