LeGarrette Blount is nearing the second 1,000 yard season of his career. (Getty Images)
FOXBORO — Since 2000, the Patriots have had four running backs top 1,000 yards.
Corey Dillon — 1,635 (2004)
Stevan Ridley — 1,263 (2012)
Antowain Smith — 1,157 (2001)
BenJarvus Green-Ellis — 1,008 (2010)
LeGarrette Blount should be the fifth one sooner sooner rather than later. While he and the rest of the New England running game face a sizable challenge this week against the best run defense in the league in Baltimore, the fact that Blount is at 957 after 12 games means that if he stays healthy, he’s a lock to hit 1,000 for the second time in his career. (He had 1,007 as a rookie with the Bucs in 2010.)
In this pass-first era, the 1,000-yard mark is still an important milestone for any back, let alone one that just turned 30 this week.
“It means a lot, because there aren’t a lot of running backs who can rush for 1,000 yards in this league,” Blount said of the opportunity to reach 1,000 yards. “That goes out to all my offensive linemen and all of my tight ends and my receivers blocking on the perimeter. Tom [Brady] lead blocking when I reverse field. It goes out to all those guys. They work their tails off. They work their butt off every day. They work their butt off all week to continue to perform. I get all the notoriety for it, but it starts with those guys, for sure.”
“He’s run well for us. He’s made a lot of tough yards. He’s also made some big plays for us, has ripped off some big, explosive plays. He’s been out there every week,” Bill Belichick said of the 30-year-old Blount. “He’s had a solid year for us, no doubt about it.”
On Tuesday, Belichick was asked if there was any historical comparison he can think of when it came to Blount’s hammer strength and surprising speed. While he alluded to the skill set presented by Dillon and Ottis Anderson, in the end, he said Blount is a fairly unique back.
“I don’t know if there’s a lot of guys really that I would compare him to right off the bat,” Belichick said of Blount. “You see him making some tough runs and running guys over and then you see him hurdling guys like in the Miami game and you see an open-field run like he had last week against the Rams where he kind of, you know, spun the safety around and ran by him. So he’s got a good combination of moves and style.
“It’s not all one thing. He’s effective. He’s got an effective stiff-arm. He can be elusive, he can be powerful. And he’s got good run vision. It’s hard to find another guy like him.”