Philadelphia News & Search
LeGarrette Blount has had the opportunity to take handoffs from elite quarterbacks thus far in his career. After spending the majority of the past four seasons in huddles with Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger, Blount seems eager to work with the newest quarterback he’ll be receiving carries from: Carson Wentz.
“He’s a really talented player,” Blount said in a press conference Thursday. “Obviously, he’s one of the better quarterbacks of his draft class and generation. I think he has the potential to be a really special player. He has all the tools that are needed, and all the grind that is needed, and he has the mindset to maximize his ability if he just continues to work hard.
“Carson is one of those guys you want to build a team around.”
Blount has lined up behind a promising young first-round quarterback before. He signed with the Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent in 2010, joining forces with Josh Freeman. The duo each had a productive campaign that year, including Freeman’s career-best season of 25 touchdowns with just six interceptions. Blount reached the 1,000-yard plateau, a feat he didn’t accomplish again until this past season.
The 250-pound bulldozer was the latest weapon added to the Eagles‘ arsenal this offseason after he signed on Wednesday. After bolstering the aerial attack with acquisitions of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, Blount gives the ground game a more rugged, and more veteran, presence.
“I’m one of the older backs here, so I definitely want to make sure the young guys stay on the right track,” Blount said. “They have a great group here, especially (Darren) Sproles, (Donnel) Pumphrey, (Wendell) Smallwood. All those guys. They’ve got a lot of good guys here.”
The 30-year-old bruiser’s skill set nicely complements the rest of Philly’s backfield, and addresses a major need. Per NFL Research, the Eagles were one of NFL’s the worst teams in short-yardage scenarios last season. They ranked 26th in first-down percentage on runs (57.1 percent) and 21st in yards per carry (2.7) in those situations.
Blount, on the other hand, moved the chains on 65 percent of his carries in short-yardage situations in 2016, while leading the league with 5.4 yards per carry on third- and fourth-and-short. Now, he becomes the latest piece to a team that he has high expectations for.
“I chose this place as a place that I wanted to be,” Blount said. “A lot of guys that are here are going to be a big part of why this team is going to be successful in the future. So I want to be a part of that. I’ve been part of something special before, and you just get the feeling they have something special here.”
Philadelphia News & Search