Sep 22, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount (29) runs the ball against Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Mark Barron (23) during the fourth quarter of a game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Buccaneers 23-3. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

LeGarrette Blount Could Be Better Option For Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers are desperately in the market for a back up running back.  After the departures of Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer and ACL torn free agent Larod Stephens-Howling (yet to be re-signed by the team), the Steelers brought in former Jacksonville Jaguar Maurice Jones Drew.  MJD left without a contract – more than likely because he wants starter-like money and a larger role than just being the second option of the 1-2 punch the offense is looking for.  The Steelers have expressed interest in Patriots free agent LeGarrette Blount, and when comparing the two options, Blount just might be the better fit in Pittsburgh.

The former Oregon Duck was picked up by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back in 2010 as an UDFA.  Blount ran for just over 1,000 yards in just 13 games, averaging 5.0 yards on 201 attempts.  Blount was traded to New England in 2013 after having a pretty bad 2012.  He was traded for Pats running back Dempsy and a seventh round pick.  While that may look bad on the resume, Blount’s slow fade in Tampa was predicated by the removal of former head coach Raheem Morris, who loved Blount as his featured back.  I’m not too worried about Blount being ‘moved around’ and the fact that the Pats aren’t interested in re-signing him.

Jan 11, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount (29) runs against the Indianapolis Colts in the second half during the 2013 AFC divisional playoff football game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Blount’s bruiser style of running for the Patriots accumulated 772 yards and 7 TD’s on 153 attempts.  Well hey, look at that, there’s that 5.0 yards per carry showing up again.  You might also remember that Blount rushed for 166 yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries in a playoff victory over the Indianapolis Colts in January.  In an offense that is built around Tom Brady attempting over 30 passes every game, the Pats have never been a strong running team and don’t have the offensive line for it either.  However, they found themselves ranked 9th in the running game between Blount’s and Stevan Ridley’s effeorts.

Could the 255 lb. Blount be the next Jerome Bettis with his bruising pile moving style of running, complemented with a surprising burst of speed once in the open?  Doubtful.  He doesn’t quite possess the nimble footwork that Bettis had, but man he can still lower that shoulder and run hard.  Besides, Bell is the featured guy, and I’m confident that Steeler Nation won’t be clamoring over this guy to run the ball unless it is a short yardage situation.  Blount would be a very good compliment to Bell, and a much better fit than MJD .  He was part of a 1-2 punch system in New England and would have that role if in Pittsburgh.  For the sake of attitude, that bodes well over acquiring a former starter like MJD who may not like hanging out on the sidelines the majority of a game – even if he were to get paid well for it.

Blount was scheduled to meet with the team early this week, but that has been pushed all the way to Friday because Tomlin and Colbert are not in town due to league meetings.  That may mean nothing, but that could also mean everything for this deal to happen.  Tomlin’s and Colbert’s in-person presence (rather than phone meetings) tells me at least that the team is very interested in making sure Blount does not leave Pittsburgh without a contract.  It’s a good addition and an unexpected one from the start of free agency if it happens.


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Tags: LeGarrette Blount Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Pats_Gnome

    I don’t get to see the Patriot’s practices so I don’t know what the Patriot’s coaches are thinking. But I would sign Blount and trade or release Stephan Ridley

    • Craig

      I agree. He was very solid and had moments of beast during the season. The Pats FO always confounds me.

  • robert dean

    Why not give Isaac Redman a second chance to show his stuff… with a good o-line. And yes, bring back James Harrison. He would have a great role to play as all-purpose OLB and teacher of the young guns, inspiring them to ferocity. And he has certainly won the right to retire a Steeler.

    • Craig

      I’d like to think that 2011 and 2012 WERE his shot. Two seasons and he just couldn’t establish himself as a featured back and could not perform well in any backup role to Bell last season. Sorry not buying Redman getting a THIRD chance. Yes to Harrison – cheap and still serviceable.

    • Anthony Chiado

      You are joking about giving Redman another chance right?

  • Rufus Benard

    Bring back Harrison I agree with, No question. For this season he would be a MAJOR upgrade over either of out OLB’s. Redman no thanks. Bell will miss a few games count on it. Maybe alot with the injuries historically all NFL teams have. I like Blount, he has a CAREER 5 yards a carry and hes a wear down the defense in the 4th quarter type running back. Which we need to get better at.

  • Rufus Benard

    There are teams very interested in him by the way. The Patriots are still interested and Baltimore was very interested in him. Then Rice got indicted and is going to jail. I would sign him simply because the ravens want him. They are one of the best at evaluating RB talent. Nobody can deny that. I also would like to see them sign howling if he heals properly. He showed promise.