8-Time Pro Bowler Sounds Off on Leonard Fournette Hit

Leonard Fournette

Getty Tom Brady hands off to Leonard Fournette against the Cowboys.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette went viral for a hard hit, and Buffalo Bills linebacker Von Miller doesn’t like it.

Fournette struck Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons with his right shoulder while the second-year player was trying to get around Bucs lineman Josh Wells. Parsons’ head snapped back as he fell to the ground. Fournette’s hit allowed quarterback Tom Brady time to take a deep shot of wide receiver Julio Jones on the play.

It didn’t stop Parsons from playing all of the Cowboys’ defensive snaps, and he sacked Brady twice. Miller nonetheless spoke out about Fournette leveling Parsons.

“This block must be taken out [of] the game! This is the future and we are just letting the offense tee off on our marquee pass rushers! You can get the job done without this much contact,” Miller tweeted on Monday.

Fournette, who wasn’t called for a penalty on the play, downplayed the hit and his physical blocking overall against the Cowboys.

“It’s not really [about] satisfaction, but I got [number] 12 back there,” Fournette said in the Peacock post game show. “We’ve got to protect him with our life, and we know what he can do to lead us and what he can do with the ball in his hands and when he’s comfortable. So that’s my job.”

Fournette: ‘That Was My Whole Focus’

Fournette also ran the ball well with 127 yards on 21 carries — eclipsing his highest total in his tenure with Tampa Bay. It marked only his fourth 100-yard game with the Bucs after nine 100-yards with Jacksonville in three seasons.

“Coach B [Byron Leftwich] preaching all week, man, ‘if you hit the line of scrimmage, we’re going to rush for 100 yards,'” Fournette told Peacock. “That was my whole focus.”

Fournette received the game ball for his play, but he gave it to the offensive line instead according to ESPN’s Jenna Laine.

“They did a great job,” Fournette said per Laine.

Amid his third season starting strong, Fournette recounted his journey with the Bucs. Jacksonville released Fournette before the 2020 season, and Fournette joined the Bucs and eventually emerged as the primary running back. He split time with Ronald Jones II most of his first year in Tampa Bay.

“Second chances,” Fournette told the Peacock crew about his time with the Bucs. “Number one, it’s God. He knew what I wanted. You know, I wanted to win. You know, I wanted to be a part of an organization that respects me.”

Fournette listed off the talented players, past and present, and he competed with in Tampa Bay — Rob Gronkowski, Mike Evans, and Antonio Brown.

“I’m playing with some studs, and like we say, great players want to play with great players,” Fournette added.

Fournette’s Weight Issue Motivated Him

Fournette came to minicamp in June not looking the greatest — 15 pounds overweight. He put that behind him for training camp and showed up at 245 pounds instead of 260 per Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed. Fournette told the Peacock crew that proving naysayers wrong after the weight news circulated motivated him.

“Because I know me,” Fournette said. “There’s a reason why they signed me back, and it’s outsiders just talking, looking for something to say. So they don’t bother me.”