Yesterday the Patriots traded running back Jeff Demps to the Buccaneers in exchange for LeGarrette Blount and a seventh round draft pick. This came as no surprise because it was known that the Pats were looking to trade Demps. He let it be known that he wanted to continue to pursue his track career along with football. Apparently the Pats did not like this and they decided to try and trade him.
I like this trade for two reasons, the first is that they won’t have to deal with the distraction that Demps would potentially bring to the team, and the second is that Blount is actually a talented guy.
We know how much the Patriots hate having unnecessary attention brought to them, and getting rid of Demps is the right move in terms of getting rid of that type of attention. I could just smell trouble when Demps came out and said he still wanted to continue his track career. Football and track are both very tough sports, and I think that both of them require your 100% focus. By saying you want to do both, you are pretty much saying “I am not going to be as focused as everybody else on your team Mr. Belichick”. That will definitely not make Bill happy. He is the type of coach that wants the same amount of effort and focus from all of his players. Another issue is the Pats playbook. Getting to know the Pats playbook is not easy (just ask Chad Johnson) and I doubt that Demps would be able to grasp it with his full attention not on football. This would only cause the media to continue to bring this up and then you have your unwanted attention. Unwanted attention to a football team is never a good thing (just ask Rex Ryan and the Jets) and that could potentially stop the Patriots from getting another championship.
As I said before, LeGarrette Blount is still a very talented running back. He showed that in 2010, when he carried the ball 201 times for 1,007 yards and 6 touchdowns. He is a very powerful guy, and that could be a nice change of pace to the Patriots offense. Now in no way, shape or form am I saying that Blount should have a shot at Steven Ridley’s starting job because Ridley is far better than Blount. However, I think that Blount could be very effective in short yardage situations for New England. Despite Ridley’s talents, he did struggle at times last year during short yardage situations. These are very important plays in football, and having Blount at your disposable may be very beneficial for the Patriots.
The Pats haven’t had a “banger” type of back since Corey Dillon was here and that is also the last time the Patriots won a Super Bowl. Throughout the NFL season and the NFL playoffs, there are times when all you need is one or two yards. These times can come at the most crucial part of the season and if you can’t get these couple of yards then that could be the difference between being a champion or being “just another team”. LeGarrette Blount can be the guy that gets the Pats those few yards, and that is another part of this team that would be improved from last season. Thus, being closer to getting back to the Super Bowl.