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Former Steelers CB Blount still rules in hometown

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By Alan Robinson
Monday, Oct. 1, 2012, 8:04 p.m.
 

This is the 35th season since former Steelers star Mel Blount forced the NFL to change its rules for him. In his native Lyons, Ga., Blount still rules.

On Monday, Blount became the first Hall of Famer from the Steelers' 1970s Super Bowl teams to have the Pro Football Hall of Fame dedicate a hometown plaque and highway sign in his honor. Blount's high school, Lyons Industrial, is closed, so the plaque is displayed at Toombs County High.

“It's a tremendous honor, and I'm especially humbled they called my number,” Blount said after the Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance collaborated to recognize him.

Blount, at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, was so strong and skilled that he went entire NFL seasons without giving up a touchdown pass. Because he physically manhandled wide receivers, the NFL instituted the 5-yard chuck rule that prohibited cornerbacks from physically engaging receivers beyond 5 yards from the line of scrimmage.

“ I can't tell you how many people walk up and say, ‘You're the reason they changed the rule. It's the Mel Blount rule,' and that's neat,” Blount said.

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