LeGarrette Blount wasn’t really a role model for Le’Veon Bell. Turns out, Blount also doesn’t have much of a role behind Bell, either — and wasn’t very happy about that fact on Monday night.
On Tuesday morning, Blount is a former Steeler after the team announced his outright release.
As the Steelers featured Bell for 33 carries and he ran for 204 yards in the27-24 comeback win at Tennessee, Blount was in the game for only two plays and didn’t touch the ball once.
According to multiple reports, that prompted Blount to leave the field early, head to the locker room, dress and get out of there before his teammates went there after the victory. That ended up costing him a roster spot.
Earlier in his first season in Pittsburgh, Blount was seeing regular time spelling Bell for a few series in every game, and in some goal-to-go situations. But as Bell has proved to be a versatile, durable workhorse, the Steelers just stuck with their red-hot hand through the coldest part of their schedule.
Blount shouldn’t have been expecting an equal timeshare with Bell when he signed a two-year, $3.85 million deal after not being re-signed by the Patriots. He’s pretty much a one-trick power back who’s overrated in short yardage, while Bell, thinner and sleeker this season, has run with both more explosiveness and toughness.
Blount’s Monday night stunt pushed him further into no-nonsense coach Mike Tomlin’s doghouse, far from earning his wish of more carries. He now is free to pursue those carries with another team, if there would be one that still wants him after he was such a locker-room headache in Pittsburgh.
Consider Blount was arrested along with Bell for misdemeanor marijuana during a traffic stop in August. There was once a thought that Blount was serving as a good mentor to Bell. Blount’s most recent behavior on the field had to be very disturbing for Tomlin.
That’s not how a veteran setting a so-called exampleshould act, especially in a hard-fought, well-deservedteam victory. Instead of pouting, Blount should have been supportive of Bell’s big-time rushingperformance.
The Steelers cutBlount even though they don’t really have another No. 2 option who could handle a sizeable load if Bell were to go down in their final few games. Rookie Dri Archer is more of a change-of-pace speedster than a 25-to-30 touch back.
They must now explore their options among street free agents to find Blount’s replacement during their Week 12 bye.