LeGarrette Blount isn’t Marshawn Lynch. The New England Patriots running back stayed for the entire hour of his team’s media day, unlike his Seattle Seahawks counterpart.
But Blount still left unanswered questions.
Blount walked out on the Pittsburgh Steelers after 11 games, earning his release. On Tuesday, he ignored queries about what happened, as well as most other questions about his 234 days in Pittsburgh.
“You know, things didn’t work out as planned, so we decided to part ways,” Blount said in his most expansive explanation. “I ended up here, and now I’m about to play in the Super Bowl.”
Blount went from a rarely used backup on a playoff team to a leading role on a Super Bowl finalist. He has 430 rushing yards in the seven games he has played for New England, including 148 in the AFC title game.
“LG is a good back,” offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said. “We are really happy to have him. He’s got to play big for us on Sunday. This is a defense that you’re not going to make a bunch of big plays against them. So we’re going to have to smile after we get some 2- and 3-yard runs. There’s no doubt about that. You’re going to have to hope that you can survive long enough to make an 8- or a 10- or a 20-yard run as the game goes on, but you’re not going to get them early, you’re not going to get them often. And we’ve got to be able to make those hard yards, and LG has been able to do that.”
The Patriots averaged 111.9 rushing yards in their 14 victories this season. They averaged 88.0 in their four losses.
The Seahawks ranked third in rushing defense, allowing 81.5 yards per game, but allowed an average of 138.8 rushing yards in their four losses. McDaniels said the Patriots have taken note of the 162 rushing yards the Seahawks allowed in a loss to the Dallas Cowboys, and the 190 they allowed in a loss to Kansas City.
In the postseason, the Seahawks have allowed an average of 133.5 rushing yards per game.
“I don’t care about them being the top defense,” Blount said. “That doesn’t bother me. They were good enough to get here, just like we were good enough to get here. They’re not immortal. They can be beaten.”
Blount left the Patriots in the off-season, getting a two-year $3.85 million deal from the Steelers with $950,000 to sign. Police arrested Blount and fellow back Le’Veon Bell on marijuana charges during training camp.
Blount’s stay went downhill from there.
He ran for only 266 yards in 10 games with his role decreasing by the week. After getting no carries at Tennessee, Blount jogged off the field before the game ended and headed to the team bus, declaring that he “quit.”
The Steelers released Blount the next day, much to the relief of some of his Pittsburgh teammates, including offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey.
But former teammates Brett Keisel and Ike Taylor greeted Blount warmly Tuesday, with handshakes and hugs before media day.
“Ike and Brett were two of the guys who were pretty close to me,” Blount said. “I like those guys a lot. I keep in contact with them. … That goes to show that some of the things that were said about me after I left that team wasn’t true.”
The Patriots welcomed Blount back with open arms two days after the Steelers cut him. And, as he said more than once Tuesday, things couldn’t have worked out better for him.
“He came back, and it was just like LeGarrette is back,” safety Devin McCourty said. “He honestly picked up where he left off. What happened in Pittsburgh didn’t matter. It’s like everybody that comes here, what you did on your previous team, that doesn’t matter. It’s all about who you are on the Patriots, and I think that’s why you see guys have success with us, because your past doesn’t matter.”