Steelers Sign LeGarrette Blount - A Different Take
It seems like forever ago that LeGarrette Blount punched an opponent, got suspended by Chip Kelly, got reinstated, went undrafted because of character concerns, then signed with the Titans and ran for 1,000 yards. Blount has been on (pretty) good behavior since then, making the most of the chances he’s been given. Yesterday, the 27-year-old signed a two-year contract with the Steelers worth $3.85 million — including a $950,000 signing bonus — and looks to help a sputtering Pittsburgh running game.
Blount comes to a Steelers team that already has a young starter in Le’Veon Bell. Bell rushed for 860 yards and eight touchdowns in 13 games last season, but his yards per carry (YPC) was nothing special at 3.5 a pop. Blount looks to have a clear shot at the backup spot with Jonathan Dwyer leaving for Arizona to reunite with Bruce Arians, and Felix Jones and Isaac Redman both being free agents.
The Steelers aren’t exactly the Steel City of old when it comes to running the ball. The black and gold ranked 25th in total rushing attempts in 2013, and 30th in yards per attempt. That is likely to improve in 2014 as the Steelers offensive line, and Bell, should come into 2014 healthy, while the offense went through an identity crisis of sorts before finding its footing at the end of the season and making a bigger commitment to the run.
Blount comes to Pittsburgh with a very healthy 4.7 career YPC average, and is known for his bruising running style. In 2013 with the Patriots, Blount started seven games and finished the year with 773 yards and seven rushing touchdowns that included 265 yards and four touchdowns over the final two weeks of the season.
Blount ranked sixth overall in fantasy for points per opportunity in point per reception leagues, and was the No. 1 overall running back in fantasy in the same category in standard leagues. While it may be hard for Blount to duplicate those numbers with a Steelers offense that isn’t as good as the Patriots, Blount should be able to help a Steelers running game that has lacked consistency for the past few years. Blount will get his chances to prove himself, and he should be a guy to vulture some short yardage touchdowns in the process.