Blount In Line For Best Season Of His Career

New England wasted no time re-signing LeGarrette Blount when he was released by Pittsburgh last season, and the reason they signed him to a two-year deal is because they knew he'd be their main back in 2015. Blount has proven in the past that he's a legit number one, and this upcoming season the Patriots will need him to show he can still handle the bulk of the load.

LeGarrette Blount is one of those players that people just don't seem to get. He was a star in high school and college, but one bad decision cost him and he was signed by the Titans as a rookie free agent. The Titans liked him, but they had to place him on waivers to make room for linebacker Tim Shaw. The Titans planned on picking him back up, but the Buccaneers claimed him on waivers, a shrewd move for a team that needed major help at running back. Blount carried the ball 201 times for 1,007 yards and six touchdowns. Averaging five yards per carry as a rookie is impressive, and Blount proved that he was a legitimate NFL starting running back.

In 2011, Blount didn't have as strong a season as he did in 2010, but he still carried the ball 184 times for 781 yards and five touchdowns. Blount also made 15 catches for 148 yards, which was the only time in his career that he put up double figures in receptions. 2012 was a tough year for the third year back out of Oregon, as the former Duck ran only 14 times for 184 yards. Former Head Coach Greg Schiano gave the starting position to rookie Doug Martin, and Martin had a huge season. At that point, the writing was on the wall for Blount and he knew he'd be on the move.

Blount was traded to New England for Jeff Demps and a 7th round pick during the 2012 NFL Draft, and the trade turned out to be exactly what Blount was looking for. Blount carried the ball 153 times for 772 yards and seven touchdowns; for the second time in his career, Blount averaged five yards per carry on over 150 carries. The Patriots tried to re-sign him during the offseason, but Blount ultimately chose to sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Blount expected to split carries with Le'Veon Bell, but for the second time in his career, Blount ended up riding the pine while another back broke out for a career year. Blount left the Tennessee Titans game early and was released by the Steelers. Once Blount cleared waivers, the Patriots pounced on him and signed him to a two-year deal.

In a split season between Pittsburgh and New England, Blount had 125 carries, 547 yards and five touchdowns. With Stevan Ridley injured and New England in need of a replacement, Blount stepped up not just during the five games he played in the regular season, but also during the playoffs on the way to a Super Bowl ring. Blount ran the ball 30 times for 148 yards and three touchdowns versus the Colts in the AFC Championship. There are three certainties in life- death, taxes, and LeGarrette Blount tearing the Colts apart every time he faces them.

New England allowed Stevan Ridley to walk in free agency as he joined division rival New York. Some expected Belichick to either draft a back or sign someone, but with Blount under contract and Brandon Bolden as a strong backup, there was no real need to go out and waste a pick or more cap room on a lead back. Blount should expect at least 200 carries in 2015, and he's shown that he gets better as he gains more carries. If Blount runs well after serving his one game suspension (marijuana suspension from last year) he could carry the ball more times than he ever has which could lead to a 1200 yard/12 touchdown season. This time, Blount wants to be the breakout back that locks a job down.

Patriots Insider Top Stories