Throughout his career, LeGarrette Blount has been an afterthought when talking about the NFL’s best running backs. In fact, it’s been that way for Blount his entire football career. Whether it was in high school, college, or the NFL, the New England Patriots running back has often been overlooked throughout his career.
Blount had a spectacular year during the 2016-2017 season and is now searching to win his second Super Bowl championship with the Patriots.
Here’s what you need to know about Blount and his journey to the NFL:
1. Blount Led the NFL In Touchdowns In 2016
Blount had the best season of seven-year NFL career in 2016. He had the most rushing attempts and yards in all his seasons and became the Patriots’ go-to guy near the goal line threatening to score.
Blount’s 18 rushing touchdowns in 2016 led the league and set a new Patriots franchise record, breaking Curtis Martins’ previous record of 14 in a regular season. He played in all 16 games during the season and was a key factor in helping New England to the Super Bowl yet again.
2. He Punched a Player In College After a Game
Blount was the subject of intense scrutiny after he punched a Boise State when he was a senior running back at the University of Oregon in 2009.
It was the first game of the Ducks’ season and Blount ended the game with -8 total yards. He was on the field following the 19-8 loss to Boise State when the Broncos’ Byron Hout walked up to him during post-game handshakes and asked him, “How’s that for an ass-whoopin’?” Blount almost immediately punched Hout on the chin and knocked him to the ground. He followed it up by hitting a teammate that was trying to restrain him in the helmet.
When he was escorted to the locker room, Boise State fans heckled him after seeing the shocking replay of the incident, with one threatening him with a chair and another punching him.
Blount said he was sorry after the incident, “I just apologize to everybody that was watching this — ESPN, national TV — I just apologize to all of our fans, all the Boise fans. It was just something that I shouldn’t have done. I lost my head, and I shouldn’t have taken it that far.”
Ducks coach Chip Kelly suspended Blount for the entire 2009 season because of the incident but wasn’t dismissed from the team.
Blount later published an apology letter in his school’s newspaper. He was reinstated in November and thanked Kelly for the opportunity to return.
3. He’s Been on 4 NFL Teams
Blount has been well traveled in his professional career.
After going undrafted in the 2010 NFL Draft, Blount agreed to a deal with the Tennessee Titans. He never actually played for the Titans, being cut in September 2010 to make room for several players. Just one day after being released from the Titans, Blount found a new home in Tampa, playing for the Buccaneers.
He played in his first NFL game when the Bucs lost to the Steelers. He gained 27 yards on six rushes in the game and scored his first NFL touchdown. He continued to play well for the Bucs and saw his playing time increase. His rookie season was highlighted by a 120-yard, 2 touchdown performance in a win.
In his first season, he led all rookies in the league with 1,007 rushing yards and became the first undrafted running back to gain 1,000 yards as a rookie. He went on to play two more season for Tampa Bay, but didn’t have the performance he did as a rookie and was traded in 2013 to the Patriots.
In a game during the Patriots’ 2013-2014 season, he ran for 189 yards and scored 2 touchdowns. He set a franchise record with 334 all-purpose yards in the game. He ran for 772 yards on 153 carries for the Patriots with 7 touchdowns.
Blount didn’t return to the team in free agency, however. Instead, he signed a two-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2014. Much controversy occurred in his time in Pittsbugh and ultimately ended with him leaving the sideline during a game against the Tennessee Titans after not getting a single rushing attempt. He was later released from the team because of the incident.
In his time with the Steelers, he had 266 yards and 2 touchdowns.
He cleared waivers and was picked up by the Patriots once again, signing a two-year deal. In his 2 1/2 seasons in his second stint as a Patriot, he’s performed very well. In 2015, he carried the ball 165 times for 703 yards and 6 touchdowns. He followed that up with career-best numbers in 2016, running 299 times for 1,161 yards.
4. Le’Veon Bell & Blount Were Cited For Marijuana Possession
In his short stint with the Steelers, Blount was the subject of more controversy with teammate Le’Veon Bell.
On August 20, 2014, Blount and Bell were driving in Bell’s car with a woman and were pulled over in the afternoon. The officer could smell an odor of marijuana coming from the car, and all three said the 20-grams of the substance found in the car was theirs. Bell and Blount were arrested for marijuana possession and Bell was cited for DUI.
The NFL handed down the punishment on Blount and Bell. Blount was suspended for the first game of the 2015 season due to the incident and Bell was gone for the first two.
5. A Jazz Musician Is Blount’s Great Uncle
Blount was born December 5, 1985 in Madison, Florida to Gary and Barbara Blount. He has two siblings: one brother and one sister. He is also the great nephew of Sun Ra, a famous jazz composer and poet.
He attended Taylor County High School in Perry, Florida and ran track in addition to playing football at the school. He started all four years on Taylor County’s football team and rushed for over 1,000 yards three times.
On the track, Blount competed in the 100-meter dash and also took part in several field events: long jump and shot put.