LaGarrette Blount Talks Football WIth GoLocal’s Scott Cordischi
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
He’s New England’s latest cult hero. 166 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns in a playoff win will do that for a person.
His name is LaGarrette Blount and Monday night, he spent an hour at Cardi’s Furniture in South Attleboro talking football and signing autographs for the hundreds of Patriots fans who showed up to see him.
Blount has been a man amongst boys as of late. In the Patriots last three games, he has carried the ball 64 times for 431 yards (6.7 yards per carry) and 8 touchdowns. He has been the centerpiece of the New England offense which, since losing to the Miami Dolphins in week 15, has proceeded to outscore Baltimore, Buffalo and Indianapolis 118-49.
“Bill tells us no matter who we play against, we have to establish a tough, physical running game,” said Blount. “As long as we do that it can set up the whole offense for all the things that we can do.”
Having a solid running game at this time of year can be huge for a football team considering the weather conditions. Against both Buffalo and Indianapolis, wind and rain were big factors in the game which is one of the reasons that the Patriots decided to grind it out on the ground.
“The wind, the rain, the conditions outside can definitely effect how we throw the ball,” he said. “When you just hand the ball off, it’s not going to be floating in the air, you don’t have to do anything extra to catch the ball. You can just hand it to us and then it’s go out there and make some plays.”
Making plays is exactly what Blount has been doing since being featured in the offensive game plan. Whether it was his franchise record 334 yards of total offense in the season finale against the Bills or his Patriots postseason record 4 TD’s Saturday night, the fourth year running back out of Oregon and former Tampa Bay Buccaneer has been as good as it gets lately. Not a bad return on the investment made in him by the Patriots who shipped a 7th round draft choice and track star Jeff Demps to the Bucs in exchange for Blount.
While his newfound success has been fantastic, Blount knows that he could not do it by himself. “Like I’ve told a lot of reporters,” he said. “I think our whole offensive line should be Pro-Bowlers. “I know Logan [Mankins] is the only one who got the call, but I feel like they all should be Pro-Bowlers. And [fullback] James Develin is one of the unsung heroes of our offense. He goes in there head-first and makes those key blocks on every single play that springs either me or Ridley. And our tight ends Mulligan and Hoo-man [Michael Hoomanawanui] do a great job too.”
Along those lines, Blount feels like he’s the beneficiary of great play around him and that any of the team’s other backs would probably enjoy similar success if given the chance. “Whether it’s me, Stevan [Ridley], Brandon [Bolden] or Shane [Vereen], I feel like if they plugged those other guys in there, they’d be just as successful as I am.”
Blount is also looking forward to what former Patriot great Tedy Bruschi calls a “hat and t-shirt game” next week in Denver for the AFC Championship. “I love hat and t-shirt games,” Blount said. “And I know not a lot of people are going to be picking us, but we’ve been an underdog a few times this year and I feel like all the times they’ve picked us to be the underdog, we’ve won. So us being an underdog might actually be a good thing.”
Blount also remembers the game these two teams played in Foxboro a couple of months ago and said there was one reason they were able to come back from a 24-0 deficit to beat the Broncos. “There aren’t a lot of quarterbacks who come back from 24 points down to Peyton Manning because he’s such a great quarterback,” he said. “But I feel like in Tom Brady we have THE best quarterback.”
Blount is also thankful to be playing football for a man he thinks is the best coach in football. “Bill is a genius,” he said. “He’s also a guy who always tells the truth. He’s not going to tell you something you want to hear, he’s going to be honest with you….Bill Cowher coached against him and said that he thinks Belichick will go down as the greatest coach of all-time.”
Given how well things are going for Blount and the Patriots at the moment, it begs the question, does he want to return to New England next year now that his contract is set to expire? “Oh yeah,” he said. “I’m really happy. I like it here a lot. I definitely want to be back here.”
Given the way he has run the ball of late, there’s a lot of people in New England who wouldn’t mind seeing him return next season as well.