Make the Backfield \”Blount\”?

By Jeremy Hritz

It was great to hear Mike Tomlin talk this week at the owner’s meetings about all things black and gold. Steelers’ fans were finally able to achieve clarity regarding the release of Bruce Arians and the hiring of Todd Haley, both of which Tomlin accepted full responsibility. Tomlin also commented on other intriguing topics such as the potentially volatile relationship between Haley and Ben Roethlisberger, the injury concerns of Emmanuel Sanders and Willie Colon, and the desire of the team to get a “young” quarterback on the roster. However, something that may have been overlooked in Tomlin’s comments was his take on the running back situation. Tomlin said, “I\’m sure we\’re going to get a running back in some form or fashion.” Whether this addition will be made in the draft or free agency has yet to be seen.

Shift your attention for a moment from the Steelers to a franchise coming off of a horrendous season that is now under new coaching leadership. That team would be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. What does this have to do with the Steelers and Tomlin’s declaration about acquiring a running back? To make the connection, we need to look at comments made this week by new Buccaneers’ head coach, Greg Schiano. Schiano, who left Rutgers to coach the Bucs said this week in reference to bruising Bucs running back LeGarrette Blount, “No one who touches the football [for us] will get touches if they don’t protect the football. That is one of our core covenants — the ball. It’s so important they named the game after it. We make a big deal about it.’’ Schiano went on to express his admiration for Alabama running back Trent Richardson, who the Buccaneers are rumored to be interested in drafting in April. Looking at these statements in tandem, it is clear that Schiano is not sold on Blount and could be interested in moving him in a trade.

And based on Blount’s powerful and brutal running, he may be a player the Steelers should consider attaining by trading a later round pick.

If anybody has questions about Blount’s running ability, just Google his 54-yard, bulldozer touchdown run against the Green Bay Packers in which he makes defenders look like 4th graders. Blount is without question a beast that punishes defenses: a player whose on-field demeanor would be aligned with the Steelers’ tradition at the running back position. Blount could provide instant depth, and combined with Isaac Redman, would make defenses cringe knowing who they would have to tackle all game long. And if I am not mistaken, the Steelers made a trade for a running back from the Rams back in the day that ended up being pretty good.

I promise not to leave out the negative…

It is no secret that Blount has a spotty collegiate record, not just for punching a Boise State player in the face who was taunting him, but also by demonstrating a less-than-desirable work ethic for a period of time at Oregon, which by all accounts eventually improved. The other knock on Blount is surrounding his fumbling issues which plagued the Buccaneers last year and led to a few close losses, yet this is something that can be improved.

While it is a long shot that the Steelers will obtain Blount, an exclusive rights free agent who has yet to sign his tender with the Buccaneers, his fierce running style personifies Pittsburgh Steelers football. His nasty streak may be just what is needed in what has been a lackluster backfield over the last few years.

  • JAMESH

    Just what we need………..another Sydney Thornton.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    While I think Blount will be an option, Carolina has painted themselves into a corner at the RB position. Jonathan Stewart is a guy I would look at. Yes, he has some injury history, but I would gladly give up our #6 pick for him. I think he fits our offense and Pittsburgh as a city better than he does Carolina….and I live in Charlotte.

  • paul

    Would be a good move for the right draft pick – maybe a 5?

  • Vee Simpson

    I’m all for the move lets do it

  • fire arians

    blount would be an awesome addition if we can get him, but i doubt it will happen

  • Jason Brown

    A guy who punches other players and who has shown a penchant for being a hothead on the field is not going to be a Steeler….at least not in this day and age. Oh…and leave out your Cedric Wilson wisecracks.

  • Huskie

    There is no way Stewart would only cost a #6. I’m guessing we would have to give up a minimum a #4 and my guess is they’re asking a #3 which is why he hasn’t been moved. Whoever wants Stewart would have to work out a deal first so that he’s not just gone after one season (he wouldn’t even be worth a 6th for a one year contract imo if that’s what you’re suggesting).

  • Eric87

    I had hoped that they would have drafted Blount a couple years ago,but they took Dwyer instead,would like to see this bruiser on our side

  • RW

    We won’t get a medium to high profile RB this year with Mendenhall counting against the cap. Wait until next year to start looking into RBs – we have a young crew with talent that will compete, and we’ll bring in someone proven or a high potential draftee. Worry more about the horrendous offensive line and its lack of depth to protect our $100 million dollar investment and/or a nose tackle, the catalyst for our defense. All other concerns pale in comparison to these.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NXON22FQSDCCSA2WHZIRTHQWTU Greig

    The Bucs would be nuts to get rid of Blount. Even if TB drafts Richardson, it’s very rare for a rookie to be able to hold up to the demand of being a full time starter, over a 16 game season. They would be smart to use the two backs in a rotation.

  • Jefferson St. Joe

    Great reference. Hadn’t thought of the Fumbling Bull in years.

  • Derick

    eh I think RB should be addressed next year. I just don’t understand why they keep Dwyer, Batch, and Clay around if they were to get another back such as Blount. Why keep the guys and try to develop them IF you are going to trade more draft picks away for another back. you used picks to get the current guys, use them. given the team and players will get a FULL off season, I say wait until August to see how the current guys do. trades can happen at any time.

  • Hampdenrocks

    it’d certainly make for a power backfield…. I am eager to watch how the new HB/FB/TE Johnson fits in the new playbook too.

  • Huskie

    The only back I want to see a trade for is JStew and that’s with them signing a longer term deal with him beyond this year. I think he could be a #1. Trade one of our RB and a 4th rounder for him now that they’ve traded Goodson. I don’t see Blount as a long term answer so I don’t think the Steelers would trade for him. We value our picks too much.

  • Jprankster2005

    I think the backs we got now as long as Dwyer and Batch are healthy along with Redman are just fine the way they are…….if they bring in a veteran they should of just released Mendenhall because Batch or Dwyer can be the future…….And If with him being hurt and FA next yr. just don’t make sense to pay him for nothing…….. They should of released mendenhall, Hampton and Johnathan Scott already that would of freed up over 6 million more in cap space……. I love hampton but he’s done……Scott is a joke getting paid way to much and Mendenhall is hurt and we got good young backs that are better in my opoion

  • Jprankster2005

    I think the 4th rounder would do it alone and I agree would love Stewart…….mendenhall should of been released already…….

  • Jprankster2005

    very true the Rooneys don’t like people that cause problems…….Stewart is the answner if they want to trade for one…..

  • Wdmason

    I seem to remember Joe Greene throwing a punch.

  • Robhenderson

    Blount as a draft day trade for a rd 6 or 7. The coach put him on notice one report said. I’d take him.