The New England Patriots expressed interest in re-signing running back LeGarrette Blount, an interest that appeared mutual as Blount stated he’d like to return.
But the Patriots, who seem to pull effective running backs out of their backfield like a magician pulls a rabbit out of his hat refused to pay over market value and that wasn’t something Blount wanted to hear.
The veteran began looking for work elsewhere which lead to him signing a contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
It was a bit of an odd fit given the Steelers already have Le’Veon Bell entrenched as their starter, though the Steelers needed depth behind Bell and Blount gives them just that. Still, it’s unlikely to be a glorious role for Blount who is only likely to get 6-8 carries per game according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
But what is most attractive about Blount is his career rushing average — 4.7 yards per carry — which, at the very least, makes him a dependable back in short-yardage and goal-line situations. The Steelers signed him to spell Bell and get six to eight carries a game.
In fairness to the Steelers, that’s likely the best role for Blount who despite some impressive statistics during the 2013 postseason isn’t what many would call an overly effective starting running back.
Now forming a two-headed tandem, Bell and Blount should give opposing defenses problems as the Steelers look to re-establish a suspect running game built off power.
“I like the mentality they have here — hard-nosed football,” Blount said. “The defense is really tough, and a really good defense that plays well and makes big hits and makes plays is what gets the offense hyped to run the football. And the tradition of winning. They always find ways to get it done.”