LeGarrette Blount Willing to Split Carries But Unsure of Role With Eagles - NBC 10 Philadelphia

LeGarrette Blount Willing to Split Carries But Unsure of Role With Eagles



    LeGarrette Blount Willing to Split Carries But Unsure of Role With Eagles
    LeGarrette Blount willing to split carries but unsure of role with Eagles

    When the Eagles officially signed running back LeGarrette Blount on Thursday morning, the team added the biggest missing piece of its backfield puzzle. 

    A huge piece of the puzzle. 

    While the impact of the Blount signing won't be known for a while, there's no denying the running back's literal size. The newest hulking Eagle showed up for his introductory press conference testing the seams on the sleeves of his new long-sleeve shirt. 

    The 30-year-old Blount is listed by the Eagles at 6-foot, 250 pounds, although a quick spin around the World Wide Web will produce several different variations of weight. 

    So just how much does he weigh? 

    "The weight I need to be at," he said with a smile. 

    OK then. 

    Blount used his 250-pound (or whatever) frame to plow into the end zone a league-leading 18 times with the Patriots last season. He was equally as impressive in short-yardage situations, where he converted 13 of 19 attempts. 

    At 250 pounds, Blount is by far the Eagles' biggest running back. In fact, the only players heavier than him on the roster are linemen and tight ends. Because of his size and ability in short-yardage situations, it seems likely Blount will, at the very least, be the Eagles' go-to back when they need to pick up a crucial yard or two. 

    "They haven't given me a role," he said Thursday afternoon. "They haven't placed me under any category just yet. Before I do all that, I have to go out here and learn the offense, learn the playbook, learn what I'm going to be good at, what I'm going to be required and recommended to do. I have to figure out that part before they label me with anything."

    Blount joins a running back group in Philadelphia that includes Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood and Donnel Pumphrey (Ryan Mathews is on the roster, but is expected to be cut once healthy). 

    It's unclear just how much or how little the Eagles will work Blount in 2017, but if it comes to a running-back-by-committee approach, would he be on board? 

    "I've played with other running backs before," Blount said. "I split time with Stevan Ridley, I split time with Cadillac Williams. I've split the load with guys before, so it doesn't bother me." 

    Blount, who will turn 31 in December, is coming off a career season for the Super Bowl champion Patriots. He carried the ball 299 times for a career-high 1,161 yards and 18 touchdowns. 

    To put those 299 carries into perspective, the Eagles have had a running back carry the ball that much just six times in franchise history and two of those years came with LeSean McCoy in Chip Kelly's offense. It happened just one time in the 15 years of being led by either Andy Reid or Doug Pederson; in Reid's first season as head coach, with a rookie Donovan McNabb, Duce Staley carried the ball 325 times.

    If the Eagles do employ a RB-by-committee system, it seems unlikely Blount will come anywhere near his workload from last season. And, heck, Pederson isn't exactly known for running the football. 

    "As a running back, you want to get into a rhythm of the game, see how the defense is playing, what the flow of the game is," Blount said. "I wouldn't necessarily put a number on (how many carries he needs), but after a few, you can kind of tell." 

    Despite the huge workload last season, in which his 30th birthday fell, Blount on Thursday said he feels great, "amazing" even. 

    Blount confirmed other teams were interested in him but declined to list them by name. He also said the Patriots were interested in bringing him back. 

    But, instead, he joined an Eagles team that seemed to be one big back away from completing its offense around Carson Wentz, whom Blount said has the possibility to be "special." 

    So maybe add that to the list of reasons he became an Eagle. 

    "I chose Philly because I thought it was the best fit for me," he said. "I like the guys here. I like the way they do things around here. I like the way they play ball. I felt like this was the perfect fit for me."