LeGarrette Blount is 30, an often unwelcome age in the NFL — especially for running backs. On the day Blount signed his one-year deal with the Eagles, Philadelphia's new running back said his health is "great" and expressed optimism about his place with the Eagles after winning a Super Bowl with New England last season.
"To play a full season, play every game, every carry that they gave me, I feel great, I feel amazing," Blount said of how he feels at 30. "The thing I do most is I make sure I stay on a healthy diet. As long as I eat good and maintain my weight, I'm pretty good at it. It's easy to stay healthy at that point."
The Eagles are hoping that there are still quality carries left in his sizable frame. They are taking on Blount after he totaled a career-high 299 carries last season, but his career workload is not as significant. He has 1,168 rushes since entering the NFL in 2010, which ranks 16th among active rushers. That's fewer career carries than former Eagles LeSean McCoy and DeMarco Murray, both of whom remain in their prime and were among the top rushers in the NFL last season.
Heading for his eighth NFL season, Blount said he can play "as many \[years\] as I need to play." The Eagles only need him to play this year — that's how long his contract lasts.
Blount will take the field for the Eagles during organized team activities next week, but his size was apparent even in an Eagles T-shirt on Thursday. At his listed weight of 250 pounds, Blount is bigger than any linebacker on the Eagles. The internet offers different weights for Blount, and he was uninterested in clearing up any discrepancy by sharing what the scale reads.
"I'm the weight I need to be at," Blount said.
That size is what the Eagles' backfield needs. He's clearly the pounder in the Eagles' group, and his effectiveness in short-yardage and goal-line situations will be a welcome addition.
"It's a mind-set, and you've got to know that if it's third and inches, or third and 1, that's what you get before you expect to get the big play," Blount said. "You have to make sure you secure the first down first. Situational football is big."
Blount does not know what his role will be or how many carries he'll log per game. He averaged more than 18 carries per game last season. The Eagles gave one player at least 15 carries in only seven games last season. Blount said a running back likes to find a rhythm in a game, but he did not want to put a number on how many carries that will require.
He is fine joining a running back committee. It's how he's spent most of his career. He knew the roster picture when he signed with the Eagles, and mentioned the other running backs on Thursday. Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood, and Donnel Pumphrey are the team's other top running backs. Undrafted rookie Corey Clement will also try to enter the mix, and second-year player Byron Marshall is a running back-receiver hybrid. Veteran Ryan Mathews is still on the roster but is expected to be released when he recovers from a neck injury.
Blount received interest from other teams. He was linked to Arizona and the New York Giants in published reports, although he did not want to go into detail about who else was involved before he picked the Eagles. But he said he wanted to play in Philadelphia, and he thinks this team has a chance to immediately win. For a 30-year old on a one-year deal, that's important.
"I chose Philly because I thought it was the best fit for me," Blount said. "The guys here, the way they do things around here, I like the way they play ball."