Friday, March 28, 2014

Steelers Attack Offseason With Blount Force Object

Let me be Blount...the Pittsburgh Steelers appear to be very serious about ending their streak of 8-8 seasons at two. Very serious. 

First, the Steelers signed safety Mike Mitchell formerly of the Carolina Panthers on the very first day of Free Agency. Not long after, they signed defensive tackle Cam Thomas (Chargers), wide receiver Lance Moore (Saints) and then linebacker Arthur Moats (Bills).

Now, true to the Tribune-Review's Alan Robinson's words that they'd have a veteran running back to help Le'Veon Bell by Friday, they have signed LeGarrette Blount. Thanks, in part to former Steelers draftee Patrick Bailey. (More on that in a minute.)

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter in a post on Twitter (@AdamSchefter), "Steelers gave RB LeGarrette Blount a two-year, $3.85M deal, including a $950K signing bonus." 

In a recent blog article, If It Ain't Steel referred to Blount as "battering ram" and a "Blount Force Object." The 27-year-old is just that as he ran for 772 yards last season with the New England Patriots. Those yards came on just 153 carries. That's a 5.04 yards per carry average. 

Blount is a strong, physical force. Just ask Byron Hout. -

That marred Blount early on, showing a temper that got him suspended and also pushed him out of the 2010 NFL Draft. Blount, who had been projected to be a 5th-round draft prospect, was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Tennessee Titans. But after initially making the Titan's roster, they waived him to make room for needed linebacker help. One of those LBs was Patrick Bailey.

Blount was claimed off of waivers by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and had a 1,000-yard rookie campaign. Two subsequent inconsistent seasons led him to being picked up by the Patriots - a move that paid off for both parties. 

Now the Steelers make it official that they have signed the 6'1", 250-pound back. -

The divisional-round domination of the Indianapolis Colts (24 carries for 166 yards) shows the potentially unstoppable combination of he and Bell. ("Killa B's"..."Bash Brothas"..."Bangers Ball"..."Blount Force Trauma, Inc"...? I'll work on their nickname.)

While Blount may not contribute much in the passing game and has 12 fumbles in four seasons, losing eight, his hard-nose running style (4.7 career YPC) makes for a valuable third-down, short-yardage and goal line ball-carrier. 

Add to that, his propensity for kick returns (29.06 yards per return last season) means an instant return on the Steelers' investment. Both of those traits give the Steelers something they've sorely been needing.