Steelers running back Le’Garrette Blount won’t turn 28 until December, but he’s already getting reminders that he’s no longer a spring chicken in football terms.
Blount signed with Pittsburgh as a free agent this offseason and his fellow back Le’Veon Bell said he’s excited to be on the same team with a player that he watched while growing up. While he may be something of an elder statesman to Bell, Blount showed last season with the Patriots that he has plenty to offer in the backfield.
He ran for 772 yards on 153 carries during the regular season and added a 166-yard, four-touchdown performance in New England’s playoff win over the Colts. Blount admits that it would be ideal if he could use that performance as a springboard to a starting job in the 2013 season, but he’s happy with the way things have worked out.
“I feel like every running back in this league wants to be a starter,” Blount said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Obviously I want to start, and I knew that when I went to New England. I wasn’t the starting guy. When I come here, I know I’m not the starting guy. But you work hard and go out there and do everything as though you are the starter. Sometimes it plays out that way, sometimes it doesn’t. I like Le’Veon. I like his running style. He rushed for 800-plus yards and eight touchdowns as a rookie. I wouldn’t mind complementing him at all.”
There’s optimism in Pittsburgh that the Bell/Blount backfield and Mike Munchak coaching the offensive line will lead to a big jump over the 3.5 yards per carry that they averaged as a team last year. If an improved rushing attack comes to fruition, it should improve Pittsburgh’s chances of ending their two-year playoff drought.