Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots Bill Belichick on LeGarrette Blount trade

The New England Patriots were able to find a trade partner for Jeff Demps, and they sent a seventh-rounder with Demps in order to nab Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup running back LeGarrette Blount. The Bucs were also actively shopping Blount, who did not have a place on the Bucs and fell out of favor with the team largely due to the emergence of star RB Doug Martin as a rookie. I am a fan of this deal, and Bill Belichick weighed in on the deal with his thoughts and some brief insight on Blount and Demps.

He said via ESPN Boston,  “We felt like we got good value for Blount. He’s a guy that we basically gave up [Jeff] Demps for, and Demps, I’d say, is less of a proven player and there were some other issues with Jeff. With LeGarrette, he’s been a productive player. He didn’t play as much last year with the emergence of [Doug] Martin down there, so I can certainly understand that Tampa was in. We felt like he was a talented guy that we wanted to have on our team.”

It sounds like Belichick was indeed not a fan of Demps’s decision to continue with both track and football, and some of the quotes Demps delivered over the past month or two have seemed to indicate that track is his true passion. The Bucs showed a significant amount of interest back in August when Demps hit the free agent waters following the London Olympics, but it was the Patriots who signed him and gave him a year off to start with on the injured reserve. All the guaranteed money in Demps’s contract, by the way, has been paid out.

Neither team wanted the running back they had, and I think the change of scenery should serve Blount well. He will have to be inspired and disciplined in order to make the most of this chance, because a roster spot in the Patriots crowded backfield is far from guaranteed. But it’s easy to forget that Blount was once a 1,000-yard rusher as a rookie in Tampa, and he is a great pure rusher with plenty of power and explosiveness. Blount could be a factor and get the second-most carries on the Patriots if all goes well, and he is certainly a much more proven player than Demps. I am a fan of this deal from the Patriots perspective, because Demps and Blount are both risky players for different reasons. However, Blount has actually had success at the NFL level and is thus less risky. The thoughts from Bill Belichick have basically sealed the fact that this was a solid deal for the Pats, in my eyes.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.

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Tags: Bill Belichick Jeff Demps LeGarrette Blount New England Patriots Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • NelsonvillianHill

    being a bucs fan, i hope legarette blount sets records with the patriots . . he got a shafting in tampa bay . .

    • Joe Soriano

      You think so? I’ve heard a few other Bucs fans say that they thought Blount was stuffed too far down by Schiano, and I would agree with them. While he did cause his own downfall there a little bit, the Bucs were too quick to toss a former 1,000-yard back to the site. Thanks for dropping by, man, always good to hear perspectives from fans of other teams.

      • NelsonvillianHill

        to be blunt, blount is a EXTREMELY good back a 1000 yard back every year with the opportunity . . the bucs new bosses have not given him a chance . . if he had as many carries as the hampster, he would have equal numbers . . and don’t believe them . . he can catch and he is not a fumble machine

        • RussMillerWY

          I agree. Blount is an Earl Campbell-type running back, also a guy who wasn’t used for pass blocking or catching passes out in the flat. His highlight reel from 2010 is incredible! The Bucs put a fumbler tag on him that wasn’t really deserved, although he did sometimes dangle the ball out there when he was on the loose and flying down the sidelines. I wish we had found a better use for him, but Martin’s also a great running back who can do it all. Blount and Talib were so closely associated with the Raheem era that Schiano never warmed to them, unfortunately, although he also never spoke ill of them. I’m glad they’re both with a team that knows how to make use of everyone’s talents as role players.

          • NelsonvillianHill

            good to see they don’t have everyone brainwashed . . we will see how well he does with the patriots . . i expect very well . . their o-line is not shabby

          • Joe Soriano

            Blount is a terrible pass blocker, though, but I also wonder if he is a better pass-catcher than the Bucs gave him credit for being. They never used him to catch passes out of the backfield- like you’ve said- but I saw another Bucs fan comment on another piece that Blount could succeed in that regard. What do you guys think?

            Thanks for dropping by, Russell, and I agree with your comment. It seems like Schiano flat-out disregarded the success Blount had in 2010.

          • RussMillerWY

            They threw it to him so seldom at any point in his career that it’s hard to tell. I haven’t seen him drop any easy ones. He was out for a couple of games after making the most of a catch out of the backfield, I do remember that. It could be that he doesn’t excel at these non-running plays in practice, so they never really tried him out at them in games. Most critics reasoned that in 2011 teams decided that the best way to stop Blount was to bring in your heavies and load up the interior of the box, taking away a natural power back’s running lanes. It did reduce his yards per carry average, but what really hurt in in 2011 was that the Bucs would fall behind early and have to abandon the running game. Except for a couple of short yardage plays against the Saints that bombed for various reasons in their first meeting in 2012, Schiano almost completely shelved Blount. I still think he’ll turn out to be a success story with the Pats. Schiano and Belichick have similar personalities, but Schiano seems much more narrow-minded about the way he wants to do things and who he wants to do them with so far. “Out with the old, in with my new guys.” That’ll likely happen to Freeman, too, next year.

  • Centrale

    Blount did get chances last season, and was having a lot of problems. He didn’t seem to be adjusting his routes based on how the play was unfolding — he would just run into a wall and go nowhere. It got to the point that I started to think his confidence was shaken. I was disappointed because he was such a dynamic runner and his amazing hurdling plays were some of the only bright spots in the prior dismal season. I hope he returns to form.