LeGarrette Blount’s role with the Philadelphia Eagles has been greatly diminishing over the past month, but the veteran running back does not seem bothered by it.
The eighth-year back is acting like a consummate professional by focusing on the team while his personal stats and activity drop off.
“It’s just something you can’t be frustrated and you can’t be mad about when you’re 12-2,” Blount said this week via Pennlive.com. “When you’ve won 12 games and only lost two, there’s nothing to argue about. Whatever we’re doing that’s making it work, we’re going to continue to do it, whether you’re a part of it or not, whether you’re getting the ball a lot or not.”
Blount has been the focus of questions about his role on the team since training camp. There were rumors that he was on the roster bubble, but he made the active roster. He even saw a big boost in action after Darren Sproles’ injury and performed quite well. But after the team acquired Jay Ajayi at the trade deadline, his carries decreased.
Blount has not received more than eight carries in any of the Eagles’ last three games. He has not rushed for more than 26 yards in any of the last three games. As long as the team keeps winning, it sounds like he won’t be complaining.
Whether it was a matter of players going down with injuries, failing to produce, or teams blowing games, there were plenty of disappointments in Week 14 of the NFL. We saw the Browns do their usual thing, a fight between a player and fans in Jacksonville, and even league officials not protecting a player the way they should have.
Here’s a look at the 15 biggest disappointments from Week 14.
This was it. This was the chance. The Browns were at home and entered the fourth quarter with a 21-7 lead on the Green Bay Packers. Brett Hundley isn’t exactly an outstanding quarterback, and it seemed unlikely that he’d be able to drag the Packers back from two scores down. This is the Browns, though, and with the Browns all things are possible as long as they’re negative things. A game-tying touchdown with 17 seconds left was followed by a horrible DeShone Kizer overtime interception, and that was that. 0-16 seems more likely than ever.
Derek Carr, QB, Raiders
Carr and the Raiders finally had a chance to make up for most of their tumultuous season. They had the Kansas City Chiefs head-to-head with the opportunity to move ahead of them in the standings — a scenario that seemed impossible even a month ago. The Chiefs’ defense hadn’t been performing well, which should have led to Carr feasting. He didn’t. He was picked off twice while throwing for 211 yards and one touchdown. They didn’t score in the game until garbage time, which was also where he ran up his yardage total. How bad was Carr? He fell on the sword for his performance in this one.
LeGarrette Blount and Richard Sherman were fined this week for their actions in Week 3.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport says Blount was fined just over $9,000 for a post-touchdown taunt. Seahawks CB Richard Sherman was fined just over $12,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct.
#Eagles LeGarrette Blount fined $9,115 for taunting post-TD (rolled ball at D)… Richard Sherman fined $12,154 for unsportsmanlike conduct
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 29, 2017
Here’s what Blount did after scoring last week against the New York Giants:
— SonOfBetsy (@KevinSchluth) September 24, 2017
Sherman had an even busier game. He was penalized three times on the same play against the Titans. Then a bit later in the game, he received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for hitting Marcus Mariota late and bickering with some opponents. Seahawks reporter Bob Condotta says the fine was for Sherman’s incident with an official.
Richard Sherman fined $12,145 for unsportsmanlike conduct penalty last week, apparently the one for taking off helmet to argue with ref.
— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) September 29, 2017
LeGarrette Blount was essentially a non-factor in the Philadelphia Eagles’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, but he doesn’t care if that ruined your chance at winning your fantasy football matchup.
After he recorded zero carries and caught just one pass for no yards, Blount got tired of seeing fantasy football owners complain about his performance, so he fired back on Twitter. Beware that the tweet contains a curse word:
Blount then responded to a follower who called him an “entitled n—-r,” which obviously takes things to a level they don’t need to go.
We all know how most players feel about fantasy football. Blount is probably more concerned that the Eagles decided to ignore him with Sunday’s game plan, though he took the high road when asked about his lack of involvement.
LeGarrette Blount remained a good soldier despite going without a carry for the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
Blount only had one touch — a reception that went for no yards — and no carries in the Eagles’ 27-20 loss to the Chiefs. After the game, he was asked about his lack of carries. Blount maintained a good team attitude and deflected all questions. He kept saying that his lack of carries was a result of the way the game went.
LeGarrette Blount says he cant remember last time he didnt get any carries
— John Clark CSN/NBC (@JClarkCSN) September 17, 2017
“You can’t really argue with a future Hall of Famer being in front of you,” Blount said of Darren Sproles leading the team with 10 carries for 48 yards.
Blount also said that any questions about his future role with the team were best directed to head coach Doug Pederson.
— Matt Lombardo (@MattLombardoPHL) September 17, 2017
Blount’s answers are reflective of the situation. The Eagles only ran the ball 13 times not including rushes by quarterback Carson Wentz. Blount is more of a short-yardage and goal-line back for Philly, so they just had few reasons to call his number. But given their lack of production on the ground, they may want to reconsider their strategy.
Questions about Blount’s role with the team are nothing new; we saw this all throughout the preseason and really shouldn’t be surprised.
LeGarrette Blount hasn’t done a whole lot to excite Philadelphia Eagles fans during the preseason this year, and there has been a lot of speculation about him potentially not making the 53-man roster. But after Thursday night’s exhibition game, Blount made it clear he pays no mind to the haters.
While he finally broke a nice run of 16 yards, Blount totaled just three more yards on his other three carries against the Miami Dolphins. He has now rushed for just 36 yards on 13 carries in three preseason games, but the veteran insists it is nothing to be concerned about.
“We’re not game-planning. We’re not any of that,” Blount said, via Tom Pelissero of NFL.com. “So, you’ve just got to wipe away the noise, don’t pay attention to what you guys say. It’s not all of you guys, but you don’t pay attention to (critics).
“I just put it like this: go tell them to go out there and run a couple of the runs I run and see how many yards they get.”
Eagles coach Doug Pederson made similar remarks about game-planning, and there is probably a lot of truth behind that. Teams aren’t tailoring anything to their particular opponents in the preseason, which is why Blount says paying attention to the numbers is pointless.
“This is when you get on the same page,” he said. “This is when, as a running back, you can figure out how your linemen work together, how they block things together, how they work as a unit. So, this is when you figure that out, so it is important.
“But the numbers? Na.”
With Blount, I think the numbers only matter to fans because a certain level of skepticism about him already exists. He scored an NFL-leading 18 rushing touchdowns last season, but he did it while playing behind Tom Brady. Blount will have to prove he can succeed outside of New England and put some of the concerns about his conditioning to rest.
There have been some rumblings that LeGarrette Blount may not make the Philadelphia Eagles’ 53-man roster after he has looked unimpressive in the preseason, but head coach Doug Pederson put that talk to rest on Tuesday.
Pederson was asked about Blount’s roster security, to which he responded that the 30-year-old running back is a “beast” and will have a big role in Philly’s backfield.
Pederson speaking on LeGarrette Blount's roster security: "The guy's a beast of a runner." Expects him to be "a big part of our offense."
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 22, 2017
Blount has rushed for just 17 yards on nine carries this preseason. While preseason essentially means nothing, he has looked slower than usual. It should also be a concern for Eagles fans that Bill Belichick chose not to bring Blount back for cheap money after he rushed for an NFL-best 18 touchdowns last season.
If a recent report we heard about Blount’s conditioning is true, perhaps he can address the problem before Week 1.