When I heard the news that the Steelers brought in Maurice Jones-Drew last week for a visit, I thought "Never gonna happen." I figured, as a veteran who is used to being his team's focal-point on offense, no way would Jones-Drew agree to come to Pittsburgh at the still young (but not so much for a running back) age of 29 and be a back-up to the younger but still relatively unproven Le'Veon Bell.
When Jones-Drew left without a contract, I wasn't really surprised.
However, when news broke the other day that the Steelers had not only scheduled a visit with free agent running back LeGarrette Blount, they decided to wait until Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert were both available to be part of said visit, I thought "Wow, signing him could actually happen!"
It is quite tangible and maybe even necessary. After all, other than Bell, the Steelers have nobody on their running back depth chart I can think of without going to the official team website to check it out for myself.
Actually, I just did, and really, there's nobody there besides No. 26. So for the time-being, Bell may have to get used to heeding Tomlin's "Ride him til the wheels fall off" philosophy he once had about Fast Willie Parker.
Obviously, the Steelers aren't going to go with just one running back, and a name other than "blank" will fill that back-up role behind Bell next season, but if it's filled with "Blount" that could spell trouble and provide lots of great sports talk material.
This isn't to say I wouldn't want Pittsburgh to sign Blount (I actually think it would be a great signing). I'm just afraid someone who possesses his physique and style of running would be too pleasing to the eye for my fellow fans, and it would just be a matter of time before they started clamoring for him to be the number one back.
You might think I'm kidding, but you're only kidding yourself.
I mean, just look at how much this guy weighs. In-case you didn't click on the NFL.com link that lists Blount's official weight, it's a whopping 250 lbs!
Look at Bell's official weight; 244 lbs? Talk about a lightweight.
And if Blount's weight wouldn't be tempting enough to Steelers fans, just look at how he runs. We're talking REAL Steelers football, and as one verse in the song accompanying the link suggests, that involves a big back running someone the blank over.
Any back who even sniffs Jerome Bettis' old style of running (and weight) is someone who fans simply want to see "Pound the Rock!"
For a coaching regime that seemed to go out of its way to protect the young Mr. Bell in virtual bubble-wrap from the first exhibition game of his rookie season, all the way through until Week 17, I just don't see how having someone like Blount on the roster (I can picture the signs now, " Running with Blount Force!") would be beneficial.
I mean, it would be beneficial for the team, just not to Bell if he doesn't make the fan satisfactory progress from his rookie campaign to his sophomore season.
Have you no decency, Coach Tomlin and gm Colbert? Don't you want to continue to instill Bell with the utmost confidence? The best way to do that wouldn't be by signing Blount who, to repeat, runs REALLY HARD and has a bit of a crazy-streak on par with Jack Lambert/Greg Lloyd/Joey Porter/James Harrison, it would be by re-signing Isaac Redman or trading for Jonathan Dwyer.
Or if you really, I mean, really wanted to make Bell feel like he was wanted and appreciated by the fans, you'd coax Rashard Mendenhall out of retirement to be his back-up.
When it comes to certain positions, there are back-ups and then there are BACK-UPS!