Through five games, new Pittsburgh Steelers running back LeGarrette Blount has certainly been a solid contributor to the offense.
While he is averaging less than six carries per game, he has rushed for 186 yards on 29 carries, averaging 6.4 yards per rush. He also has two of the Steelers’ three rushing touchdowns of the season thus far.
While it had been suggested that Blount might be brought in to serve as a short-yardage and goal line back, that hasn’t entirely been the case. He’s rather been more of a complementary asset to Le’Veon Bell.
More than half of his carries, for example, have been on first down, while over three-quarters of them have come from a distance of seven yards or greater to go for a first down.
Despite that fact, he has still managed to achieve a first down ratio of 38 percent, given that 11 of his 29 carries have been able to move the chains.
Blount already has five runs of 10 yards or more, although only one run of 20 yards or more. That one run, of course, went for 50 yards.
This three longest runs, in fact, have all come on first and 10, including rushes of 17 and 19 yards.
Blount has been used in short-yardage occasions six times thus far this season, including four third-down carries, converting first downs on five of them. The lone exception resulted in a four-yard loss on, if I recall correctly, a poorly blocked play.
As a red zone back—let alone goal line back—however, he has been poorly utilized.
Just three of his carries thus far have come in the red zone, including one on first and 10 from the 11-yard line. The other two scenarios came on second and goal from the eight-yard line and third and one from the seven.
The latter two examples resulted in touchdowns, while the other resulted in a gain of three.
Blount only has three plays of zero or negative yards to his name thus far through five games, while just over half of his carries have gone for at least four yards.
Just as significantly, he hasn’t proven to be a liability in terms of ball security, pass protection, or receiving as of yet.
Blount has simply been a fine complement to Bell so far this year, and to the improved offensive line, whose blocking style fits the way he likes to run. It seems the team may be starting to agree, as he saw a season-high 21 snaps in the last game, rushing eight times and catching three passes.