LeGarrette Blount Sounds At Home In Pittsburgh, AFC North

When LeGarrette Blount first came out of the college ranks and went undrafted, I, and I’m sure many other Pittsburgh Steelers fans, saw his size and running style and wanted to see the team take a chance on him and bring him in as a free agent. This despite his character concerns typically being something that would take him off the team’s radar—which it apparently did.

He seemed to justify the hype as a rookie for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when he rushed for 1007 yards on 201 carries for over five yards per carry, six of which ended in the end zone. Meanwhile, the Steelers selected Jonathan Dwyer, who was lucky to make the roster.

Of course, Blount had his issues in Tampa Bay as well, with chronic tardiness being a concern during his first two seasons, as well as a seeming lack of motivation in the classroom. These things may have ended his Steelers career prematurely anyway, had they signed him then.

But he’s with the black and gold now, and evidently he too saw the fit between himself and the team, and with the AFC North as a whole.

Blount was asked about what he liked about the Steelers and the division yesterday. When asked why Pittsburgh was the right fit for him, he made it pretty simple: “I like how they play. I like the division. I like that they have a tough, hard-nosed running style”.

Blount talked about watching film on the Steelers and how they won their recent championships, on the backs of the ball carriers such as Jerome Bettis and Willie Parker. That was more significant in the 2005 Super Bowl than the one a few years later, of course.

He was then asked if he watched their film after he signed with the team. “No”, he said. “I watched them before I ever came. I watched [Bettis] in his last Super Bowl before he retired. I watched him even before then. I liked his running style from the beginning”.

He had a big grin on his face when he answered the next question, about if he was excited about being part of that tradition of running style in Pittsburgh, which Bettis had defined for close to a decade. It was clear that his reaction of smiles and laughter was genuine.

“Yeah, it does excite me. Just the whole aspect of me and Le’Veon [Bell] being together and knowing the things we can do and seeing what he’s done in his rookie campaign. It’s going to be an exciting time”.

Steelers fans and beat writers have been chomping at the bit to find the next big back in Pittsburgh. Even Dwyer got the “Mini Bus” treatment on the rare occasion. But Blount may be the closest thing to The Bus since it made its last stop in Detroit.

And Pittsburgh may be the closest thing he’s had to the right environment in his professional career thus far. Even in New England last season, he was nearly and afterthought until he was needed.

With the Steelers, he understands his role as the complementary back with Le’Veon Bell. That is why it was so important for Mike Tomlin to be involved in recruiting him. As long as he holds on to the ball, I expect that Blount will quickly become a fan favorite as the city of Pittsburgh quickly becomes a favorite of his, if they truly complement each other as well as it seems.

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • dkoy85

    I’m as excited to watch him play as he is to play. This offense has the chance to be really good and multidimensional.

  • D.j. Hoy

    The more I think about this signing, the more I like it. Le’Veon can’t be in 100% of the time. He is going to need breathers just like any other back. Just think, instead of him going to the sideline and watching the slowest “fast” back in the history of the NFL (Felix Jones) come out to the field and run for 2 yards, Blount brings the ability to get some good runs for the team. I know everyone thinks that a scat back changed up with a big back, or vice versa, is hard for a defense, but think about trying to tackle a 230lb Bell, and when he goes to the sideline to get rested a 250lb Blount gets the carries. That has to be a horrible thought for a defense.

    I am interested in the timeshare utilized between them. Obviously everything will be dependent upon how they are playing, but to me the ideal would be around a 60/40 split. 60% to Bell, 40% to Blount. That would be enough to keep Bell well rested and it would also give Blount enough carries to show his ability so he can get in a rhythm as well.

  • Aric Brown

    I think carries will be right around even, but Bell will get a lot more snaps because of his pass catching ability

  • dgh57

    Our opponents better hope we don’t get any sizable leads on them because it’ll be our time to return to the old times of running the ball to control the clock! All we need from the draft now is a LT like a Taylor Lewan to help open the holes and one of the top WRs to compliment the run game to get our offense going. Can’t wait till the season starts!!

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Most exciting for me is that we have an above average starter if Bell is injured.

  • Curtis

    Cant wait to see “Blunt Force Trauma” run the ball.

  • http://www.thesportsbonanza.com/ TheSportsBonanza

    I have a feeling Joey porter is gonna love this kid even tho he’s on offense haha

  • PA2AK

    I hope it is at least 60/40 in favor of Bell for carries. He can handle it and has a great patience and vision to his runs that will really benefit the OL. I’m glad they brought Blount in, but Bell is much, much better already IMO

  • PA2AK

    Someone on here coined the phrase already, wish I remembered who to give credit.

    ‘Le Backfield’ will be solid.

  • Dan

    They can share stories about all the people they’ve punched.

  • Luke Shabro

    Can you imagine if they trade for LaMichael James? Lol

  • Hodge175

    I really am happy with what they did with this side of the ball, if and it’s a if that these guys perform we could have a dynamic offense. I like the this sign as well as DHB and Moore signing. If and if DHB can make the team and come in and run some to routes it could open things up under the coverage for Wheaton, Moore and AB. Plus like the idea of drafting a new WR.

    Very happy with the coaching pick ups, if we can get the Oline to play for this coach then we know they are bad picks, if he lights a fire in them and gets them to play like they were drafted to play then we should be dynamic this year.

  • Virdin Barzey

    I too like the signing of Blount but lets get some thing straight, I really didn’t see him being that physical a runner in NE. In Tampa? Yes. What makes this guy very good is his vision. He’s the opposite of Dwyer who was blind as a bat. Like the guy, wish him the best but someone needs to check his eyes.

    Overall Blount will be very good for us but I’m not so sure if he’s ready for AFC North physical football. Hopefully he reverts back to his Tampa days since we’re going to need that. I think he does it.

  • 412 Central

    Wheres the Tomlin/Haley haters at??

  • grw1960

    Blount was a RB I hoped the Steelers might draft late in that draft. Even though I was pretty sure they wouldn’t because of the punch.

  • Steve

    We need some “Nastiness” on our team. Too many sit back and not enough “Fighters” to brings out the Beast. Steelers need to get back to Smashmouth football and Mr Rooney has lobbied for this.

  • http://www.nyob.com/ Dr. Doom

    Let the good times roll, literally.