I have been watching the running of Blount since he first ripped off that huge break away touchdown run in preseason. I liked the way he ran with the ball during his time with Tampa, but he was always a sloppy runner who relied on his instincts. The beginning of the year we saw a guy who was not consistent, but showed flashes of greatness. What I saw yesterday is a mature runner in the NFL that has shown a year of hard work.
This past game, I saw marked improvement in his technique as a runner. He is finally running with a focus of covering the ball without it interfering with his natural instincts. I feel like he did a great job of combining the coaching with his natural strengths. This is the hardest I have seen him run all year and he is running downhill and using his size.
He shows an elusiveness that I have not seen with many other runners in my time as a fan in New England. He also appears to have trimmed down and seemed faster on his shifts and bursts. He is running like a big man finally and powering over dudes who get in his way.
I have been begging for the Patriots to find the next Corey Dillion for a while now. That is the type of running game that has proven successful to Bill and Tom's success in the past. I hope it points towards success in the future.
What are your thoughts on how our runners are advancing to this point in the year? Is this the best Blount has been all year and will he beat out Ridley for the top running back spot? How are we seeing Ridley's progression since fumblitus overtook his starting job? Is Vereen progressing or regressing / can and should Vereen run inside?
No matter the answers to these questions, I feel like we saw the best complete and consistent of a game yet out of Blount. He is protecting the ball, running in space, running over men and running north south with quick cuts after first decisions. He could be an X factor in the playoffs if Vereen is nicked up.