| Sports

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Blount excited about playing time prospects with Steelers

Steelers/NFL Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers running back LeGarrette Blount takes a handoff during practice Thursday, May 29, 2014, on the South Side.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Alan Robinson
Friday, June 13, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Tom Brady one season, Ben Roethlisberger the next. Bill Belichick one season, Mike Tomlin the next.

LeGarrette Blount must feel like he's on board the AFC Super Bowl tour, riding along from one successful franchise to another – and with a franchise quarterback and coach at each stop.

“It's different cultures, it's different playing styles, but they both win,” Blount said. “They're different about it, but they both win games.”

There's just one difference: There aren't as many passengers along for the ride in Pittsburgh as there were in New England.

The 6-foot-1, 245-pound Blount hopes to be the power runner back the Steelers have lacked since the Jerome Bettis days, a high-average, high-production back who could be the perfect complement to the faster Le'Veon Bell.

“He's a slasher, he can get upfield quick and he's fast. I think he runs a 4.4, 4.39 (in the 40),” Blount said Thursday as the Steelers wrapped up their three weeks' worth of pre-minicamp practices. “He can move.

“My style? I don't do too much dancing, I pretty much run the ball between the tackles and do what I can when I get an open field. We're two totally different running styles.”

To Blount, the Steelers' running back package – with rookie Dri Archer thrown in as a quasi-receiver/runner — is preferable to New England's crowded, who's-getting-the-ball-this week backfield.

Last season, Blount had 772 yards, seven touchdowns and a 5.0 average while splitting time with Stevan Ridley, who had exactly one more yard and the same number of TDs.

But Brandon Bolden (55 carries) and Shane Vereen (44) also had nearly 100 carries between them so, with so many options available, it meant that any running back who didn't produce early in a game got yanked.

When Blount carried from start to finish, he had a 189-yard, two touchdown game against Buffalo and a 166-yard, four-touchdowns playoff game against the Colts.

While Bell will start, Blount is certain what his role is going to be. And it's not likely to change from quarter to quarter — even if the Steelers and offensive coordinator Todd Haley are experimenting with him in a variety of ways during these May/June practices.

He's lined up multiple times with Bell in an old-style, two-back set and has even been in the slot or flanked outside. What he likes is that he's on the field a lot.

“I know that is going to be locked down, for sure — I know I'm going to run the football here,” Blount said. “All the other stuff is just added on to the pile and I'm not going to turn it down because I want the ball any chance I get it.

“The numbers speak for themselves, I know I have a pretty high average,” said Blount, who signed a $3.85 million, two-year contract. “I feel like In have a pretty good body of work, a lot of credibility to my name.”

Going from one name-brand quarterback to another is proving easy, too.

“They've both won Super Bowls, but they're a lot different. Roethlisberger moves around a lot more than Tom does, but they're both great,” he said. “They both have their own style of play, for sure.”

And the two coaches?

“Coach T (Tomlin) seems like a cool dude and he's definitely about winning by any means necessary,” Blount said. “I like him as a head coach. Bill, he, for sure, is going to tell you exactly what he wants from you and exactly what he needs from you.”

Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @arobinson_Trib.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Steelers

  1. Steelers OLB coach Porter teaches as passionately as he played
  2. 2014 showing has Steelers RB Harris confident he belongs
  3. Inside The Steelers: LB Williams dominates backs-on-backers drill at Latrobe Memorial Stadium
  4. Inside the Steelers: Rookie linebacker Chickillo continues to excel
  5. Steelers notebook: Officials discuss new game ball procedures
  6. Steelers’ reserve quarterbacks vie to secure spot behind Roethlisberger, Gradkowski
  7. Starkey: Garoppolo baffles Steelers
  8. Steelers notebook: Tomlin says Latrobe session won’t differ from normal practice
  9. Steelers stress improved conditioning in attempt to play past injuries
  10. Inside the Steelers: Williams’ quickness out of backfield evident in drills
  11. Tight ends’ role in Steelers passing game continues to lessen but players remain selfless