LeGarrette Blount Looking To Overcome Checkered Past

LeGarrette Blount was a bad seed coming out of college. He missed the majority of his final season due to suspension after sucker punching an opposing player on the field following a loss. His draft stock took a sharp nosedive and he went undrafted, despite significant potential, as shown by his 1000-yard season as a rookie in 2010.

The issues didn’t stop there for Blount, however. He was signed as an undrafted free agent that spring by the Tennessee Titans. While there, he punched a helmeted Eric Bakhtiari after a particularly lively skirmish when the latter interfered with his path following the play.

Such an event is actually a fairly common occurrence during training camp. Cameron Heyward had a reputation of being overly aggressive in practice and got into multiple skirmishes with a variety of teammates on the field as a result.

Still, it was a high-profile event for Blount due to his history, and his inability to restrain his fist in this situation, knowing the scrutiny that he would be receiving, was certainly questionable. While he escaped any type of punishment for the incident—which is far from surprising—he did not survive the final roster cuts.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers ended up acquiring him, and he went on to have a very prominent role as a rookie in their offense. He averaged five yards on 201 carries, scoring six touchdowns in seven starts and 13 games played.

But all was not well in Tampa.

According to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Blount’s “lack of commitment was startling to coaches from the day he was claimed off waivers from the Titans as an undrafted rookie in 2010”. He reportedly racked up over $15,000 in fines in his first two weeks with the team due to tardiness.

The problem became so significant that the team resorted to forcing him to hire a car service to not only transport him to work in the morning, but to wake him up. Stroud writes that they canceled the car service after a few weeks for a day—and only a day—because he was late once again. The car service remained in place through 2011.

He fell asleep in meetings. He was ill-prepared for games, which helped contribute to his lack of playing time during passing situations. But those things didn’t seem to be an issue in 2012, the first season with Greg Schiano as head coach.

Still, the Buccaneers were reluctant to even retain him after drafting Doug Martin in 2012, and they ended up trading him in 2013 for a seventh-round draft pick and a slight runner whose ambitions lay on the track in Jeff Demps.

Yet there’s been nary a word about Blount coming out of the New England Patriots camp and their local media, unless I’ve simply missed it. How much has he matured, and how much might that be attributable to the Patriots’ usual vow of silence?

According to Andrew Martin, who suggested that the trade could have been a wake-up call, Blount “has been a model citizen and outspoken in expressing his desire to work and be a team player” since arriving in New England.

Perhaps Tampa Bay was a corrosive environment. It certainly seemed that way last season. Perhaps he needed the structure of a stable franchise that has the prospects to win in order to motivate himself to put all the work in.

Whatever they need me to do, I’m going to do it. No matter if it’s in the third quarter or the fourth quarter, if they need me to close the game, I’m going to do that, and if they need me to start the game, I’m going to do that.

If that is the attitude that he’s taking with him to Pittsburgh—if he’s truly left his past behind him in Tampa Bay—then the Steelers made a wise decision to bring him on board.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Luke Shabro

    I hope this is the new and improved Blount with all the talent of the troubled Blount. It’s hard to know the dynamic of the locker room but LeVeon Bell is a physical specimen and it seems like he must’ve been working hard for Ben to trust him more and more every week. Will Johnson seems like a self-made guy. Hopefully this will be a good culture for him. Certainly less dysfunctional than the Bucs but less strict than the Pats. Plus its not like we invested 10 million in the kid.

  • steeltown

    It seems he needed a strong minded Coach and a stable Organization to get in the right mindset and become more professional. He played in Tampa when Raheem Morris was the HC, I lived in Tampa at that time, im sorry it wasn’t one single player the entire roster was poorly coached and managed during his tenure.

    Im sure certain things were discussed when the two sides met in Pittsburgh. By all accounts he seems to have matured since his rookie and sophomore yr

  • cp72

    Jack Lambert throws down Charlie Waters for taunting Roy Gerela. This happened in the Super Bowl no less. If that happened today there would be a 30 min NFL network round table about if he should be suspended.

    I don’t care if he has a pissy attitude. As matter of fact I think this team is missing
    it a little. If turns into a cancer put him on the street.

  • dgh57

    I’m hoping we can chalk it up as him only going through that phase in life where most of us do some dumb things in our lifes and we eventually move past it. I know I did some dumb things in my 18 to mid 20 years.

  • Steve

    Hopefully Blount has changed his fistful ways and is more mature from his days in college and in Tampa. We need a back to relieve Bell and run back kicks. Read about this the other day after the signing, new RB coach will have his work cut out for him.

  • steelersfan

    Fingers crossed…

  • 412 Central

    Some people are very sensitive nowdays. So what if he punched someone 4 years ago. Has he been in any trouble with dui’s, drugs, gangs and etc? Come on now ahaha. This is FOOTBALL! BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS!!!

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    this pick up reminds me of when the Seahawks picked up Lynch a bigger bruiser with good feet and a shaky past. It worked out damn well for the Seahawks I hope it does for the Steelers too.

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    both the people he punched had it coming

  • dkoy85

    It drives me crazy thinking of what can be with Bell and Blount in the backfield.

  • RMSteeler

    You’d think Tomlin’s doghouse would be enough to keep him in line. Patriots locker room seemed to work last year. There’s enough leaders in the Steeler’s locker room to do the same.

  • Aric Brown

    just sayin…the thing with the kid from boise state was cheap.. not only was it a sucker punch, but Blount still had his helmet on… what he did 5 years ago has nothing to do with what he’s doing now though and I’m excited to have him as part of our backfield

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    Im hoping blount have a productive year if i was to say great that maybe would mean that bell as injured im glad he came from a winning organization

  • MC

    As much as i hate the Pats, they always make sure players keep their shit together.

  • Smashmouth

    it will be interesting with Bell and Blount in the backfield to say the least. Will Johnson can add another wrinkle at fullback and hopefully all will stay healthy this season if they add a speed back in the draft i won’t need a xmas present

  • Ryan Barton

    Just saw on Blount’s Twitter that he is going to wear #27.

  • steelster

    I look at it this way, the patriots gave him a second chance and he proved himself with them. He is well aware that he probably won’t get a third chance in the nfl if he screws up. Three strikes you are out, oooppss, this isn’t the pirates depot.

  • joed32

    Except for Hernandez.

  • Ike Evans

    Historically our organization has been a haven for guys who are bad assess… Unlike the pats we don’t necessarily reform them….we embrass it and hone it into our aggressive playing style…if the guy is good enough at least like Harrison if not we let them walk like taamu or Chris rainey

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    A sucker punch? Have you watched the entire video? The dude was heckling him and blount was walking away the dude grabs him to say more trash and blount turns around and gives the dude what he was obviously asking for

  • MC

    I stand corrected.

  • Aric Brown

    maybe you should watch the video… the dude turns around to talk to a teammate and blount punches him in the jaw and then backs away.. STILL with his helmet on as if to say bring it on…. regardless it was years ago and like I said I’m excited to have him in the backfield… but a spade is a spade

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    maybe you should watch the video. the dude walks to his teammates for protection blount was alone. you must be a brave dude if you are alone and willing to take off your helmet before punching someone in front of 10-15 of his teammates. blount was walking away pure and simple if the guy didn’t wanna get punched he shouldn’t have grabbed him

  • tim

    Ya know WHAT. …Schiano is enough to make ANYONE fall out in ANY stuation! Lol Hopefully this kid is serious any read to go after being in another VERY serious organization like the Patriots….if there WAS problems there dont you think we would have heard about them….we heard about other players they grew sour on…