The Pittsburgh Steelers have agreed to terms with former New England Patriots’ running back LaGarrette Blount.
This signing has brought the spotlight back to the Steelers’ backfield, a lights that’s been dim for many seasons now. Now that the team’s added Blount alongside Le’Veon Bell and the Steelers have a chance to get back to ground and pound running, a theme that’s define Steelers’ football for generations.
For several seasons now the Steelers offense has been pass heavy.
Last season the offense through the first four weeks started slow. The questions remained about Roethlisberger and offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s relationship while Maurkice Pouncey went down with an injury making for some of the most improvised line combinations the Steelers’ offensive line has ever seen.
Despite the slow start and the usual offensive line struggles, the offense began to click down the stretch.
Bell returned from injury in week four and left little doubt that he was the answer the nonexistent backfield needed. Roethlisberger was given more free reign and the no huddle offense began to be implemented and it allowed the Steelers to excel in the passing game.
Now the offense has some missing pieces heading into this season. Roethlisberger’s arsenal has changed. He still maintains his number one reciever, Antonio Brown but Emmanuel Sanders has headed to Denver while veteran Jerricho Cotchery, who was very much involved in the offense last season, is now a Carolina Panther.
Markus Wheaton will be called upon to play bigger role and former New Orleans Saints’ reciever Lance Moore will fill in for Cotchery. Brown and tight end Heath Miller will still be top guys but the landscapes changed.
It’s clear with the “recruiting” and eventual signing of Blount, the Steelers want their ground game back and at it’s best. Head coach Mike Tomlin made it a point to meet with Blount and the organization believes this back is the guy to help take the rushing attack over the top.
It’s time the running game becomes more relevant and with Bell’s promising start and Blounts solid season with the Patriots last season this duo could get the job done.
They should be able to work well together. Bell is a more versatile back, capable of big-time runs along with good showing power while Blount is hard-hitting, north and south kind of guy. Blount’s red zone presence will help tremendously as the Steelers struggled last season inside the 20.
This running back combination is what the Steelers need and what they want. It takes the pressure off Roethlisberger who has carried this team for a long-while now. The Steelers acknowledge they need the backfield more than ever as young receivers and new faces will be running routes this season.
Bell and Blount will look to boost this backfield and bring back “classic Steelers’ football.”