It's not often that I get to say I told you so -- mostly because I'm rarely right or prescient about anything -- but the Steelers' acquisition today of LeGarrette Blount is a terrific move, even if it comes four years late.
During the 2010 NFL Draft, myself and former colleague Colin Dunlap were both hot on the idea of the Steelers taking a late-round flier on the punishing Oregon Duck back (nicknames: Blount Force Trauma and The Winnebago) to be an excellent, powerful compliment to the gamebreaking-though-contact-averse style of Rashard Mendenhall.
Every team passed on Blount in the 2010 draft, as he was football Kryptonite in the wake of his season long 2009 suspension for knocking out cold a Boise State player who, I'm sorry, was begging for it, after getting in Blount's face after a fiercely contested game between the two teams in 2009.
Tennessee ended up taking Blount as a UFA, but was picked up on waivers by Tampa, where he saw his first pro action and scored a garbage time touchdown against the Steelers in September 2010. He went on to rush for 1,007 yards in only seven starts in 2010, only the second rookie UFA RB to ever pass the millennium mark.
After a pair of middling seasons on downright bad Tampa teams, he was traded to New England during the 2013 draft. He scored 7 touchdowns in 7 starts and showed flashes of absolute dominance late in the season, including 334 total yards against Buffalo (a team record: 189 rushing, 145 return) with two touchdowns, and a four touchdown, 166-yard rushing performance in the AFC Divisional Playoff against Indianapolis.
Behind a young offensive line and a heady, fleet feature back in Le'Veon Bell who patiently picks his spots -- both of which got progressively better as 2013 wore on -- Blount's bruising style could be a nice additional wrinkle for a Steelers offense that has struggled mightily on the ground and in the red zone for much of the past few seasons (not to mention his ability as a kick returner). I love this acquisition for Pittsburgh.