Steelers notebook: Blount feeling backfield is disrespected
LeGarrette Blount has yet to take a meaningful snap for the Steelers, but already he said he feels he and fellow running back Le'Veon Bell have been disrespected.
Blount signed a two-year, $3.85 million free agent contract in March, pairing with Bell to give the Steelers a potent, one-two backfield combination.
But apparently not one of the best duos, at least according to NFL Network analyst and former player Bucky Brooks.
Brooks listed his top five backfield duos last month and left out the Bell/Blount combination.
“I noticed that we're not one of them, and I don't like it,” Blount said Wednesday following the second day of organized team activities. “In all honesty, I believe they're downgrading the skill level that we have in our backfield by not thinking that we have one of the best running back groups. So I think that's kind of disrespectful.”
Bell rushed for 860 yards and scored eight touchdowns as a rookie, and Blount added 772 yards and seven TDs in New England last season despite not being the featured back until late in the year.
Brooks' top five were Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles; Buffalo's C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson; Detroit's Reggie Bush and Joique Bell; New York Jets' Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory; and San Diego's Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead and Donald Brown.
“We're not going to go out here and go on about how we're not in that group, but we're going to go out and show that we belong there,” Blount said. “I think we have a really good mix of running backs. Our group is good. We have the ability to do a lot of good things.”
No worry about Troy
Add safety Mike Mitchell to the group of those not worried that Troy Polamalu decided not to attend the offseason workouts.
Polamalu was not present for the second straight practice and isn't expected to work with his new safety partner until mandatory minicamp in mid-June.
“I think it will be fine,” Mitchell said. “He's a veteran. I'm a veteran. It shouldn't take long as long as we both know what we're doing. There's certain things we'll be able to talk about, but for right now I'm still learning the playbook. Once I know what I'm doing, then he and I can work on changing some things up if we choose to do that.”
More than a deep threat
When you have 4.2-second, 40-yard speed, you are labeled as a deep threat. Darrius Heyward-Bey is a guy who can stretch the defense but considers himself an all-around receiver who also can play in the slot.
“The one thing that has kept me in this league is that I am a smart guy, and I know a lot of different places to play on the field,” Heyward-Bey said. “Coaches like to play guys who know what they are doing first over the guy who has all the ability. That's one thing that works in my favor.”
Shazier mixing it up
Ryan Shazier quickly is learning that being thrown into the starting lineup as a rookie might come with an extra bump from the offensive linemen.
“You know offensive linemen try to be big and bad, so I just go in there and rough it up with them at times,” Shazier said. “I am just learning what I have to do and learn the type of games that they play.”
Odds and ends
Polamalu, Ike Taylor and Dri Archer were absent for the second consecutive day. Archer, a rookie third-round pick out of Kent State, was excused both days because of a sickness. Jason Worilds and Jordan Zumwalt also were not present. Worilds said Tuesday he injured his leg but dismissed the issue as one related to cramps. ... The Steelers were awarded cornerback Deion Belue off waivers from the Miami Dolphins and released rookie tackle Kaycee Ike.
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer forTrib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Linebacker Harrison coming along slowly since return to Steelers
- Steelers notebook: Shazier returns just in time
- Steelers’ Adams delivers in pinch against Texans
- Steelers free safety Mitchell is still settling into role on defense
- Rossi: Middling Steelers must make a statement
- Steelers notebook: Young players provide big challenge for special teams coach
- Nearing season’s midpoint, Steelers still have issues to sort out
- Steelers’ Pouncey, brother won’t be charged in July fracas
- Rookie Bryant sparks deep passing game for Steelers in victory
- Steelers-Texans game changers: Bell’s 43-yard catch provides spark
- For all but 2 minutes vs. Steelers, Texans played ‘pretty good game’