Marc Sessler Evaluates Steelers RB LeGarrette Blount

Recently, Marc Sessler went back and watched all of new Pittsburgh Steelers running back LeGarrette Blount’s snaps from a year ago for the NFL Network, and wrote about his findings about who he is and how he will fit into the offense.

Blount was traded to the New England Patriots last season as a fringe player battling for a roster spot, but by the end of the season, he’d become the featured back, and completed the year averaging 5.0 yards per carry.

Even still, the Patriots made little to no effort to re-sign him. Mike Tomlin and the Steelers recruited him heavily, and he ultimately agreed to a two-year, $4 million contract to serve as Le’Veon Bell’s backup with the head coach’s word that the Steelers will do with two running backs what most attempt to do with three.

Sessler writes that “Blount is all power. Thunder to Bell’s lightning, the former Buccaneers and Patriots runner gives Pittsburgh a short-yardage pounder with the ability to draw blood”. He also writes that “he’s far from elusive”, which is something that I disagree with.

Despite his size, Blount actually has some quite nimble feet. Athletically, he and Bell are not much far off in terms of speed and agility. Blount would never have been able to excel in his college offense without agility and vision.

Still, Sessler notes that he “relies on strong blocking and struggles when he doesn’t get it”, which could be a fair assessment given the struggles that he has had, particularly earlier in his career, when it comes to short-yardage situations.

The piece explains that the Patriots’ postseason victory showed Blount as “a bruising runner who — in his best moments — found the crease in short-yardage situations and helped wear down a winded defense”, describing him as “an ideal late-game thumper”.

To that end, the author writes that “he isn’t a featured back”; rather, he “is best used on a carry count between the tackles”. Sessler argues that this fits well with the Steelers, who don’t need him to be the back racing to the edge and would rather see him do most of his damage between the tackles, writing that “most of Blount’s big bursts channeled through inside gaps” rather than around the edge.

Naturally, “his playing time in Pittsburgh will rely on mistake-free snaps that move the chains”, referencing his issues with fumbles over the course of his career. He fumbled three times in around 150 snaps for the Patriots a year ago, which was about par for his career average.

Sessler bottom lines Blount’s role in Pittsburgh with the following:

“As a runner expected to spell Bell for six to eight carries per game, Blount will get his chance to score touchdowns and chew up late-game yardage. As we saw in Tampa and New England, he can carry the load out of necessity, which should come in handy if the Steelers are chasing the playoffs and want to rest Bell for January”.

Noting that the Steelers were quicker to Blount than the rival Baltimore Ravens, Sessler emphasizes the impact that a player of his build and résumé will have on the divisional matches within the AFC North, particularly as the weather cools down. Overall, it seems a fairly accurate assessment, generally corroborating my own observations of Blount’s 2013 performance.

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

    Again, this was a great signing by the Steelers. Should be fun to watch Bell and Blount wear defenses down.

  • ApexSteel

    The pieces are there for this team to have a great running game and the potential is there for an elite passing game. All we need is for the offensive line to actually block someone. It’s made up of mostly high round picks, it’s time that they perform.

  • steeltown

    Going to enjoy seeing Blount in a Steelers uniform

  • Big White

    Beast.

  • Jacque Strappe

    It all starts up front. I hope they all stay healthy.

  • dgh57

    I’ll take the OL staying healthy first then actually block someone. Love to see that happen but our history in that regard isn’t in our favor.

  • rayster

    The Bus II!

  • charles

    The offense has many diverse pieces, I think Ben can put it all together and we should take the 50 to 1 odds on him being MVP. Haley has put this offense together unbelievably fast. If McKullers can play at or near the level of Dontari Poe, the Steelers will be hard to beat by ANYBODY.

  • IckyD

    God-willing, if they can all stay healthy they have a very high ceiling of potential…

  • IckyD

    Maybe the new CBA will keep our PGH turf from doing any untoward damage.

  • SteveM2

    I’m as happy about the Black & Gold acquiring LeGarrett Blount as I was when we stole Jerome Bettis from the Rams for a measly second round draft pick. Blount is a Steelers kind of back and will do well here in Pittsburgh, I predict. I can’t wait to see him grind out tough, crucial yardage when the weather gets rough!

  • IckyD

    I still wonder why the Pats* let him go so easily..

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/JohnnyLoose Johnny Loose

    Best backfield in the NFL

  • RW

    This is my favorite post.

  • chris ward

    Can’t wait to see Blount in the backfield, has nice quick feet for a big back.

  • SteveM2

    ….just like ‘The Bus’ had quick feet.

  • Steelers@2010

    I’ve got tickets to watch their 3rd Preseason Game against Philly. They say the 3rd Preseason Game is a glimpse of what the starting rotation will look like. Starters typically play well into the 3rd QTR. I can’t wait to see how the O/L looks and how the Rookies play as well. I’m excited! Time for some Steeler Football.

  • Steve

    The turf is tore up from being played on too much. Between High School playoff games, Pitt and the Steelers this is the reason the turf don’t last

  • 5fingers2theface

    This Blount is today’s athlete. All game yet lacking leadership presence. Historically leadership has a favorable nod with Steelers. As he’s now with an Team/organization that builds Football students,I’m hopeful he absorbs into this environment.

  • Shawn S.

    Good comparison. Let’s hope it pans out the same way!

  • Shawn S.

    Six to eight carries a game?? Is that a typo? I expected him to have twice that. That’s what you call doing with 2 what a team would normally do with 3? What am I missing here?

  • nicolaisim

    Blount has decent feet and good balance but he not the athlete that Bell is. In regards to agility, there’s a big gap between the two.
    Blount is a great addition and if Bell goes down the offense will probably remain, relatively, the same.
    That being said, there’s a chance of him and Heyward killing each other in camp…

  • Steelerfannorth

    It’s going to be the best 1 – 2 punch in the league! Let the rest of them get the press, we’ll take the best ground attack game this league has seen in a while!

  • TheFunkyRabbit

    Because we already have a loaded backfield and would prefer a back that can block / catch. Blount fits the steelers perfectly though, I’m going to miss him!