SteelDad said last week that the Steelers should pass on Maurice Jones Drew and James Harrison.
Personally I wouldn’t be opposed to either of those guys. I’m lukewarm on Harrison but I think that if it were for the right price Maurice Jones-Drew could provide some quality carries for the Steelers and also mentor the young Le’Veon Bell.
I’ve spoken with several Yinzers around twitter the past week about LaGarette Blount visiting, and many have disagreed with me on this… But I just don’t understand the fit of Blount in Pittsburgh.
When you look at what has happened at the running back position since Haley took over it paints a picture of what sort of backs he values. The Steelers drafted Chris Rainey and Le’Veon Bell, signed Larod Stepens-Howling, and have let Jonathan Dwyer, Isaac Redman, and Rashard Mendenhall go.
Mendenhall was going regardless but the other two were let go, in my opinion because Todd Haley values versatility in his backs that Dwyer and Redman just didn’t possess.
LaGarette Blount would look like an all-pro running behind Jeff Hartings, Alan Faneca, and Marvel Smith while Bill Cowher grinned on the Steelers sideline… but in the 2014 version of the Steelers?
LaGarette Blount averaged about 9 carries per game in New England last season, which is about what he could expect in Pittsburgh (probably even less than that). That number is inflated by a somewhat meaningless game in week 17 when Blount got 24 carries.
I think that Todd Haley likes backs that can catch the ball. They drafted Bell, Stephens-Howling, and Will Johnson are all evidence of that.
Le’Veon Bell almost doubled Blount’s career receptions in just his rookie season. Bell snagged 45 receptions last year. Blount totaled 2 and has just 23 in his 4 year career.
I’ll give Blount some credit, he does have some impressive footwork for a man his size… but so did Jonathan Dwyer, who seemed to be perpetually in the coaching staff’s doghouse.
Dwyer had some issues with conditioning early in his career but I think he’s been in shape and a solid RB in his past couple of seasons.
All of this being said, if LaGarette Blount was a choir boy, I think he’s a questionable signing. As most of us know, he’s not. His biggest claim to fame was punching an opposing player after a game his senior season at Oregon.
I’m not the type that preaches the “Steelers way.” The Steelers have had plenty of questionable personalities in the locker room over the years, and a little edge isn’t always a negative…
However, Blount has played well and still can’t seem to stick anywhere… That to me is a red flag.
If the Steelers decide to go with Blount, I wouldn’t be outraged assuming it’s a modest deal (and it would be), but I’d hope it’s only for 1 season. Blount’s spotty history would worry me if he got a long-term deal.
Blount could provide quality carries off the bench, and be a great red-zone weapon… but I just think that a guy like MJD, or (personally my favorite) a guy like Andre Brown could bring some bruiser mentality while also catching the ball and pass blocking.