‘Blount’ Talk from the Eagles’ Big Back
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The tie-in is as obvious as it gets.
The bell-cow back for the Super Bowl LI champion New England Patriots is back in the big game a year later as are the Pats but LeGarrette Blount is on the NFC champions' side this time, a key component in the Eagles' running back-by-committee setup with Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement.
Blount knew what was coming Thursday in the NovaCare Complex locker room and the 250-pound back did his best to bowl through the narrative a gaggle of reporters came armed with.
“I play for the Eagles," the two-time Super Bowl winner said. "I don’t play for the Patriots anymore.”
Yeah, but surely you could give Doug Pederson, Frank Reich and Duce Staley some intelligence on what has turned New England into perhaps the greatest dynasty in NFL history, a franchise that has won five Lombardi Trophies in a free-agency era defined by parity for the rest of the league's 31 teams.
"We ain't got nothing to talk about," Blount growled. "Ain't nothing for us to talk about. "They play for that team; I play for my team."
“I don’t watch the Patriots anymore. I don’t care about the Patriots," Blount continued. "I focus on what we need to do to put us in the best position to win this game. I had a great time there last year, but last year is last year.”
Blount's great time included a career year of 1,161 yards and 18 touchdowns yet he wasn't a high-profile free agent due to his age (now 31) at a position that generally chews up players on the wrong side of 30 and the belief that Tom Brady has turned the Patriots' offense into a machine that continues to spit out wins no matter who's a part of the supporting cast.
Blount signed a one-year deal with an Eagles team coming off a 7-9 season but heading in the right direction.
"I watch football so I felt like they were missing a couple of things obviously with the injury to Ryan (Mathews), and stuff like that, so I felt like they were missing a couple things and I feel like running back was one of them," Blount explained. "Obviously, I thought Carson (Wentz) was a really special quarterback."
Now Blount and another ex-Patriot, defensive end Chris Long, have the opportunity to join a very exclusive club: players that have won consecutive Super Bowls with different teams.
And Blount already knows what it takes to get that done.
“There’s going to be a lot of distractions, families, friends, you just have to put all that in the drawer," Blount explained. "Put all of that aside for however long it takes us to prepare for this game and then worry about it afterward. That’s the biggest thing. That’s the biggest part of this whole process. (Don’t) worry about everything that’s going to cause you any kind of stress or emotional backup."
On the field, Blount hopes to add to his 10 postseason rushing TDs. Off of it, his experiences are invaluable to the Eagles younger players that have never seen the sport's biggest stage.
“I told the young guys this, you just have to be a professional," Blount said. "Control your emotions. As rookies, they haven’t played, even National Championships, they still haven’t played in a game this big, with this magnitude, so it’s tough. We enjoyed our NFC Championship Game, but it’s back to work. We know what we got to do. We know what we want to do."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen